How decent are Microsoft about transferring OEM licenses?

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by -Ryan-, Oct 11, 2009.

  1. -Ryan- macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2009
    #1
    I'm looking to transfer my Vista license from my PC to my Macbook when Windows 7 is released, as 7 will be installed on the PC. The problem is that it's an OEM license. Are Microsoft strict about the transfer of licenses or is it possible to ask the person on the phone to reactivate it on another computer?

    Thanks,
    Ryan
     
  2. balamw Moderator

    balamw

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Location:
    New England
    #2
    How are you getting 7? If you are buying it retail I think you are OK. I moved my retail XP upgrade license over without a hitch, it activated without even a pause.

    The general rule with this stuff, however, is you won't know until you:

    a) have it not activate automatically and
    b) ask the person on the other end of the line at Microsoft.

    If your 7 upgrade is coming from the OEM in the form of an "upgrade coupon" and customized media you may have a harder time...

    This is part of the reason I bought my 7 upgrades retail when the 50% deal was going on. I want some more flexibility in choosing where/how I deploy them. I did however get one free copy of Ultimate at the launch event last week and will tie that one to my newest box.

    B
     
  3. ian.maffett macrumors 6502

    ian.maffett

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2008
    Location:
    Florida
    #3
    Legally, you can't use an OEM license on any piece of hardware that it didn't come on originally. IE: you can't use that license on your MB or anything else for that matter once you upgrade / install 7. It's just meant to be a dead sticker.
     
  4. balamw Moderator

    balamw

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Location:
    New England
    #4
    Even then, many folks have transferred OEM licenses simply by calling Microsoft and asking.

    Note that the EULA is a legal agreement between you and Microsoft, not the law of the land. And Microsoft are perfectly capable of going above and beyond the specific rights explicitly granted to you in the EULA if they darn well feel like it that day.

    So far, all retail upgrade EULAs I have ever read DO explicitly grant you transfer rights, which is why I was suggesting this as a possible way to go about it perfectly within the EULA.

    Situation: Vista OEM on old machine not transferrable, new retail Windows 7 is.
    Solution: Upgrade the Vista OEM box to Windows 7 using a retail upgrade, then exercise your transfer rights and move it over to the Mac.

    You can usually skip the step of actually installing it over Vista on the old PC, and go straight to installing on the Mac. Just remember to decommission the PC. If you want to maintain some continuity of hardware stick the HDD from the PC in an external enclosure and use it with your Mac.

    B
     
  5. -Ryan- thread starter macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2009
    #5
    Ah balamw, that's the sort of response I was looking for. :) I just wanted confirmation that it's possible for Microsoft to allow my Vista OEM install to be "reset" and installed on my Macbook. Perhaps if I call them they'll be kind enough to do this for me. The OEM install was a disc I bought retail, knowing it was an OEM (it was literally about a quarter of the price of a full retail). The Windows 7 version I've got is the Professional Upgrade (through Ultimate Steal type thing in the UK). I don't know how it'll pan out, but I'll give it a shot calling them anyway. Thanks!
     
  6. MacHamster68 macrumors 68040

    MacHamster68

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2009
    #6
    never installed a oem on a mac , but i installed oems on different pc`s
    you can use the coa sticker and glue it on and use the number of it when installing windows , it will ask you to phone microsoft then to get another number and when you call them you have to declare that the original pc the oem comes from, is broken and destroyed , and that the windows is not installed somewhere else :rolleyes:
     
  7. balamw Moderator

    balamw

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Location:
    New England
    #7
    Just to reiterate and echo what MacHamster68 said. Call them only when you are prompted to do so by the installer, and when you are on the phone with them you don't have to tell them you think you are working outside their EULA.

    Even if your 7 disc is an upgrade I would try and install clean from that (only way to go 32 bit to 64 bit) on the Mac and not worry about calling MS unless the installer prompts you to do so. Just remember to take the Vista box out of service permanently.

    B
     
  8. js81 macrumors 65816

    js81

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2008
    Location:
    KY
    #8
    Depends on what type of OEM license it is. If it came with a Dell, HP, etc., then NO, you can't transfer it. If you bought it and installed it (yeah, you can buy OEM discs from Newegg and places like that) then you can transfer it. I think you can do it like 3 times before MS makes you call in about it.
     
  9. gugucom macrumors 68020

    gugucom

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    May 21, 2009
    Location:
    Munich, Germany
    #9
    In the UK as in all of the EU MS Eula isn't applicable. The EU has forbidden Microsoft to bundle hardware and software products. So MS has no choice in the matter of a UK customer. They must allow the transfer and activate the license.

    Technically a transfer depends whether it is a true OEM or a system builder edition. If it is a system builder (likely) you even get full data carrier support. It means you can replace a 32-bit DVD with a 64-bit DVD at a charge of 19€.

    If it is an OEM recovery disk (likely with laptops) the OEM might have tweaked it in such a way that it needs not read a COA on the original hardware. Then it will also not transfer whatever you do.

    For both OEM and System Builder you have not purchased any MS support. That is the price difference to full retail. MS will charge you for anything you ask them to do for you. All they will do for free is re activate and that can be automatically over the phone without speaking to a representative.
     
  10. -Ryan- thread starter macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2009
    #10
    Excellent. Mine's a system builder OEM so I should be okay to transfer it. I'll wait until the 22nd and then go ahead and do it once I have Windows 7 in my hands.
     

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