Windows digital licenses: retail or OEM?

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  1. Posts : 1,771
    Windows 10 Pro
       #1

    Windows digital licenses: retail or OEM?


    I hope this isn't a newbie question. If I look at the Devices tab on my MS account website, how do I know if a given license is OEM or retail?
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  2. Posts : 15,480
    Windows10
       #2

    x509 said:
    I hope this isn't a newbie question. If I look at the Devices tab on my MS account website, how do I know if a given license is OEM or retail?
    The devices tab only shows devices using an MS account - activated or not. It does not even tell you if device is activated, let alone original licence type.

    The distinction between oem and retail licences are very blurred with advent of digital licences.

    All you can do is check original keys used to activate windows 10/11 and that is a manual process using tool like showkeyplus.
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  3. Posts : 18,432
    Windows 11 Pro
       #3

    Retail v. OEM is completely irrelevant with Windows 10/11. Once the digital license is activated and obtained, it can be switched between Retail and OEM by the user, at will, simply by changing the generic product key for that edition of Windows 10/11:
    Generic Product Keys to Install Windows 10 Editions
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  4. Posts : 16,932
    Windows 10 Home x64 Version 22H2 Build 19045.4170
       #4

    And do note that your Windows licence does not use the terms OEM or retail.
    Instead, it refers to Pre-installed software & Stand-alone software [i.e. bought separately].

    You can read some more details in my licence transfer terms ditty with links and extracts [post #16] - TenForums

    Denis
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  5. Posts : 18,432
    Windows 11 Pro
       #5

    Try3 said:
    And do note that your Windows licence does not use the terms OEM or retail.
    Instead, it refers to Pre-installed software & Stand-alone software [i.e. bought separately].

    You can read some more details in my licence transfer terms ditty with links and extracts [post #16] - TenForums

    Denis
    Which is also interesting because after the digital license is obtained, the user can re-install Windows 10/11 by downloading it from MS and use the generic product key for activation. Then it is no longer "pre-installed", it is now stand-alone software. Notice that the terms and conditions that you linked to state, "If you acquired the software." It only mentions how the user acquired the software, not the license for using it.
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  6. Posts : 16,932
    Windows 10 Home x64 Version 22H2 Build 19045.4170
       #6

    Perhaps we are talking at slight cross-purposes.
    The licence determines transfer rights depending on how the software was acquired.
    Software originally acquired one way or the other remains subject to the appropriate licence transfer limitations despite any subsequent reinstallation because its original acquisition remains as described in the first sentences of sub-paras 4a, 4b respectively.
    No separate provision has been made to distinguish between a re-installation and a re-acquisition; in other words, once it has been acquired, it has been acquired.

    What fun,
    All the best,
    Denis
      My Computer


  7. Posts : 18,432
    Windows 11 Pro
       #7

    Anywhoo... MS themselves has made it a completely moot point.

    #1 I sell a computer with a digital license for Windows 10/11 stored at MS with a blank drive with no OS installed, I have no control over it if the buyer installs Windows 10/11 on it and activates Windows 10/11 on it using the generic product key. I did not transfer the license for Windows 10/11 to the buyer, MS did - and I cannot be held responsible for either the buyer's nor MS's actions.

    #2 Paragraph 4a does not prohibit a user from transferring a "pre-installed" license from one device they own to another device they own. It only specifies the conditions under which that license can be transferred to another person.

    I see nothing in the T&C that would specifically prohibit a person from converting an OEM channel activated license to a retail channel activated license and transferring that license to a second computer. Can you provide the language in the T&C (EULA) that would prohibit that?
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  8. Posts : 16,932
    Windows 10 Home x64 Version 22H2 Build 19045.4170
       #8

    #1 I agree. That situation is not explicitly provided for.
    #2 I think para 4a does not allow that. It refers to devices not people.
    #3 I think 4a does not allow the transfer to another device. Since the licence does not recognise the "OEM" or "retail" terms that you used, I don't think 4a is affected by that conversion.

    I am not trying to suggest that any particular course of action would be prevented by any action on MS's part. There does not seem to be any enforcement action in the software to prevent these things and there haven't been any reports [that I've noticed] that suggest MS activation servers will detect such changes.


    All the best,
    Denis
      My Computer


  9. 3nd
    Posts : 860
    Zorin Lite
       #9

    x509 said:
    I hope this isn't a newbie question. If I look at the Devices tab on my MS account website, how do I know if a given license is OEM or retail?
    click +R key then type slmgr.vbs /dli in box and press ok
    wait for the popup ...
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  10. Posts : 1,771
    Windows 10 Pro
    Thread Starter
       #10

    3nd said:
    click +R key then type slmgr.vbs /dli in box and press ok
    wait for the popup ...
    OK, that works for the system I am working on now. How do I determine the same for all the various systems listed under DEVICES on my Microsoft account?

    - - - Updated - - -

    As the OP I thought I was asking a "simple" question out of lack of knowledge, which could be answered with a one or two sentence answer. Open and shut case. I had no idea that I was trying to open a very big can, with a bunch of worms inside just waiting to crawl outside.

    IF I understand all the answers in this thread, then I can take a Windows install, ad apply the generic key for a retail license. Then I can link that install with an OEM-licenced system. And as if by Microsoft magic that install becomes a retail install. Is this understanding correct?

    Now I'd like to ask a sort of related question. If I have a system with a Home License, can I apply a Professional generic key, and end up with a Pro licensed-system?

    So in the end, does Microsoft really care that much, beyond the fact that I had to spend some money to acquire Windows, either by buying software or buying a system?
      My Computers


 

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