Program Deep Dive – OEM and FPP Overview – Re-imaging/Downgrade Rights for OEM and FPP

 

Original Equipment Manufacturer – OEM

  • Sold by large PC Manufacturers
  • OEM Fully supports the customer, so any issues with the hardware or software, you need to call the OEM
  • Can also be purchased by System Builders, once system builder "breaks the seal" they are responsible for the support and EULA T&Cs
  • Full version only, no upgrades
  • Must be pre-installed by the OEM or System Builder in the case of Desktop OS and Desktop Applications, Server OS is optional pre-install
  • Product Activation is required either on the web or over the phone
  • Both Windows and Office can be enrolled into Software Assurance within 90 days
  • OEM has restrictive rights, no transfer, no re-assignment, limited downgrade*
  • OEM Software licenses Live and die with the hardware

Did you know: You must buy a new licence if the motherboard is replaced, a new licence is not required if the motherboard is replaced under warranty by the OEM

Fully Packaged Product – FPP

  • Sold by retail outlets
  • Supported directly by Microsoft
  • Typically 1 box = 1 license
  • Manuals, End User License Agreement and CD/DVD in the box
  • Full Version, Upgrades available
  • Product Activation is required either on the web or over the phone
  • Windows Desktop OS can be enrolled into SA, Office CANNOT be enrolled into SA
  • FPP can be transferred and re-assigned

 

OEM Downgrade Rights

Downgrades for products purchased under OEM are limited, please see the table below:

Did you know: If you have purchased OEM Windows Vista Business or Ultimate and need to run Windows 2000, 98 or 95, attach SA, this permits extended downgrade rights for the Desktop OS, you will need to source your own media and keys for downgrading

FPP Downgrade Rights

FPP typically has NO downgrade rights associated for Desktop OS or Desktop Applications, there are exceptions for some of the Server products which permit installation of the prior version in place of the licensed version, always check the retail EULA for the do’s and don’t’s

Downgrade Chart

 

OEM/FPP Re-imaging Rights

Re-imaging is the copying of software onto multiple devices from one standard image.

Customers may re-image OEM or FPP licensed copies using media provided under their Volume Licensing agreement.

However, there are certain conditions to using the volume licensing media for re-imaging software previously installed either by the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) or from full packaged product (FPP).

You cannot purchase a FULL Desktop OS license in Volume Licensing its an upgrade only, so you MUST have a pre-existing OEM or FPP Desktop OS on the machine, if you have purchased Windows XP Pro, Windows Vista Business or Windows Vista Ultimate you may downgrade and re-image those machines in accordance with the conditions set out below, please see the section on Office OEM/FPP, it CANNOT be downgrade or re-imaged using VL media

Conditions – Very very important

Windows Vista Business or Ultimate or XP Pro purchased via OEM or FPP have re-imaging rights granted, no other Windows desktop OS edition/version has re-imaging rights permitted in the EULA This means you can use the any legal media including the VL media from your Open/Select or EA program to re-image OEM/FPP Desktop OS to a standard VL build, provided you meet the conditions below

Microsoft Volume Licensing programs do not offer licenses for the full version of Microsoft Windows® desktop operating system, the media for both the full version of the operating system are available under those programs.  Re-imaging using the full version media requires that customers have licensed the Microsoft Windows desktop operating system either pre-installed through the OEM, or as FPP retail product.  A volume licensing customer can use their volume licensing media to re-image their Microsoft Windows desktop operating system from an OEM provided that it is the same version and product as that on the Certificate of Authenticity label that came with the PC.

Key Notes on this: If you want to use VL media and VL Key to re-image your OEM Desktop OS you need to have an active Systems Pool or have had an active systems pool, an active system pool means you have purchased at least 1 Windows Upgrade Licenses and a VL Key has been generated on your agreement, if you DO NOT, then you need to follow the info below

  • You purchase Windows Upgrade licenses under your Select/EA/Campus/OV/School agreement, this will generate a VLK that you can use to re-image ALL the Windows Vista Business/ultimate OEM/FPP PCs you own to VL Windows Vista Business or XP Pro
  • You purchase at least one license  under your Open License authorization number, this will generate a VLK that you can use to re-image ALL the Windows Vista Business/ultimate OEM/FPP PCs you own to VL Windows Vista Business or XP Pro
  • Product Activation team can generate VL Keys were necessary 0800 0188 354, Keys are found on MVLS and eOpen

Did you know: If you have an earlier or alternative edition/version of the Windows Desktop OS to the editions with re-imaging rights associated, you can purchase a VL Upgrade license for each machine you want to re-image

Did you know: Attaching SA to EACH OEM/FPP Desktop OS permits you to install and/or image to Windows Vista ENTERPRISE, no SA means you re-image to Windows Vista Business or downgrade and image to XP Pro 32/64bit or Tablet PC edition

 

Office purchased via OEM or FPP has NO re-imaging and no downgrade rights granted, you cannot purchase OEM Office Pro 2007 and re-image with VL Office Pro Plus 2007, this does not meet the conditions set out below, they do not have the same components

Examples that do not meet the eligibility criteria for re-imaging are:

  • Different products
  • Microsoft Office Professional Plus Edition 2007 and Microsoft Office Standard Edition 2007 are not the same product, therefore you cannot re-image in this example. Additionally Windows Vista Business and Windows Vista Home Premium are not the same product, therefore you cannot re-image in this example.
  • Different components – Suites such as Microsoft Office must have exactly the same component products (e.g., Microsoft Word, Microsoft Outlook®, etc.).
  • Microsoft Office Professional 2007 licensed via the OEM, System Builder or FPP channel and Microsoft Office Professional Plus 2007 licensed via Microsoft Volume Licensing are not the same product, nor do they do share the same components, therefore you cannot re-image in this example.
  • Different language
  • English and Multi-lingual User Interface Packs are not the same language, therefore you cannot re-image in this example. Also, different languages such as English and French do not meet the criteria, therefore you cannot re-image in this example.
  • Different version
  • Microsoft Office 2003 and Microsoft Office 2007 are not the same version, therefore you cannot re-image in this example. Windows Vista Business and Windows XP Pro are not the same version, therefore you cannot re-image in this example.

Did you know: You can attach SA to OEM Office within 90days providing the same rights as VL Office, including re-imaging, transfer and use on a TS server

Re-imaging brief – Vista

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30 Comments

  1. Hi Victoria
    Re: your email below
     
    I\’m familiar with the licensing rule that says when deploying Office over Terminal Server you don\’t need a licence for the copy on the Terminal Server, but what happens when you want to install Office on a server that isn\’t being configured as a Terminal Server and indeed doesn\’t have any users connecting to it? One of our techies wants to put Office on a server for generating statistics from within another application.
    Answer:
    If the copy of Office is being "used", so someone is actually sitting at the server utilising the copy, then you need to purchase a copy for the server, it would be treated as a device and as such needs a copy of Office assigned, Office on a TS server is "free" provided it is accessed by licensed devices connecting to it
     
    Hope this helps
     
    Emma

  2. From Tony

    please,please, can you help me out? I have within the last 3 weeks built my own pc from scratch and installed Vista premium 64bit oem. PC was stable for 4 days but i needed to update bios on motherboard so it could see processor properly, after doing so bios update failed in such a way that it has rendered my new motherboard useless.I am now in dispute with my supplier and may end up having to pay for another motherboard from a different supplier to achieve a resolution. I am led to believe that under oem terms the motherboard is tied to the registered operating system.
    Given that my motherboard has only functioned for 4 days and failed were do i stand with my licence ie: can i replace my motherboard for the same or similar spec?.I will do my best to have original board repaired. Please can you advise?
     
    Tony, if the motherboard is replaced within warranty from the manufacturer then there is no need for you to purchase a new license, call the activation centre and explain your issue if the machine will not activate over the Web.
     
    Hope this helps, Emma

  3. HiI\’m confused about this part and not had a satisfactory answer from my suppliers "Did you
    know: If you have purchased OEM Windows Vista Business or Ultimate and
    need to run Windows 2000, 98 or 95, attach SA, this permits extended
    downgrade rights for the Desktop OS, you will need to source your own
    media and keys for downgrading"does this mean I can just go to my IT Manager and ask if I could have a copy of the company media and VLK and this counts as "sourcing my own media and keys"? Or do the media and keys have to come from the OEM reseller? These woosley words from MS cause no end of trouble. I\’ve a lot more examples where I\’ve had different responses depending on who I talk to in MS Licencing and the resellers are no good, they get inconsistent advice as well.

  4.  
    Hi There
     
    Sorry, whats confusing on this?
     
    If you purchase Windows Vista Business or Ultimate in the end user license agreement you are permitted to downgrade to Windows XP Pro, if you want to downgrade further than XP Pro, you also need to attach SA
     
    If you are a consumer/home user who has purchased via OEM, then Yes, you can ask the OEM or system builder to install XP Pro in place of Vista Business or Ultimate, if the OEM cannot supply to you XP Pro, then you may use any legal copy of media to install XP Pro on the PC, You CANNOT use your companies VLK, they are not permitted to share this with you, but, you can call the product activation centre and they will generate an XP Pro Key for you based on the info you supply to them about the Vista copy you own
     
    I think we need to be clear that the info above is aimed at companies who purchase OEM Windows Vista Business but downgrade so that all the machines are at the same version/edition of the OS
     
    If an end customer wants to downgrade to XP Pro, if they purchase Vista Business or Ultimate this is granted in the EULA, it also states that neither Microsoft or the OEM will faciliate this downgrade process
     
    Thanks Emma

  5. Hi Emma,
    If I go out and purchase an OEM copy of Vista Ultimate so I can use the downgrade rights to XP, and I use my Gold Win XP Disk will it accept the vista licence key or do I need to apply for a new one?
     
    Thanks,
    Phil Steels

  6. Hi Phil
     
    If you call the activation centre on 0800 0188 354 and provide to them your Vista key, they will generate you an XP Pro key for downgrade rights
     
    Cheers Emma

  7. Hi There
     
    FPP normally does not have downgrade rights associated
     
    So the answer is no, if you attach SA to the FPP within 90days, then yes, as SA will convert the FPP to VL use rights providing downgrade rights
     
    Thanks Emma

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  9. Is it possible to upgrade a OEM to FPP? I have OEM licences on my office machines and now I wanted to upgrade the motherboards of the systems though I would like to continue Windows XP on the new machines. According to the post and the conditions I will have to  buy new licences but is it possible to upgrade from an OEM licence of XP to FPP?Another question I had was that since OEM is provided by manufacturers why is the OEM version of software available in the market. When I bought the OEM licences I had no idea that they were not transferable though the Microsoft partner told me that the licences are transferrable. I feel cheated in this case. When I read the terms and conditions and did some research I realized I did not have the same rights as I thought I had but then the OEM licences should not be available at all so that partners of Microsoft do not fleece customers.

  10. Hi
     
    OEM Windows OS should be pre-installed on a new PC that is mandatory, you should not be able to purchase OEM Windows OS on its own unless you are a system builder and then you may buy a system builder pack, so If you can let me know who sold you "loose" OEM I can investigate further
     
    If you have OEM copies then they will live and die with the original hardware, the Windows OS VL Upgrade license also will live and die with the original PC, only FPP Windows OS will have transfer rights off the original hardware
     
    So your option now iwould be to purchase FPP copies for the "new" machines or purchase OEM pre-installed on those new machines whichever is more cost effective
     
    Hope this helpsEmma

  11. In regards to Re-imaging Office OEM what about the example of Office 2007 Small Business Edition – the VL and OEM versions have the same components so are an exact match – does this mean it IS OK to re-image all your OEM Office 2007 SBE if you have at least one Office SBE 2007 VL key?

  12. Just another question :If you upgrade your FPP product what is the status of the new product ? By example : if I upgrade WXP FPP to Vista Business through VL, is it still considered as FPP ? Would I be able to upgrade it again ?

  13. HiIn your text you state that \’Did you know: Attaching SA to EACH OEM/FPP Desktop OS permits you to re-image to Windows Vista ENTERPRISE, no SA means you re-image to Windows Vista Business or XP Pro 32/64bit or Tablet PC edition\’. This makes perfect sense, however in the Re-Imaging Licensing brief it clearly states twice that: Windows Vista Enterprise is not available as an originally licensed product, and is therefore not eligible for reimaging. Would you he able to clarify – I think the brief is wrong??

  14. Hi ThereI think this is a terminology issueRe-image means like for like, so I have OEM Windows XP Pro and I want to re-image with VL Windows XP Pro, same bitsYou cannot buy OEM or FPP Windows Vista Enterprise, so you cannot re-image it with VL Windows Vista EnterpriseYou can certainly build an image using VL Windows Vista Enterprise and roll it out across all your devices, the caveat of doing that with VL Windows Vista Enterprise is that you have a qualified OS +SA on each PC being imagedHope this is clearer, I have amended the post also to reflect image/re-imageEmma

  15. Hi ThereOEM Server OS + SA permits the License and SA to be reassigned to a new piece of hardware, together, having SA provides Volume Licensing rightsOEM Desktop OS + SA permits only the SA portion to be reassigned and only to a PC that has the most current desktop OS installed, the license lives and dies on the PC, this is also true for the Desktop OS Volume Licensing Upgrade licenseHope this helpsEmma

  16. Ok so according you your article and the comments I can do this:I purchase 10 dell PCs with Vista Business OEM licenses. I purchase 1 volume license and media of Vista Business. Then I have rights to reimage ALL of the 10 PCs with the VLK media and I use the VLK key on all of them is this correct?So if this is the case where is the authoritative document from MS that tells me so? Can you forward me some links? Thanks!

  17. Hi JohnNot sure why this seems confusing, you have already purchased a valid OEM license for Windows Vista Business on each of the PCs – Correct? – all you want to do now is re-image that OEM OSE using VL Media and a VL KeySo if you already have an existing agreement with a Windows Vista Business upgrade on there, you already have a VLK generated, if you dont have an agreement, start an Open, any 5 licenses, make one of the them a Windows Vista Upgrade, this will generate a key and yes, you can use that key on ANY and ALL OEM PCs you have purchased with Windows Vista BUSINESS licenses assigned via OEM or FPP – if you run out of activations call the product activation line and they will increase the count if you are using MAK as opposed to KMS activationReimaging doc with all this info is located on http://download.microsoft.com/download/3/D/4/3D42BDC2-6725-4B29-B75A-A5B04179958B/Reimaging.docxand also on the front page of my siteCheersEmma

  18. HiLicenses purchased via OEM or FPP have a 90day grace period to add on SA, you need to have the most current version of the OSE to be eligible to add on SA only, the most current version less than 90days ago was Windows Vista Business or UltimateYou would need to purchase the VL Upgrade for those FPP copies, taking them to Windows 7 Pro and add SA to the upgrade if you want Windows 7 EnterpriseCheersEmma

  19. Good day,Just to clarify. If I bought 10 computers with Windows Vista Business OEM and want to re-image those computers using Windows XP Pro VL media and key, this is not allowed? If I want to downgrade the computers to XP then I cannot do that with a standard image, I must manually install all of the computers to have downgrade rights? I other words I cannot combine the two rights?Thank you.Regards,Stian

  20. Hi StanYes you can combine the 2 rights together, so you can exercise downgrade rights to XP Pro and then use the VL Media to reimage to XP Pro provided you have access to VL Media through VLSCCheersEmma

  21. Hi again,I have to ask again. How can I combine these rights when your explanation above says: "A volume licensing customer can use their volume licensing media to re-image their Microsoft Windows desktop operating system from an OEM provided that it is the same version and product as that on the Certificate of Authenticity label that came with the PC." It says in that text that the version used for re-imaging has to be the same as the Certificate of Authenticity label that came with the PC. If I used downgrade rights to downgrade from Vista Business OEM to XP Pro, then the image I am using is not the same as the Certificate of Authenticity label that came with the PC?Btw. Love your blog, I use it alot :)Best regards,Stian

  22. Hi StianThe info you have stated below is in the VL brief, re-imaging is like for like but using VL media to get there, if we didnt actually state this then we would have the issue were customers could potentially buy OEM Windows HOME PCs and reimage with VL Windows PRO Upgrade.Re-imaging compliments downgrade rights, but OEM downgrade rights are stated in the EULA/MSLT not the reimaging briefYou can reimage OEM with VL like for like = COA as proof/ManualYou can downgrade OEM Win OSE = use any legal media and downgrade to the versions stated in the EULA, you do not need to use VL for this, you can, but there is no conditon todo soor you can exercise OEM downgrade and then remiage using VL media = use prior VL media and the activation centre generate a key based on your agreement typeI know its sometimes confusing but this brief covers reimaging not downgrade rights which are an additonal benefit extended to specific OEM productsHope this helpsEmma

  23. Hi Emma,My question is relagted to re-imaging and volume activation. For any new PC hardware vendor, the OEm version of the OS woul dhave been pre-activated. If I re-image using a VL media, do I have to use the generated MAK/KMS key to re-activate ?Your blog is just full of information.. great job !Wei Haw

  24. Hi Emma, i have 10 desktops running windows xp pro not genuine, i want to make it genuine without formatting and without fresh installation. and later if i need i can upgrade to win 7 pro and can transfer license to another PC. Please advice.

    • Hi Mohammed, Contact a large account reseller in your area and advise you need to discuss purchasing GGWA SKU and SA, any LAR should be in a position to support that for you getting you legal, Windows licenses are usually tied to the original PC, but SA can be reassigned – check out my older post covering this
      cheers
      emma

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