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How does window licensing work these days

Paul Siu
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Recently, I build a PC out of old parts. One of them was from a dell XPS desktop. Much to my surprise, the hard drive boot properly on the new computer and Windows 10 activated without issue. When I look, it said it was digital license associated with my windows account. I was expecting it to say that you can't activated it because it was an OEM license. Do we not have OEM license these days?

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On 12/8/2022 at 3:15 AM, Paul Siu said:

Recently, I build a PC out of old parts. One of them was from a dell XPS desktop. Much to my surprise, the hard drive boot properly on the new computer and Windows 10 activated without issue. When I look, it said it was digital license associated with my windows account. I was expecting it to say that you can't activated it because it was an OEM license. Do we not have OEM license these days?

Even OEM licenses permit changes in hardware up to a certain amount of changed hardware. The only difference with retail license is that you cannot transfer it to a new PC.

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I don't think this is because the OEM allow some hardware change. Everything changed on the box except the hard drive. It appears that MS has changed how  licensing work. Now an OEM key will get attached to your MS account and then can be transfer to different machine, but you can use it only one at a time.

 

https://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/all/i-have-a-digital-windows-10-key-attached-to-my/8663d2bd-0190-4abe-93b2-faaeae60a2ce

 

It would probably suck to lose your MS account then.

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