Question About Windows Keys

I have done much research on this topic but I got multiple different responses each taking their own stance on both side of this. My question has to do with the difference between windows 10 OEM keys and "full" keys and whether it's legal to buy a OEM key for personal use or not. I also want to know and understand the terms of using a OEM key. I am building my own PC so I don't have to deal with proprietary hardware, pre-installed bloatware, unnecessary expenses during non-warranty repair, and the ability to upgrade  or replace single parts without buying a whole system.

Here are my sources that I will reference:

  • http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16832416892&cm_re=windows_10-_-32-416-892-_-Product - Newegg Windows 10 Home
  • http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16832588491&cm_re=windows_10-_-32-588-491-_-Product - Newegg Windows 10 Professional
  • http://www.zdnet.com/article/is-it-ok-to-use-oem-windows-on-your-own-pc-dont-ask-microsoft/ - ZDnet
  • https://www.microsoftstore.com/store/msusa/en_US/pdp/Windows-10-Home/productID.319937100

In both Newegg windows 10 keys, the title states that both keys are OEM. In the specifications tab for both keys there is a disclaimer stating that use of the software is subject to the terms of Microsoft OEM System Builder License. The Newegg windows 10 prices are $99 for home and $139.99 for Pro. On Kinguin, I found windows 10 pro keys for $28.09. The price for local retail and Microsoft Store retail for Windows 10 Home is $119.99. I would like to save money if possible and buy the key through Kinguin. Although, I heard that it is legal to buy and use OEMs for personal use because you count as a System Builder. Iv'e also heard that it's only legal to buy these keys if you are a manufacture. Another thing I have heard is through ZDnet and that is that it is legal to buy the OEM but it can only be activated once and it will not work with hardware change because it counts as a new system. If I were to buy a OEM key and use it on my PC that I am building and I wanted to upgrade the system or had to replace a major part like the motherboard, CPU, GPU or the hard drive that the OS is installed on, I would have to buy a new key and could not reactivate my PC. I also heard that this is the case for "full licences". 

Can someone clarify the terms so that I know exactly what is going on? And what is the difference between OEM and "full" versions exactly? Is it possible for me to temporarily buy a OEM key for my system through Kinguin or Newegg until I have enough money to buy the "full" version of Windows 10 (probably when I decide to do a major upgrade)? And what kind of hardware changes can I do with OEM and "full" keys and how can I reactivate my system afterwards? And could I reactivate with the same OEM key if the hard drive containing Windows OS fails and I have to replace it?

Disclaimer:

The PC I am building is for personal  use only and will not be sold or given (gifted) to another individual or business. 

Thanks.

 

Question Info


Last updated November 7, 2019 Views 4,396 Applies to:

I have done much research on this topic but I got multiple different responses each taking their own stance on both side of this. My question has to do with the difference between windows 10 OEM keys and "full" keys and whether it's legal to buy a OEM key for personal use or not.

Full version (Retail):

- Includes transfer rights to another computer.

- Doesn't require a previous qualifying version of Windows.

- Expensive

OEM :

OEM versions of Windows are identical to Full License Retail versions except for the following:

- OEM versions do not offer any free Microsoft direct support from Microsoft support personnel

- OEM licenses are tied to the very first computer you install and activate it on

- OEM versions allow all hardware upgrades except for an upgrade to a different model motherboard

- OEM versions cannot be used to directly upgrade from an older Windows operating system

I also want to know and understand the terms of using a OEM key.

This article gives a good analysis:

Is it OK to use OEM Windows on your own PC? Don't ask Microsoft ...

I am building my own PC so I don't have to deal with proprietary hardware, pre-installed bloatware, unnecessary expenses during non-warranty repair, and the ability to upgrade  or replace single parts without buying a whole system.

To make this easy, purchase a full version retail license, it removes any penalties and dangers of possibly invalidating the license if you need to change key hardware components like the motherboard or wish to transfer it to another computer.

Buy Windows 10 Home/Pro

Here are my sources that I will reference:

  • http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16832416892&cm_re=windows_10-_-32-416-892-_-Product - Newegg Windows 10 Home
  • http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16832588491&cm_re=windows_10-_-32-588-491-_-Product - Newegg Windows 10 Professional
  • http://www.zdnet.com/article/is-it-ok-to-use-oem-windows-on-your-own-pc-dont-ask-microsoft/ - ZDnet
  • https://www.microsoftstore.com/store/msusa/en_US/pdp/Windows-10-Home/productID.319937100

In both Newegg windows 10 keys, the title states that both keys are OEM. In the specifications tab for both keys there is a disclaimer stating that use of the software is subject to the terms of Microsoft OEM System Builder License. The Newegg windows 10 prices are $99 for home and $139.99 for Pro. On Kinguin, I found windows 10 pro keys for $28.09. The price for local retail and Microsoft Store retail for Windows 10 Home is $119.99. I would like to save money if possible and buy the key through Kinguin. Although, I heard that it is legal to buy and use OEMs for personal use because you count as a System Builder. Iv'e also heard that it's only legal to buy these keys if you are a manufacture. Another thing I have heard is through ZDnet and that is that it is legal to buy the OEM but it can only be activated once and it will not work with hardware change because it counts as a new system. If I were to buy a OEM key and use it on my PC that I am building and I wanted to upgrade the system or had to replace a major part like the motherboard, CPU, GPU or the hard drive that the OS is installed on, I would have to buy a new key and could not reactivate my PC. I also heard that this is the case for "full licences". 

Can someone clarify the terms so that I know exactly what is going on? And what is the difference between OEM and "full" versions exactly? Is it possible for me to temporarily buy a OEM key for my system through Kinguin or Newegg until I have enough money to buy the "full" version of Windows 10 (probably when I decide to do a major upgrade)? And what kind of hardware changes can I do with OEM and "full" keys and how can I reactivate my system afterwards? And could I reactivate with the same OEM key if the hard drive containing Windows OS fails and I have to replace it?

Disclaimer:

The PC I am building is for personal  use only and will not be sold or given (gifted) to another individual or business. 

Thanks.

Best,
Andre
Windows Insider MVP
MVP-Windows and Devices for IT
twitter/adacosta
groovypost.com

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wow, just bought one key from this site, it worked 

https://www.scdkey.com/microsoft-windows-10-pro-oem-cd-key-global_1227-20.html

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