Win 7 Ultimate licensiing



  • I’ve got some new computers that I need to image for my developers. They are wanting Win 7 Ultimate, but of course the computers only came with win 7 pro. The devs currently have win 7 ultimate on their computers, and they will be wiped and have win 7 pro put on them. Is it possible and legal to license the new computers with all the same hardware under one of the win 7 ultimate and have the imaging go properly. Obviously keep the other keys written down and saved for future need.


  • Moderator

    @Wayne-Workman As the old newsman’s adage goes: ‘I don’t make the news. I just report it.’ If you accept the the MS EULA when Windows is installed, you are bound by all of the nonsense that follows.


  • Moderator

    @george1421 I don’t take copies of the manufacturer image, as it’s filled with bloatware, not very optimized, and in general a huge security risk as has been shown over and over again.


  • Moderator

    @Wayne-Workman How about MS definition then. https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/Licensing/learn-more/brief-reimaging-rights.aspx

    “Reimaging is the copying of software onto multiple devices from one standard image” Understand I don’t make the rules only report them. OEM and FPP (boxed OS) don’t include reimaging rights. You CAN use MS / Vendor supplied media to reinstall an OS on a machine by machine basis, but that kind of rules out FOG for imaging.

    And in another SW thread: https://community.spiceworks.com/topic/442087-trying-to-finally-understand-oem-reimaging-rights


  • Moderator

    @george1421 I have, he assumes the key itself is copied many times. In the case I described, this is not being done. No activation happens on the reference image, no key is input. Each host uses exactly the key they shipped with.


  • Moderator

    @Wayne-Workman First read the post by Chris on the spiceworks site, you should take that as word of law.

    Second OEM licensing doesn’t allow you to capture an image and deploy a single image to many computers. That has been well discussed in the Spiceworks.

    The conclusion in Chris’ post sums it up to the point.


  • Moderator

    @george1421 I was under the impression that one could deploy OEM using OEM keys that were shipped with the machine, like the key on the windows tag. For example, I have about 30 Lenovo L530s in the building that shipped with Win7 pro, each has their own key. I took the time to type each one’s key into the corresponding host’s “Product Key” field in FOG so that each uses it’s very own key that it shipped with. I was also under the impression that you can’t simply use one OEM key for many computers via imaging, each needs their own key. I can’t understand how that type of usage would be a violation, because each computer is using exactly the key it’s supposed to use. And if this is the case, well it sure doesn’t help Microsoft’s case at all. They are loosing the market rapidly, and they have the single most complicated licensing process and systems I’ve heard over and over from my manager. I’m sure that doesn’t help them keep the market, either. And I DO hope someone from Microsoft reads my post here.

    I think that those generalized rules that Chris wrote were for traditional Cloning (as opposed to imaging). Traditional in the sense that you activate on the reference machine, and then all computers the image is deployed to use that key. While you can do this in FOG, the product key is there for each host and does work.


  • Moderator

    Understand that you are attempting to use an OEM license for this right?

    Windows OEM licenses doesn’t support the rights for imaging. So to remain compliant with the windows EULA you can not use FOG or any other imaging solution to deploy images. You can purchase a single Microsoft volume license and then deploy OEM licenses of the same version and remain compliant. For example if you purchase 1 Windows 7 Ultimate VLK license you may deploy Windows 7 Ultimate OEM licenses to as many systems where Windows 7 Ultimate OEM licenses were originally installed.

    Here is a document that Chris (from Microsoft) put together in regards to this question, since it is asked so frequently. https://community.spiceworks.com/how_to/69219-reimaging-rights-how-they-apply-to-your-licensing


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