Windows system builder licensing for personal use

Created Date 2017-03-14 |  Modified Date 2017-03-14

If you are building a system for your personal use or installing an additional operating system (OS) in a virtual machine, you will have to purchase a full version of Windows 10, available in FPP. Windows 10, Windows 8.1, and Windows 7 system builder software does not permit personal use and is intended only for preinstallation on customer systems that will be sold to end users.*

For more information about the Personal Use License in Windows 8, see the Windows 10 licensing guide.

OEM System Builder License—Windows 8.1

As indicated in the license terms on the software pack, use of OEM system builder software for Windows 8.1 products is subject to the following:

  • System builder products may be used only to preinstall as the OS on a customer system that you build to sell to an end user.*
  • System builder products may not be used as an upgrade license to an existing underlying Windows OS.

*Note Japan only: as indicated on the System Builder License on Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 packs in Japan, system builders may distribute system builder software with a non-peripheral computer hardware component instead of preinstalled on a customer system.

Building a PC for personal use—licensing comparison by product

Windows 10 Windows 8.1 and Windows 8.1 Pro Windows 8 and Windows 8 Pro
  • Full packaged retail product is needed.
  • Can be used for clean installations on existing or new hardware.
  • Cannot be used as an upgrade license to an existing underlying Windows OS.
  • Can be used by only one user at a time.
  • You may install only one copy of the software on one computer.
  • Can be transferred to new hardware, if removed from the prior PC.
  • Cannot be used to legalize from a non-genuine Windows OS.
  • License terms are granted by Microsoft to the end user.
  • Microsoft provides limited support services.
  • Full packaged retail product is needed.
  • Can be used for clean installations on existing or new hardware.
  • Cannot be used as an OS on any computer except one that you are building for your own use or as an OS running on a local virtual machine or a separate partition, subject to additional terms.
  • Cannot be used as an upgrade license to an existing underlying Windows OS.
  • Can be used by only one user at a time.
  • Can be transferred to new hardware, if removed from the prior PC.
  • Transfer of the software to share license between computers is prohibited.
  • Can be used only on a computer running genuine Windows OS.
  • License terms are granted by Microsoft to the end user.
  • Microsoft provides limited support services.
  • OEM system builder product may be purchased.
  • Can be used only as the OS on a PC that you build for personal use or as an additional OS running in either a local virtual machine or in a separate partition, subject to additional terms.
  • Cannot be used as an upgrade license to an existing underlying Windows OS.
  • Can be used by only one user at a time.
  • Can be transferred to new hardware, if removed from the prior PC.
  • Transfer of the software to share license between computers is prohibited.
  • Cannot be used to legalize from a non-genuine Windows OS.
  • License terms are granted by Microsoft to the system builder.
  • Microsoft provides limited support services.
  • Full packaged retail product is needed.
  • Can be used for clean installations on existing or new hardware.
  • Cannot be used as an upgrade license to an existing underlying Windows OS.
  • Can be used by only one user at a time.
  • You may install only one copy of the software on one computer.
  • Can be transferred to new hardware, if removed from the prior PC.
  • Cannot be used to legalize from a non-genuine Windows OS.
  • License terms are granted by Microsoft to the end user.
  • Microsoft provides limited support services.
Windows 8.1 and Windows 8.1 Pro
  • Full packaged retail product is needed.
  • Can be used for clean installations on existing or new hardware.
  • Cannot be used as an OS on any computer except one that you are building for your own use or as an OS running on a local virtual machine or a separate partition, subject to additional terms.
  • Cannot be used as an upgrade license to an existing underlying Windows OS.
  • Can be used by only one user at a time.
  • Can be transferred to new hardware, if removed from the prior PC.
  • Transfer of the software to share license between computers is prohibited.
  • Can be used only on a computer running genuine Windows OS.
  • License terms are granted by Microsoft to the end user.
  • Microsoft provides limited support services.
Windows 8 and Windows 8 Pro
  • OEM system builder product may be purchased.
  • Can be used only as the OS on a PC that you build for personal use or as an additional OS running in either a local virtual machine or in a separate partition, subject to additional terms.
  • Cannot be used as an upgrade license to an existing underlying Windows OS.
  • Can be used by only one user at a time.
  • Can be transferred to new hardware, if removed from the prior PC.
  • Transfer of the software to share license between computers is prohibited.
  • Cannot be used to legalize from a non-genuine Windows OS.
  • License terms are granted by Microsoft to the system builder.
  • Microsoft provides limited support services.