Is OEM Available For End Users? Nope, According To Microsoft

There was a time when you could build you own PC, and buy an OEM version of Windows to run on it. Well, according to everyone BUT Microsoft. Creating confusion and caos in Microsoft’s own Windows Help forums, as well as with PC builders everywhere, Microsoft’s EULA now states that the OEM version is meant for PC builders for resale only. You cannot build a PC for yourself and use an OEM copy. Even if you work for a resale shop. If it’s for personal use, you must use a retail or upgrade version. Now, it hasn’t always been this way. Old information (now deleted on MS’s site) states that you could use an OEM copy if you built your own PC… Hmmm… Will Microsoft change it’s stance after this has come to light? They state the information on their site was a “mistake”, as well as the literature that came with previous versions of Windows.

I sure hope so. It would save us DIY’ers some money, and it would save Microsoft some face. I’ll be watching this development very closely.

Once, not so long ago, Microsoft officially allowed hobbyists and Windows enthusiasts to use discounted OEM System Builder copies on new PCs built for personal use. Last year, in a post titled OEM licensing confusion starts at, I posted pictures of official, Microsoft-produced documents that made this policy crystal-clear, in plain English.