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Can you help me with my software licensing question?

I'd like to install Windows 7 Pro as a VM on our ESXi server. Unfortunately Microsoft has made things extremely confusing and I don't know which type of license is required to do this. Will the OEM version suffice for this purpose or do I need the retail version?



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marked as duplicate by sysadmin1138 Jan 27 '12 at 17:18

This question was marked as an exact duplicate of an existing question.

As far as I know, there are only two differences between OEM and box versions:

  1. you don't get MS support
  2. you can't move the OS from one PC to the other (when you upgrade hardware)

As such, it is OK to run OEM Win7 virtualized as long as you don't use live migration.

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Are you a company?

Shame on your.

Will the OEM version suffice for this purpose or do I need the retail version?

You need licensed veryions. You can run a VM on a computer with Windows 7, and legally a OEM version is tied to the computer it came from, so if you buy something with Win7, you can install ESX ON THAT MACHINE and then run Windows 7 PEM on that one. If you can get it running.

Otherwise, your company should not deal with retail licenses. MS Select licensing under contract gives good rebates and is available for smaller companies.

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Unfortunately under Microsoft Open License only the Upgrade version of Windows 7 is available. I'd like to set up Windows 7 on a new VM running on our existing ESXi server. – Dan Dec 12 '10 at 17:47
I can buy OEM licenses in a normal shop in Poland. Other countries are different in this regard? – Hubert Kario Dec 12 '10 at 19:37
OEM packs have a “System Builder” license on them, which in recent versions states that after installation the computer must be sold to a third party. Not sure if a lawyer could find a loophole in these clauses, but at least Microsoft states that the proper way to license desktop Windows on an existing computer is to buy a boxed product. (There are also “legalization” versions in some countries, which, according to MS, also should not be used except for legalization of previously existing unlicensed Windows copies in the organization.) – Sergey Vlasov Dec 13 '10 at 19:47

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