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Can you help me with my software licensing question?

I'm looking at deploying Win7 at a developer workstation, but I had a question about licensing. If I make 3 VHD's do they all need their own key/activation?

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marked as duplicate by Iain Jan 27 '12 at 18:30

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

up vote 1 down vote accepted

Depends on your licensing. It appears that if you're running Win7 with a Volume License that has Software Assurance you can run up to 4 virtual copies of the OS on the licensed machine. Every other reference I saw for other license types says that the OS license is for a single instance running on either physical or virtual hardware.

I don't think MS has specifically upgraded their documentation on this to Windows 7 yet. Here's the best reference I could find:

[Under "PUR Licensing Model Categories/Desktop Operating Systems – per copy, per device license"]

If you acquire “Software Assurance”, you have the right to use Windows Vista Enterprise Edition on the device instead of Windows Vista Business. This also permits you to run up to four additional copies or instances on the device.

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Edited to bring out the clause I was referring to in the linked document. – aharden Aug 15 '09 at 0:23
If I make 3 VHD's do they all need their own key/activation?

If the VHD's exist on 4 independent machines, yes. I have not seen any reference to the Windows Server-esque "4 on 1" licensing aharden refers to.

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