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Can you help me with my software licensing question?

I am considering setting up VirtualBox or VMWare Workstation to run multiple instances of Windows XP. Do I need to have a unique XP license for each instance?

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marked as duplicate by Mark Henderson Jan 22 '12 at 7:04

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3 Answers

Yes, you do, a license is required regardless of whether you run on bare metal or in a VM.

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Unless it's Windows Server. I believe Standard Edition allows one virtualized guest included. Enterprise Edition allows for four also.

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To go with that Data Center allows you an unlimited number of Server OS Guests. –  mrdenny Nov 30 '09 at 8:12
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Careful. Windows XP requires a full license for each instance unless you use VECD which is only applicable for employees or contractors working directly for you.

Windows Server licensing provides extra licenses but ONLY for Server editions. Downlevel editions are included so that a Windows Server 2008 license includes Server 2003 and 2008, but client operating system are NOT included. It's a bummer, I know.

  • Standard = 1 extra virtual server license on the same server
  • Enterprise = 4
  • Datacenter = unlimited

But not client OSes.

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