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Licensing Questions Thread, Dell, Vista to XP downgrade Help please in Technical; We've bought some Dell pcs with OEM Windows 7 and they came loaded with the XP downgrade as requested. So ...
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    Dell, Vista to XP downgrade Help please

    We've bought some Dell pcs with OEM Windows 7 and they came loaded with the XP downgrade as requested. So we built an image and ghosted a suite. I'm now getting contradictory information about the activation of these XP installs. Will they all stop working in 30 days? Will we have to make 30 phone calls? Some posts around seem to suggest that we will be lost between Dell and Microsoft.

    Should I have bought a volume licence? How much does that cost. I'm just beginning to realise my ignorance of licencing. What do other people do?


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    An oem license is limited to the machine it was put on, to image from it you either need a volume license covering your entire site or to change the key and activate each machine individually. A volume license is based on the number of machines on your site and will give you an os upgrade license ( it upgrades the oem license) , office , and various cals for accessing servers ) , it'll likely cost about £25 per machine per year.

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    Any machine from an OEM (HP, DELL, Acer Etc) 9/10 always come with an OS. Windows 7 Pro OEM does have downgrade rights to windows XP pro but the problem with OEM is that each machine has its own individual Product key and hence when you come to an imaging scenario gets very messy very quickly. Volume licensing on the other hand you have 1 key for all your installs so imaging is a breeze.

    Depending on the licensing scheme you are on the situation varies. All education windows licences (via licensing open/school etc) allow you to upgrade from Windows business and windows home (xp pro/xp home, 7 pro/7 home prem etc).

    if you are on a microsoft School Agreeement (with windows upgr or desktop pro) then always try and purchase the machine you want with the lowest/cheapest os , as your school agreement will allow you to upgrade it to Pro. Another alterenative be it more expensive is to purchase on open licence or select depending on your status on 1 off purchase basis, that will allow you to use 1 key for all installs.

    I know this doesnt help your existing situation though

    Shaun Dibble
    MCP for Licensing

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