Worried about Embedded licencing for multicore processors? – Don’t.


With multicore processors becoming increasingly common, questions naturally arise regarding licensing issues when running OSes like Windows XP and Windows XP Embedded on such hardware. Windows XPe team member Matt Kellner addresses this issue in a post on the Windows XP Embedded blog.

"Some software licenses call out a maximum number of processors they're licensed to run on, whereas others more generally talk about being installed on just a single computer (traditionally with just one processor)," writes Kellner. "Multicore processors start to make this line a little blurry, because effectively each CPU core is a separate processor."

"The good news for Windows XP Embedded customers," continues Kellner," is that having a multicore processor in your computer shouldn’t affect this licensing at all. Microsoft's general policy on multicore processor licensing was announced last year in this article. Basically, any piece of software that is licensed on a per-processor model will continue to be licensed as such, regardless of how many processor cores the processor contains. However, Windows XP Professional (and by extension, XP Embedded), is licensed per installation (i.e. the entire computer) and will support up to two processors regardless of how many cores exist on each processor."

However, "when in doubt, you can always ask your OEM or legal department to interpret the license agreement."

Matt's full blog posting is located here.

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