The facts about Windows licensing in schools

If you are planning on buying some new PCs for your education institution, you should check that your school is properly licensed for genuine Windows software. It’s a good idea to check that your existing PCs are also compliant.

Each PC running Windows desktop software needs to have its own full Windows desktop license. It’s a common misunderstanding that schools can save money by getting PCs without the Windows operating system preinstalled, and then use their Volume License to install a full OS. If you do this it means that your PCs are improperly licensed, which is a violation of Microsoft’s Licensing Policy and could lead to penalties if you are audited.


So here are the facts. There are only two ways to acquire the initial full Windows license on a new PC. Preinstalled via a PC manufacturer (OEM), which is the most cost-effective way to acquire a Windows license, or through retail stores as a full packaged product (Retail / FPP). If you already have an Academic Licensing agreement that provides an upgrade, it does not cover the full license. Therefore you are required to have a separate, eligible, and full license for the initial operating system deployed on your school’s computers.

Another scenario is that you might be buying new PCs for your school, but own some old PCs that already have Windows installed. Unfortunately it is not possible to transfer this across to your new machines. A Windows operating system that is preinstalled by a PC manufacturer (OEM), may never be transferred to newly purchased PCs, even if the original PC is no longer in use.


Here are some helpful advice points so you can keep your institution compliant:

· When purchasing PCs make sure your request for a quote includes a genuine operating system preinstalled

· Resellers may attempt to save costs by excluding the Windows license. Getting Windows software preinstalled is your most
cost-effective option. Getting an unlicensed PC is likely to cost you more in the long run

· Using a Volume Licensing agreement to install the initial full Windows license on an unlicensed PC will leave your institution
mislicensed and legally non-compliant

· Make sure you understand licensing rules to avoid penalties

For further information on Windows licensing visit:

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