Disclaimer: This post is for more advanced computer users
If you have been confused about what’s what with regards to the different license types for Windows 8, then don’t worry! I have compiled this quick guide which gives you a plain English, quick and easy guide to the different types of licenses available.
Let’s start off with the OEM license. Essentially, companies like HP, Dell or Lenovo would pre-install Windows 8(or Windows RT for that matter) on the computers they make and sell. You can use this license to essentially re-install Windows 8/RT on that computer. What you cannot do is take that copy and use it on any other computer. Most manufacturers will have a recovery partition which you can boot from in order to wipe your computer clean and reinstall Windows 8. That being said some manufacturers allow you to make DVDs if you still like to use physical media to re-install windows.
Next up, the upgrade license. This requires that you have a fully-licensed, genuine copy of Windows already on your computer. If you do then you will be able to upgrade that computer to Windows 8. As with the OEM license you can’t use that license on any other computer or on a computer with a pirated copy of WIndows 8.
Finally, the personal use(system builder) license. This particular license has personal usage rights. If you are building a new system or installing a copy of Windows 8 on a second partition of a hard drive then you can do that. If you have a Mac with boot camp capabilities then you can also install Windows 8 on you mac. You can also install Windows 8 on a virtual machine that is stored locally on your computer using something like VirtualBox, Parallels Desktop or VMWare Fusion. However, as soon as you activate your copy of Windows 8 then that’s it, you cannot take that copy of Windows 8 and then install it on any other computer.
On a side note, I am also aware that Microsoft also has a volume licensing program available if you plan to put Windows 8 on more than 5 computers in your company.
So there you have it! Those are the three types of Windows 8 Licenses available. I hope that this guide clears things up for you.