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Imagining this scenario:

I buy a miniature Intel computing product, that comes with a pre-installed Windows operating system for personal usage.

Can I repurpose it by installing a customized Linux OS and sell it for profit as part of a bigger industrial/retail solution?

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Can I repurpose it by installing a customized Linux OS and sell it for profit as part of a bigger industrial/retail solution?

Yes. The "first sale doctrine" prohibits a seller of a good from prohibiting the kind of transaction that you contemplate (so long as the pre-installed Windows operating system, which was sold for personal use only, is not itself used for industrial/retail purposes rather than for personal use).

Indeed, if you have a business that uses this business model, you can generally obtain a sales tax exemption on the purchase since the product is being purchased for resale rather than as a final retail sale.

  • Thanks for the answer! Just to be doubly sure - I am not certain if the "for personal use only" applies for the computing platform that I buy from intel (along with windows) or just for windows. But otherwise I am pleased to hear about "first sale doctorine" :) – Ace Apr 4 at 3:47
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    @Ace I would be very surprised if Intel attempted to put a "for personal use only" restriction on hardware, as opposed to software delivered with the product. Even if it did, I'm not certain that it would be enforceable. This said, if this is done any significant volume, it would often be preferable to contact Intel or one of its wholesaler, and buy in bulk on a wholesale basis rather than merely going to your local retail computer store to buy the products. Even five or ten items purchased might be enough to get a significant discount. – ohwilleke Apr 4 at 3:51
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    They would almost certainly sell you these boxes without the windows license too. Even put your logo on the case if you order enough of them. – Stefano Palazzo Apr 4 at 9:29

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