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I want to start a business. I will legally buy OEM keys for Windows 7 and then install them on machines and sell that as a service. Do I need some kind of license for that?

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  • 2
    How are you intending to sell it as a service? Remote desktop?
    – Greendrake
    Nov 11, 2023 at 1:09
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    How do you intend to buy OEM keys that are no longer sold to anyone and for which the OEMs have gotten a ban to reuse them years ago?
    – Trish
    Nov 11, 2023 at 15:15
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    You will also need a time machine to go back to when Windows 7 was a thing
    – Richard
    Nov 11, 2023 at 23:48
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    @Richard: Where I work, we have a machine running Windows XP and would pay a fortune to anybody who manages to upgrade it to Windows 7 without breaking the application. Nov 12, 2023 at 13:58
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    @algiogia Unless you were installing pirate OSes, you would have had to buy a license from MS for each OS you installed - since it's no longer possible to buy Windows 7 licences, it's no longer (legally) possible to install Windows 7. Nov 13, 2023 at 17:02

2 Answers 2

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You enter into an agreement with Microsoft.

But seeing as Microsoft no longer sells Windows 7 licenses, and Windows 7 fell off support long ago, your business proposal is dead in the water.

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    This is dependent on jurisdiction; in the EU, it is absolutely legal to buy and sell used Windows (7 or other) licenses. MS can't ban this in their EULA, this has been tried several times. OP's profile says they come from a city in Serbia, which is not part of the EU, but it's very much conceivable that the legal situation is the same there. Nov 12, 2023 at 8:24
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    @GuntramBlohm - True, MS can't block the sale of these. But also, MS is under no obligation to activate new Windows 7 installations. After 30 days, an Unactivated Windows 7 starts to lose major functionality.
    – WPNSGuy
    Nov 12, 2023 at 14:08
  • @GuntramBlohm Serbia is not in the EU
    – CodeJunkie
    Nov 13, 2023 at 13:52
  • It may be legal in some jurisdictions, but given the OS is not patched and has multiple critical-rated CVEs that will NEVER be patched, selling this is a lot like selling a ticking time bomb and therefore ethically questionable. Nov 13, 2023 at 16:31
  • @WPNSGuy: Not activating Windows 7 is a boneheaded idea. Even under US law, that makes cracking it legit all of a sudden (copyright violation is still copyright violation but the tools themselves don't even look like contraband after that).
    – Joshua
    Nov 13, 2023 at 19:03
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Whether or not you need to have a business license depends on local law (e.g. in the US the requirements are established by the city). Typically, software services do not require a service, but you would need to check with a local lawyer.

No license is required to install software for a person, but the software itself must be legally licensed. OEM system builder software packs are designed to be installed by someone else (not the end user), but you would have to vet your source carefully to be sure it is not pirated.

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