Posts Tagged ‘Licensing’

Dude, Where Are My Keys?

May 3, 2011 by sathya. 5 comments

As Super Users, it’s quite common for us to install quite a lot of software for various purposes – be it productivity, media playback, clean up et al. Quite often it happens that you’ll need to reinstall the software – perhaps you’re going to format and reinstall your Operating System but you don’t have written records of the license keys of your software. So how would you go about finding them? That’s the dilemma Super User rcmz was in, and he asked this simple question:

Is there a product key finder for a PC??

Is there a product key finder for a PC?

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Downgrading Windows To An Earlier Version

April 15, 2011 by mokubai. 0 comments

In this post we ask two related questions about downgrading.

Can I legally downgrade from Win 7 64 bits to Win 7 32 bits?


Winows 7 Professional downgrade rights to Vista and XP

Granted these are quite distinctly different intentions of end results, but they do share a lot of similar ramifications regarding what you are allowed to do within the scope of your Windows licence.

Downgrading 64-bit to 32-bit.

This not actually a real downgrade as it is simply changing the bit-ness of your operating system but people think of it as a downgrade as it is almost a step backwards in terms of compatibility.  If you have more than 3GB of memory then you should almost never consider this as an option as, for reasons I have already stated, you will be effectively crippling your computer.

I’m going to start again by using the Microsoft End User License Terms search tool and present in all versions of the EULA is the following section:


d.  Alternative Versions. The software may include more than one version, such as 32-bit and 64-bit. You may use only one version at one time.

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Transferring Windows to Another Computer

April 6, 2011 by mokubai. 2 comments

Sold or Licenced?

We’ve all been there, we have a machine that has Windows installed on it and for some reason that machine is on the way out or we want to do something else with it, and we ask ourselves “Why can’t I just install it on another machine?”

In the early years you bought your operating system, installed it wherever you needed it and as far as you were concerned you owned that software.  Volume licensing was something big companies did, a home user with two machines bought one copy of the software, installed it on both and that was the end of it.  The problem is that companies didn’t like you doing that, big companies want you to buy as many copies of the software as computers you own.  Two computers, two copies to buy.

It’s only recently with the advent of the internet and almost everyone having at least some access to phone lines that companies have been able to come up with enforceable ways to prevent people from installing the companies software on every computer in sight.  The first thing they did was to get rid of the idea that they are actually selling you something.

To quote Microsoft themselves:

The software is licensed, not sold. This agreement only gives you some rights to use the features included in the software edition you licensed. Microsoft reserves all other rights.

You aren’t “buying” the software, you are just renting it for some indefinite period.

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