Windows Server 2008 R2 Standard Oem Iso

Out of curiosity. What is an OEM Lic key classified as? Is it a separate version of Windows Server 2008 R2 like an OEM version or is it a specific version of Windows Server 2008 R2 like standard?

Windows Licensing is really confusing. Giardiniblog wii backup manager download.

EDIT: What I am trying to do is install a Windows Server 2008 R2 to an HP server but do not have the original disks so I want to download a version of 2008 to install and use the OEM Key


1 Answer

Windows licensing is confusing.

The different generations of Windows Server, like 2003, 2008, 2012, are called 'Versions' by Microsoft. The different flavors of one version, like 2012 R2 Standard, Datacenter, Essentials, or Foundation, are called 'Editions' by Microsoft.

Not necessarily related to the version or edition, there are several license types. The four most common license types for Microsoft software are OEM, Retail, Volume, and Subscription.

  • OEM licenses are only available included with the purchase of hardware. When you buy a computer or server and you get Windows or Windows Server pre-installed, you are getting an OEM license. You can also get Office or other Microsoft software with OEM licenses if you buy them bundled with a computer or server. Until Windows 8, OEM licenses included a sticker that was affixed to the computer that has a hologram and the activation key printed on it. Windows 8 computers have the OEM activation built into the BIOS. Windows Server 2012 R2 OEM licenses still use a sticker.
  • Retail licenses are pretty straightforward. This is the kind of license you get when you buy a box in a store. It is also more common these days to be able to buy a license online and download the software from Microsoft, and those downloadable products can be licensed retail. You can also buy a retail box that only includes a download URL and an activation key. Retail boxed products also have stickers inside the box with activation keys.
  • Volume licenses are intended for businesses purchasing five or more licenses. They are often bought through resellers, don't involve stickers, and these days do not usually include shipment of media. Most volume licenses are delivered via e-mail, with an agreement number that is entered into the Volume Licensing Service Center (VLSC) for activation. Volume license customers can log on to the VLSC and download ISOs and get activation keys for products they have licenses for. Usually one volume license key can be used more than once to activate as many licenses of the products as has been purchased.
  • Subscription licenses (mainly Office at this time) do not have activation keys. They are activated by entering account information into the software that is connected with a licensed account online. The primary use of subscription licenses for Microsoft products for businesses today is through Office 365.

To make matters even worse, there are two primary installation types (MSI and click-to-run), and a few different key 'silos'. A key or license 'silo' (my word for it) is a grouping of activation key and media/installer types that can be used interchangably. For instance, if you have an Office 2013 Pro Plus subscription license as part of an Office 365 E3 subscription, you can use that either for a click-to-run installer or an MSI installer from retail media.

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In my experience, Volume licenses are in their own 'silo' and OEM licenses are in their own 'silo'. That means Volume keys must be used with Volume media, and you often need to use Volume media or installers downloaded from the VLSC to upgrade an in-place Volume product.

In addition to having their own 'silo', OEM licenses are also permanently attached to the hardware that was purchased with the OEM license. So if you buy a server and you purchase Windows Server 2008 R2 with it, you will get a DVD, which is OEM media (sometimes vendor-specific, e.g. a Dell DVD won't work on HP), and a sticker with an OEM activation key. You won't be able to activate any other 'silo' of media (Retail or Volume) with the OEM key, and you won't be able to use a Volume or Retail key to activate the OEM media. And it's also a license violation to install that license on any computer other than the one it shipped with. The 'sticker cannot be moved'.

If you want that hardware to run a different operating system in the future, you can replace the OEM license and software with a Volume or Retail license, but you can't use the OEM license on any other computer even if you're no longer using it on the computer you bought it with.

Todd WilcoxTodd Wilcox

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