Can Windows OEM run in a virtual machine?
February 19, 2010 10:43 AM   Subscribe

I want to use Windows 7 in VMWare Fusion on my Mac. Can I use an OEM package or am I obligated to buy a full license?

The OEM package is significantly (over 30%) cheaper than the full license. OEM licenses are not transferable from one computer to another, but that is not an issue for this case.

The terms of Microsoft's licensing for OEM versions of the software seem to make virtual machines a grey area. VMWare punts on the question. Previously, relevant to Windows XP
posted by ardgedee to Technology (2 answers total)
Can't speak for Win7, but I was able to install both Vista and XP OEM in Workstation (needed an OS without IE8 baked in). Both worked fine but couldn't be activated. That made them completely usable for the 30 day window, but if I wanted to keep using them for something I'd need to reinstall.
posted by mneekadon at 11:49 AM on February 19, 2010

Best answer: I had an OEM install of XP that I ran under VMware. This was the generic OEM edition, not a manufacturer specific OEM edition so that probably helped. Also, I did not install under VMWare but converted an existing installation with the VMWare tool.

FWIW, I've installed upgrade editions of Win 7 without any previous Windows installation or media available. So you can probably just grab the upgrade edition which is also cheaper. The trick to installing this way is to install, don't activate, then go back and install again on top of that unactivated installation.
posted by chairface at 12:48 PM on February 19, 2010

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