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Windows 8 Gets Personal Use License For Homebuilt PCs 330

An anonymous reader writes with this excerpt from "Microsoft has never really acknowledged or supported those among us who choose to build their own PCs. Windows licensing is usually offered in three forms: full retail product license, retail upgrade license, and OEM license. If you want to build your own machine at the moment, Microsoft expects you to buy a full retail copy of Windows. With Windows 8 that all changes and Microsoft has decided to actively support individuals who want to build their own machines or run Windows 8 as a virtual machine. That support comes in the form of a new license option called the Personal Use License for System Builder (PULSB). With PULSB, Microsoft is dumping the full retail license used in previous versions. Instead it is offering a version of Windows 8 to be installed as the main operating system on a single system meant for personal use, or in a virtual machine running on an existing PC (running any legal OS such as Windows 7, Mac OS X, or your favorite flavor of Linux)."
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Windows 8 Gets Personal Use License For Homebuilt PCs

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  • Is it just me (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 21, 2012 @08:52AM (#41066739)

    Or is Microsoft really desperate to get windows 8 to work?

    • Re:Is it just me (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 21, 2012 @09:01AM (#41066831)

      Or is Microsoft really desperate to get windows 8 to work?

      Why does it have to be a desperation move? Maybe Microsoft is looking to try to capitalize on revenue opportunities from people who either wouldn't consider Windows because of the full retail price or people who don't purchase additional copies because of the price. Desperation move or not, it's a great benefit to people who still need Windows and don't buy OEM systems.

      • by KingSkippus ( 799657 ) on Tuesday August 21, 2012 @11:54AM (#41068879) Homepage Journal

        To be honest, I don't understand why Microsoft doesn't just give away Windows for free as a loss leader. It sounds like they're headed toward selling software via the Microsoft store a la Apple's app store and Google Play, in which case they'll be getting a cut of all software sales. I can understand selling some kind of "business connectivity" package that contains the domain connectivity bits that companies require at a premium. They're even getting into the hardware retail business [], as well as hammering hard on search (thus data mining and advertising), online services, console gaming, etc.

        With their main operating system competitors a company that sells its OS as part of its hardware package (Apple) and a loose conglomerate developers that give away their operating system--and most of their productivity software--completely free (as in speech and beer), it just seems like it would be a smart move by Microsoft to completely embrace its alternative revenue streams and make a play to get legal copies of its core OS--and its connectivity to its software store where the real money is now--on every desktop, laptop, and tablet in the world. How many users, presented with the option of buying the MacOS upgrades for $20 or $25 a pop, would be mighty tempted to install Windows 8 on their Macs for free instead, especially if they know they won't have to pay for any more MacOS or Windows upgrades down the line? Microsoft could very well steal a chunk of market share from Apple on their own hardware.

        The most frequent justification I see from Linux users (myself included) for using Linux is, "You never have to pay for upgrades to get the latest and greatest version again." Yeah, the free software is nice, but you can get free software (many times the exact same software--Firefox, LibreOffice, GIMP, Audacity, etc.) for Windows. Yeah, the principles behind open source are admirable--and make no mistake, I would continue to support them--but most average schmoes really couldn't care less that they can download and compile their own OS source code, and wouldn't have a clue how to go about it even if they did care.

        From a purely business standpoint, I really think that giving Windows away for free is the best long-term strategy for Microsoft, and it would be perceived as a bold and welcome move by the industry as well as draw in a bunch more users who would then earn Microsoft money via software sales, advertising, and online services.

        • by kelemvor4 ( 1980226 ) on Tuesday August 21, 2012 @12:24PM (#41069251)
          Last I read, they were making a lot of money selling operating systems. It's their bread and butter. They're already also making a lot of money selling other things, so why change a formula that is successful? I think most linux users and definitely most osx users are using the other operating systems for reasons other than the cost of the OS license, so I wonder how many new users a move like that would really attract.
    • by jellomizer ( 103300 ) on Tuesday August 21, 2012 @09:16AM (#41066997)

      The issue has always been with a lot of piracy. The fallacy is the company is competing with free, that isn't the case, the problem is the company is competing with easier to get. Microsoft with its different licenses where the rates that people are willing to pay they are technically not support to pay. Even the guys who do not want a pirated copy but an original would get the OEM off eBay (something we really shouldn't be doing)... However if we can get a good price for the OS a lot of us will be willing to get the fully legit version.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        How much for the stripped down version? I want a version of windows without Windows Media player, Internet Explorer, or even Windows Explorer. I have no need for any Windows, no accessories please, i use my own notepad, calculator, paint program.

        Hell, just give me a version of Windows good enough to run Steam.

        It's a nuisance because, I know MS makes a full OS, and it's a fine one. I still prefer Gnome or KDE even with their warts but Windows isn't useless. Windows has a lot less features than Linux Desktops

        • by Rob Y. ( 110975 )

          Depending on what you 'need' a stripped down Windows for, WINE might serve you pretty well. Sure it's not perfect, but it does a lot.

          My company has a Windows app that occasional Mac users wanted to use. The standard answer was 'install Parallels', but I know it worked fine under WINE for Linux. It also worked fine under Crossover Mac. But I recently found the 'wineskins' project that lets you bundle your app with a full WINE setup (customized however your app needs it). Yeah, it's a big first-time inst

    • It is a total desperation move.

      Windows 8 isn't even released yet and Gabe Newell has spoken out against it.
      As far as I'm concerned, he's the whole reason I haven't switched to Linux for my desktop yet.

      The UI is being forced upon us as a tablet-like hybrid.

      The more news comes out about it, the worse it gets.

      If MS decides this pulsb license costs less than a full retail license, ok.
      If they decided it costs more than a full retail, no way. Unless it can be used on up to 3 systems. I use the same Win7 license

    • I can't see how this really matters. The price of Win8 is low already primarily for the reason they want you to adopt it. The reason they accept a lower price to increase adoption is that they feel they'll be making up the difference in that 30% they are going to be charging for their software store.

      I saw a poll where they asked if people would be adopting Win8. probably 85-95% of the people said no. Win8 is a disaster in the making. Win7 is just fine for now. It'll probably last another 5 years witho

      • Re:Is it just me (Score:5, Insightful)

        by IntlHarvester ( 11985 ) on Tuesday August 21, 2012 @02:17PM (#41071035) Journal

        I can't see how this really matters. The price of Win8 is low already primarily for the reason they want you to adopt it. The reason they accept a lower price to increase adoption is that they feel they'll be making up the difference in that 30% they are going to be charging for their software store.

        It doesn't even require any nefarious motives, MS simply finally woke up and realized their was a huge disparity between their retail prices and the far lower volume prices. If Dell is only paying $30 a copy, why were they even trying to get $300 from joe home builder? It was stupid and they finally figured it out.

        Not to mention that Microsoft's old price sheet literally dates back to the 1980s and OS/2. People used to pay $300 for Windows NT Workstation and install it on their $2500 PC, pretty good deal compared to Unix, eh? But it's 2012 now and nobody is paying that kind of money to install an OS on their $400 laptop.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 21, 2012 @08:53AM (#41066745)

    I don;t know that this is as wonderful as the post would like to suggest. It's never been a problem to purchase and use the deeply discounted OEM versions for home-built PCs. SO, my first question is what does a PULSB license cost as compared to OEM. The second question is; will we still be able to purchase OEM?

    • by mwvdlee ( 775178 )

      Since buying the OEM version without a complete PC was never 100% legal te begin with, I'm assuming you can still get the OEM as usual.

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Sure there were restrictions, but you didn't have to buy a complete PC, you just needed to by enough parts from a single shop (in a single purchase) to make a PC that would run ... MB, RAM, Processor, storage, PSU plus the OS. Everything else you could get from wherever you liked.

        This is of benefit to people wanting to run it on VM though.

      • Not only it was buying OEM version (if you found a vendor) 100% legit all the time (even if presumably frown upon) but reselling+splitting the OEM license from the original hardware was uphold in courts already (look for OEM windows on German ebay for example).
        It's not that bad (for M$) because they still have a Microsoft tax on most retail laptops and now they probably won't repeat the "long-lived XP mistake" but I'm sure they were for quite a few years scared shitless by the spectre of a sane 2nd hand mar

    • by cbope ( 130292 ) on Tuesday August 21, 2012 @08:59AM (#41066805)

      I hate responding to AC's, but purchase of the OEM license has always been tied to some piece(s) of hardware purchased at the same time. I know there are lots of "workarounds" and these have been pretty liberally sold to home builders even without hardware, but the fact is it was/is a requirement for OEM Windows licenses.

      I could care less about being able to purchase OEM anymore. The real question: Is the PULSB license transferable to new hardware, unlike OEM? This is why I would buy the retail licenses, they can be transferred to a new PC... OEM cannot and MS can deny your activation on new hardware if they suspect you are copying it.

      • by bigstrat2003 ( 1058574 ) on Tuesday August 21, 2012 @09:13AM (#41066965)
        Legality of the license aside (never bothered to read it, honestly), Microsoft has always been really good about letting you activate an OEM license on new hardware. The internet activation will generally fail after the first time, but the phone system works well - and if they do wind up making you talk to a real person, I have never had one of those reps refuse to help.
        • by rsmith-mac ( 639075 ) on Tuesday August 21, 2012 @09:30AM (#41067167)

          I have never had one of those reps refuse to help.

          There is a blacklist, but it's very, very hard to get on. You basically have to be installing Windows onto different motherboards on a weekly basis. For that reason the only person I know to ever end up on that list did motherboard evaluations for a living.

        • by equex ( 747231 )
          why would you read any licence? i know it contains some words i know, but i have not the slightest idea what any of it MEANS.
      • by dywolf ( 2673597 )

        Let's be realistic. Honestly who cares if its transferable?

        I got a copy of windows, I really don't care if it's tied to HardDriveX that I bought for 10$ alongside it or not. If I ever replace the piece of hardware its techinically tied to, I don't go out of a get a new windows. If the hard drive dies, I'm supposed to not use that Windows License any more? Stuff that.

        I get a copy of windows. It goes on my personal machine. End of story.
        I upgrade 20x or even just replace the whole thing top to bottom, that sa

        • by rikkards ( 98006 )

          The reactivation needed specific hardware (or minimum number of hardware changes) to be triggered. Usually a new hard drive would not trigger it, however a new hard drive, memory, etc would or if a disk controller or motherboard would. I had it go off when I did a reinstall and forgot to install the secondary controller I had. Quick call to MS got it reactivated.

      • I hate responding to AC's, but purchase of the OEM license has always been tied to some piece(s) of hardware purchased at the same time. I know there are lots of "workarounds" and these have been pretty liberally sold to home builders even without hardware, but the fact is it was/is a requirement for OEM Windows licenses.

        At least in Sweden, the OEM version is for sale separately, as far as I can tell without any hardware requirements. It may be that the rules are different though. It's still quite expensive though, about the same price as the retail "upgrade" version.

    • by h4rr4r ( 612664 )

      You probably can, and it will still be no better than just pirating it.

      If you are going to violate the license why not just pirate it?

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Between this and the full product license?
    • by rsmith-mac ( 639075 ) on Tuesday August 21, 2012 @09:25AM (#41067109)

      Retail: This license is portable; users can upgrade/replace their hardware and take their copy of Windows with them. Furthermore Microsoft provides support, and you can even use a retail version to perform an upgrade (though MS sells cheaper upgrade editions for that). For those reasons however it's the most expensive (i.e. full price) version.

      OEM/System Builder: The license is non-portable and becomes locked to the motherboard. Microsoft does not provide any support (that's the OEM's job), and OEM copies can only be used to do a fresh install. Because of this it's cheaper than retail.

      • Would be nice if the retail versions offered a way to deactivate the copy of Windows to make loading it onto a replacement machine painless.
        • Now, if only Microsoft listened to feedback. Even when there are screaming hoards of people with pitchforks and torches (Vista), Microsoft is loathe to listen to user, developer, MSDN, OEM or any other feedback. This, more than anything pegs them as behaving as a monopoly (even if they are soon to no longer be one).

          • by Applekid ( 993327 ) on Tuesday August 21, 2012 @10:52AM (#41068097)

            It's their loss. When you make it painful to stay legal and compliant, they just drive people to piracy anyway. If your $130 OEM copy isn't legal you might as well pay $0.

            They should just go back to the "good" old days and just charge a flat price and be done with it. Incidentally, those were the monopoly days, too, so obviously something was going well for Microsoft with that plan.

      • by SQLGuru ( 980662 )

        I think the retail version of Office allows you to install it on more than one personal computers as well. Whereas the OEM version is only licensed for a single computer. []

        If you read the terms for Office 2010 Home/Student edition for example, it says:

        a. One Copy per Device. You may install one copy of the software on one device. That device is the âoelicensed device.â
        b. Licensed Device.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 21, 2012 @08:55AM (#41066769)

    so what's the difference then?

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      If they can funnel everyone who builds their own machines into buying this version, they can lock down the retail/OEM versions harder (which will appeal to manufacturers). Then, a few years down the lines, they can pull the PULSB version and voila - the walled garden they've always wanted!

      Of course they won't *actually* do that, but can't help but think they're trying to create a distinction and secure boot probably plays into it a little bit.

      • by pla ( 258480 )
        they can lock down the retail/OEM versions harder

        "Lock down"? You mean like Win7, where you don't ever actually need to enter a product key and/or activate it to have a fully functional system?

        Microsoft has always gamed the thin line between market share and enforcement; but for the first time in its history, I think they've finally acknowledged that people really do have viable alternatives. And the best way to preserve their real cash-cow, the Enterprise market? Give the product away to home users
  • Define "legal OS" (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    What do they mean by "legal OS", and how do they enforce that particular point ?

  • Free (as in beer)? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by sqrt(2) ( 786011 ) on Tuesday August 21, 2012 @09:01AM (#41066837) Journal

    If it's not free (beer) then it's not going to make much of a difference converting unlicensed copies into licensed ones. Home built PCs often use unlicensed copies of Windows, among people who are building PCs to run Windows and games at least. You're not going to convert those people to legitimate users unless you can meet the current price they are paying now--which is zero.

    For personal use I don't know why anyone would pay for a copy of Windows, especially when it means taking money away from spending it on hardware. When faced with the choice of a "legitimate" copy of Windows or the next highest graphics card or CPU, people will always choose the hardware that provides tangible improvement. A licensed copy of windows is bit-for-bit identical to the unlicensed one and offers no improvement other than some vague (false) sense of moral correctness. And that's entirely based on the user's subjective opinions on software licensing and the morality of imaginary property.

    So whom is this licensing option really going to be for? I don't see it going anywhere, unless the price is so low as to be negligible, but then they'd be undercutting their other more profitable licensing options.

    • Well, I can tell you that I paid for Windows 7, Windows XP I got with the PC I bought before. I'd much rather know that I'm getting all the updates and I don't need to have 20 hacked files laying around and then I get my system bitching me. I'm very willing to spend 80 bucks or so every 3 years for that peace of mind. Plus XP lasted a lot longer than that, and I don't plan to upgrade to Windows 8 any time soon.

    • by WARM3CH ( 662028 ) on Tuesday August 21, 2012 @09:26AM (#41067125)
      You are just making HUGE assumptions with no evidence to back them. "You're not going to convert those people to legitimate users", "why anyone would pay for a copy of Window", "people will always choose the hardware that provides tangible improvement".

      Why do you think every single user out there is a pirate that would never convert? I for one used to pirate Windows, for my home machines. That included Win 3.1, 95, 98, NT 4.0, 2000 and XP. With Windows 7 I got myself a legitimate, but discounted, full version (I don't remember how much it was, $40 or something). If they offer Windows 8 for a low price, I'll buy it.

      In 2010 I paid over $3000 to buy components to build my workstation/gaming machine. Paying an extra $40, i.e. round 1.3% more to get the right software added no significant burden to my budget. I have no problem to pay for a software that I use everyday single day for a couple of years as long as I don't feel it is a rip-off. Since this is ./, yes, I boot into Linux when I need to.
    • by ceoyoyo ( 59147 )

      If the price is a significant discount, they probably will convert some people. There are a lot of people who wouldn't pay $250 for a Windows license, particularly when they know that OEMs get them for more like $25. But if one were available for $50? Some would buy. Quite a few would pick one up if it were $25.

      MS did something similar with Office. Normally it's some ridiculous price in the multiple hundreds, but for students they sometimes drop it down to $25. Most students will buy a copy for $25.

    • by AC-x ( 735297 )

      A licensed copy of windows is bit-for-bit identical to the unlicensed one and offers no improvement other than some vague (false) sense of moral correctness.

      Well, don't forget not having to faff around cracking Windows activation.

    • by Krneki ( 1192201 )
      Why would anyone knowledgeable enough to build his own PC install Windows 8 on it?
    • by Nimey ( 114278 )

      Not really. They'd just need to drop the price to something like $30. That was cheap enough to convince me to buy a legit Win7 license back when they were doing that promotion for people with a .edu email address.

    • Hmmm, not having run pirated Windows since the days of ME, I have to ask: Are you entirely sure the unlicensed copy is exactly the same? No restrictions in terms of support/updates and so on? I know certain hotfixes require that Genuine Advantage scheme, but I'm assuming there are ways around that.

  • Since when is the system builder's license new? Am I missing something, because I could swear I have two of these (XP and 7)? They're usually about half the price of the full retail.
    • It's not new; it's basically a pack of OEM licenses for small volume builders. The only real difference is that Microsoft is now technically allowing individuals to use System Builder packs for their own personal machines. I say "technically" because as you note we've been able to do this for years and years.

      Microsoft has never given a hoot over this since there's always been a clear distinction between what can be done with OEM licenses (locked to the mobo) and what can be done with retail licenses (can be

  • Prices? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Alter_3d ( 948458 ) on Tuesday August 21, 2012 @09:02AM (#41066853)
    From TFA:

    Although final pricing for Windows 8 hasn’t been announced yet, the PULSB license will definitely be cheaper than purchasing a full retail license and probably on a par with OEM pricing. It is also expected that pricing in general for the new OS will be lower than what we currently pay for copies of Windows 7.

    Hmmm... "not announced yet", "probably", "it is also expected"
    Sounds like a lot of maybes.... I'll wait for the real prices to see if Microsoft actually is on to something.

  • What's "assembling"? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by fph il quozientatore ( 971015 ) on Tuesday August 21, 2012 @09:09AM (#41066917)
    What is "assembling"? Instead of buying a shiny boxed retail/update version, I suppose I can unscrew a screw from my old pc, re-screw it on, and then get the reduced "self-assembler" price?
  • by hsa ( 598343 ) on Tuesday August 21, 2012 @09:10AM (#41066931)

    Oh, I can see why Microsoft would offer a new license:

    - Personal -> they tie that your Windows-account, so you can't never ever sell it
    - Single System -> they tie that to your PC configuration, so you can't change your GPU without upgrading to full version

    .. so they are just making another confusing license and hope to gain more users for their Anytime Upgrade. I mean, you do have to upgrade your PC if you are like selling your old PC with PULSB. This way Microsoft can charge for Windows 8 twice, yay!

  • but... why??? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by green1 ( 322787 ) on Tuesday August 21, 2012 @09:11AM (#41066945)

    I thought one of the biggest advantages to building your own computer was the ability NOT to pay microsoft for the privelidge of owning a computer. Sure there are one or 2 small places that allow you to buy a windows free, pre-built system, but usually with fairly limited selection of specs, and often no cheaper than a PC with windows installed (which tells me the company is probably paying Microsoft for the license, even though you aren't getting one (likely a bulk agreement where they pay microsoft per system sold instead of per license installed))
    Building your own computer has, for years, been the only way to ensure you got your ideal machine, without having to also buy a windows license to run an operating system you already own, or are allowed to get for free.
    I've built my own computers exclusively for nearly 20 years... though I must admit that I've slipped a bit here, I'm starting to look to a new computer now, and I haven't kept up with the latest news on components, It's not as easy as it once was to figure out which part is better than which other one, and without having kept up it's a bit of a daunting task to select the right parts this time... I'm debating just buying a pre-built system, but I don't really want to go that route after nearly 20 years of doing it myself.

    • Re:but... why??? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Dog-Cow ( 21281 ) on Tuesday August 21, 2012 @09:18AM (#41067031)

      That's only a big advantage if you don't want to run Windows. The vast majority of computer users do, in fact, want to run Windows.

      • by green1 ( 322787 )

        The vast majority of computer users also buy their machines pre-built. so that doesn't negate the idea of building a machine to avoid windows

        • True but if you have needs outside of the norm building a machine with windows is still a cost effective method, especially if you have a need out of the norm. For example I am going to be building a new machine here in the near future to replace the outdated Athalon64 x2 box I am running at home. It is getting really slow and a bit flaky after many years of use and my needs have grown beyond what it is capable of. As I don't need a massively faster processor like the new i7 something like a new middle of t
    • Laptop (Score:4, Informative)

      by tepples ( 727027 ) <tepples@gmail.BOHRcom minus physicist> on Tuesday August 21, 2012 @09:30AM (#41067177) Homepage Journal

      Building your own computer has, for years, been the only way to ensure you got your ideal machine

      Maybe your ideal machine. My ideal machine, on the other hand, can be used while I ride public transit. I don't see a lot of stores in my home town selling kits to build a laptop.

  • If you had an old windows system you were upgrading, you bought the upgrade version.
    If you were cheap and didn't need microsoft support you bought the system builders/OEM version.
    If you had a system without an OS (meaning you built it yourself) you bought the full retail version.

    I can understand the potential of a VM'd license, I don't understand offering one for people that "build their own systems". They already have two versions that work for that.

  • Buy a mouse? now you can legitimately buy an OEM copy of windows XP/Vista/Windows7/etc....

    all PC hobbits have known of this for a decade... Or is Microsoft going to stop selling OEM copies to places like NewEgg? That would be the real story.

  • Am I the only one who thinks this is Microsoft's attempt (pretty good one I think) at having an offering that appeases the tech crowd so we don't rattle our cages and scare the normals when all the non-home-made PC's start coming out with windows 8 locked down by the UEFI (If I'm remembering the right term for the new boot method).

    If that is the case, seems like the right response. If all the hp/dell/lenovo/acer/what have you cannot have their OS's replaced, many more will be home building who wouldn't h
    • Am I the only one

      Probably. This is just an example of capitalism run amok. First they announce that you will have to have UEFI for new PCs with Windows "for security reasons". Then they offer a possibility to run Windows without it. Clearly, the only security M$ is interested in is the security of their wallet.

  • by DarthVain ( 724186 ) on Tuesday August 21, 2012 @11:07AM (#41068287)

    So far as I can tell from the hype, Windows 8 is supposed to be a dumbed down version of 7 optimized for the touch screens of tablets and phones.

    People who build their own computers do not build tablets or phone, and typically want MORE OS than you basic user. They are more likely to want the Pro, or the Enterprise version of the OS, not the Home basic, and certainly not something limited beyond even that.

    Sure some builder and makers play with some touch screens, usually for the front of some massive tower to control fans and lights and stuff like that, but not as an OS.

    So MS is making a special version of the Windows 8 OS for "Personal Use". To me that tells me that it will probably be limited in someway that the others are not, particulary if it is cheap.

    So a OS that is designed to be limited, and a version of that, that will be even more limited, for users who want more than normal? I might be guessing, but the demand for such a thing might be non-existant, which is maybe why they are doing it.

    Though my interest is piqued for the personal licence anyway. The fact that they arn't ignoring us is something at least, even though perhaps their thinking may be wrong. We shall see.

  • by itsdapead ( 734413 ) on Tuesday August 21, 2012 @12:26PM (#41069279)

    Hope I'm wrong, but I think I might have found the catch.

    It seems like this is a replacement for "full retail" and what they've really dropped is the "Generic, shrinkwrap OEM license" package which is what personal system builders used to buy (with debatable legality).

    Unfortunately, I suspect that's also what the handful of nice PC makers who currently sell PCs with Windows as an optional extra offer. So maybe MS's plan is to throw a spanner in that - perhaps they'll have to sign up to a 'proper' OEM licensing deal with MS, and sell PCs with a "proper" vendor-customised Windows pre-installed (...and be 'discouraged' from selling bare PCs).

    That would explain the otherwise convoluted wording "You may not install the software as an operating system on any computer except one that you are building for your own use or as an operating system running on a local virtual machine or a separate partition." when they just could say "You can install this on one computer, owned by you, for your personal use". (see the ZDNet article) and the demise of the Full Retail version. I can't believe that they want to stop people replacing the whole OS on their Mac or Linux PC with Windows, but it does make it clear that a PD maker couldn't sling one of these licenses in with an otherwise bare, but ready-made, PC.

Some people manage by the book, even though they don't know who wrote the book or even what book.