Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


Windows 8.1 licensing options...

  1. #1

    Windows 8.1 licensing options...


    I have a Mac Book Pro 2013, where I intend to install Windows 8.1 Pro, either via Bootcamp or Parallel. Couple of questions for this scenario...

    I understand that I'll need to purchase a license, but... What's the advantage of getting a retail/boxed full version vs. OEM 64-bit full version? Can the retail version be moved to a PC platform, if I no longer need Windows 8.1 on the Mac Book? Also...

    Do I need to activate Windows during installation, or can it be bypassed and use Windows for couple of days and then activate it? By no means I am looking for circumventing licensing, I'd just would not like to use the license key, if Windows won't work on the Mac Book. The chances are the Windows 8.1 will run just fine, but having couple of days to test it would be nice...
    TIA...

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2


    Posts : 328
    Windows 8.1 (x64)


    If you have internet access windows will automatically try to activate online, if you cancel it a watermark will show up on the desktop, several settings will be disabled (like lock up screen personalization) and a notification appears from time to time. But the OS will still work.

    If you simply want to test it on your mac book, I'd advise disabling or turning off any network card or wireless card, that way windows won't be able to activate.

    As far as I know, when you buy an OEM version and install it on a pc, the OS is tied to that system and you can't install it on another. Retail version can be installed on multiple PCs, but can only be used one at a time, basically once you're done with a PC, you can still use your retail version for a new install.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3


    Portsmouth Hants
    Posts : 772
    Windows 8.1 Pro with Media Center


    If you want to operate Windows 8.1 without any licensing ties (or expenditure) for up to 90 days - There is the Enterprise evaluation route: Download Windows 8.1 Enterprise Evaluation
    You will need a Microsoft live account - which is easy enough to set up -to access the download registration, and I believe that Microsoft now has a downloader to help with large file downloads.

    Enterprise Evaluation is very similar to the Pro version of Windows 8.1.

    Otherwise, there is a virtual machine route - For Parallels, VMWare, or VirtualBox on Mac, with 32-bit evaluation VMs available here:

    Virtual Machine (VM), Windows Virtual PC & Browserstack | Modern.IE
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4


    Quote Originally Posted by oneeyed View Post
    As far as I know, when you buy an OEM version and install it on a pc, the OS is tied to that system and you can't install it on another. Retail version can be installed on multiple PCs, but can only be used one at a time, basically once you're done with a PC, you can still use your retail version for a new install.
    I could not find the license agreement for 8.1 Pro, but 8.0 Pro license states this:

    You may transfer the software to another computer that belongs to you. You may not transfer the software to share licenses between computers.
    Unless MS changed the licensing terms, I should be a OK with 8.1 The retail version has been renamed as "System Builder Product--Personal Use License". No more bulky packaging, looks similar to OEM packages that are non-transferable.

    Quote Originally Posted by fafhrd View Post
    If you want to operate Windows 8.1 without any licensing ties (or expenditure) for up to 90 days - There is the Enterprise evaluation route: Download Windows 8.1 Enterprise Evaluation
    You will need a Microsoft live account - which is easy enough to set up -to access the download registration, and I believe that Microsoft now has a downloader to help with large file downloads.

    Enterprise Evaluation is very similar to the Pro version of Windows 8.1.

    Otherwise, there is a virtual machine route - For Parallels, VMWare, or VirtualBox on Mac, with 32-bit evaluation VMs available here:

    Virtual Machine (VM), Windows Virtual PC & Browserstack | Modern.IE
    The Enterprise version of Windows 8.1 is not supported by Bootcamp, just the 64-bit Windows 8.1 and Windows 8.1 Pro.

    Thanks for the link and will try the VM evaluation version, if Parallel used...
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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