Windows XP Version and Licensing Frequently Asked Questions

A few weeks ago we transulated the Windows XP licence agreement from legal-jargon to english and have had readers ask specific questions about what they are allowed to do with their copies of Windows XP. Here are some answers to some frequently asked questions.

Are you legally allowed to resell Windows XP Home?
If your copy is marked “Not for Resale” (usually copies that came with hardware such as laptops), You are not allowed to resell these copies of XP.

If your copy is not marked with this (typically XP Home Retail Version) you are allowed to sell your copy of Windows XP, however it is your responsibility to make sure that the buyer agrees to all the rules in the EULA.

Are you allowed to install one copy of Windows on multiple computers?
No. You need a copy of Windows XP for each PC.

How many home computers can install a copy of XP on?
Same as the previous question. If there is only one disk, only One. If each PC has its own legal copy then as much as you like. However if they are all networked together and they are all Windows XP Home, you are not allowed to share files and printers with more than 5 computers.

What the hell! I paid good money for Windows XP and I should be able to install it on as many computers as I want!
That isnt really a question. However, you paid for the license to use WindowsXP on one computer, you do not own the software. There are mutliple computer licenses available at a higher price if you wish to get one.

Are you allowed to use Windows 98 if have XP?
Yes.

Will Windows XP stop working if I dont activate it?
If the 30 days passes without activation. All of Windows XP’s features will stop working with the exception of the Product Activation feature.

Can I use the Academic version of Windows XP?
Yes, provided you (or your business) are defined as a qualified educational users, these are:
• Educational Institutions
• Administrative Offices & Boards of Education
• Teachers, Faculty and Staff
• Students
• Public Libraries
• Public Museums
• Home-School Programs

For more information of the definition of these groups please visit This Microsoft Page

What is the different between Windows XP OEM and Retail version?
There is no difference between the actual CDs except retail comes in a box. The only difference is that OEM must be sold along with “internal computer hardware”. XP Retail can be sold stand- alone “off the shelf”.

Should I buy Windows XP Home or Windows XP Professional?
Nearly everyone should by Windows XP Professional rather than XP Home. In early 2007 Microsoft is going to release its next generation of Windows called “Windows Vista”. Two years from the date of Vistas release, Microsoft will stop providing security updates and support for XP Home.
Windows XP Professional will receive five extra years of support as it is a business product



Bryce Whitty

About the Author

Bryce Whitty
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Bryce is an Australian computer technician and the founder of Technibble. He started his computer repair business when he was 17 years old and is still running it 9 years later. He is an avid traveller and spends at least a month of the year in another country.

Comments (5)

  • Terrence Hatch says:

    If I resell my version of Windows XP Home Edition, which was once activated on my laptop but is no longer installed there, will the buyer be able to activate it?

  • Bryce W says:

    Yes, but they’ll have to call Microsoft and say that its not on any other computers to get an activation code.

  • Joe says:

    I’m curious how the manufacturer specific versions of Windows XP tie into license key use and activation issues. ie: Windows XP for Compaq on a non-Compaq or Windows XP retail for a Dell computer.

    Does a XP retail or OEM key work with the manufacturer discs? I’m trying to collect install discs for my budding PC repair business but need to know if it’s worth the effort, or is it simply a matter of keeping Dell brand logos on a Dell PC.

  • You are a very smart person!

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