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I bought some Office 2010 DVDs, and they have product keys. I'm thinking of mailing them to my friend as a gift. However, could I just instead have them install Office from Microsoft's website and then email them the product key that came with my DVD?

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The specific source of the installation media doesn't matter — you could send them your DVDs, have them borrow somebody else's DVDs, download the installer from Microsoft, whatever. However, the installer must correspond to the version of Office that the license keys came with. For example, if you bought Office Home and Student, they can use the key to install Office Home and Student from wherever they can find an installer, but they would not be able to use an Office Professional installer, even to just install the components which come with Office Home and Student.

You may want to send them the original packaging so that if there is ever a concern about licensing, they have the original box with its Certificate of Authenticity (COA). Sometimes if you have to reinstall and then reactive, you must call Microsoft to reactive and they may ask for some form of proof of ownership, which may involve documentation included with the original packaging.

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As long as you own a license, its not a problem to install from any media. Still mailing the DVDs would be better.

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Thanks nahar for the reply. But curious why you say mailing the DVDs would be better. –  RexE Jul 21 '10 at 5:36
    
In case they need to make a support call, Microsoft could ask for Proof of Ownership. And gifting just a license sounds a bit odd! –  nahar Jul 21 '10 at 6:05
    
@RexE: If think this is required to transfer the licence (so your friend can use it) -- it is covered in the EULA. –  Richard Jul 21 '10 at 9:09

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