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I am in a bit of problem right now under pressure from Microsoft in our country.

We have bought PCs with Windows 7 Home Basic OEMs, and have been using those PC for some time. Actually, we have no need in using Microsoft OS,as our business software are written in Java, and can run in pretty much anything from Linux to Mac OS. All our servers are using Red Hat, and most of our managers are using Mac OS. more than half of our computers are running Linux OS, while our earlier PCs are having Windows 7 Home Basic installed..

Recently, Microsoft insist that we purchase Volume License, and threatened to go into legal suit if we don't buy Windows 10 Profesional for every single computer that HAVE BEEN USING Windows. In their term, that those computer have ever installed Windows Home Basic, We have to purchase FULL windows profesional license at FULL price.

We have agreed to buy some profesional license in order to continue to use Windows for some computers, but decided to convert the rest of Home Basic to Linux as with every other computer. But they insist that we have to pay for every Home Basic that we have purchased before into Profesional.

The question is, how should I respond? Is it a violation using Home Basic OEM as per their User License?

For information, our action was legal as per our law. So that is down right to Microsoft's own EULA and has nothing to do with our law at all. And I am not asking for legal advice. I am asking, how should I respond. Either we should buy those full volume license, or can we keep using our Home Basic. Is is against Microsoft term or not, of using Home Basic at company? Is it or is it not violating their license? Also, the people who threatening us are from Microsoft India, while we are not from India country. So it is clearly not relevant to our local law at all.

Thank you.

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  • You are definitely leaving something out. It is not against the EULA to use a Windows Home version in a business environment. My gut feeling is that you are doing something else that breaks the EULA.
    – Keltari
    Commented Oct 2, 2016 at 8:43
  • No it is not.. I am quoting from Microsoft's mail: Herewith we said that based on the data you send through the questionnaire we find the use of Windows Home at A Hotel and we have conveyed that license Windows Home is not intended for commercial / enterprise.
    – prd
    Commented Oct 2, 2016 at 11:05
  • Ask them exactly what part of the EULA you are breaking. Not just... "your violating the EULA" but exactly what part of the text you are violating. Did you check the EULA to see if there is anything in there about commercial use?
    – Rik
    Commented Oct 2, 2016 at 11:45
  • And B.T.W. We are taking about Home BASIC here. It had much stricter EULA than Home Premium. So check the EULA.
    – Rik
    Commented Oct 2, 2016 at 11:50
  • Yes.. I have checked Home Basic here: download.microsoft.com/Documents/UseTerms/… No mention of commercial restriction, except VC-1 codec.
    – prd
    Commented Oct 2, 2016 at 14:12

2 Answers 2

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When somebody threatened you with a legal suit it's always best to calmly ask for the exact details of their claim and point you to the exact paragraph in the evidence they have, according to existing documentation and agreements.

A general "your violating the EULA" isn't an exact claim and they should be able to point you to the exact point and paragraph they think you would be violating. In this case the claim that you would not be allowed to keep using Windows 7 Home Basic on a commercial basis.

In the special case, when an OEM version is involved, it could even be that you might not even have an agreement with Microsoft but with the system builder.

My guess is that somebody at the local Microsoft office (or affiliate) was overeager to push a new licensing agreement and thought claiming commercial use was forbidden would speed things up.

I'm glad to hear that asking for these simple details of their claim got them to back off.

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StackExchange / SuperUser is not your lawyer, and cannot dispense legal advice. Even if we could, you haven't told us anything about the relevant legal context (what country you're in, for example) so how are we to know what your local laws are?

Consult a lawyer familiar with your local intellectual property laws.

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  • Actually, our laws does not deem that as illegal. So it is basically down to Microsoft own EULA. So, it has nothing to do with our law.
    – prd
    Commented Oct 2, 2016 at 8:00
  • The enforceability of EULAs, and of the various provisions they contain, is a legal matter that varies quite considerably by jurisdiction. Even if you view an EULA as a contract of some sort, the enforceability of contract terms also depends upon the jurisdiction and the terms in question. Any time you want to ask "Can they sue us?" - which is a matter of law - you are seeking legal advice and need to consult with a lawyer.
    – CBHacking
    Commented Oct 2, 2016 at 8:22
  • Ah.. ok.. let me rephrase it.. Is it violating their EULA?
    – prd
    Commented Oct 2, 2016 at 8:28

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