Microsoft License Terms are simply the conditions set forth by the company for the use, distribution and reproduction of their products and services. The software maker has different license terms for retail customers and volume licensing clients.
Because as a retail consumer, you may/may not have purchased the program directly from Microsoft, the company offers a form that helps you to find the terms and conditions for your product.
Finding product specific Microsoft License Terms
You will have to provide information on how the program was procured. You could have bought the program as part of a software package or from Microsoft directly or it could have been offered with the hardware.
Once you pick from the two available options, your product choices get narrowed down to the 16 programs that are sold pre-installed and 34 software products that are directly sold by Microsoft or as part of a package.
You will also have to specify the version of the program that you are using and your language to access the licensing terms.
What exactly is included in the license terms?
Although the terms and conditions of use are product specific, there are many similarities. For instance, regardless of the product in question, by using the software you provide your acceptance of the terms. The company, like all others, makes it clear that you cannot and should not use their products if you don’t accept these terms and conditions of use. Having said that, the licensing terms include clauses that deal with:
- Installation: The number of computers on which the program can be installed and the number of users who can use the program on that computer.
- Distribution: The restrictions imposed on sharing the program with other users whether for money or not.
- Limitations: Information on how the various features and accessories of the program can and cannot be used.
- Transfer and Backup: Limitations on your rights to create a backup copy and transfer the program to other devices.
- Upgrade and/or downgrade: Details on using programs with older/newer versions of the company’s software products.
- Support and updates: Information on whether Microsoft provides support for the software and the company’s rights to install automatic updates (where applicable).
- Validation and activation: Details on mandatory activation with the use of the key provided at purchase and validation of activation as well as unauthorized software that changes the program that is created by Microsoft.
These are just some of the clauses that you will find in the licensing terms. In addition to the above, there may be several other product-specific conditions imposed on the use of a software. So, it is always best to take a few minutes to glance over the Licensing terms before using the program.