Reseller Program Legalizes Windows on Refurbished PCs

By Jessica Davis  |  Print this article Print


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Microsoft reseller program resolves questions about loading Windows on refurbished PCs.

Resellers who deal in refurbished PCs now have the answer to a longstanding question—can they sell refurbished PCs with a legitimate Microsoft operating system?

The answer came last week when Microsoft announced its MAR (Microsoft Authorized Reseller) program. The company created the program to help large refurbishers who wanted to deliver preinstalled legitimate Windows XP software licenses on refurbished PCs to be sold in the commercial market.

Executives at TechTurn, a PC refurbisher, said the program now gives the company the tools and authority to install Windows XP on the refurbished PCs it supplies to resellers and consumers. President Jake Player said TechTurn has been asking Microsoft for clarification for years about whether it could install Windows on refurbished PCs.

"Historically, we have not sold refurbished systems with an OS," he said. "If we did, we were buying retail versions of the OS because the EULA [End User License Agreement] is pretty complicated. It doesn't address whether it's OK to reload the OS after wiping the hard drive. We are relieved that this is being answered now."

Microsoft has also provided a proprietary tool to companies like TechTurn that enables them to load the OS on multiple systems at the same time.

"Customers will know the OS is genuine and it comes with all the proper drivers," said Player. His company will provide a TechTurn certificate of authenticity with the machines it sells.

"This is going to help clarify something that has bee pretty confusing issue for most people," Player said.

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Jessica Davis covers the channel for eWeek and Channel Insider. Her technology journalism career began well before anyone heard of the World Wide Web and has included stints at Infoworld, Electronic News/EDN, and the Philadelphia Business Journal. Her work has also appeared on CNN and Forbes.com. She has covered hardware, software and networking, as well as the business side of technology. She has won several journalism awards, including a national ASBPE award for best staff-written column, and was named Marketing Computers hardest working tech journalist on their inaugural list of top tech journalists. Jessica can be reached at jessica.davis@ziffdavisenterprise.com

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