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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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