[Solved] Windows OEM License or not

I bought a DIY laptop (Gen 11) and purchased a Windows 10 Professional license with it. This gave me a Key when I activated it.

I downloaded Windows using the instructions provided, created a Windows installation media and put in the key when asked for.

Is the license key sold by Framework an OEM license or Retail? Given the cost I would imagine Retail. But there is no way to tell. When I asked Framework support I got a weird response that pointed me to this link which states the obvious but not what I want.

Anyone purchased a Windows license from Framework and swapped motherboard later?

I didn’t purchase my Windows License from Framework, so take this answer with a grain of salt, but I believe that Licenses sold with the DIY version are Retail licenses, and the ones that come preinstalled on the prebuilt models are OEM. The wording on the Marketplace page for the Windows License makes it sound like it is just Framework Selling the same Windows 10/11 digital license that Microsoft sells you directly.


Correct. @nrp has answered this question before.


Thanks @azure and @ImaxinarDM. Got a clarification from Framework support that the license I bought is a Retail license. So yes, the license you purchse with DIY kit is definitely retail license.

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@Sumit note that the difference between the licenses also depends on your country. in Europe, there’s no effective differences between OEM and retail with the exception that you get a nice box and sticker and installation media with the retail version, I believe. But you’ll also be able to move a OEM license between different machines/mainboards according to EU law (using your Microsoft account or by using software to grab the license code from the mainboard).

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ooh, that’s interesting. Didn’t know EU twisted MS arms properly :slight_smile:

UK might be a grey area now, after you know what [not using the dreaded moniker :wink: :wink: :wink: ]

Anyway, it is now clarified. I have a retail license.

Once I’ve paid off the CC bill I racked up for my first Framework laptop ;-), I’ll consider getting the board upgrade and I can rest assured I don’t have to go begging Microsoft to unlock my license key :smiley: .


Windows licensing is now a joke. MS doesn’t really care. They don’t make the money from Windows, it’s all the other stuff. I don’t know why they just don’t give it away or just charge $20 for it.

Or just find that old Windows 7/8 laptop you had sitting in the closet and use that…

At least it’s not like the old XP days that you had to keep specific manufacturer versions of XP to tie to a manufacturers license key. Used to drive me bonkers.