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OEM Distribution & Reseller - ODR

OEM Distribution & Reseller Program (Formerly OEM System Builder)

This guide will provide you, the OEM Distribution & Reseller (ODR), with the information you’ll need to successfully understand and manage Microsoft ODR software licenses. It will explain the ways OEMs can acquire genuine Microsoft software, how that software can be distributed, and the value of pre-installing genuine Microsoft software. It will also answer common questions concerning licenses.

Microsoft OEM Distribution & Reseller (ODR) Channel

Who are OEM Distributors and Resellers?
An original equipment manufacturer (OEM), assembler, refurbisher or pre-installer of software on computer systems who sells the system to an end user or third party.

Microsoft offers operating system, application and server software for distributors and resellers to sell to end customers or to pre-install on systems. The OEM Distribution & Reseller Channel is designed to make it easy to acquire and distribute genuine Microsoft software.

Software Licenses Available through ODR

  • Windows 8 - Windows 8 Professional and Windows 8 Home Premium
  • Windows 7 - Windows 7 Ultimate, Windows 7 Professional and Windows 7 Home Premium
  • Windows Server 2012 - Windows Server 2012 Standard, Windows Server 2012 Datacenter and Windows Server 2012 Essentials
  • Windows Server 2008 R2 - Windows Server 2008 R2 Standard, Windows Server 2008 R2 Datacenter, Windows Server 2008 R2 Enterprise and Small Business Server 2011
  • Office 2013 - Office 2013 Professional, Office 2013 Home & Business and Office 2013 Home & Student

OEM Distributor & Reseller (ODR) License

The ODR program license is affixed to the side of the Microsoft OEM Distribution & Reseller program pack for Windows or Server software. By opening the software pack, system builders agree to the license terms. For Office 2013, the ODR license and OEM Pre-installation kit (OPK) are available to download at the OEM Partner Center website. A complete copy of the OEM Distribution & Reseller program license is available at License terms include:

  • Limited License
  • Software Distribution
  • Pre-installation using the OPK
  • Certificate of Authenticity (COA) Label
  • End-User Support
  • Activation
  • Recovery Media
  • Requirement to resell the PC to a third party

Certificate of Authenticity (COA)
The COA is included in the System Builder Software Pack. For Windows desktop and Windows Server operating system licenses, when installing the software on new PC hardware, the system builder must affix the COA label to the outside of the fully assembled PC or Server in a visible and easily accessible area. You can learn more about the COA label features at

Product Activation

  • Microsoft Product Activation is designed to help end users ensure they have a legal, licensed and genuine copy of Microsoft software.
  • Product activation is required by the end user in OEM Distribution & Reseller program products.
  • Activation works by verifying that the software’s product key—required as part of product installation and provided on the COA—has only been used on the PC the software was distributed with initially.

For more information, visit

Recovery Solutions

  • The hologram CD included within the Windows or Windows Server System Builder Pack contains the full version of the Windows or Windows Server software. This CD is intended for recovery purposes only.
  • This hologram CD must be transferred to the end user with the pre-installed PC.
  • The ODR license prohibits the replication of Microsoft software, therefore replicating recovery CDs and selling them with the systems you build is not allowed under the ODR license.
  • System builders can offer hard-disk recovery solutions.
  • System builders may use the Windows Pre-installation Environment (Windows PE) or use the software of a third-party to help create a hard-disk recovery solution.

Downgrade Rights

What are Downgrade Rights?
Downgrade rights are an end-user right, documented in the Software License Terms that customers accept upon first running Windows software. Thanks to downgrade rights, end users who have acquired a more recent version of the software (such as Windows 8 Pro) can use a prior version of the software (such as Windows 7 Professional) until they are ready to move to the more recent version. Not all products include downgrade rights. But if a product includes downgrade rights, the license terms for that product will indicate which prior versions of the software may be used.

Downgrade rights for Windows software
The following OEM versions of Windows software are eligible for downgrade rights:

  • Windows 8 - Windows 8 Pro includes downgrade rights to Windows 7 Professional and Windows Vista Business
  • Windows 7 - Windows 7 Professional and Windows 7 Ultimate include downgrade rights to:
    • Windows Vista Business and Windows Vista Ultimate
    • Windows XP Professional, Windows XP Tablet PC Edition, or Windows XP x64 Edition

*Note: Other OEM Windows 7 versions (for example, Windows 7 Home Basic and Windows 7 Home Premium) do not include downgrade rights.

Downgrade rights for Windows Server 2012 software
The following OEM versions of Windows Server software are eligible for downgrade:



Windows Server
2012 Datacenter Edition

Windows Server
2012 Standard Edition


Windows Server
2008 R2



Windows Server




Windows Server
2003 R2, 2003, etc.


End customers may also downgrade to any previous versions.


Downgrade Media and Product Keys
End users may use any existing software media and product key to install and activate downgrade or down-edition software. The downgrade software and product key may be from any channel (Open, OEM, or retail) and does not need to match the channel license type that is assigned to the server.

*Note: Distribution of downgrade media and product keys is not permitted in the system builder and reseller channels.


For more information on the OEM Distribution & Reseller (ODR) Program, contact
Avnet’s Microsoft Team at or (800) 474-3044.

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