HPE OEM Microsoft Windows Server FAQ Series- Part 2: OEM Licensing Basics


Let's continue our HPE OEM Windows Server FAQ blog series by taking a closer look at HPE OEM Microsoft licensing for Windows Server. Today we answer 5 questions on OEM licensing basics. 

**Don't miss last week's blog, “HPE OEM Microsoft Windows Server FAQ Series Part 1: Licensing Overview” which answered 5 general Windows Server licensing questions!


OEM licensing basics
1. How can I tell the difference between an HPE OEM license and a Microsoft Channel OEM (COEM) license? 
Microsoft sells a COEM, or “System Builder,” license to resellers globally. This product warranty is not supported by Hewlett Packard Enterprise, but rather by Microsoft. One visible difference between HPE OEM and COEM products is that the Certificate of Authenticity (COA) label is different. Figure 1 shows that the product name will be either “Microsoft” for COEM products or “HPE” for HPE OEM products. HPE OEM products have HPE artwork on the media. The COA label has HPE printed on it. Figure 1. Windows Server 2012 R2 Standard Edition ROK—HPE OEM licenseFigure 1. Windows Server 2012 R2 Standard Edition ROK—HPE OEM license

2. Where can I find the latest, beta, and older Windows Server Operating System (OS) drivers?
To download drivers for a specific HPE server, visit our HPE Windows Support Matrix at When you click on the server model you will be provided with the links for different resources available for that server. For drivers, simply click “OS Drivers & Software”.

 What do I do if I have damaged media DVDs?
Replacement media for HPE OEM Windows Server products is available at the Hewlett Packard Enterprise fulfillment website at: These items are available from HPE for the cost of media and handling. Proof of purchase is required. Replacement media will be delivered through mail.

4. Can an OEM license be transferred to another server?
This right—plus other benefits— may be acquired by purchasing Microsoft Software Assurance (SA) from a Microsoft licensing reseller within 90 days of your original purchase of the HPE OEM license. It is important to note that only licenses for the latest version of a product are eligible for SA.

In addition, there are some great Windows Server license offerings from Hewlett Packard Enterprise that include reassignment rights! For instance, the Windows Server 2016 and 2012 R2 Standard additional license and the Windows Server 2016 and 2012 R2 Datacenter license with reassignment rights. Both products include the COA adhered to a license card and can be reassigned to another server. Otherwise, you may not move an OEM license to another server. Microsoft OEM licensing (including COEM, HPE OEM, and other OEM licensing) in general is part of the server on which it was issued (specific SKUs mentioned above excluded), as explained in the license terms that accompany the license

5. What if a server is “retired” with an OEM license on it, THEN can the software be used on a new server?
No. To put it simply, an OEM product is “married” to the original server on which it was installed. OEM licenses are not transferable from one machine to another, unless covered by Microsoft Software Assurance (SA) or reassignment rights are specified within the product terms (also known as the End User License “EULA”) of the product (see question 4 for more information). The software cannot be moved from server to server, even if the original server it was installed on is no longer in use. This is true for all OEM software—both OSEs and applications. Note that OEM CALs are different: they must be associated with a single user or device, but the license owner may change that assignment if, for example, an employee or device is replaced.


Have additional questions about HPE OEM licensing for Windows Server? Be sure to check back for more blogs in our FAQ series and take a look at our HPE OEM Licensing for Windows Server FAQ. Or, drop us a note with your question, we'd love to hear from you! You can email us at or find Coffee Coaching on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, and YouTube

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Willa manages the HPE | Microsoft Coffee Coaching program. Follow along to learn more about the latest HPE OEM Microsoft product releases and how the HPE Microsoft partnership can benefit partners and customers.