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Retailers have started selling an OEM version of Windows 11 in Russia. But its purchase is fraught with risks

According to Izvestia, several Russian retailers have begun selling OEM versions of Windows. Officially, they are intended only for those involved in assembling computers. Such software was found in DNS, Citylink, Yandex Market and Wildberries.

The acquisition of such licenses, if the user is not a PC builder, formally violates the permitted limits of use and, in fact, does not give the right to install Windows or any other Microsoft product, since the use of software based on such a license carries the risks of prosecution under Art. 146 UK [Нарушение авторских и смежных прав]”, – said Kirill Lyakhmanov, Chief Legal Counsel of the Intellectual Property Practice of the law firm EBR.

DNS reported that they do not ask buyers for any additional information when selling software. The same was said in the technical support of Citylink. On Wildberries and Yandex Market, the operating system can also be put in the basket and paid for without any confirmation.

Such software has a note in the product name: OEM [Original Equipment Manufacturer] or OEI [Original Equipment Installer]. Also, in the characteristics of the product, we additionally state that this is a version for system builders— stressed in the press service of Citilink.

The license holder did not contact Wildberries about the violation of his rights, they said in the marketplace and added that if this happens, the goods will be promptly removed from sale.

According to experts, the OEM license has a number of restrictions for the user. It cannot be transferred to another computer: the license can only be used in conjunction with the original device. Unlike some other licenses, the end user cannot transfer it to another person. And finally, it is impossible to downgrade with it – the transition to an earlier version of the software.

“TAlso, the OEM license is tied to one language. And if a user, for example, bought an English version of Windows, he will no longer be able to change the language to Russian”, IT expert Dmitry Bevza warned.

When choosing Windows, experts recommend that you carefully look at the type of license you are purchasing. Although an OEM license is often up to 30% cheaper than a boxed version, its use in the future can be problematic, experts say.


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