How to license Microsoft Windows Embedded

Windows Embedded licensing is defined in a way to allow a low upfront investment as the majority of the cost involved only applies once your device is ready for shipment and successful selling.

A general illustration on how to license Microsoft Windows Embedded products is described below. The licensing process may vary per product and is subject to change, so please check with your local Avnet Integrated Solutions Microsoft Expert for exact details.

Licensing Steps

Stage 1


  • Embedded OEM Customer (OEM) contacts Avnet Integrated Solutions, Microsoft Authorized Embedded Distributor.
  • OEM obtains evaluation software or purchases a full version toolkit from Avnet Integrated Solutions. 
  • Avnet Integrated Solutions provides a link per e-mail of appropriate Embedded OEM Customer License Agreement (OEM CLA) and Additional Licensing Provisions (ALPs) at time of toolkit purchase.

Embedded OEM Customer License Agreement (OEM CLA)

Standard general terms and conditions that must be signed by and OEM in order to acquire Microsoft Embedded licensed products. See section CLA for more details.

Additional Licensing Provisions (ALP)

ALPs define product use rights and restrictions specific to each individual Microsoft Embedded licensed product. The ALPs can be found on the Associated Product Material (APM) packaging supplied by Avnet Integrated Solutions, provided from a Microsoft Authorized Replicator (AR). See section BTS / ALP form more details

Stage 2

Sign OEM CLA (Agreement)

  • OEM Customer signs OEM CLA electronically.
  • For eligible products, Avnet Integrated Solutions provides the OEM Preinstallation Kits.

OEM Preinstallation Kit (OPK)

Kit that includes software based on the Classic, Server or WePOS Operating System. In the Embedded Channel these products were designed as desktop products, however Microsoft has included licensing provisions or embedded restrictions which indicate how the product can be customised.

Stage 3


  • OEM completes development of the master embedded image.
  • OEM contacts Avnet Integrated Solutions to order Runtime Licenses and Associated Product Materials (APM).

Runtime Licenses

Allows the OEM to replicate the Image based on the Microsoft Embedded Licensed Product, across a line of Embedded Systems. After ordering Runtime Licenses the OEM will receive the Associated Product Materials (APM) from Avnet Integrated Solutions. APM are materials Microsoft may change from time to time but are required for distribution of the Embedded System. APM typically consists of two items—the COA and the ALP which include licensed product specific End User License Agreement (EULA) terms. Each Embedded System aimed for distribution requires a Runtime License.

Stage 4


  • Customer enters runtime key into embedded Image

Runtime Key (PID)

An alpha-numeric string, located on the COA or on a flyer that comes with the COAs, designated to each Microsoft product that provides a unique identification number. Runtime Keys are used to prove authenticy and flash an Image across a line of embedded systems.

Stage 5


Customer manufactures and distributes embedded systems with a Certificate of Authenticity and End User License Agreement as specified in the CLA.

Certificate of Authenticity (COA)

A serialised label, affixed to devices containing Embedded Microsoft operating systems. The COA is the primary antipiracy and product tracking tool and establish a proof of license. The product specific name is printed on the label. See section COA for more details. 

End User License Agreement (EULA)

As the terms and conditions must be passed on to the end user, the EULA needs to be shipped together with the OEMs device. See section COA for more details.