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 Silica Microsoft Embedded Expert for exact details.

Licensing Steps

Stage 1


  • Embedded OEM Customer (OEM) contacts Avnet Silica, Microsoft Authorized Embedded Distributor.
  • OEM obtains evaluation software or purchases a full version toolkit from Avnet Silica.
  • Avnet Silica 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 Silica, 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 Silica provides the OEM Preinstallation Kits.

OEM Preinstallation Kit (OPK)

Microsoft provides the software to create the image as a download from a secured website. The access can be granted after the CLA is activated. In the Embedded Channel some products were designed as desktop products, however Microsoft has included licensing provisions or embedded restrictions which indicate how the product can be customized.

Stage 3


  • OEM completes development of the master embedded image.
  • OEM contacts Avnet Silica 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 Silica. 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 specifically requested from Microsoft, designated to each Microsoft product that provides a unique identification number. Runtime Keys are used to prove authenticity 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 serialized 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.