I'm wondering what the best way obtain old versions of Windows would be, specifically:
- Windows 95
- Windows 98/SE
- Windows 2000/ME
- Windows XP Professional
- Windows 7 Professional
- Microsoft Office for each version of Windows (i.e. Office 98 for Windows 98)
I would need both the physical install media/ISOs and the activation licenses. There are some of the options I've been considering:
- Call Microsoft up and offer to pay them a lot of money to get copies and licenses for these versions of Windows, since they probably have some massive archive of everything in some basement. (Can they refuse?)
- Spend weeks scouring eBay and Amazon on the off-chance someone is selling a copy and buy it before someone else snatches it up.
- Use sites like https://winworldpc.com/library that are questionable legally. It looks like they provide the install files but not the licenses for obvious reasons. They all have Microsoft Office install files.
I'd preferably like to obtain them legally, just so I'll be able to sleep at night and so I can get 100% functionality with all of the software, including the ability to join (at the very least) the XP and 7 machines, and maybe the 2000 machines, to a domain. I would install all these operating systems on actual hardware from that era, not use virtual machines on modern versions of Windows or emulators.