Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 17th Feb 2006 12:41 UTC, submitted by jayson.knight
Windows "Microsoft recently made a change to the licence agreement saying that a new motherboard is equal to a new computer, hence you need to purchase a new Windows licence. Here is what Microsoft has to say: "An upgrade of the motherboard is considered to result in a 'new personal computer' to which Microsoft OEM operating system software cannot be transferred from another computer. If the motherboard is upgraded or replaced for reasons other than a defect, then a new computer has been created and the license of new operating system software is required." Please note that this does not go for retail copies of Windows, but only for OEM versions.
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How much is a Linux licence these days?
by AmigaRobbo on Fri 17th Feb 2006 13:13 UTC
AmigaRobbo
Member since:
2005-11-15

Also How do they know if a replacement due to a defective MB?

Reply Score: 5

mahlerrd Member since:
2005-07-06

Why should they care?

If you replace your motherboard with the same model, I suspect it's not considered a new motherboard.

If your motherboard fails and you take the opportunity to upgrade it (and cpu and ram, possibly) then your OEM license won't cover the resulting new system. Let's face it, if you upgrade your Dell's MB, you are VERY unlikely to put in a new Dell MB.

I don't like it, but it's well within their rights to do so.

Reply Score: 1

DevL Member since:
2005-07-06

"If your motherboard fails and you take the opportunity to upgrade it (and cpu and ram, possibly) then your OEM license won't cover the resulting new system."

Actually it does depedning on how you interpret the 'or' in the following sentence.

"If the motherboard is upgraded or replaced for reasons other than a defect, then a new computer has been created and the license of new operating system software is required."

If can easily be interpreted as

upgrade due to defect/failing motherboard or replaced due to defect/failing motherboard and hence the OEM license should cover it.

Basically, ladies and gentlemen, if you want ot upgrade your computer w/o buying a new license - take a hammer to your existing motherboard and consider it 'defective'.

Reply Score: 2

kill Member since:
2005-11-03

My point exactly, too. I mean how would BSA know if that board is not the original or one would just lie and said the orignal got defective and so it was replaced? Will they carry around military-grade lie detectors?

Reply Score: 1

Moulinneuf Member since:
2005-07-06

"I mean how would BSA know if that board is not the original or one would just lie and said the orignal got defective and so it was replaced?"

When you update windows it send the motherboard serial with the rest of your hardware list and serial to there server.

Reply Score: 1

nivenh Member since:
2005-07-06

"Let's face it, if you upgrade your Dell's MB, you are VERY unlikely to put in a new Dell MB."

well, its been a while since i was last poking around a Dell, but if you're replacing a Dell motherboard, its VERY likely that you WILL be replacing it with a NEW Dell motherboard. Dell, last time i saw the innards of one, used proprietary mounts, that were a slide/hook setup rather than the typical screw + riser.

Reply Score: 2

Celerate Member since:
2005-06-29

"I don't like it, but it's well within their rights to do so."

Changing the license after you've agreed to it, isn't that like changing a contract after you've signed it? So maybe someone could write up a contract, get you to sign it, and then legally change the contract to say you give up everything you own to that individual while keeping the contract valid. Besides legal loopholes I don't see how something like this can be done. A change to the license agreement after I've agreed to it, without prompting me if I've agreed to those changes means that they should not be able to inforce it on me. Of course this is where you tell me there was some clause in the last license or EULA where MS made provisions for this right?

Gotta love companies who engineer everything so they can screw you over, when does MS change the license to something like "As the user you hearby agree to give Microsoft the sum of 10 000$ a year for the rest of your life, you agree that you will address Bill Gates as 'Your Highness' and you will obey everything he tells you to do, and you will sign over all rights to any marketable content you create as well as your first born child to Microsoft".

I hope companies start making their games for Macintel systems too, because this copy of Windows I'm using right now will likely be my last.

Reply Score: 5

raver31 Member since:
2005-07-06

I hope companies start making their games for Macintel systems too, because this copy of Windows I'm using right now will likely be my last.

XP done that for me. Cedega allows me to play the games I want, and there is Loki installers for others... anyway, that is off-topic...

Back on topic,

I paid good money for my copy of Windows, and I should be able to install it on my PC as many times as I see fit. If I upgrade my PC, I should be free to re-install Windows as many times as I want, without speaking to Microsoft and paying for the call charges.

All in all, this amounts to extortion.

Reply Score: 5

Smartpatrol Member since:
2005-07-06

I hope companies start making their games for Macintel systems too, because this copy of Windows I'm using right now will likely be my last.

Agreed as soon as Mactel garners more gaming support its bye bye to Windows for me too. I primarily rely on Windows only for gaming all of my other computing needs can be met as good or better on the Mac Platform. Microsoft needs to quit running status quo and wake up to the newer user base.

Reply Score: 2

Not enforceable in Finland
by mario on Fri 17th Feb 2006 13:21 UTC
mario
Member since:
2005-07-06

and perhaps in most other places in the EU. And when I say not enforceable, I mean the whole OEM-is-not-for-resale or even Software-is-not-for-resale thingy. Here in Finland anyone can sell their software totally leagally. Here we own the damn thing, and do with it as we please.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Not enforceable in Finland
by Thom_Holwerda on Fri 17th Feb 2006 13:24 UTC in reply to "Not enforceable in Finland"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Here we own the damn thing, and do with it as we please.

That's the whole point-- you don't own a damn thing. You have a license to use the software, much like you are allowed to use a rental house, even though the house itself is not yours.

That is no different in Finland as it is on the moon.

That is not to say whether or not this stuff MS is doing with licenses being non-transferrable or not is enforcable.

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Not enforceable in Finland
by Larz on Fri 17th Feb 2006 14:24 UTC in reply to "RE: Not enforceable in Finland"
Larz Member since:
2006-01-04

Yes, its a license and you donīt own a thing.

There is however a problem with shrink-wrap-licenses in general. A license for a piece of shrink-wrap software, may not be enforcable, in case it puts the user in a worse position than he had reason to believe when he bought the software (the software is in shrink-wrap and he is unable to read the license before buying).

This is in contrast to click-wrap software (ex. downloaded from the internet), where you accept the license before you buy. In this case the license is probably valid (unless it infringes on other consumer laws).

AFAIK I know there has been a supreme court decision in Germany stating that the license (at least the part about it being tied to a specific PC) is not enforcable. Thus resellers are able to buy oem licenses from users, and resell them again together with a PC.

The license has however not been testet in court in many european countries. Among them is Denmark where I live.

Edited 2006-02-17 14:29

Reply Score: 4

RE[3]: Not enforceable in Finland
by peejay on Fri 17th Feb 2006 14:39 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Not enforceable in Finland"
peejay Member since:
2005-06-29

A license for a piece of shrink-wrap software, may not be enforcable, in case it puts the user in a worse position than he had reason to believe when he bought the software (the software is in shrink-wrap and he is unable to read the license before buying).

That's not an excuse.

"YOU AGREE TO BE BOUND BY THE TERMS OF THIS EULA BY INSTALLING, COPYING, OR OTHERWISE USING THE PRODUCT. IF YOU DO NOT AGREE, DO NOT INSTALL OR USE THE PRODUCT; YOU MAY RETURN IT TO YOUR PLACE OF PURCHASE FOR A FULL REFUND."

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: Not enforceable in Finland
by ma_d on Fri 17th Feb 2006 15:17 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Not enforceable in Finland"
ma_d Member since:
2005-06-29

Remember that last part. And do it whenever you buy a new PC ;) .

Reply Score: 2

RenatoRam Member since:
2005-11-14

Just because some company prints it on paper it does make it true.

The laws of a lot of countries put limit to what a contract can impose on the customer. If a clause is considered vexatory the customer has to agree to it SPECIFICALLY (with ANOTHER signature).

And still (even if a clause was agreed), a judge can rule a clause null because it imposes illegal restrictions no matter what. It happens all the time.

And EULAs are pretty much all void and null in the European Union. Tested in court many times, expecially in Germany.

Reply Score: 5

RE[4]: Not enforceable in Finland
by Tweek on Fri 17th Feb 2006 17:28 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Not enforceable in Finland"
Tweek Member since:
2006-01-12

I would love to see you get a full refund after you have opened the package and had the oppurtunity to read the EULA...

go ahead. oh wait, catch 22, you cant read the license saying you should return it, until the package is open, where the store wont accept it as a return.

Reply Score: 5

RE[4]: Not enforceable in Finland
by aent on Fri 17th Feb 2006 21:22 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Not enforceable in Finland"
aent Member since:
2006-01-25

For some reason, almost no store actually will accept the product back for this reason. Circuit City, Best Buy, and so on all will charge restocking fees and many places have no return policies, even if you disagree with the license agreement. Manufacturers like Dell don't care if you don't agree to the license, they won't give you a full refund. Also, another problem is that people steal the license key from the box after opening it and try to return it, making it even more difficult for people to disagree with the license agreement. If you try to return it to the place of purchase, chances are you're not getting a full refund.

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: Not enforceable in Finland
by cerbie on Sat 18th Feb 2006 07:51 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Not enforceable in Finland"
cerbie Member since:
2006-01-02

"YOU MAY RETURN IT TO YOUR PLACE OF PURCHASE FOR A FULL REFUND"

How will they enforce the refund?

Reply Score: 1

Googlesaurus Member since:
2005-10-19

Courts and others in the EU seem hell bent of forcing Microsoft into a corner. This is going to backfire on a grand scale at some point.

Reply Score: 0

Get a Life Member since:
2006-01-01

What, Microsoft will cede the EU to someone else?

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Not enforceable in Finland
by brulle on Fri 17th Feb 2006 15:20 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Not enforceable in Finland"
brulle Member since:
2005-09-21

> Courts and others in the EU seem hell bent of forcing Microsoft into a corner. This is going to backfire on a grand scale at some point.

What? Oh no, will they discontinue selling Windows in the EU? I think the MSFT shareholders would not like that.

Or will the corporate elites push for a US bombing campaign against Old Europe?

Or perhaps foreign companies should just abide by the rules of the countries in which they decide to do business.

It is reasonable that governments can protect customers from beeing ripped of by monopolist corporations.

Reply Score: 5

rcsteiner Member since:
2005-07-12

Microsoft made the first several moves, not the courts, and not the EU. Their actions are a matter of public record:

http://www.usdoj.gov/art/cases/f3800/msjudgex.htm

Microsoft seems hell bent on telling the courts and the EU to go to hell instead of actually complying with the law and with the orders formally served upon them by the court. This is going to backfire on a grand scale at some point.

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Not enforceable in Finland
by mallard on Fri 17th Feb 2006 16:12 UTC in reply to "Not enforceable in Finland"
mallard Member since:
2006-01-06

>That is no different in Finland as it is on the moon.

Actually, international law forbids nations from claiming any part of the moon as territory. Therefore no country has legal juristiction on the moon and therefore there are no laws, just like international waters. However, you could still be prosecuted upon return to Earth (just like international waters).
That means that you can violate copyright, commit murder or whatever on the moon, as long as you plan on living there forever.

Reply Score: 4

Going to have to call bull...
by nstuart on Fri 17th Feb 2006 13:22 UTC
nstuart
Member since:
2005-07-06

I just installed the second brand new motherboard with the same OEM license yesterday. The first time I had to call and simply re-activate the license, this time for some reason the activation went straight through with out having to call!

This latest time around I replaced both MB and Chipset with out issues. And yes, I have an OEM version bought from zipzoomfly. CD Label says OEM right on it.

Usually I wouldn't defend Windows/MS at all, but I don't know what the issue is here. Plus, there is no link to offically support the license change coming right from MS.

Reply Score: 1

This has to be a joke
by garfield on Fri 17th Feb 2006 13:42 UTC
garfield
Member since:
2006-01-15

That's all I can think of, how the heck is a new motherboard a new computer? I mean, if you want to take advantage of new things like pci-express, sata, etc, you need a new motherboard, and I for one am certainly not going to go through buying a new copy of windows just to satisfy microsoft. Also, how sure are we that this is actually serious?

Reply Score: 5

RE: This has to be a joke
by peejay on Fri 17th Feb 2006 13:58 UTC in reply to "This has to be a joke"
peejay Member since:
2005-06-29

Also, how sure are we that this is actually serious?

If you read through the comments at the bottom, there are a few links to a .doc file at Microsoft which supposedly contains the information.

The thing I don't understand is that this is talking about OEM licenses which are separate than retail licenses. The reason you can buy cheap computers in the store despite the cost of a retail boxed version of the OS is because they use OEM licensing; you get what you pay for, and one of those things you're not paying for is the ability to use it on another computer/motherboard. And you did agree to this license before you opened/installed/used the software.

This particular "I have a license I can do what I want with it despite what it says" argument makes only slightly more sense to me than people who think they're getting a deal on an Academic license to make them "legal", even if they don't qualify for academic licensing....

Reply Score: 2

RE: This has to be a joke
by Get a Life on Fri 17th Feb 2006 14:58 UTC in reply to "This has to be a joke"
Get a Life Member since:
2006-01-01

Here's how a new motherboard is a new computer:

Microsoft has a monopoly on desktop operating systems. The growth of this operating system market for them just isn't as good as it could be. There are a few more pennies in there that Microsoft wants comprised of people upgrade computers piecemeal. Nevermind that companies will sell you OEM copies of Windows with HDDs or whatever.
There's also the release of Vista, which I'm sure can use any help it can get in order to expedite its adoption. If releasing Halo 2 only for Vista isn't enough, there's always the incentive that if you buy a forthcoming AM2 processor/motherboard, that you'll have to set fire to that OEM copy of Windows you got three years ago from Newegg and pick up a copy of Vista.

And for that reason a new motherboard is not only a new computer, but it justifies making you purchase a new copy of Windows. But don't try to transfer that previous OEM copy with your old motherboard, because that's bad too.

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: This has to be a joke
by Moulinneuf on Fri 17th Feb 2006 15:36 UTC in reply to "RE: This has to be a joke"
Moulinneuf Member since:
2005-07-06

"Microsoft has a monopoly on desktop operating systems."

Microsoft as a monopoly at having its Operating system be the default on OEM and new hardware. It does not have a monopoly on desktop operating system.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: This has to be a joke
by Get a Life on Fri 17th Feb 2006 16:03 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: This has to be a joke"
Get a Life Member since:
2006-01-01

Microsoft has a larger monopoly on desktop operating systems than Standard Oil ever had on refinery. They might not ban you from this site because they find you amusing, but in the future please refrain from replying to my comments with nonsense.

Reply Score: 5

RE[4]: This has to be a joke
by Moulinneuf on Fri 17th Feb 2006 16:23 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: This has to be a joke"
Moulinneuf Member since:
2005-07-06

"Microsoft has a larger monopoly on desktop operating systems than Standard Oil ever had on refinery."

To be a monopoly you have to be the only one with a service or the only one allowed to provide the service. Thats basically the definition of monopoly , which apparently you dont know and dont understand. How do you explain Apple Mac OS X , OS/2 , GNU/Linux , Pc-BSD , if its a monopoly ?

"They might not ban you from this site because they find you amusing"

Thats a good question , ask them if they feel like it they will provide you an answer.

"but in the future please refrain from replying to my comments with nonsense."

Only nonsense I see is written by "Get a Life". Btw just to make sure you get it :

http://www.google.com/search?sourceid=mozclient&scoring=d&ie=utf-8&...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monopoly

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: This has to be a joke
by rcsteiner on Fri 17th Feb 2006 16:47 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: This has to be a joke"
rcsteiner Member since:
2005-07-12

According to the US Dept of Justice's Findings of Fact document, section III:

"34. Viewed together, three main facts indicate that Microsoft enjoys monopoly power. First, Microsoft's share of the market for Intel-compatible PC operating systems is extremely large and stable. Second, Microsoft's dominant market share is protected by a high barrier to entry. Third, and largely as a result of that barrier, Microsoft's customers lack a commercially viable alternative to Windows."

http://www.usdoj.gov/atr/cases/f3800/msjudgex.htm#iii

Apple Mac OS X was originally developed in isolation on a completely different hardware platform. That fact protected it from Microsoft's major attacks (preloads and exclusive deals with hardware makers), and enabled it to survive to the present day. The x86 version is a port of the protected development.

OS/2 was developed on x86 by what was then the largest software company in the world (IBM), but not even IBM could sustain its presence in the market. OS/2 is now unsupported by its maker, and has been in a steady decline markersharewise for over a decade. Keep in mind that IBM also received over US$700 million in compensation for Microsoft's past activities towards OS/2 in the US.

Linux and BSD were mainly developed competely outside of the commercial software marketplace. As noncommercial software development, they are largely immune from the effects of market forces.

Why are you ignoring the facts?

Reply Score: 5

RE[6]: This has to be a joke
by Moulinneuf on Fri 17th Feb 2006 17:55 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: This has to be a joke"
Moulinneuf Member since:
2005-07-06

"According to the US Dept of Justice's"

REJECTED. The US gov switch its stands on anything depending on who'spaying them that week. Also charge where made and brought up , but where eventually dropped in the US.

"Apple Mac OS ... protected development."

REJECTED. Mac OS X is based on closed BSD , If it where impossible technically to run on other platform BSD would only run on PPC. Core Duo would not exist either ...

"OS/2 was ...the US. "

REJECTED. IBM choose to deliberatly not support its OS as it wrongly believed that Operating system did not mather.

"Linux and BSD were ... immune from the effects of market forces. "

REJECTED. Red Hat , Novell , Mandriva , Linspire , etc ... are all inside the commercial software marketplace.

"Why are you ignoring the facts?"

You havent given any.

Reply Score: 1

RE[7]: This has to be a joke
by Get a Life on Fri 17th Feb 2006 18:10 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: This has to be a joke"
Get a Life Member since:
2006-01-01

Microsoft was in fact found guilty of using anti-competitive behavior to maintain its monopoly on desktop operating systems. You can read U.S. v Microsoft. At no point was the suit dropped; the DoJ under Ashcroft simply didn't seek the same remedies the Reno DoJ had in mind.

The rest of your comment is equally stupid.

Reply Score: 3

RE[5]: This has to be a joke
by Get a Life on Fri 17th Feb 2006 16:56 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: This has to be a joke"
Get a Life Member since:
2006-01-01

Maybe you should read your own links sometime.

Reply Score: 3

RE[6]: This has to be a joke
by Moulinneuf on Fri 17th Feb 2006 17:56 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: This has to be a joke"
Moulinneuf Member since:
2005-07-06

I read and understand thank you.

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: This has to be a joke
by Tyr. on Fri 17th Feb 2006 17:13 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: This has to be a joke"
Tyr. Member since:
2005-07-06

From the article you linked to :

"Monopolistic competition
Main article: Monopolistic competition

Industries which are dominated by a single firm may allow the firm to act as a near-monopoly or "de facto monopoly", a practice known in economics as monopolistic competition. Common historical examples arguably include corporations such as Microsoft and Standard Oil (Standard's market share of refining was 64% in competition with over 100 other refiners at the time of the trial that resulted in the government-forced breakup). Practices which these entities may be accused of include dumping products below cost to harm competitors, creating tying arrangements between their products, and other practices regulated under antitrust law."

Somehow I don't think that was your point.

Reply Score: 5

RE[6]: This has to be a joke
by Moulinneuf on Fri 17th Feb 2006 18:05 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: This has to be a joke"
Moulinneuf Member since:
2005-07-06

"arguably include corporations such as Microsoft"

No actually , thats my point. There not a monopoly on Desktop OS but they act like one , because of there marketshare brute force. People think they have a monopoly on desktop OS , when they have a mopoly on being desktop default OS.

To be clear there not the only desktop OS around or in use. There the only one by default shipping by most manufacturer.

Reply Score: 1

RE[7]: This has to be a joke
by Get a Life on Fri 17th Feb 2006 18:15 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: This has to be a joke"
Get a Life Member since:
2006-01-01

Your weak attempts at exclusion simply exclude your own claims. Windows doesn't have exclusive distribution, either. Apple Computer sells these computers, which as you might know, don't run Windows. Then of course after Microsoft was found to be a monopoly and convicted of engaging in anti-competitive behavior to restrict OEMs (which ended up costing it lots of money in lawsuits that followed) OEMs would computers loaded with FreeDOS and Linux. You can't even remain consistent with yourself, while denying reality.

Reply Score: 2

Good thing that...
by Damien on Fri 17th Feb 2006 14:24 UTC
Damien
Member since:
2005-07-07

If the motherboard is upgraded or replaced for reasons other than a defect, then a new computer has been created and the license of new operating system software is required.
Its a good thing, then, that my mobo became defective right before I bought all these lovely new parts. Yeah, that's the ticket!

Damien

Reply Score: 2

do they define defect?
by zeos386sx on Fri 17th Feb 2006 14:29 UTC
zeos386sx
Member since:
2005-07-18

becuase im a klutz and i usually upgrade my motherboard after spilling something on it or hitting it with a hammer.

Reply Score: 1

But
by Get a Life on Fri 17th Feb 2006 14:46 UTC
Get a Life
Member since:
2006-01-01

As everyone knows, every restriction in an EULA is a morally-binding contract that if you violate even the slightest means that your computer is a piece of crap and you live in your mother's basement. Not buying a new license of Windows along with every new motherboard harms Microsoft's business model and is tantamount to robbery!

Reply Score: 5

Ha, Ha, Ha
by segedunum on Fri 17th Feb 2006 14:46 UTC
segedunum
Member since:
2005-07-06

I find it amusing to see Microsoft and all these other software companies desperately trying to make distinctions between clients and servers and hardware as things become more homogenous, and then trying to map those same physical distinctions into their software. Funny.

Reply Score: 3

Only mathers if you whant to be legal
by Moulinneuf on Fri 17th Feb 2006 15:05 UTC
Moulinneuf
Member since:
2005-07-06

This only mathers if you whant to be legal , otherwise there is more people who just dont care and use it illegally.

Also most people who upgrade motherboard from the OEM dont even know the detail of the service they ask , they just whant the computer to be fixed and to be told the price.

Its a bit like comparing car dealership and good corner store mechanics , the dealer will always sale you original parts from him , as the corner mechanics will sugest other option from other manufacturers.

Reply Score: 1

Who?
by JohanM on Fri 17th Feb 2006 15:10 UTC
JohanM
Member since:
2006-02-17

Come on, who is going to buy a 120 EUR Windows package with an 80 EUR motherboard. No-one I know!
Can anyone honestly say that they would consider this? I think not!
I don't understand why Microsoft would want this. They have their monopoly, so why come up with this childish rule?
Instead of convincing me to use Window$, this is chasing me even further away.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Who? Yoo-hoo!
by glarepate on Sat 18th Feb 2006 01:39 UTC in reply to "Who?"
glarepate Member since:
2006-01-04

Come on, who is going to buy a 120 EUR Windows package with an 80 EUR motherboard.

You don't understand how the MS tax works. Or used to work before MS got busted. Considering their compliance record they are prob'ly still doing it.

Hardware manufacturers who sell complete machines also charge a pro-rated fee for sub-assemblies such as mobos, DVD drives, hard discs, etc. They are required to do so by MS. Or at least they were. This change in the license after the fact is no doubt to make up for the loss of license fees by manufacturers that are no longer bound by the [illegal] agreement previously forced on them by MS.

My guess is they are still doing it in the EU since they only got busted for illegal bundling over there.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Who? Yoo-hoo!
by dru_satori on Wed 22nd Feb 2006 17:27 UTC in reply to "RE: Who? Yoo-hoo!"
dru_satori Member since:
2005-07-06

The issues are even deeper than that.

When you agree to a EULA ( legally binding or not, that's a different argument ) you are agreeing to the terms as laid out by the license. That means a couple of things, and I think it's worth noting that MS has some interesting options here.

First and foremost, the OEM licenses specifically tie that license to that machine. This is so specific, that in some instance, large corporations would buy computers that arrived with an OS which they would immediately wipe and utilize one of their 'per-seat' transferable licenses, disregarding the license that was part of the purchase price. What makes the above even more entertaining is that if the buyers that specified 'no OS installed' were still paying for a license of Windows until the US Anti-Trust case. This was because vendors like Dell got a major discount on Windows, provided that they paid Microsoft for a license on EVERY Windows compatable computer they sold, regardless of if it was installed or not.

The license on the over the counter retail box has different transfer rights, while the corporate license and the select licenses are still different again.

This isn't anything new, it's been true for as long as I can remember. IBM did this for years with it's big iron that transferred owners several times in it's normal lifespan, but each new owner of the hardware had to buy a new license for the Operating System.

That brings us to this specific instance in which Microsoft is saying doing nothing more than continuing the trend, in which they want a copy of Windows tied to every commercially sold CPU. They are contending that the Case, and perihperals are just decorations to the computer, which is the motherboard. This really isn't inconsistant with past practices, it's just more specific in it's wording. Ultimately it's about closing loopholes that cost them revenue. That's what happens when Lawyers and Accountants get involved in Software.

There is a TON of gray space surrounding the legalities of these practices, but they are established business practices that predate Microsoft, and as such are difficult to combat for the consumer. In all, it's just not a pretty situation, and very few vendors are innocent of this particular sham.

For what it's worth, I should mention that they did at least leave the 'defect' clause in there. That means when the time comes, you just need a spray bottle of water and a fire extinguisher, or a silk shirt and a finger to have a defect :-).

Reply Score: 1

Thank you for using Windows
by ma_d on Fri 17th Feb 2006 15:21 UTC
ma_d
Member since:
2005-06-29

We'd like you to know that we enjoy writing incredible programs for you. But unfortunately we've realized that it's very expensive to fund the cure for AID's in Africa and so we'd like you to pay for it everytime you buy something else too.
Now, of course, this copy you've just bought is actually not yours. In fact, you've signed away your soul when you started using it too; and we here at Microsoft appreciate your gift of your soul to us, but I'm afraid we're gonna have to ask you for another $130.

Just remember, those Apple folks pay $130 when they want to upgrade their computers with a new OS. Well, we here at Microsoft can't ship every year; so we figured we'd ask you to pay us when you upgrade the fine hardware made for our platform.

Just in case you thought you could sneak one by us, your name is [fill in your name here], you're 6' 3", and pretty ugly (You have a webcam).

Don't even think about that Linux thing either. It's only compatible with users who still have a soul, and well, we aren't gonna give it back; not even for all the tea in China!

Reply Score: 5

It;s Like Beer
by Sphinx on Fri 17th Feb 2006 15:30 UTC
Sphinx
Member since:
2005-07-09

You don't own it, you only rent it.

Reply Score: 2

RE: It;s Like Beer
by Tuishimi on Fri 17th Feb 2006 15:36 UTC in reply to "It;s Like Beer"
Tuishimi Member since:
2005-07-06

...Not quite. It's like BAD beer. ;) It's a can of Schlitz.

Reply Score: 2

What's the point...
by Tuishimi on Fri 17th Feb 2006 15:32 UTC
Tuishimi
Member since:
2005-07-06

...of buying a PC with OEM Windows on it, then? Better off just building your own super-PC right from the start. Wouldn't companies like Dell and Gateway be worried about this? Or will they pick up the cost of a new license if their motherboard blows up?

Reply Score: 1

RE: What's the point...
by Get a Life on Fri 17th Feb 2006 16:06 UTC in reply to "What's the point..."
Get a Life Member since:
2006-01-01

Why would Dell or Gateway care? They want you to buy entirely new computers from them, not gut the one you bought five years from them piece by piece, only to never do business with them ever again.

Reply Score: 1

RE: What's the point...
by NicodemusPrime on Fri 17th Feb 2006 17:46 UTC in reply to "What's the point..."
NicodemusPrime Member since:
2005-06-30

Most home builders (who actually buy a copy) use the OEM version, it's $100-$150 less than retail. OEM is just a disk and license agreement shrink wrapped together. Retail has a large box and manual (that is apparenly worth $100). Dell and Gateway users don't generally do much mobo swapping because of warranty concerns and are generally less tech inclined. This is directly aimed at hobby builders who overwhelmingly purchase the OEM version and are the most likely users to upgrade often.

Reply Score: 1

EULA Ammendments
by randy7376 on Fri 17th Feb 2006 15:55 UTC
randy7376
Member since:
2005-08-08

This is one of the fundamental problems with Microsoft software: EULA ammendments.

Are they ammending the EULA during an update or patch from the windowsupdate.com website making it something you have unknowingly agreed to? With Microsoft, something you agreed to initially may get changed at a later time.

Most folks using Microsoft's website or Automatic Updates are not going to read EULA, again, assuming they even read it in the first place.

Sure sounds like an unfair business practice.

As for me, I'm going to pass the word along to the folks I know that are currently running Windows.

Reply Score: 5

RE: EULA Ammendments
by RenatoRam on Fri 17th Feb 2006 16:21 UTC in reply to "EULA Ammendments"
RenatoRam Member since:
2005-11-14

Sound like pretty illegal business practice to me.

Try changing unilaterally the conditions of a contract in any other business, and see how long you will last.

Hell, in italy even banks (which tend to change terms and conditions unilaterally because are powerful) are bound to let you know officially, and you have one month to recede from the contract with no expenses, if you do not agree.

Reply Score: 4

A-Holes
by Smartpatrol on Fri 17th Feb 2006 16:22 UTC
Smartpatrol
Member since:
2005-07-06

I wouldn't be pissed about this if their OS were a resonable price. You think for a second i am going to invest another $200 into another copy of the exact same OS i bought previously for $200? Its like if i upgraded my CD player and had to buy copies of the same music over again. And they wonder why their software is pirated so damn much! Reduce the price to $100 and add some value to buying another copy and i might consider it.

Reply Score: 2

Expect More of this in the future
by viator on Fri 17th Feb 2006 16:54 UTC
viator
Member since:
2005-10-11

Microsoft will become more and more strict on whact constitutes a new pc and hopefully alot more strict on detecting pirated copies of their os. People will just get sick of their bs and use an alternative......hopefully linux

Reply Score: 3

Chreo Member since:
2005-07-06

...and use an alternative......hopefully linux

Hopefully not. Sure Linux is nice enough, but what we DON'T NEED is a new monopoly, even an open source one. We need many viable choices because that makes sure that standards will be created for open implementations and that makes sure that we will always have choices. Choice means freedom and good. Linux monopoly = no choice => no freedom and is just as bad as a Windows monopoly or Mac OS monopoly, just slightly cheaper.

Reply Score: 2

well..
by joesnow on Fri 17th Feb 2006 18:54 UTC
joesnow
Member since:
2006-02-09

if ya don't like it so much, you DO have a choice of other perfectly well working OS's that DO run MS software. www.codeweavers.com www.transgaming.com www.winehq.com

Besides, this only applies to people who didn't format their system when they bought a new PC anyway, typically Home Edition users, but either way, if you're using your systems for something serious enough for it to matter, you'll have either an enterprise license or some form of non-OEM version installed anyway, pirated or legit.

Reply Score: 1

Demise Of The Empire
by hraq on Fri 17th Feb 2006 18:58 UTC
hraq
Member since:
2005-07-06

When Empires are about to perish, they start to do illegal and unlogical things to even their people, much like Microsoft is doing these days. Licenses must be used by Governments not companies, like the license to drive, the license to practice medicine and yes the governmnet can change its license requirement or practices but Microsoft is selling a product thus it must not be a license and if Microsft doesn't agree to sell it as a product then it's acting like a government. US laws fOR SOFTWARE must be totally revised, because these laws are immature, not like our civil liberty rights which is hundereds of years old mature and agreed upon.

Reply Score: 1

I can't believe this
by microFawad on Fri 17th Feb 2006 18:58 UTC
microFawad
Member since:
2005-12-09

If they want money, just say directly instead of saying that changing a motherboard requires a new license. Huh... These folks don't even spare there customers. We have to buy X times the lisence if we change our MainBoard for X number of times. Hahaha what a beautiful joke.

Reply Score: 1

Monopolist, monopolistic power
by rajan r on Fri 17th Feb 2006 19:05 UTC
rajan r
Member since:
2005-07-27

RenatoRam: "Try changing unilaterally the conditions of a contract in any other business, and see how long you will last" - word it like all EULAs do - quite some time, actually. There's nothing illegal in placing in the contract a provision allowing a party to change the contract - even without their consent! Why don't other businesses do that? Different things they're selling; most businesses sell tangible goods and services, software corps sell licenses.

Celerate: "Gotta love companies who engineer everything so they can screw you over, when does MS change the license to something like..."

And Microsoft would notice that most of their enterprise clients finding switching to Linux cheaper than sticking with Microsoft (nobody is holding a gun to people forcing them to use Windows - it is just cheaper and more convinient to do so; licenses may be more expensive, but support, training, application support, etc. is cheaper most of the time). Notice whenever Microsoft changes the wording of the EULA, they prompt you to accept or decline.

rcsteiner: "Apple Mac OS X was originally developed in isolation on a completely different hardware platform."

Rhapsody was actually initially developed on x86; PPC Macs for the most part use the same hardware as x86s with different firmware and software. Judge Jackson just arbitrarily separated Apple into a different market, though not even Apple themselve consider it a different and separate market.

"That fact protected it from Microsoft's major attacks (preloads and exclusive deals with hardware makers), and enabled it to survive to the present day."

And other companies can't do this because...? Apple survived, but they very well could thrive if they altered their business plan early in the game. They wanted to sell Macs, not software and they reap their reward: >5% market shares. But Apple's shift to Intel cuts Judge Jackson's reasoning on this point - that Apple is in a distinct market because they are using a different processor type.

"OS/2 was developed on x86 by what was then the largest software company in the world (IBM), but not even IBM could sustain its presence in the market."

That was because how IBM treated other OEMs. Microsoft offered IBM's competitors a sweeter deal to OS/2, Microsoft won. Most of the compensation Microsoft made to IBM was because they ditch their contractual matrimony with IBM - think of it as a divorce. If IBM weren't shortsighted on how they deal with clones, they would be minting billions.

"Linux and BSD were mainly developed competely outside of the commercial software marketplace. As noncommercial software development, they are largely immune from the effects of market forces."

Red Hat is a profitable commercial entity, as with Novell, Mandriva, etc. Minus off the contribution of commercially-sponsored code in most open source projects vital to most Linux distributions, including Linux kernel itself, you wouldn't be left with much.

How is it that Red Hat survives and thrives till this day even though it is going after Windows' core and most profitable sector: the enterprise? Competition's competition - though matter how successful or effective they are.

Get a Life: Apt nick, ought to follow it yourself sometimes. There is a vast difference between "monopoly" and "monopolistic power". The prior means single seller (by comparison, monopsony means single buyer). The latter means it is seen to have market powers akin to a monopoly - and it is defined by competition law.

And if you actually took time to read the actual Acts you would see their definitions of what constitutes monopolistic powers is extremely vague - a judge with no commercial experience, particularly in this particular market, is required to make almost purely personal judgements rather than applying interpretted law (Microsoft is the first software-related antitrust case, most precedents don't apply).

Microsoft controls no market - the law only think it does. Point to case: Internet Explorer. Its market share has dropped significantly to the high 80's - yet according to the decision, Microsoft illegally expend their monopolistic powers to a new market. Afterall, doesn't Dell ship certain computers with FreeDOS and Linux instead?

I'm hope you are matured enough to consider that 1) the American legal system, especially when it comes to commercial law, isn't a shining example, and that the entire EU system itself isn't all that much better, 2) what the law says isn't what's right and most importantly, 3) how the law can be interpreted can vary *greatly*.

Moulinneuf: You can buy desktop computers without Windows preinstalled. Take Apple for one, a very prominent example.

Reply Score: 1

Moulinneuf Member since:
2005-07-06

"You can buy desktop computers without Windows preinstalled. Take Apple for one, a very prominent example."

Yes , I know , I spoke of Default OS ;-).

Reply Score: 1

RE: Monopolist, monopolistic power
by RenatoRam on Fri 17th Feb 2006 21:16 UTC in reply to "Monopolist, monopolistic power"
RenatoRam Member since:
2005-11-14

"There's nothing illegal in placing in the contract a provision allowing a party to change the contract - even without their consent"

There's nothing illegal _in the USA_

In countries where the law was not completely written by corporation lobbysts it ain't so. As I said, changes in italy have to be communicated officially to the other party, which has the option of terminating the contract on the spot.

Reply Score: 1

Dinble Member since:
2006-02-18

"There's nothing illegal in placing in the contract a provision allowing a party to change the contract - even without their consent"

In US Civil Court, a contract must benefit both parties. If it does not, it is not considered a valid contract. The same goes for any changes to an existing (already signed/agreed to) contract. Otherwise, it doesn't hold up in Civil Court.

However, in this case, it may simple be considered a clarification. This is also a bit tricky. In a Civil case, anything that isn't clear is supposed to go against the party that drafted the contract (MS). For some reason that doesn't hold up as well as it should.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Monopolist, monopolistic power
by rattaro on Sun 19th Feb 2006 07:30 UTC in reply to "Monopolist, monopolistic power"
rattaro Member since:
2005-08-22

>There is a vast difference between "monopoly" and "monopolistic power". The prior means single seller (by comparison, monopsony means single buyer). The latter means it is seen to have market powers akin to a monopoly - and it is defined by competition law.

I don't really agree with you here. "Monopoly" is a theoretical idea. In reality, true monopolies cannot really exist, any more than a perfect circle can exist. "Monopolistic power" is the closest you can get to it in real life, and that's what free societies, in theory, hope to avoid. When people refer to "monopolies," they are ALWAYS referring to companies with "monopolistic power."

Reply Score: 1

flav2000
Member since:
2006-02-08

I think this particular type of change only have to do with restoration CDs from OEM licensees like DELL or Gateway.

The things is, the restoration CDs that come with a pre-packaged PC doesn't require activation - it is locked down according to the system configuration (mainly the motherboard). It won't install without a close enough set of hardware.

So, what that means is that, if I have one of those PCs and I replace it with a new one (without the old one being defective), I could essentially put the previous working motherboard elsewhere and have the restoration CD work its magic with that board ALSO without getting a new license (no activation required).

I think it's for that reason Microsoft is revising the license to say that the OEM license is only transferrable if the original motherboard is DEFECTIVE.

So I think from this perspective it is reasonable. (And probably why some people at earlier post mentions that their OEM Windows CD (not restoration) works without problems.

Reply Score: 1

Strange....
by kaiwai on Fri 17th Feb 2006 23:50 UTC
kaiwai
Member since:
2005-07-06

How is this different? Hasn't this always been the case? the last time I remember, you could not transfer an OEM copy from one machine to another as it was welded, after the first activation, to that particular computer.

When inquiring to Microsoft about this (occured around a year and a half ago), that was the official position back then - thats unless it was only the position of Microsoft New Zealand at that point.

Reply Score: 1