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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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 :-).

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