[ubuntu-uk] Dad's Computer - for want of a better subject

Gordon Burgess-Parker gbplinux at gmail.com
Thu Jun 23 11:03:39 UTC 2011

On 22/06/2011 18:07, Rob Beard wrote:
> This is a blog post about what Microsoft class as the machine nowadays...
> "4.1 We grant you a nonexclusive right to distribute an individual 
> software license only with a fully assembled computer system. A "fully 
> assembled computer system" means a computer system consisting of at 
> least a central processing unit, a motherboard, a hard drive, a power 
> supply, and a case."
> You will notice the loophole that people have been exploiting (the 
> former language which stated that an OEM desktop Operating System 
> license could be sold with "non-peripheral hardware,") is no longer in 
> place. It is now very simple and straightforward: an OEM license must 
> be sold "only with a fully assembled computer system." Loophole closed.
> http://blogs.msdn.com/b/mssmallbiz/archive/2005/09/07/461950.aspx
> Seems pretty strict, last I heard it was tied to the motherboard and 
> case.
This is a huge grey area that MS consistently refuses to clarify.
In the first instance, the End User Licence Agreement (EULA) that the 
End User agrees to makes NO MENTION of the OEM version of Windows being 
tied to the motherboard.
The agreement which DOES say this is the OEM builder's Licence 
Agreement, which of course the End User does NOT see and does NOT agree to.
In the second instance, OEM support is provided by the OEM Vendor and so 
if the motherboard dies and the same version of motherboard is available 
and is used as a replacement, then the licence is still valid. If the 
same version of motherboard is NOT available, then according to the 
SUPPORT agreement between the OEM Vendor and MS, the OEM Vendor is at 
liberty to replace the motherboard with a suitable substitute. Again if 
it's an OEM Vendor-replacement motherboard. then the licence should 
still be valid.
For me it all hinges on the fact that the End User does NOT either see 
or agree to this OEM Builder's licence.
So you get the situation where people try to replace (upgrade) a 
motherboard and are told " no you can't because of this SECRET agreement 
that you have neither seen nor agreed to."
If only MS would put a definite statement in the EULA than all this 
would be clear.

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