Today's "up yours" note to Microsoft

Even though I develop software on Microsoft's platform, I'm still astounded at some of the stupid things they do. Now they're saying that you can't use your Windows license on a new motherboard when you upgrade.

That's stupid. What moron in Redmond thinks this is OK? Since I bought Windows XP, I've had three motherboards. You know what happened to the old boards? They were banished to my closet, where they still sit. You mean to tell me that the software I paid for is now tied to that hardware?

What a joke.


  • This is only for the OEM version of Windows XP, which has always had more restrictions on licensing than the retail version.

  • And besides, all of those other motherboards were defective -- right? :)

  • Think of all the people who will buy Vista, and then a month in will realize: "i need bigger, badder hardware".... they're f_cked

  • No! This applies to OEM versions only. Why do you think OEM versions are so cheap? It's essentially because the OEM has "payed" the biggest part of the license. If you buy a normal retail license you can do whatever you please with your hardware.

  • What difference does it make if it's OEM? I'm looking at a $50 difference, and it's still too much.

  • The OEM version is meant... For OEMs... Not sure how to explain it other than that.

  • You're arguing a non-point. This is about the perceived value of what the software is, how it's used and how much it costs.

  • Well first off, you as a retail customer aren't even supposed to be able to buy any OEM edition of any Windows version. What's the big deal then?

    So what version of Windows XP are you running? If it's the OEM version, and I have a feeling that you don't sell computers for a living, then you have participated in, at best, a grey market transaction.

    The reason MS did this was simple: OEMs are illegally reusing keys for different machines. A business associate of mine has already been burnt by this - his key was reused somewhere, and he can no longer use Windows Update.

    Believe it or not, but a ton of piracy happens at the System Integrator/OEM level.

  • You have no concept of what the customer's time and money is worth. You're like the RIAA. You want to dictate the needs and use of your product. That's not the way it works. You make product that the consumer wants, not the other way around.

  • I had a comment, but apparently trackbacks aren't working on this site (it gives a ".Text application error"...)

  • foobar,

    People have an OEM version of XP IF they bought a PC from an OEM. Nothing grey market about that...

    So, let's say I buy a Dell, and paid for XP--so I now have an OEM version of XP. You saying it's cool that I cannot change the motherboard on the Dell and use the XP I bought legally?

    It seems to me that just as long as I do not install XP on two PCs and use both PCs simultaneously, I am just using the software I paid for already.

    Do you also think it's alright to buy music that can only be played on the device that you bought it for and not on any other device?

  • Well technically you didn't pay very much for the license. The OEM payed most of it through his license with MS.

    A lot of people have also gotten their OEM version with a small hardware purchase such as with a hard drive, and i've even heard of people buying OEM software with some IDE cables.

    The point is that since the OEM vendor is getting you a discount off the Windows license as long as your are buying it with some hardware, the OEM license is also restricted to that hardware. That's where a lot of "grey area" OEM purchases take place.

    This has nothing to do with dictating need, only use which is only fair since the OEM already paid a big part of the license for you. If you want to use the license on any hardware you want, just make sure you are paying for the license yourself.

  • Jeff, Microsoft does make product that you can use even when you upgrade your motherboard, it's call Windows XP, the retail version. If you do not like the restrictions on the OEM version do not buy it. It's that simple. Just like I do not buy CDs with copy protection, because they're not what I want.

  • elnino,

    you do realize that retail customers can actually purchase the OEM edition directly, without having to purchase a whole computer?

    Whoever said it was cool with me? I'm just trying to explain to Captain Jeff the difference between the different editions of Windows XP, which seems to be far above his abilities.

    Here's my first opinion about this restriction: It's stupid. I can understand why they're doing it, but it's still stupid. On the other hand, for the vast, vast majority of people who have the OEM edition, it's not going to make a shred of difference. They're buying a whole system, and when they buy another system, they're going to get one that has Windows XP pre-loaded again.


    Get a life. First off, comparing me to the RIAA is disingeneous at best. I don't even know why you're bitching about this. Why the hell don't you just buy the retail version of Windows XP then if you're so pissy about it?

    I don't even understand your whining about "perceived" value. What, is Windows XP too expensive for you? How much should it be? Seems like MS has made a bucketload of money from XP, so maybe the market has decided that it is a good value at a good price.

  • If you expect me to take you seriously when you post anonymously and resort to name calling, it's not going to happen. Get a life indeed.

  • Jeff - deep down, all posters here probably agree with your point. They're just disagreeing for the sake of it and are most likely the biggest users of piracy software around!

    In the meantime - check out PcLinuxOS...very nice, easy to install and use - Linux clone based on Mandrake. ;-)

    Install mono - and away you go.

  • You showed us Wim. I bought the retail version of WinXP (two actually) and I'm fine with it, I've upgraded my computers several times already. Unlike Jeff who bought the limited version cheaper and is now feeling hurt because he bought the wrong thing.

  • I didn't buy anything, nor do I feel hurt. Why are you making stupid assumptions?

  • I make them based on your post, it says: "Since I bought Windows XP". Either your post or your comment is not true (a lie in other words).

  • So now you're going to call me a liar? What the hell is wrong with some of you people?

    This is a blog, where people tend to talk in generalities. My copy IS a retail copy, but I'm illustrating a point.

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