[LINK] Microsoft: the environmantalist
gdt at gdt.id.au
Mon Dec 1 01:48:41 EST 2008
Carl Makin wrote:
> On 29/11/2008, at 2:31 PM, David Boxall wrote:
>> PUNTERS ARE APPARENTLY scrambling to get their hands on used, second
>> hand PCs, not just because they offer a cheap fix in tough economic
>> times, but mainly because they come loaded with Windows XP rather than
> Then they are probably doing so illegally. Last time I looked when
> you purchased a PC or a boxed copy of windows you were only granted a
> non-transferrable license. If you sell your PC then the purchaser is
> expected to purchase their own copy of windows.
There are different licensing schemes and the details vary considerably
over time, so the answer depends on the when and how the PC was purchased.
For home PCs the short answer is that the license which shipped with the
computer when it was originally built is transferable to a new owner, as
are any upgrades.
For enterprise PCs it's a mess. There's the license on the original computer.
But until recently that would be Windows ME and the customer would use their
Select license purchase agreement to upgrade the OS to Windows Xp. So when
on-sold the computer needs to be downgraded to Windows ME. More recent
computers shipped with Xp and wouldn't need to be altered. Very recent computers
which shipped with a Vista license but were downgraded to Xp to allow for
an enterprise-wide single OS would need to be reinstalled with Vista.
Re-installing the operating system is difficult as installation CDs are
no longer shipped with most PCs. There's a "recovery partition" with
important parts of the OS and if that fails (as it will, when asked to
undo an OS upgrade) reinstallation is a $60 service call.
Determining the status of licensing is difficult and the related costs is
a reason why many corporates dispose of computers rather than donating them.
You can see why Linux is attractive to people dealing with second-hand computers.
For charities handling second-hand PCs for re-issue Microsoft has introduced a
scheme to allow OS installation for a small license fee. There's no equivalent
for non-charity second-hand dealers.
These aren't trivial matters. Re-licensing software is a significant
Acquisitions and Mergers cost, a windfall to the software provider.
At least Microsoft have some sense. Cisco Systems requires the full
payment of a new license on transfer of ownership *and* requires the
transfer to be approved by the manufacturer.
Glen Turner <http://www.gdt.id.au/~gdt/>
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