Clarification on support for preinstalled OS

  Ellen G 15:42 10 May 2004

For those like me, who find that they have to pay for customer support when pre-loaded software like XP doesn't quite do what you expect, even on set-up, here is info provided to me by Microsoft.

9. END-USER SUPPORT The System Builder who installs the software must provide end-user support on terms at least as favorable as the terms under which the System Builder provides end-user support for any fully assembled computer system. The System Builder providing the support must place its support phone number conspicuously in the fully assembled computer system help files or end-user documentation materials.

In other words, the system builder must offer the same sort on the software as they would on the hardware.


IBM officially offer 30 day free support after registration, allegedly, but in practice, they did not offer it to me. Twice. The details are on the computer, which means that when you pay for their warranty, you probably don't know that it only covers hardware until you need help, can't get it, and find details of the restrictions on the computer.

Perhaps the people I talked to were not aware that they were not honouring their own company's policy. Perhaps all their colleagues are much more informed and helpful.

With grateful thanks to Microsoft for their sympathy and explanations. And offer of a free consult.

Moral of the story: Before you buy, ask what kind of free technical support for OS will be provided and from whom. If in doubt, ask for documentation. From my perspective, IBM seem a little confused at the moment.

  temp003 15:53 10 May 2004

Thanks for the info.

I've always thought that MS should clarify, and make it more public, the limitations of an OEM version of Windows, including level of support, and if possible, impose more stringent terms on the OEM manufacturer.

Other things which the public should know include the fact that the OEM Windows is tied to the single machine on which it is installed (so that you can't legally install Windows on another machine even if you decide to ditch the old machine).

The other thing is that the OEM manufacturer may or may not provide the end user with a full Windows installation CD. Some provide it, some do not, and some provide it only with extra payment, and some provide a Recovery CD which restores factory settings only, meaning losing all data. The lack of a Windows CD is terrible when it comes to repair.

It would be far better if these things are standardised (as far as possible) and publicised.

I have no quarrels with OEM Windows limitations themselves - as those Windows versions come cheaper - but the public should know what they are paying for and make an informed choice.

  woodchip 16:06 10 May 2004

Better still do not buy a Computer without full Software backup. I just bought a Medion computer full system less monitor preinstalled and configured. With Ful XP CD Full Works 7 Office Suit CD and Full NERO CDRW CD software and much more on a backup Partition that I have backed up onto CD my self, A Restore Disc that will work in one of three different ways to put the computer back just as when I bought it, this I have tried and it works.

First you can just run the restore disc and install just system start files if it will not start.

Next level of restore you can choose to restore system and driver files to get computer working. OR

therd you can do a full system restore that puts it all back as from shop, but you would lose your files if you did not do a backup at this level.


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