Will OEM put an end to PC users building PC's?

  CurlyWhirly 12:41 04 Aug 2004

I have just read that finally when Microsoft release the 64 bit version of Windows (Longhorn) that it will be a OEM product only.
Surely this means that people who build their own PC's will NEVER be able to upgrade their operating system as it only comes pre-installed with new hardware?
They will have no option but to buy a NEW PC and then upgrade the components later on.
Do you think this is fair?
I understand the piracy arguement but surely this is unfair?
Any views anyone?

  ventanas 12:50 04 Aug 2004

At present you can buy an OEM version of XP with any of a number of qualifying items of hardware. eg hard drive, processor, memory, motherboard, even keyboard, mouse or IDE cable. As long as the computer needs it to run it qualifies. There is nothing to stop any home builder obtaining an OEM version of XP with any of these components.

The only restriction is that the computer cannot be sold on.

Did the article you read give any indication that this practice was being discontinued?

  CurlyWhirly 12:59 04 Aug 2004


The article was on 'The Enquirer' website and no mention was made of whether the practice that you were referring to was to be discontinued.
To be honest I didn't know that for example hard drive, memory, processor, motherboard or even a keyboard or mouse QUALIFIED as OEM?

You see when I built my PC (some while back) I bought virtually EVERYTHING that I needed from the SAME website so I thought that I couldn't be refused a copy of XP Pro!
Are you saying that when the time comes for me to build my new 64 bit system I could say just buy a hard drive or monitor and be able to buy a copy of Longhorn as an OEM product?
Thanks for your advice.

  CurlyWhirly 13:04 04 Aug 2004


p.s. I thought that OEM was either a brand new PC with the operating system already installed or in my case where you buy loads of hardware from the same place?
I didn't know that a SINGLE hardware item was OEM?

  ventanas 14:30 04 Aug 2004

Not a monitor. The exact wording is "qualify non-peripheral component."

In other words anything that the PC requires to work, either inside or outside the box. They won't work without keyboard or mouse, so these qualify. However they will boot up without a monitor.

Unless the rules change in the meantime, any single component will allow you to purchase an OEM copy of Windows.

Until recently your thoughts about complete systems would have been correct, but MS moved the goalposts, this time in our favour. Probably an "If you can't beat them" excercise. Actually they have recently moved them again. If you had OEM Windows and changed your motherboard, this severed the OEM licence. Now MS are saying that you have to change the "chassis" as well as the mobo to sever it. I assume chassis means the case.

  GANDALF <|:-)> 14:44 04 Aug 2004

I think the fact that you can buy a computer for the same price or cheaper than building one will have more bearing on this.


  ventanas 14:57 04 Aug 2004

True enough.

  oresome 19:10 04 Aug 2004

I doubt if it's ever been the case that people build their own computer to save money, unless they use pirated software.

  LastChip 21:44 04 Aug 2004

I've never known any software vendor yet to query whether you're entitled to OEM licences.

Most are only too pleased to sell the CD.

It may be unpalatable to some, but it's reality in most instances.

  CurlyWhirly 23:24 04 Aug 2004

Thanks to everyone for their advice about OEM.

  cga 17:23 05 Aug 2004

I am not too woried about genuine self build. I cannot see OEM being blocked for that.

I am far more worried about the application of the MS rules in respect of upgrades. On one of my (self build) systems I will probably upgrade the mobo because it uses expensive and difficult to obtain RAMBUS 1066. If I change my Mobo I will probably change a lot else (graphics Card, processor, maybe add a SATA disk etc.) at the same time. It will essentially be the same machine (same case holding the MS licence sticker) and a number of the same components.

I know that MS now allows mobo changes but it really should not be up to their generosity providing you are using the operating system on essentially the same machine.

The other silly one is - what if I want to change just the case (more drive bays, more fan outlets, quieter etc.) but leave all the components the same. In this case I am definately breaking the licence terms but there is no way that MS could know about this.

I understand they have a problem and sympathise but this does not seem a good state of affairs to me.

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