Windows legality question

  Totally-braindead 16:21 29 May 2004

I have seen a Laptop on Ebay that I am considering buying and it has Win98 on it as well as the relevant motherboard drivers. Now there are no disks included with it and it says "windows 98 is installed for evaluation purposes only to allow you to ascertain the system is working properly, you are expected to delete windows and install your own operating system". Now I wonder is this a legal loophole or is this person breaking the law, or would I be the one breaking the law if I bought this and didn't then blank it. I'm fairly certain that I would be breaking the law if I didn't blank it but I'm unsure about the person selling the Laptop. I would say that because its under copyright you would not be allowed to install it at all, whether its just to prove the computer is working or to sell the system with an Operating System. Incidentely I have my old full copy of Win 98 so there isn't really an issue with me blanking it and I'm now on XP anyway on my main PC. Any thoughts please from the learned Forum.

  Djohn 18:04 29 May 2004

Strictly speaking the O/S should be removed from the PC before the sale unless the disk are also supplied.

Many people though including small retail builders will install an O/S so that they can test the system themselves and leave it on for you to see all is working correct when you first receive the machine.

You will need the disk for some installations of peripheral hardware and to re-install corrupt drivers/files unless the i386 folder has been copied to the drive so although left on the machine it will not be of much benefit.

So I suppose the answer is legally no but I don't think Microsoft are going to jump on anyone doing this for the sole purpose mentioned above. If the disk has been imaged to a partition of the drive then this will be a different matter altogether.

  Totally-braindead 12:17 30 May 2004

Thanks for that Djohn, your opinion and mine are the same its probably illegal. I think I'll see if anyone else has an opinion.

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