Microsoft’s Windows licensing, commonly referred to as the EULA, End User License Agreement , is a contention for debate in which the arguments are based on perception of what the license actually states. Written in legalese I would suspect that the United States Supreme Court would end up in a 5-4 decision on what it REALLY means.

What brought this once again to my attention, was a post in one of the forums in which the following question was asked. “Can I use The Original Dell License If I Swap Out Motherboards On A Dell System?” I’ll cover the highlights:

  • Questioner has been given a Dell system with Windows License number affixed to case.
  • He has a white box case with a compatible motherboard.
  • He is going to swap all Parts from the Dell case – to white box case. i.e. cpu, ram, hard disk, CD, floppy drive[s].

In reading the post, the answers were split just about 50 – 50 between he could and he could not. This is fairly typical when a question about a EULA comes up and arguments usually erupt. But in this case it is fairly clear. The answer is NO!

Why? Because we are dealing with OEM software and not Retail software purchased by the user. Windows was preinstalled by Dell from the factory and thus is OEM. [See the link above from Micheal Steven’s Site]

The exception here is “If the motherboard is replaced, the computer system is deemed “new” and a new license would be required.”

My point. Every situation in which a EULA is being applied, is different. And each situation must be examined separately. And I am no expert when it comes to these discussions since I usually do a Google for a correct interpretation by those who have studied this subject. Why? Because after reading many EULA’s I still can’t figure out what the lawyers are saying, or in most cases, not saying! 🙂

[tags]microsoft, windows license, EULA, simplified, interpretation, [/tags]