Always Read the Fine Print
It seems that many techies out there are seething about Microsoft’s latest declaration regarding OEM (original equipment manufacturer) licenses. The company apparently requires users to purchase a new license for its operating systems every time they alter the internal mechanisms of their PCs.
Microsoft’s line of reasoning in this requirement is that the PC’s machinery is its “heart and soul,” and any time that’s changed, it results in a new computer, which therefore needs a new OS license. (Thank goodness small plants placed atop the machine don’t change the “heart and soul,” otherwise I’d need a new license myself.)
In spite of Microsoft’s claim that this has always been standard procedure for the company (and there’s really no reason to disbelieve them on that point), opinionated technology enthusiasts have taken to the Web to roundly criticize this policy in arguments that range from the reasonable to the profane. Rather than join in the fray for one side or the other, I would only counsel consumers to carefully read ALL the terms of a user agreement prior to purchasing a product.