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Microsoft adjusts its policy for user with Vista upgrade CDs

Microsoft is changing a long-standing tradition when it comes to upgrading from a previous version of Windows to Windows Vista. When using an upgrade CD, popping in a previous version disc during setup will no longer satisfy the people in Redmond.

For example, when performing a clean install of Windows XP Professional using an upgrade CD, users would run through the normal setup routine until prompted to insert a previous version of Windows. A user could pop in a Windows 98 or Windows 2000 CD for upgrade compliance and then the setup routine would move along as usual.

Microsoft has cut out this process for Windows Vista and forces users who buy an upgrade CD to actually have a valid install of Windows XP Home or Professional on their machines before upgrading.

For most users, this wouldn't be a problem. They more than likely have an existing copy of Windows XP installed and would have no problems upgrading to Windows Vista with an upgrade CD.

But for do-it-yourselfers who buy a Vista upgrade CD and think that they can easily perform a clean install whenever they feel free are going to run into the road block. In this case, the road block means that users wanting to perform a clean install with a Vista upgrade CD will have to:

1) Install a genuine copy of Windows XP Home/Professional
2) Activate Windows XP through Microsoft
3) Upgrade to Windows Vista from within Windows XP

So if you plan on saving money by using a Vista upgrade CD instead of purchasing a full copy, be aware that you’re have a few extra steps involved before booting to the Vista desktop for the first time. If you don’t want to deal with the hassle, you’re going to have to pony up for a full copy of Vista.

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RE: OEM cheaper than upgrade?
By livelouddiefast on 1/28/2007 2:08:46 PM , Rating: 2
maybe i'm missing your point, but you certainly can install oem stuff and then move it around. I've gone through 3 different motherboards, 4 processors, 4 videocards with my xp oem cd. So long as there is only one copy of it.

I'm not sure what their policy is for the retail version, but i know no support is included with the oem software

RE: OEM cheaper than upgrade?
By kamel5547 on 1/28/2007 5:31:25 PM , Rating: 1
And that means you've been violating the license agreement...

RE: OEM cheaper than upgrade?
By SunAngel on 1/28/07, Rating: 0
RE: OEM cheaper than upgrade?
By Zandros on 1/28/2007 7:17:19 PM , Rating: 1
I think it's usually the motherboard.

RE: OEM cheaper than upgrade?
By tuteja1986 on 1/28/2007 7:39:19 PM , Rating: 2
My OEM is attached to the keyboard :)...

RE: OEM cheaper than upgrade?
By rykerabel on 1/29/2007 12:19:08 PM , Rating: 3
No, legally oem software is linked to the motherboard. Legally you can only move it to another motherboard if the first one breaks and even then you have to move it to the same make/model.

You can fudge this in practicality, but not legally. In the past, MS has stated they will not persue home users who violate the license with a "few extra" installs, but they may have since changed their minds (not that i've read yet).

RE: OEM cheaper than upgrade?
By dijuremo on 2/1/2007 11:46:52 AM , Rating: 2
So if the motherboard burns down, you should buy a new copy? I have replaced several defective DELL motherboards and DELL did not care to send a new OEM copy of windows with them. So then DELL is breaking the EULA, right?

RE: OEM cheaper than upgrade?
By Xenoid on 1/29/2007 1:54:16 AM , Rating: 2
I think downloading it violates the EULA too but try and see if I care.

RE: OEM cheaper than upgrade?
By Anonymous Freak on 1/29/2007 12:03:55 AM , Rating: 3
Not only does that officially violate the license agreement (as someone else said,) but with Vista, it won't let you. Period. In XP, if you performed an upgrade that was enough to warrant re-activation, you might have to have had to call MS to explain why you were re-activating, but they'd give you a new code. With Vista, you get one re-activation, that's it. (For different hardware. If it's the same hardware, like for a re-install, it will work. But you only get one 'major hardware change'.)

OEM: Locked to the hardware it was purchased with. This technically means that if you bought it with your CPU, you aren't allowed to upgrade the CPU, because the copy of Windows is legally licensed to THAT CPU. (So I'd buy it with the keyboard or mouse, or something you can leave plugged in, even if you aren't actively using anymore.) It also means that if you ever want tech support, you have to go to the OEM. Newegg does not provide any form of tech support (as in: helpdesk) for Windows. Dell does. HP does. Yeah, the average Anand/Dailytech reader doesn't need tech support, but it is still a limitation.

Retail: You can move it to a different PC. As often as you like. (Rumors stated that it was 'one move only', but MS clarified that.) If you want tech support, MS provides it.

Upgrade: Is linked to the prior copy of Windows. If your prior copy was an OEM copy, that means that this copy of Vista is now considered an OEM copy, with the same license restrictions. (Except MS provides tech support.) If your original copy of Windows was retail, then you have the same license restrictions as a retail copy of Windows. This means that if you use it to upgrade a Dell, you *HAVE* to keep this copy of Vista with *THIS* Dell. And even if you upgraded a Retail copy of XP, you still have to keep that retail copy. You can't go re-selling the old copy of XP.

By comparison, the other major retail-purchasable OS, Mac OS X, is always a retail copy. That means that once you install the new copy on your computer, if your prior copy was retail, you can legally re-sell it. (I have done so. I have a PowerBook that came with 10.2. This was an OEM copy. It is locked to this one PowerBook. I upgraded to 10.3. This copy of 10.3 is 'retail'. I could legally uninstall it from the PowerBook and put it on my eMac, if I felt like it. I then upgraded to 10.4. I can now legally re-sell my copy of 10.3, install it on an older machine, whatever. Had I been using 'upgrade' versions of Windows, I would not be able to. I would have to keep all of the copies, because they would all be locked to that original OEM copy.

So to go back, my sister has an old machine that originally ran Win 2000. She got it right AFTER XP's release, so it has moderately decent hardware. (I have upgraded the processor and GPU for her.) She bought an XP Upgrade. Now if she buys a Vista upgrade, she has to keep the original W2k, the XP Upgrade, *AND* the Vista upgrade, because they are licensed as a 'chain'. (Although I think it may be okay under Vista's license to count it as an upgrade from the original W2k, if we were to reformat it to that; but she still couldn't re-sell the copy of XP, because it is 'linked' to the original copy of W2k.)

RE: OEM cheaper than upgrade?
By Visual on 1/29/2007 4:54:47 AM , Rating: 1
might have to have had to call

come on, seriously?

RE: OEM cheaper than upgrade?
By OrSin on 1/29/2007 8:59:47 AM , Rating: 3
I stop reading as several wrong statements. OEM is not like to what hardware you got it with. It is linked to the motherboard of the last system you installed and actived it on in first 15 days. Thats huge difference. You can actually install in on 2 ystems and if you active them both in 15 days them both are active. This is not legal but it works. I have 6 machince in the test lab with the same key all actived and running. Now I not saying go out and do this, but remeber its the first system you put it on not the system you bought it with.

By Anonymous Freak on 1/29/2007 2:51:33 PM , Rating: 2
The technical aspect of activation links to a coded 'hash' of various hardware identifiers. Since the motherboard contains most of these pieces of hardware (chipset, NIC,) yes, it effectively means that the activation is linked to a motherboard.

But if you read the license terms (that's what I meant by 'linked', the license, not the software,) it says that it is linked to the piece of hardware that the OEM software was purchased with.

Again, my commentary is based on the legal aspects of the license, not on the technical aspects of activation. Vista, on the other hand, introduces some harder-to-defeat (theoretically, anyway,) activation issues on top of its more restrictive license issues.

RE: OEM cheaper than upgrade?
By glennpratt on 1/31/2007 5:57:59 PM , Rating: 2
Comparing this to OS X is just so much bull. There is no comparison.

Apple OS X is ONLY licensed to run on Apple labeled hardware, period. While every copy of OS X may very well be retail, every copy is also effectively an upgrade. Apple has a totally different business model then Microsoft, the comparison doesn't work.

RE: OEM cheaper than upgrade?
By encryptkeeper on 1/29/2007 9:36:02 AM , Rating: 2
Just so everyone knows, Microsoft is going to get REALLY stringent on reactivations for Vista. You can change everything but the motherboard, when you change that, Microsoft is claiming they won't reactivate Vista. Too bad. What you're saying is true, but only for XP. At least, this is what they claim.

RE: OEM cheaper than upgrade?
By rushfan2006 on 1/29/2007 4:44:19 PM , Rating: 2
I went ahead and researched this directly from Microsoft, since there is a lot of emotionally charged opinions floating around about this - I wanted to cut through that stuff and get the FACTS from the source this is what I found:

(Btw this information was based on Windows Vista Ultimate):


Of particular interest:


a. Software Other than Windows Anytime Upgrade. You may uninstall the software and install it on another device for your use. You may not do so to share this license between devices.

Seems to me they are saying you are good to upgrade your hardware as long as it is just ONE machine at any ONE given point of time and they don't want the practice of license sharing going on.

RE: OEM cheaper than upgrade?
By oTAL on 1/30/2007 1:16:44 PM , Rating: 2
From what I read MS included this in Vista Ultimate so make us, enthusiasts, a bunch of happy campers. I believe this may not apply to the other versions of Vista.
After the initial EULA was disclosed there were some discussions with unhappy beta-testers (many of those are enthusiasts) and MS gave-in. Kind of makes sense.... only a few people require a license that allows them to switch computer 10 times during the lifetime of the OS. Most (regular) people that bought a computer with XP are still happy with it.

RE: OEM cheaper than upgrade?
By lealwai on 2/1/2007 11:14:12 AM , Rating: 2
So, i'm kinda confused, can some1 clarify if the OEM version that's sold on say.. NewEgg be installed on more than one computer. i.e. Installing it one computer, buying a new system a year later, and transferring the license? The description on NewEgg states otherwise.

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