Of Motherboards and Windows Licenses

By Deane Barker on February 21, 2006

Microsoft: Upgraded Motherboard = New Windows Licence: Microsoft recently sent a memo to all their OEM partners explaining that the core essence of a computer was the motherboard, and if it was upgraded, then the entire machine is considered new, and a new Windows license must be purchased.

An upgrade of the motherboard is considered to result in a — new personal computer — to which Microsoft OEM operating system software cannot be transferred from another computer. If the motherboard is upgraded or replaced for reasons other than a defect, then a new computer has been created and the license of new operating system software is required.

Via MetaFilter.



  1. When I was messing with the BIOS settings (like Plug&Play OS –>Y/N) I had the windows license voided and I had to reathorize it online.

    If you cannot connect for anyreason your windows stops working… brilliant!!


  2. Well, that’s weird. I bought an OEM copy of Windows XP for a machine I built, and the EULA in it (which I read) said I could transfer the license.

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