The other day while browsing eBay for some more useless junk, I came upon a broken backplate of a Dell laptop. This was being sold for $4 or some trivial amount.
Upon closer examination, I found that there was the “certificate of authenticity” sticker with the product code still attached to the backplate. And the eBay listing title did say: “Dell Inspiron 2650 Bottom Case with XP Home Sticker”.
What this means is that to comply with the OEM requirements of the operating system license, the product key code for which is on the sticker’, the seller sells you the bottom part of the laptop case along with the sticker containing the product key. Because the broken case does qualify as an OEM part.
So if you have a copy of the software (XP Home in this instance), you can use the product key and get the installation activated.
This seems a good way to avoid spending money on buying a new product which is on its last days anyway since Microsoft has moved on from the XP series of Operating Systems.
I do not think ‘legally’ OEM licenses are transferable to other PCs. But tell that to a person with a broken laptop where he/she can still salvage the operating system.
Dear Ranjan Chari:
I have actually spoke to Microsoft on such issues as this once before. I lost the motherboard from my Dell desktop and transferred all the parts (HD, CD-ROM, etc.) to a new case with a new motherboard, called Microsoft and they’ll process the activation with minimal or no problems. If for some reason the key doesn’t allow activation, they will most likely re-issue a new key (which was done in my case).