I’ve asked this question on the Ubuntu Forums, hoping to get a better idea of licensing for Vista and maybe other versions of Windows. I’ve worked with plenty of Windows machines in the past and I have a rudimentary understanding of the EULAs, but I reversed the question yesterday and posed it to myself and I haven’t got an answer.
In short, let’s suppose you buy a preassembled desktop computer with Vista preinstalled (I’ll go with Vista, since it’s the newest and most pertinent; I suppose the answer could be different for other versions). As with other Windows releases, there’s (probably) a sticker on the outside of the case, with your serial number assigned to the machine.
Now let’s suppose you don’t like the case, and you want to put the entire machine, as it is, into a different case.
Are you beholden to keep that original case, since it has the serial physically attached? Or can you, for instance, sell it on ebay?
In essence, is the serial number assigned to the motherboard, the hard drive, the case or what? Which component satisfies the license, and why? And if it’s not the case, are you supposed to peel the sticker off and put it on the power supply? (Okay, I’m being facetious, but the question is an honest one.)
Perhaps I’ve been using Linux too long. Or perhaps it’s just been too long since I accepted the EULA, and I need to brush up. But I’m having trouble rationalizing this one to my own satisfaction.