Originally Posted by HotStuff2
Per the NDA with Microsoft, the OEM *cannot* modify any of the core OS files, for any reason whatsoever, except to include the OEMs support info. The boot image is NOT allowed to be modified by the OEM. NO part of the OS is, except for the OEM contact and support info, backgrounds, etc. Again, if you have a CD that is, I will pay good money for it. I am dead serious on this.
ok, i think you are confusing some things, so here it is straight from microsoft's website regarding system lock pre-installation which is allowable and which is why some OEM cd's will not work on a different system:
"Product Activation and new pre-loaded PCs
The majority of customers acquire Windows with the purchase of a new computer, and most new computers pre-loaded with Windows XP will not require activation at all. Microsoft provides OEMs with the ability to "pre-activate" Windows XP in the factory and estimates that upwards of 80% of all new PCs will be delivered to the customer pre-activated.
"Pre-activation" of Windows XP by the OEMs will be done in one of two different ways depending on the OEM's own configuration options and choices. Some OEMs may protect Windows XP using a mechanism which locks the installation to OEM-specified BIOS information in the PC. This technology works very similar to existing technologies that many OEMs have used over the years with the CDs they ship to reinstall Windows on these computers. We expanded and integrated the existing OEM CD BIOS locking mechanism with product activation, and call this method of protection "System Locked Pre-installation," or SLP.
Successfully implemented, SLP uses information stored in an OEM PC's BIOS to protect the installation from casual piracy. No communication by the end customer to Microsoft is required and no hardware hash is created or necessary. At boot, Windows XP compares the PC's BIOS to the SLP information. If it matches, no activation is required.
Every single piece of hardware could be changed on a PC with SLP and no reactivation would be required — even the motherboard could be replaced as long as the replacement motherboard was original equipment manufactured by the OEM and retained the proper BIOS. In the unlikely scenario that the BIOS information does not match, the PC would need to be activated within 30 days by contacting the Microsoft activation center via the Internet or telephone call — just as in a retail scenario.
OEMs may also activate Windows XP by contacting Microsoft in the same way the consumer would activate. Activation done in this way is the same as activating a retail boxed version of Windows XP. This is discussed in more detail further below.
For OEMs who do not employ either of the above two methods of pre-activation, a new PC acquired with Windows XP preinstalled must be activated by the customer. This activation is completed in the exact same way as would someone who acquired Windows XP by purchasing a boxed version at a retailer."
The change in NDA that you mentioned, you know more about it than i, would prevent oem's from pre-activating, but nothing regarding SLP