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back to article Dell begs gamers for forgiveness with free boards

In "the very near future," an army of Dell technicians will descend upon customers who last year purchased the Dell XPS 700 gaming rig. Their mission will be to upgrade the XPS 700 systems for free with a new XPS gaming motherboard and to offer customers the choice of an even better future motherboard with a quad-core chip at a …

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Anonymous Coward

Three months late and full of errors

The Dell blog entry this is based on was posted on March 9th almost three months ago.

There's only one motherboard being offered to upgrade to, the choice XPS700 owners will have is whether to purchase a quad core CPU at 25% off Dell's pricing (unlikely to be a bargain).

I don't remember any forum members complaining about lack of support for Intel virtualization technology, it's not like it has much relevance to the PC gaming market.

Dell quickly pulled the BIOS update as it was rendering some machines unbootable.

There are still unresolved issue with the machine e.g. X-FI Screech of Death, that Dell has not made any progress resolving

While I give Dell credit for stepping up with this program, it took 9 months of sustained effort from the forum users for it to occur, it wasn't volunteered by Dell, it was dragged out of them, kicking and screaming every step of the way.

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Anonymous Coward

They finally figured it out!

They have figured out one part of the equasion - bad customer services gets noticed and WILL affect word of mouth, wich reaches much futher than those easily ignored flashy adverts.

Which brings me to the next - price and options:

I have wanted to purchase a new PC for a while, and my previous Dell 4550 served me well, but there is always something to stop me:

-I either have to pay well above the market price for upgrades (you basically pay the full RRP for the upgraded item with no credit for the item being swapped out),

-Or my choice is limited to whatever they can make the most markup on (which is never the good stiff) Nvidia 7900GS on the 9200... PLEASE

Nobody spends £1500+ on a decent machine and will accept this is the only card you can supply..

Good Customer Support + Realistic pricing for wide range of options = maybe Dell will be successfull again

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Freudian slip?

"...will fix the reaming problems with a new BIOS update..."

Hmmm, well, I suppose it depends on the circles you move in, but reaming is not always considered a problem. In cases where it is, I must say that this is the first I've heard of it being fixed with an upgrade to the onboard thought-control BIOS... still, that's why we come to El Reg - for the scoop on such ground-breaking technology. Keep it up!

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Dell motherboard upgrade in breach of MS OEM license?

Microsoft last year changed their OEM windows licences to exclude upgrading of motherboards on the grounds that a new m/board equals a new computer. So, either the Dell upgrades will require the purchase of a new Windows License by the customer, or Microsoft will have to change its licencing policy.

To quote Microsoft:

“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.”

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RE: MS OEM License breach

I believe that this only applies to the system builder licenses. The OEM copies sold by Dell will work just fine and legally so with the new mainboard, as it is a 'replacement part' for an existing machine, also provided by the OEM, therefore not breaching the license whatsoever.

If I'm wrong, let me know, but...

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Anonymous Coward

Dell late? Never!

I'm working on a Dell product with a ship date of Aug 1. Ain't gonna happen. Of course they could ship a minimal version and then offer the upgrades at a later date. Which isn't just Dell, but the whole computer industry. It's just that Dell is a leader.

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Silver badge

Err, Tim, Reread your post

From the bottom of your post Tim:

"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.”

Sounds like a defect to me. Therefore, its covered by the license.

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MS OEM License breach

"I believe that this only applies to the system builder licenses. The OEM copies sold by Dell will work just fine and legally so with the new mainboard, as it is a 'replacement part' for an existing machine, also provided by the OEM, therefore not breaching the license whatsoever.

If I'm wrong, let me know, but..."

The system builder licenses are OEM licenses. The fact that the OS may work fine does not mean it has not breached the licensing conditions.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: MS OEM License breach

Dell's OEM license is WAY different than "our" OEM licenses. Tier-1's (and certain tier-2's) will often negotiate their own license agreements with Microsoft. These "custom" license agreements result in Dell-only COAs that work only with Dell-only disks and only on Dell PCs with Dell BIOS. The OEM license is a contract governing the behavior of the manufacturer (which actually doesn't even EXIST when you buy an "OEM" copy off Newegg or whatever beyond "Don't pirate this!") whereas the EULA governs the behavior of the End User. Why is this? Because the common-distribution OEM copies are actually sold DIRECTLY to whomever Microsoft considers the end-user. The license is in turn TRANSFERRED when the computer is sold.

Therefore, if it appears in the EULA (which the "upgrade" terminology does), that doesn't always mean that the manufacturer can't do it in accordance with their own license. You, as an end user, cannot, however.

Also, even if this is in violation of their license, Dell can easily afford to eat the pittance they pay for a Windows license ESPECIALLY if they're eating a substantial part of the hardware cost as they are in this case.

This is no different than Dell giving away a couple hundred computers to charities. It's free advertising. The difference here is that the people are way more vocal about their brand loyalties, and you get an INFINITELY better return than you would to a charity.

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