Picked this up from Aviran’s Place.
An upgrade of the motherboard is considered to result in a “œnew 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.
It further reasons:
Microsoft needed to have one base component “œleft standing” that would still define that original PC. Since the motherboard contains the CPU and is the “œheart and soul” of the PC, when the motherboard is replaced (for reasons other than defect) a new PC is essentially created.
I think this kind of reasoning will encourage rather than discourage piracy and/or resort to open source software. In my opinion, the “heart and soul” (should it have one) of a computer is the data/information stored therein. The CPU is merely a tool by which this data/information is processed.
Also, taking this argument to the extreme, any upgrade one makes with the processor itself (not the motherboard, though this may be far-fetched) will require a new license.
Bring on Linux, in all its flavors and all free open source software!