06-05-2007, 10:16 AM
I have a customer with a P1610 who accidentally ordered it with XP Pro but really wanted Tablet Edition. Fujitsu won’t take it back and apparently MS forces them to make a BIOS change that prevent upgrading to Tablet Edition.
Any ideas about what could be done?
Microsoft is controlling the distribution of Tablet XP closely. A "Tablet XP" install key is needed to activate that side of XP, and Microsoft is working steadily to upgrade the ability of the Windows Genuine Advantage tool to verify compliance. I expect they will catch up to most if not all of the hacks.
So, you're likely to have a dis-satisfied customer with any hack solutions in time, as they'll be in legal trouble with Microsoft, which has the desire and resources to be hard on people.
Tablet XP is available to subscribers to the Developer programs, but again, probably will be caught out by the WGA tool in time - as distributing it to customers is an illegal use.
You could find a trashed tablet on ebay perhaps for a price you like, and the key might not be associated with the OEM machine (I don't know if that's so - if it's the same model, and if you receive the useless hardware, too, you're very likely safe, from my reading of the license - IANAL).
The customer could sell the machine, and buy what they wanted in the first place, and chalk the loss up to learning to read - caveat emptor.
The customer probably doesn't want to switch to another OS, although I'll mention it, as I have Ubuntu Linux running on my Stylistics.
If you hack Tablet XP onto your own system, your liability is probably limited to paying MS for a copy (I haven't checked), and you're in a better position to manage how it shows up on the web for upgrades, etc, and thus disguise it.
Hacking XP onto a "customer's" machine involves commerce, and is likely a felony, and you can't control what happens once they have ahold of it. They're not likely to take the fall for you if (when) they're caught.
I would keep my fingers out of the trap you are describing. Tablet XP only comes legitimately with a new Tablet PC as determined by Microsoft. They are willing to break the law when it's to their advantage (they are convicted in several countries now), but they are also quite willing to use it against others when it's to their advantage.
Microsoft owns the product, and that's that - we only get a license if we agree to their license terms. We never own Windows in any version (nor any version of Linux or Mac OS, for that matter, although we own the plastic CD and the box). It's the license terms that decide, and they are clear enough.
The Windows license used to say you could return the product if you didn't agree to the license, but courts have generally ruled that if you've run Windows at least once, then you can't back out - it sounds as if your customer is past this point. And you'd still face the problem of getting Tablet XP instead, although it might open a door to negotiating with the Microsoft representative you turned to in refusing the generic XP license on the customer's behalf.
Vista may have the Tablet features enabled in one of the versions available at retail - I am steering clear of it's DRM Trojans, and haven't looked into it. But that might work, and it would be according to Microsoft's license terms, and thus would be legal.
06-05-2007, 06:50 PM
If it a BIOS change then I would guess that Fujitsu locked out their WinXPTE OEM serial number so a Fujitsu XPTE restore disc could not be used. I would try installing from a generic copy of XPTE with its own serial number. How you could aquire such a disc is up to you and yours...
06-05-2007, 11:00 PM
I wonder what would happen if you flashed the BIOS using a flash image from a P1610 with XPTE? I figure its hard encoded but if the tech is comfortable flashing a BIOS and its available it might be worth a try.
I would see if there are two BIOS versions for XP and XPTE that might indicate that its not hard encoded. I can think of no other good reason there would be a multiple BIOS for different versions of XP.
Upgrading to Vista shouldn't be a problem. Probably the best legal way....
...just my 2 cents
06-06-2007, 12:04 AM
Of course if the customer wants the full tablet PC experience without all the heartache involved in adapting to XPTE they can always purchase a legal copy of Vista and install it. Fujitsu has the necessary Vista drivers on their website, but there are better choices available for some. James Kendrick had a series of blogs in JKontherun that identified the improved drivers and where to get them.
06-08-2007, 04:52 PM
I emailed James and he upgraded to Vista and did a BIOS update so I think that is the direction we will go.
Thanks for the great answers!
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