Further information about the Tablet Edition EOM version

I reported yesterday that computer reseller Dynamism is offering the Tablet Edition as an option on the Sony UX Micro PC line they are selling, a fact that surprised me.  I was not aware that Microsoft had an OEM version of the Tablet Edition that could be licensed and sold on its own so a little digging has shed more light on the subject.  A Froogle search for “tablet xp oem” shows a long list of computer resellers that are offering the OEM version of the Windows XP Tablet Edition 2005 operating system.  There are two versions available, a single license version and a “3–pack”.  The single license version is going for around $160 and the 3–pack for about $450.  Interestingly, I couldn’t find any of the listed resellers showing the 1–pack in stock but all had the 3–pack ready to ship.

I was curious about what requirements Microsoft has put on the resellers to qualify for selling the license so I drilled down to see what restrictions there might be.  On the ProVantage web site, they offered a link to describe what qualifies for an OEM license and clicking it took me to the Microsoft OEM System Builder web site where I hoped to find out about any restrictions for the license.  The MS site required a login to access all of the information on the site and since I am not an OEM I couldn’t access it.  There is a fair amount of information that is available without registration and I was surprised to see no Tablet Edition on the list of operating systems available under Windows.  All of this indicates that it is not possible for end-users who want to upgrade their touch-screen PCs to the Tablet Edition to do so with these OEM licenses.  I believe you have to be a reseller or OEM to qualify for the license, but if anyone has any information to add about this please chime in.  One of the most frequent questions I am asked by ultra-portable computer owners is whether they can license the Tablet Edition and as far as I can tell the answer is no.