The new verification system - known as OA 3.0 - that Microsoft expects to put into place in its next operating system, Windows 8, will likely lead to more complications for ODMs and may strain relationships between themselves and brand vendors like HP and Sony.
The origin of the tension lies in the fact that Microsoft wants to go beyond the usual Certificate of Authenticity label.
Aaron Lee and Joseph Tsai from Digitimes write that the software vendor wants to install Windows 8 into the PC BIOS itself and get the consumer to key in the authorisation key to activate the software via the web.
Doing so will increase the production time for each Windows 8 unit as it requires more human resources and may disrupt the traditional production process (one that uses hard disk drives primarily).
More worryingly, Digitimes reports that ODMs argue that Microsoft is pitching ODMs against Brand vendors by telling the former that Brand vendors will (have to) pay for any price increases while the latter have been told that ODMs will foot the bill.
Ultimately though, it looks as if the end user is going to be the one forking out for any increase in the bill of material, which could artificially push up the ASP of Windows 8 machines and discourage users from moving to the new OS.