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Vista Licenses Limit OS Transfers, Ban VM Use 968

Posted by timothy
from the oh-that's-handy dept.
NiK0laI writes "TechWeb has posted an article regarding Vista's new license and how it allows you to only move it to another device once. How will this work for people who build their PCs? I have no intention of purchasing a new license every time I swap out motherboards. 'The first user of the software may reassign the license to another device one time. If you reassign the license, that other device becomes the "licensed device," reads the license for Windows Vista Home Basic, Home Premium, Ultimate, and Business. In other words, once a retail copy of Vista is installed on a PC, it can be moved to another system only once. ... Elsewhere in the license, Microsoft forbids users from installing Vista Home Basic and Vista Home Premium in a virtual machine. "You may not use the software installed on the licensed device within a virtual (or otherwise emulated) hardware system," the legal language reads. Vista Ultimate and Vista Business, however, can be installed within a VM.'" Overly Critical Guy points out more information about changes to Vista's EULA and the new usage restrictions. "For instance, Home Basic users can't copy ISOs to their hard drives, can't run in a virtualized environment, and can only share files and printers to a maximum of 5 network devices."
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Vista Licenses Limit OS Transfers, Ban VM Use

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  • by A beautiful mind (821714) on Thursday October 12, 2006 @07:48PM (#16415997)
    Impose artificial limits, period. I'm not talking about limits on CPU usage or memory for the sake of system stability, but arbitary business decision born limits. When something starts doing this, it ceases to be an operating system.

    Note the difference though between not having a feature and restricting the computer.
  • by Kelson (129150) * on Thursday October 12, 2006 @07:50PM (#16416029) Homepage Journal
    Microsoft does not support an official way to run multiple versions of Internet Explorer on the same system. This is only really an issue for web developers who need to test their websites in older versions of IE. The closest they come to "blessing" any method (short of testing on different computers) is to recommend running each version of IE in a virtual machine.

    Now they're restricting virtual machines, forcing people who want to use the recommended solution to get the more expensive version of the OS.

    This won't have much immediate effect. For one thing, Vista will ship with the newest version of IE, so unless you're using Win2k as your host OS, your guest systems will be older versions of Windows without the restriction. For another, it's actually easier to use the unofficial solution [quirksmode.org] to run alternate versions of IE (though it's got its own drawbacks).

    Something to think about, though.
  • You wish (Score:3, Interesting)

    by overshoot (39700) on Thursday October 12, 2006 @07:51PM (#16416035)
    What, you think this is going to upset Dell? I want some of what you're smoking.

    This is going to be great for Microsoft's bottom line. It's like planned obsolescence for software.

  • by rodgster (671476) * <rodgster@ya[ ].com ['hoo' in gap]> on Thursday October 12, 2006 @07:51PM (#16416037) Journal
    What happens when the motherboard fails (bad caps anyone?) and you must replace it with a "new device". What if that one pops too? Must buy Vista again? I think not. I'd see them in court first.

    And what is a VM? Can the same guys who swore under oath that they didn't know what a browser is now define what a is VM?

    I have mod pts. But this just had to be said.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 12, 2006 @07:52PM (#16416057)
    Did anybody wake up this morning wanting to do less with their computer?

    Microsoft Just Doesn't Get It.
  • Quick question... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by locokamil (850008) on Thursday October 12, 2006 @07:52PM (#16416069) Homepage
    So maybe I fell asleep in that lecture in Operating systems. But how the hell are they planning on enforcing the virtualization clause? I thought the point of virtualization was to make it so the operating system didn't know that it was being emulated.

    Of course the fact that they decided to insert the clause is bad-- legally, Home-centric Vista users now won't be able to virtualize their machines.
  • My options (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Orion Blastar (457579) <orionblastar@@@gmail...com> on Thursday October 12, 2006 @07:54PM (#16416085) Homepage Journal
    #1 Stay with Windows XP

    #2 Use ReactOS [reactos.org] when it gets a 1.0 release.

    #3 Sell my non-Linux compatible system for a Linux one and run Linux instead.

    #4 That $599 Mac Mini is looking pretty good despite my previous Anti-Apple rants of the past decade. This Vista Fascism may be enough to get me to switch.

    #5 Buy Vista Ultimate, because all of the games and business applications and other stuff I need/want to use only run with Vista, and I cannot work with limitations.

    Sadly, I think most people will opt for #5, and that is what Microsoft is counting on. That is why Microsoft cripples the uses for the lower end Vistas to force people into buying the higher end Vistas.

    Anyone remember the Commodore Amiga and Atari ST/TT/Mega systems? If only they decided to port AmigaDOS/AmigaOS and TOS/GEM to the Intel platform before Windows became really really popular in the 1990's. That way there would be no OS Fascism and Microsoft would have had a good run for their money.
  • And then.... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Konster (252488) on Thursday October 12, 2006 @07:59PM (#16416177)
    So, to get the same basic functionality that I currently have in XP Home, I have to spend $450 for full version of Windows Ultimate or the upgrade at $275, that's a cool $1000 for every PC that I have now that I paid $400 for XP. Forcing abusive pricing on people just so they can use Remote Desktop and rattle off ISO's I think will encourage piracy on a much larger scale than what is going on currently with XP.

    I won't pirate the product, but I sure as hell won't buy it either.
  • Re:ReactOS? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by nurb432 (527695) on Thursday October 12, 2006 @08:01PM (#16416209) Homepage Journal
    You can expect that the day after ReactOS becomes viable, it will dissapear in a cloud of law suits.

    For now, its not a threat.
  • by mpapet (761907) on Thursday October 12, 2006 @08:03PM (#16416241) Homepage
    I recently discovered this doing a little compliance work. I double-checked the EULA.txt on a couple of XP Pro machines, they were the same and do not mention transfer of any sort. So, we can't give away old PC's with XP to employees who may want them as a CYA. (I use Kubuntu to solve this. And they are quite happy users.)

    It may be a very serious issue for groups like Freecycle (http://www.freecycle.org/) where there are many people giving away computers on a regular basis. Probably not XP right now, but soon enough. I see a big fat litigation target on their back.
  • by EmbeddedJanitor (597831) on Thursday October 12, 2006 @08:19PM (#16416453)
    MS makes their money from corporates who buy PCs whole. MS does not make money from the sort of people that build their own PCs and upgrade motherboards. Because these people don't make MS monet, they are a pain in the ass and there is no need, from a business perspective, to keep them happy.
  • Re:A good thing (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) on Thursday October 12, 2006 @08:22PM (#16416487)

    But an awful lot of home users rely on the advice of their knowledgeable friends and family members in making decisions.

    I reckon it takes around two upgrade cycles for a serious shift in the market to result from geek momentum alone, once the geeks decide they've had enough and switch. First time out, the geeks start encouraging friends and family to switch the next time they buy/upgrade/install, and some will. The purchase/upgrade/installation after that, it's not just geek friends and family that use the alternative, it's a couple of the guys at work and your next-door neighbour, who know about as much about computers as you do, and if they're all happy, why not give it a go?

    Microsoft already has had geeks turning against it for several years; Win2K was probably their best ever bang-for-buck OS, and a load of geeks never upgraded to XP, or at least saw it for the changed window-dressing it mostly was on the desktop, while switching to Linux for server/hosting systems.

    The first generation shifters are starting to move away. My dad uses Linux. Several of my work colleagues use Linux. Several friends I know through diverse hobbies use Linux. Apple have produced a good rival system in MacOS X for people who think Linux is too scary.

    Moreover, on the application front, MS Office has been stationary for years as far as Joe Average is concerned, and people are starting to realise that they don't have to pay the "Microsoft tax" if all they want to do is write the occasional letter. Firefox is gaining market share, and other browsers like Opera and the main Mac-based systems are getting their claws in with some people too. iTunes is way more popular than any other legal on-line music service. This sort of thing will lead to the second, much larger generation of shifters before too long.

    Moreover, Microsoft's frankly bizarre attempts to lock down their systems seem to have reached the point that they're going to hurt significant numbers of users, not just inconvenience the geeks (until they hack the limitations out, at any rate). Media Player adding copy protection to stuff I scanned from my own CD, and not letting me back up anything I download from legal on-line services? Vista costing a fortune but locking me out if I upgrade my system twice? The constant nagging I now get on my perfectly legitimate, properly licensed Windows XP system, with "Genuine Advantage" splashed all over it? Not playing high-definition video properly without jumping through all kinds of hoops (allegedly)? These are things where average end users are going to start saying "Stuff this, it just doesn't work", and that's just going to accelerate phase two.

  • by crhylove (205956) <rhy@leperkhanz.com> on Thursday October 12, 2006 @08:26PM (#16416553) Homepage Journal
    I say all well and good because everyone here fully expects MS to eventually tank and get soundly beaten by some *nix or other. Now, taking that as a likelihood (I do), I still don't see Linux winning this round of battles. It's too hard to copy and paste files without being "root" whatever the hell that means. Don't even get me started on native mp3/xvid support.

    I WANT Linux to win. I want it to win sooner rather than later. How about an OS that is actually easy to use without all the ludicrous over the top server security built in? You know, one that plays San Andreas, opens pdfs, has nice looking fonts and is easy to use because it runs EXACTLY how we expect it to. I just don't get why so many devs are wasting their time on ubuntu/redhat/mandriva/et al when clearly joe q. public is A. NOT GOING TO CHANGE, and B. KNOWS HOW TO USE WINDOWS.

    Seriously, this "battle" is like a fight between a tired old midget and a young strong UFC champion. Only sadly, the UFC champion is clearly retarded and doesn't even know he's in a fight. Linux should have won nearly half a decade ago. But instead, they keep screwing with the UI, not implementing basic things "out of box" for arcane philosophical reasons, and creating more versions of software that most people will never want to use.

    I hate to say this, but the next time I try Linux and the installation doesn't go pretty much as smooth as Tiny XP, and then subsequently has an identical start menu / quick launch / control panel to vanilla WinXP, well, it'll be a cold day in hell until I try Linux and get burned YET AGAIN.

    And this is a pissed off rant from somebody who WANTS LINUX TO WIN. Just imagine what the average non-political FOSS advocate is thinking when he can't do something like right click copy paste a file he downloaded off some p2p app because "Linux is different, and difference is good."

    No. It's not. Difference is stupid. Now, if you're talking about rock bands, then, yeah, I want some variety. But an OS should operate as expected. Period. For the bulk of the world, as expected means JUST LIKE WINDOWS.

    It's embarrasing that so many obviously bright minds are so fully entrenched in such a Quixotian enterprise.

    Mod me down. Or give me a drop in windows replacement. Or shut the fuck up already, and realize that Vista already won, and that SUCKS FOR EVERYONE BECAUSE OF YOUR ARROGANT AND IMMATURE IDEALS.

    rhY
  • Re:THREE words (Score:0, Interesting)

    by Drakin020 (980931) on Thursday October 12, 2006 @08:28PM (#16416591)
    Today, a lot of companies do not use MS software
    What? I dunno which companies you are talking about...Must be the ones that dont make any money cause all the businesses I work for (I outsorce IT) all use Windows. Only came across one Linus network. Quickly convinced them that Windows was better. They could not be happier.
  • Okay, this is insane (Score:4, Interesting)

    by realmolo (574068) on Thursday October 12, 2006 @08:38PM (#16416715)
    I generally like Microsoft's products. I even defend them, and think that they are in the position they are in because they make better products than the competition.

    But these new license terms are bullshit. Even worse, Vista is going to have all kinds of crappy DRM stuff.

    And what does the future hold? Is the next version of Windows going to require a monthly fee to keep it working? Am I going to have to pay the RIAA and MPAA a few bucks every time I watch a movie, listen to a song, or burn a CD/DVD?

    I really am beginning to think the answers to those questions are "YES". It's actually scary.

    Needless to say, I don't plan on buying Vista. I'll keep using XP until I can't anymore, and then it's Ubuntu from then on.

  • Re:That does it (Score:5, Interesting)

    by nine-times (778537) <nine.times@gmail.com> on Thursday October 12, 2006 @08:57PM (#16416969) Homepage
    I'm not trolling. I'm not anti-Windows either; I've been a Windows user up until a few months ago and liked my Windows experience. In fact, typing this in my MacBook, I miss certain Windows software

    Give it time. Honestly, I used to be a Windows user, hated macs. I still kind of like Windows 2000, except that it's just... old and out of date. But I decided to try OSX for a while a few years ago, and as time went on, I've found my frustration with Windows growing. Whenever I have to work on a Windows machine, I find lots of frustrating little details that seem like they should have been fixed years ago.

    One of my common complaints (and this is actually not off-topic) is that Windows is hard to image. In both my personal and IT use, I find it incredibly useful to be able to image machines, so that I don't have to go through all the reconfiguration crap every time I want to reinstall or replicate a machine, move a user, switch some hardware around, or whatever. You back up your home directory and image the machine, and you're all set. There are solutions to the problems with Windows imaging, but a lot of those problems are artificially created by Microsoft: activation, WGA, and licensing issues.

    If my experience is any indicator, you'll find programs that are better than the ones you miss on Windows. You'll get used to OSX's quirks. You'll realize that drag-and-drop is a better installation method. And after a while, you'll get used to working with an operating system that doesn't sabotage you. You'll start being amazed at how much you used to put up with. You'll sit down at a Windows machine and realize that Microsoft has forcing you to jump through hoops to get things done, and those hoops just shouldn't even exist. You'll become anti-Windows in no time.

  • by waferhead (557795) <waferhead&yahoo,com> on Thursday October 12, 2006 @09:00PM (#16417009)
    I can't really tell if you're trolling or not, but I'll go for it and assume you are serious.

    What kind of problems do you have?

    Cut and paste?
    C`mon, you must be trolling there.

    I keep a spare 8G partition just to try stuff out.

    Last weekend, fought with getting Ubuntu working as I want it to.
    (No Mythtv, no cookie. V.18 does NOT count)

    Mandriva 2007.0 installed in 11 minutes. It got FASTER, somehow.
    It is ALMOST perfect without effort, and is now default.

    Tonight it's KnoppMyth on the old partition, assuming they have upgraded mythtv to v.20a.
    (That installs almost faster than you can make a pot of coffee)

    IMHO, the $average Linux disrto seems to make improvements roughly equivalent to the difference between win98 >XP every 6 months>1 year.

    If you haven't tried it LATELY, you haven't tried it.
  • Re:Two words... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by ocelotbob (173602) <ocelotNO@SPAMocelotbob.org> on Thursday October 12, 2006 @09:01PM (#16417033) Homepage
    Y'know, wine runs most games, and even runs photoshop quite well. In fact, Disney has thousands [manilastandardtoday.com] of boxes running photoshop under wine, and I don't think they'd be running something half-assed.
  • by Millenniumman (924859) on Thursday October 12, 2006 @09:02PM (#16417041)
    Considering how much they lose on each one, it might. Even with the games, they haven't made money yet.
  • Re:A good thing (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Overly Critical Guy (663429) on Thursday October 12, 2006 @09:02PM (#16417047)
    They'll notice when publications like the NYT review Vista, compare it to the more advanced OS X Leopard, discuss the protracted and disappointing development cycle of the last half-decade, and mention the usage restrictions in the seven (!) different versions, not counting separate 32-bit and 64-bit versions which makes for a total of fourteen versions of Windows Vista.

    If they don't notice Vista's limitations then, they'll notice when they start using it and get bugged by UAC every day.
  • Re:ReactOS? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by RLiegh (247921) * on Thursday October 12, 2006 @09:07PM (#16417105) Homepage Journal
    Seriously. I have no idea how it is that the ReactOS project believes that it has any ability to stand up to MS and the american legal system. MS can grind them through the court system on a million charges (trumped up or otherwise) and bankrupt ReactOS with absolutely no penalty to MS AT ALL.

    In the long run, all of the time and energy spent creating ReactOS will end up being for nothing because MS will simply roll over them using the steam roller known as The American Judicial System.
  • by ichigo 2.0 (900288) on Thursday October 12, 2006 @09:32PM (#16417347)
    Eh, yeah. No offense, but you must be joking. Are you actually suggesting that we switch away from the likes of BF2, Crysis, WoW etc in favor of games like Runescape and free games on synaptic? When I read the title of your post I expected something about Cedega, which albeit not a realistic option due to it's slowness, is at least an option.
  • by Guppy06 (410832) on Thursday October 12, 2006 @10:00PM (#16417675)
    IANAL

    Everybody's stressing over the phrase "one time." That phrase has been used before, for example the XP EULA referenced in one of TFAs (emphasis mine):
    Internal. You may move the Product to a different Workstation Computer. After the transfer, you must completely remove the Product from the former Workstation Computer. Transfer to Third Party. The initial user of the Product may make a one-time transfer of the Product to another end user.
    The very same phrase, and, in this usage, it seems to be emphasizing that, after you transfer your user rights to somebody else, you retain no rights yourself; as if, without the words "one time," somebody could argue "Person A transferred to Person B, then Person A transferred to Person C..." and suddenly Warez sites are legit.

    Now, with regards to Vista, we have "reassign the license to another device one time." Now, considering that the EULA now requires that "(b)efore you use the software under a license, you must assign that license to one device (physical hardware system)," the EULA now considers the way the install is tied to a particular machine similar to the way it treats the way it is tied to a particular person. So they are using the same language for hardware as they have always used for people.

    All I'm seeing here is a new way of saying "you have to uninstall from the old machine before installing on a new one" worded in a different way from they way they used to. The language (to me, at least) seems to not do anything more than to ensure that all rights a particular computer might have to the install must be transferred (including the right of transfer itself).

    Otherwise, you end up with a logical inconsistency; if, by agreeing with the EULA, you can only change hardware once, what happens when you sell the license to somebody else? That new user, by agreeing to the EULA, gets all the rights you had at first purchase, including that once-only hardware transfer. So, if you give it to somebody else, and you get it back (or simply sell it to yourself for $0.01), you get your "hardware transfer" counter reset back to zero and the once-only transfer rule becomes unenforcable.

    As for other things people seem to be screaming about, were the features that are denied to home flavors of Vista allowed in the home flavor of XP? I see some noise like "ZOMG! No Remote Desktop!" here and there...
  • by Shados (741919) on Thursday October 12, 2006 @10:00PM (#16417683)
    Hey, I said it before and I said it again. Microsoft being threatened is the best thing that can happen to....Microsoft. If to be threatened they need to shoot -themselves- in the foot, so be it. But when Microsoft starts being scared, they actualy try to make decent product (it doesn't always work, but sometimes a gem here and there pops up). If Vista turns out to be a flop, the next version of Windows after that probably will be a great one, there will be significant room for Linux and Mac OS X, and the market as a whole will be healthier. Revolution in the making!
  • Re:Two words... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Bill Grates (1012303) on Thursday October 12, 2006 @10:19PM (#16417859)
    Can anyone tell me what is the status of EUL agreements?
    there is so much confusion as to whether they are contractually
    enforceable - given the obvious absense of general
    contractual elements such as offer and agreement (you only
    get to read the eula after the purchase is complete) and formalities
    (signatures). Is there any case law on this subject or authorative
    statements or guidance from the courts -
    has it never been tested? it is such a basic fucking thing that
    millions of consumers deal with perhaps daily - and companies
    blithely creating these huge documents and yet nobody
    seems to have a clue whether they are enforceable against the
    customer.
  • Re:Off Topic (Score:2, Interesting)

    by scotty (5588) on Thursday October 12, 2006 @11:17PM (#16418415) Homepage
    Sort of like Microsoft naming their operating system Windows.

    I think a better analogy would be, Microsoft named their SQL database server "SQL Server". Now whenever anyone says SQL server, they actually meant the Microsoft SQL Server...

  • Re:Two words... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Paco103 (758133) on Thursday October 12, 2006 @11:20PM (#16418439)
    I didn't find anything about that either. The only thing that really seems all that different is the VM rule, which is just a bunch of crap. What difference does it make to them? They then get TWO licenses for my ONE PC. That's dumb for them to deny! Seriously though, XP Home doesn't allow remote desktop, only remote assistance, and it also is not threaded, so no good on dual core machines (not a problem for its day, but definitely a problem in the next generation). The only thing that bugs me is the reactivation on upgrades. Seriously, it wouldn't be that difficult to allow a user unlimited upgrades. Here's my thought. User buys OS, installs on PC, and activates their unique product ID, stored with some form of unique hardware hash as XP supposedly does now. Now, periodically check these ID's to see if they match. Keep a database of these combinations. An ID should only show up with it's most recent hardware hash, or one that hasn't been used before. If the relation consistently goes back and forth between several hardware id's, you know it's being used on more than one machine, and the key can be deactivated.
  • by Lactoso (853587) on Thursday October 12, 2006 @11:22PM (#16418461) Homepage
    I'm surprised no one has picked up on another tidbit in the VISTA EULA (okay, there's enough 'WTF?!' moments in there already) - #6 - Windows Defender.

    "6. POTENTIALLY UNWANTED SOFTWARE. If turned on, Windows Defender will search your
    computer for "spyware," "adware" and other potentially unwanted software. If it finds potentially
    unwanted software, the software will ask you if you want to ignore, disable (quarantine) or remove
    it. Any potentially unwanted software rated "high" or "severe," will automatically be removed after
    scanning unless you change the default setting. Removing or disabling potentially unwanted
    software may result in:
    *-- other software on your computer ceasing to work, or
    *-- your breaching a license to use other software on your computer.
    By using this software, it is possible that you will also remove or disable software that is not
    potentially unwanted software."

    Gotta love that last line. We may or may not tell you about uninstalling software that we deem to be unwanted even though you might actually want that software installed and by removing it, we might be violating your license agreement with another company but since we told you all about it right here in the EULA, it's not our problem.
  • Re:Two words... (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 12, 2006 @11:30PM (#16418543)
    Actually, serving any clients from a Windows workstation OS is a violation of their EULA if Microsoft didn't write it and bundle it with the OS. So you can serve 10 clients on XP Pro with IIS but zero with Apache. Yes, running a Quake server for your mates at at a LAN is a violation. BitTorrent is a violation. VNC is a violation.
  • by rodgster (671476) * <rodgster@ya[ ].com ['hoo' in gap]> on Friday October 13, 2006 @12:00AM (#16418773) Journal
    I've been in 3, that I can remember, class action suits.

    (1) Chevy trucks (early 90's) with the gas tank mounted outside the frame. Just like the Pintos of the 70's BOOM!
    Result: Lawyers make millions, I get $1000 off the purchase of a new Chevy truck. No thanks.

    (2) MS windows/office Price fixing scheme mid 90's
    Result: Lawyers make millions, I get something like $20 off the purchase of more MS software. No thanks.

    (3) RIAA price fixing scheme more familiar to most
    Result: Lawyers make millions, I get $20 to buy more RIAA musak. No thanks.

    I was NOT interested in any of these settlements because I decided I no longer wanted to their products, even for free. IMHO in class action suits, only the lawyers win.

    Now imagine if MS had to fed off small claims suits from just 10% of buyers. Many corporations operate on a roughly 10% profit margin (MS is an exception to that). Think about it. Class action is merely a way to silence the voice of the complainants and appease the general public.

    I'd take MS to court even if it COSTS ME $ to do it. It is a matter of principle. In case you didn't know, in my state you can include the cost of your time you've spent attempting to resolve the issue and lost wages attending court (but no attorney fees). So the only argument left is people too lazy to stand up for their fair use rights. I say F^$K em.

    Also to the Best of my knowledge EULA click thrus don't hold much water (SCOTUS has yet to rule on it), especially when you cannot see what you've agreed to until you've entered into a purchase agreement (retail or wholesale). And opened software is usually non-returnable. Can you say pig in a poke?
  • PC Terminology (Score:2, Interesting)

    by sowth (748135) on Friday October 13, 2006 @12:24AM (#16418961) Journal

    No, Apple coined the term PC--meaning personal computer, a generic term for computers meant to be used by one person at a time, unlike big iron servers which would be used by many people on terminals. What you said is like saying well MS Windows is the most popular OS, so when people say "OS", they must mean MS Windows. Que paso???

    If you really want to distinguish IBM compatibles running MS Windows from other PCs, then just call it a "Wintel" or something. Or just the hardware, maybe IA32 systems, or x86 systems if you don't think they'll get the first one (which is more correct)

    Obviously the Mac IA32 systems (they have those now?) essentialy should work the same (PCI bus and such, right?), so I don't think they need that different a title anyway. If you can slap in the same cards and use the same binaries if they have the same OS installed, then an IA32 system is an IA32 system.

  • by Lord Ender (156273) on Friday October 13, 2006 @12:25AM (#16418967) Homepage
    You are correct. Every operating system since the dawn of time has had the goal of making maximum use of hardware. Windows is the only OS designed to do the opposite: make your hardware less useful than it could be.
  • Re:Two words... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by fishbowl (7759) on Friday October 13, 2006 @02:25AM (#16419669)
    It probably isn't even legally enforceable to deny running as a guest OS on a VM. I would expect them to be forced to specify, very specifically, the platforms which are acceptable, rather than make a general rule against like the VM one.

    However, when I use VMWare under Linux, I generally use Windows 2000, in separately configured guest installs that are tuned to specific applications. (I find this to be far better (BETTER!) than running the OS natively on the same system, because I can tweak things to a degree that I would never attempt on a base install.)

    The main application where I do run Windows, I run XP/SP2, and I could be persuaded to move to Vista here -- I have a set of hosts that are used for audio production. Because the applications I run are targetted for Windows, and because audio production (especially synthesis) does not generally work under any sort of emulation (not really a compatability problem so much as one of timing) I run Windows. I turn off almost every service. If Vista delivers legitimate improvements for a studio PC, I will adopt it. Now, granted, it will doubtless be my MSDN license version which probably will have lighter restrictions than the OEM version being described in TFA, but this is where and why I am a Windows user.

    Please don't point me at linux-sound.com or Agnula. I'm into that stuff too, but it does not yet give me what I would need to move away from Windows (and neither does OSX as yet.)
  • Heck, this case has changed it's innards so often, I've had to change its host name TWICE (just for kicks, really... but I realized, twice, that the insides had been completely reworked, and it warranted a name change).
    I've wondered about this myself, since I've run into the same situation on a few occasions.. I realized that what's important is not what hardware is being used, but what the primary purpose of the box will be. This became easier once I decided on a theme for my hostnames. My audio recording box is a black shuttle sn95g3 named "blackbox". This is the third iteration of blackbox, having started with a spraypainted k6III five years ago - all of them have lived in black cases with their primary purpose being audio recording.

    I'm hoping to be able to move my recording rig away from Microsoft, but my linux skills seem to be insufficiently advanced to get my Firepod to talk to Jackd. Vista just doesn't sound like it's going to be an improvement over XP, and these license restrictions really rub me the wrong way. Hopefully my new copy of XP x64 will hold up to Sonar for a few years.

  • by arkhan_jg (618674) on Friday October 13, 2006 @03:36AM (#16420073)
    Don't buy the legal fiction. Unless you're unfortunate to live in one of the few US states that implemented UCITA, EULA's are not a legally binding contract. Well, they're definitely not in my jurisidiction. Doctrine of first sales says that after sale, the copyright holder can apply no more restrictions than copyright law itself allows. This has been upheld many, many times.

    Obviously a legally binding contract which is signed and filed before purchase - such as the one businesses agree to for volume licences - will be binding and apply to the use of the software. A home user going into a shop and buying a computer or a box with a piece of software on it? Once money is exchanged, that's the sale, and no additional conditions can be applied from that point on, with one exception - ongoing agreements. Microsft can apply a EULA to windows update, microsoft live, or msn messenger, as you must agree to the terms to gain access to their services, but my personal computer hard-drive? They have no jurisdiction, because making copies into the memory and hard-drive for the purpose of operation are specifically allowed in my country under copyright law - I don't need permission from microsoft to use the software, so they have no way to apply the EULA. Plus, the method of applying the EULA is most defnitely not one that forms a binding contract, it is merely a contract of adhesion and unenforceable.

  • by rve (4436) on Friday October 13, 2006 @05:39AM (#16420751)
    It is common practice, both in hardware and in software, to develop just One, completely full-featured version of the product in order to cut cost, and sell 'crippled' versions at a lower price. They cripple your version, so that they can charge a business slightly more for a less crippled version, and enterprises an awful lot more for full featured versions. This process is much more cost effective than developing separate Basic- Home- Business- and Ultimate product lines.

    Alternatively, they could sell only the 'Ultimate' version of the product at the cost necessary for breaking even in a certain amount of time. Enterprises would see their costs decrease dramatically, and home users wouldn't be able to afford the product.

    If you don't like this practice, by all means use Linux, so that you, and only you, get to decide what features you enable.
  • Because these people don't make MS monet, they are a pain in the ass and there is no need, from a business perspective, to keep them happy.

    Considering that many of the people that may build their own boxes and actually be effected by this rediculousness are also in charge of IT departments at major corporations, there is a massive and unhindered need - from a business perspective - to keep these people happy.

    These are the same people that would install these OSes into a virtual environment, etc.

    BTW - this has just sent my company's QA department into panic mode, considering that they wipe test machines (and test VMs) often twice a day.

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