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Vista Licenses Limit OS Transfers, Ban VM Use 968

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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  • THREE words (Score:2, Informative)

    by sofar ( 317980 ) on Thursday October 12, 2006 @07:55PM (#16416093) Homepage
    Just Use Linux
  • Re:Two words... (Score:5, Informative)

    by jfclavette ( 961511 ) on Thursday October 12, 2006 @07:55PM (#16416097)
    Are we sure this is not the OEM terms ? It's been that way forever.
  • Re:Two words... (Score:5, Informative)

    by Baricom ( 763970 ) on Thursday October 12, 2006 @07:55PM (#16416099)
    The network restrictions are not new. XP has them, although it may have higher limits. Transfer restrictions, however, bother me a lot. I believe this is the first time they've appeared in retail versions of Windows.

    I said back in 2002 that I would never buy a PC again, and that my next computer would be a Mac. Microsoft is making it easier and easier for me to keep to that promise.
  • by PPGMD ( 679725 ) on Thursday October 12, 2006 @07:56PM (#16416115) Journal
    That's 5 simultaneous network devices. Most installs of Windows 2003 have that same restriction until you add more CALs. Since the home edition is not a network server you can't add more CALs.

    Jeez it's nothing new either XP has the same restriction if I remember correctly.

  • by mythosaz ( 572040 ) on Thursday October 12, 2006 @08:00PM (#16416185)
    Vista home BASIC can't be VM'd per the license. Home "Ultimate" can. It is unclear if it refuses to run in a VM environment, or if the restriction is purely based on the EULA.

    Since "Ultimate" can, and there's no difference between the two (other than the components loaded at install time, and the product type), there is no technical reason (beyond the kernel simply refusing to execute when it "sees" it's in a VM) it can't run.
  • Re:No thanks (Score:3, Informative)

    by PPGMD ( 679725 ) on Thursday October 12, 2006 @08:02PM (#16416221) Journal
    How exactly have you been burned?

    I have changed out more motherboards with Windows XP then I care to count, most times Windows XP chugged along, but a few times it asked me to call up to revalidate it, it was a painless process, I just tell the lady (truthfully in my cases) that I changed out the motherboard because the old one was fried, then the lady read up the new key, and the user was up and running.

  • Re: ISO Information (Score:5, Informative)

    by sleeper0 ( 319432 ) on Thursday October 12, 2006 @08:12PM (#16416381)
    I just read through the entire EULA because I just couldn't believe they had included "Home Basic users can't copy ISOs to their hard drives". Turns out I was right. As far as I can tell there is no restriction to ISO's per-se, instead the original author was attempting to infer a lack of a right of some versions to store a copy of the software [meaning, a copy of the vista DVD] on "network storage" based on the fact that this right is permitted for Ultimate. However, just because they grant a right to some versions doesn't mean you don't have that right when it isn't explicitly granted - for instance even if they only enumerated the right to backup copies for Ultimate you'd still have that right for all others, existing law generally grants it.

    The translation to "can't copy [any] iso's" happened in the last step, by the comment submitter, and is as far s I can tell just a complete fabrication.

    Some part of me wonders why a website full of people who swear to their grave that they'll never run a piece of software is so intent on discrediting it that they make up shit. Carry on though boys, have fun.
  • Re:Hint (Score:5, Informative)

    by linguae ( 763922 ) on Thursday October 12, 2006 @08:21PM (#16416469)

    Users may not care about the actual file system, but the actual features provided by a file system that uses relational databases for metadata management can be very beneficial to users. For example, Apple Spotlight is a tool used for searching files based on the metadata of the files. Although it is a database that sits on top of the file system, it is seamlessly integrated nonetheless. Spotlight makes searching very quick and very easy. WinFS was a very similar concept (it sits on top of NTFS; it doesn't outright replace any file systems), but it took a few steps futher than Spotlight did. For example, WinFS had very powerful querying features that Spotlight doesn't (currently) have.

    Users can care less about the actual file system. They don't (and shouldn't) care about FAT, NTFS, UFS, HFS+, ext3, and all of the other acronyms that we file system researchers and enthusiasts throw around. However, users do benefit from new features in new file systems that makes their lives easier. Try searching for a file in Windows XP, which scans through the hard drive and is based on the file name and file metadata specified by the file system, which doesn't take in account for metadata stored inside of the file, especially if that metadata is proprietary. Now, try searching for a file in Safari. There is a huge difference between the speed and the experience.

    Windows Vista would have had a file system similar to Apple's Spotlight on a much larger technical scale, but they gutted out that feature. Instead, we get Windows Indexing Services, which indexes all of the files in a database. It makes querying for files easier, but it doesn't provide the rich APIs used for storing extended metadata in files that WinFS or Apple Spotlight provides, making it only better than Windows XP in speed, not in functionality. If you forget the file name, or its time of creation, or any other OS-provided metadata, tough. WinFS and Spotlight are different. It would have been wonderful for Windows users to have advanced file searching based on the files' metadata. But it isn't happening, which is sad for 2006 and 2007, IMO.

  • by petrus4 ( 213815 ) on Thursday October 12, 2006 @08:28PM (#16416593) Homepage Journal
    ...the faster it actually causes itself to sink into the tarpit. Although it's seven years old and somewhat numerically inaccurate, this [] article is becoming increasingly more relevant as time goes on.

    To use plain speech rather than metaphor...Microsoft are engaging in the WGA (Windows Genuine Advantage) and DRM related activities in order to stave off its' inevitable demise. The irony is that the more it uses fascist tactics in order to try and keep itself alive, these will actually accelerate the company's downfall. Already I have read reports of a mass migration to Linux because of Microsoft's jackbooted behaviour associated with the Windows Genuine Advantage program.

    The Microsoft ship struck ice in September 1997. As with a much earlier case [], the impact was sufficiently quiet and low-key that I'm not sure too many other people felt it at the time...but I remember it. I believed that because of the corporation's massive cash reserves and size, its' demise would take a long time...but as I believed then, so I still say now that I will be very surprised if Microsoft still exists by 2015. The company are coming up to a point that is analagous to when Nearer My God To Thee was being played during the Titanic film. They themselves just possibly aren't aware of it yet.
  • Re:Quick question... (Score:5, Informative)

    by The Mysterious X ( 903554 ) <> on Thursday October 12, 2006 @08:38PM (#16416729)
    Whether they've implemented it or not, I don't know, but there is a way for the geust OS to test if it is being virtualised. []

    Basically, it tests the location of a particular piece of data.
    If the machine is non-virtualised, it is stored in what is called the IDTR register (this location is constant).

    However, as there is only one IDTR register, when virtualised, it is stored somewhere else.

    There are other techniques available too; however this looks to be the simplest.

    IMO, this new license is rubbish. I expect to go through 3 or 4 computers in vistas lifespan, which would need me to buy at least 2 licenses.

    Whilst Linux would seem to be the perfect option, whenever I'm booted into linux, there is always something that comes up that I just can't do without lots of haxing.

    My Mac on the other hand...

  • Re:THREE words (Score:5, Informative)

    by truthsearch ( 249536 ) on Thursday October 12, 2006 @08:39PM (#16416743) Homepage Journal
    Do you know that XP has most of the same legal restrictions []? Yet that didn't send millions of desktop users to Linux. It's simply ignored. Corporate users who need to care more about licenses will simply buy the corporate licenses that have less of these restrictions.

    Since very little here is different than XP I imagine this news won't provoke massive Linux migrations.
  • Re: ISO Information (Score:0, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 12, 2006 @08:56PM (#16416961)
    You said copy ISO's, not Vista ISO's. here is the quote: "Home Basic users can't copy ISOs to their hard drives".

    Just be a man and admit to your mistake.
  • by wyldeone ( 785673 ) on Thursday October 12, 2006 @09:01PM (#16417029) Homepage Journal
    I don't know if you've ever used XP, but Windows considers even the most trivial hardware upgrades to be new computers. When I added ram, I had to reactivate. When I switched video cards, I had to reactivate. When I switched motherboard/cpu, I had to reactivate. Microsoft's policy (though considering how asinine this is, I doubt they'd really get away with it) means that anyone who ever upgrades their computer , after two upgrades needs to buy a new Vista license. This is, in fact, the most severe license I've ever seen. It's certainly understandable that they would restrict their software to one machine; most software vendors do this. However, forcing the purchasing of new version for hardware upgrades is completely asinine, and completely inexcusable.
  • Re:Two words... (Score:3, Informative)

    by CastrTroy ( 595695 ) on Thursday October 12, 2006 @09:17PM (#16417191) Homepage
    Although I have no experience myself, Cedega [] says it plays most games pretty well. And it plays a lot of the popular games. Most home users don't need photoshop. My wife wanted to edit her photos. I installed GIMP (for windows) and she hasn't had any complaints. Most home users don't need 3D Studio Max or know what it is. WTF IS ETC?? you can't just list etc. and pretend that there are more reasons. I realize that not every computer can be replaced with Linux. Some professionals need certian programs that are only available on Windows. That's fine, they can keep on using windows. The other 98% of users who don't need those specialized applications will be able to get everything done just fine on Linux.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 12, 2006 @09:28PM (#16417311)
    This reminds me of 1996.

    MS NT Workstation 4.0 Maintaining Limitations es/ntwks4_2.html []

    Licensing Woes and Confusion eID/2776/2776.html []
  • by PPGMD ( 679725 ) on Thursday October 12, 2006 @09:56PM (#16417629) Journal
    Huh? On home PC I have done all the following without reactivating the OS:

    Add Ram: Went from 512M to 2G then had stick fail so went down to 1G

    Add Hard Drive: Added a second Hard Drive

    Replace Motherboard and CPU: Went from a Asus cheapy mobo with a A64 3000 to a Asus nice Mobo with a A64 3700

    Changed Video Card: Went from a Nvidia 5x00 (don't remember the model number but it sucked) to a 6800GT

    Through all that I only had to reactivate once, and that's when I ripped out my Intel NIC for a Wifi NIC when I moved to my new house.

    So I did 7 upgrades only have to reactive once. I don't know where the horror stories are coming from.

    Now of course my luck at work isn't nearly as easy just about every motherboard replacment that I have done at work requires a call for reactivation.

  • by nachoboy ( 107025 ) * on Thursday October 12, 2006 @10:24PM (#16417903)
    Everyone has been massively mis-interpreting the license agreement, starting with the author of the original document. Instead of believing an incendiary article, let's hit each point with evidence:

    Article says: "allows you to only move it to another device once"
    Vista EULA says: "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.""
    XP EULA says: "TRANSFER-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."
    Conclusion: iffy at best; more restrictive at worst. I believe the "internal" designation in the XP EULA was meant for corporations, who retain this right with volume licensed editions of Vista.

    Article says: "Microsoft forbids users from installing Vista Home Basic and Vista Home Premium in a virtual machine."
    Vista EULA: "Before you use the software under a license, you must assign that license to one device (physical hardware system). That device is the "licensed device." A hardware partition or blade is considered to be a separate device."
    XP EULA: "You may install, use, access, display and run one copy of the Product on a single computer, such as a workstation, terminal or other device ("Workstation Computer")."
    Conclusion so far: Microsoft hasn't forbidden me from installing in a virtual machine. Note that the Vista EULA says I only must "assign" my license to a device, I don't necessarily have to "install" to that physical hardware device. But let's examine the clause that gets everyone all confused:

    Vista Home Basic/Home Premium EULA: "USE WITH VIRTUALIZATION TECHNOLOGIES. You may not use the software installed on the licensed device within a virtual (or otherwise emulated) hardware system."
    Conclusion: All it's saying here is that I can't use the same copy of the software for the physical machine AND in a virtualized environment. Notice that it very clearly restricts ONLY "the software installed on the licensed device". ie, if you install Home Basic on your physical PC, you can't install the same copy in a VM. This is fair and in line with the XP EULA.

    Vista Ultimate EULA: "USE WITH VIRTUALIZATION TECHNOLOGIES. You may use the software installed on the licensed device within a virtual (or otherwise emulated) hardware system on the licensed device."
    Conclusion: This is an ADDITIONAL grant of a license. If you pay the price for Ultimate, Microsoft is granting to you an additional right to run ANOTHER copy in a virtualized environment. Note again that it allows you to use "the software installed on the licensed device" in a VM.

    Get over it people. The VM thing was a claim from someone who has the reading comprehension of a 5th-grader. If you want to know what your rights are, read the EULA yourself. I'm not a lawyer, I don't enjoy EULA's, and I didn't spend more than 5 minutes reading the published EULA, but I can still understand English.

    As far as testing goes, if you really care about testing, get an MSDN subscription. A few hundred bucks gets you perpetual (forever) licenses to every OS Microsoft has ever made for dev & test purposes. These can be used in virtual machines, physical machines, across a network, wherever. Oh, and did I mention you can install on an unlimited number of machines an unlimited number of times? (subject to the same dev & test restrictions of course). It's a worthwhile investment if you're a software developer.
  • Re: ISO Information (Score:5, Informative)

    by TheNetAvenger ( 624455 ) on Thursday October 12, 2006 @10:30PM (#16417983)
    Ya, I read that site also, but if you lookup their reference for their claims in the actual EULA, it is NOT in the EULA.

    Their main page has a lot of incorrect assumptions and mis-interpretations of the EULA, to the point that many of the laid out claims are just made up.

    The ISO example is one of the more egregious.

    It specifically DOES NOT SAY you cannot copy the Vista ISO for backup or to your hard drive.

    What it DOES say is you can't put it on a network store (like for volume installations - and this is only for the HOME and STARTER versions that have no business being MASS installed from a network location.)

    Either this Website has an axe to grind or they have no technical knowledge...

    As for the other issues, there have been Network connection limitations in Windows NT since version 4.0 for the desktop version. 10 Connections, and this has not changed for the professional level version of Vista either.

    The Home versions are limited to 5 'concurrent' connections. Which seems quite reasonable, because if you have a big enough family that you have 5 OTHER users in your house accessing a file or printer on your computer 'at the same time' then you probably need something other than the HOME edition.

    MS even upped the Media Center Extender 'allowed' connections in Vista over XP, instead of 3 you get 5 on the first tier of Vista that has Media Center.

    Why not rename your post to MS increases connection limits for MCE users?
  • Re:Off Topic (Score:4, Informative)

    by dal20402 ( 895630 ) * <dal20402 AT mac DOT com> on Thursday October 12, 2006 @10:37PM (#16418053) Journal

    Huh? MacBooks and MacBook Pros have exactly the same set of clamshell mode options. In either case the machine will run while closed if it thinks it has a keyboard and a mouse hooked up. Want to fool your MacBook? Use InsomniaX [].

    Save the integrated graphics and lack of ExpressCard 34 support, you are only losing cosmetics by going from MBP to MacBook. I should know -- there is one of each in my household.

  • by ocbwilg ( 259828 ) on Thursday October 12, 2006 @10:41PM (#16418101)
    "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.

    How do you define moving to another system? What constitutes "another system"? If you swap out a video card does that make this a new system? Probably not. If you look at Windows XP and it's product activation, there are several things that can be changed as often as you wish without it being considered a new system that requires activation. There are some items that, between them as a group, can only be changed a couple of times before Windows will disable the system (CPU, mainboard, hard disk). This sounds pretty much like the same thing, so I'm not sure why people are making a stink about it now, other than the fact that the surest way to get lots of hits right now is to either extoll the virtues of or condemn Vista.

    I guess that in theory, with previous retail versions of Windows you could remove it and re-install it on different machines as much as you wanted, but in practice how many people actually did that? Most home users certainly didn't. Lots of enthusiasts didn't either. If you buy a retail copy of Vista for your current PC, then pitch your current PC and build a new PC, then you might want to transfer your OS. Or perhaps if your PC died completely, you might want to transfer the license, and you would be allowed to do so once under this license. Now if you decided to add additional PCs, you would need more licenses anyway, right? When you consider that most consumers buy a PC with an OEM version of Windows already installed, and that many enthusiasts who build already buy the cheaper OEM versions, who really buys retail? Keeping in mind how many hardware changes it takes to trip up Product Activation now, how many people out there are likely to buy retail copies of Vista AND trip product activation more than once? Very few I suspect.

    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.'"

    There are very few home users who could even tell you what a VM is, let alone install an OS into one. And those of us who are likely to use virtualization at home (and I'm one of them who currently does do this) would likely also need/already have the business version of Vista (or in today's world, XP Pro). More to the point, when I run virtualization at home it's not usually to run a second instance of my main OS. Usually it's so that I can test some new Linux distro, or to keep an older version of Windows around for compatibility purposes. Right now I run one of the Vista RCs as a host OS, and have Windows XP Pro, Ubuntu, and Windows Server 2003 running in virtual machines. So what's the big deal here? If you get the Business edition, you are allowed to run up to 4 virtual instances of Vista on the same machine using the same license, whereas with XP Pro you were permitted only a second instance. So this sounds like a net improvement to me. If for some reason you need to maintain two separate Vista Home Edition installs on the same machine, you can still dual boot.

    "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 networ
  • Re:Two words... (Score:2, Informative)

    by imaginieus ( 897756 ) on Thursday October 12, 2006 @10:42PM (#16418109)
    The new liscense disallows the use of File and Printer sharing with more than 5 computers, not connecting to 5 or more computers.

    You would be able to host a lan party fine. You just wouldnt be able to let more than 5 of those people connect to your printer.
  • by jmorris42 ( 1458 ) * <> on Thursday October 12, 2006 @10:54PM (#16418223)
    > Gimp now has colour management support out of the box? Congratulations, one feature that is taken for granted
    > by every professional level piece of photo software...

    If your needs ABSOLUTELEY can't be met by Gimp, Cinepaint or any of the other choices, then take a few freaking dollars out of your pocket and buy Crossover Office. It lists Photoshop as a supported app.

    > And as for Blender, it is a wonderful program. It was the first 3D program I learned. However, it is not yet
    > on par with professional packages like 3DS Max, Lightwave or Maya.

    Well then run Maya then. Go look at the Autodesk website and count the Linux distributions supported. RHEL4, FC5 and Suse are offically supported platforms. Hint: Maya isn't the only option either.

    > Well, welcome to the world of professional level software and the open source offerings just aren't at a
    > competitive level yet.

    Well welcome to the 21st Century, where professionals quit depending on Windows years ago and demanded the professional grade software keep up with the times. When damned near every pro shop in the movie business has adopted Linux to one degree or another it is a pretty safe bet the people making professional tools didn't write those high profile customers completely off.

    And yes, several of the open source productivity tools ARE already professional grade. Film GIMP/Cinepaint had deep color support long before Photoshop got around to it.
  • Re:Two words... (Score:3, Informative)

    by EvilSS ( 557649 ) on Thursday October 12, 2006 @11:19PM (#16418431)
    The MS "workstation" OS's have always had this kind of restriction, mainly to prevent their use as cheap file/print servers. Nothing really new here.
  • by knifey ( 976510 ) on Thursday October 12, 2006 @11:21PM (#16418453)
    It seems to me like it's mostly the HDD or Motherboard that triggers a reactivation. Or reinstalling, which seems to happen all the time at work, as the effin things keep getting corrupt drivers or whatever.
    Also, there are different rules for OEM XP than retail. Technically (if you read the EULA, which no-one does) OEM editions of XP are forbidden from being moved to new hardware more than 0 times. ie, it's licensed only for the hardware it was sold with. yeak. Or was that Office. :-/ Can't remember. But of course there's always been a huge gap between licensing terms and practise.
  • Re:Two words... (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 13, 2006 @12:16AM (#16418891)
    I suspect it's quite possibly a product of Overly Critical Guy's imagination - one look at his comment history shows he's never particularly concerned with letting facts get in the way of a good rant at Microsoft.
  • Re:My options (Score:3, Informative)

    by Patoski ( 121455 ) on Friday October 13, 2006 @12:19AM (#16418915) Homepage Journal
    You forgot #6 - Pirate a DRM-less, restrictionless, non-phoning-home VLK version, just like we all have for every version (that didn't come with the machine) since Win 95.

    That's not an option any longer thanks to Volume Licensing 2.0 []. Even large companies with expensive agreements and VLKs will have to activate their products.

    I plan on giving our MS TAM an earful about this when he gets back from vacation.
  • Re:Two words... (Score:3, Informative)

    by EvanED ( 569694 ) <[moc.liamg] [ta] [denave]> on Friday October 13, 2006 @12:40AM (#16419067)
    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!

    I'm not sure they deny that either... the wording of the EULA isn't very clear on this point IMO, but I think it can easily be read to say that you can't use the SAME license for both the host and guest OS. (I'm assuming something like VMWare here and not a hypervisor that runs on bare iron.) In fact, given the two interpretations... I would favor that one.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 13, 2006 @12:45AM (#16419101)
    "My big argument against getting a Mac has always been about hardware. With PCs, I knew I could switch video cards, network cards..."

    Hum, as I look in my PowerMac G5 case I see a nVidia video card in a PCI Express slot, SATA hard drives, lots of memory banks and a double-layer DVD drive all in a solid (QUIET) aluminum case. They are replaceable. The two (2) Gig ethernets are built in but I guess I could add a third if needed.
  • Re:THREE words (Score:2, Informative)

    by ozmanjusri ( 601766 ) <> on Friday October 13, 2006 @12:49AM (#16419133) Journal
    Name three.

    Apple, Novell, Red Hat.

  • Re:Two words... (Score:4, Informative)

    by drsmithy ( 35869 ) <drsmithy @ g m a> on Friday October 13, 2006 @01:21AM (#16419357)

    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.

    I thought this sounded bogus, so I actually went and looked up the XP Home EULA []. Unsurprisingly, your claim is rubbish.

    1.3 Device Connections. You may permit a maximum of five (5) computers or other electronic devices (each a "Device") to connect to the Workstation Computer to utilize one or more of the following services of the Software: File Services, Print Services, Internet Information Services, and remote access (including connection sharing and telephony services). The five connection maximum includes any indirect connections made through "multiplexing" or other software or hardware which pools or aggregates connections. This five connection maximum does not apply to any other uses of the Software.
  • by zsau ( 266209 ) <slashdot@thecarT ... minus city> on Friday October 13, 2006 @01:51AM (#16419503) Homepage Journal
    I'm unaware of anything that's not implemented in free software for 'arcane political reasons'. A few things aren't there by default for legal reasons i.e. if a distribution included software that plays MP3 or DVD, or Adobe's Flash player, then they would be sued. Fair enough, yes? It's not even as if Windows includes a Flash player by default, either (unless that's changed recently).

    There's plenty of software that opens PDFs, and unlike Windows it's usually installed by default. In addition, you can get other software--including the same brand you're used to on Windows if you use an x86 computer--that does it. Fonts also look perfectly good on my Debian computer; in fact, they look a lot better than screenshots of Windows do.

    I don't understand why you 'want Linux to win', but that you want it to be exactly the same as Windows. It sounds like you're very happy using Windows; or at least, you like its interface more than you dislike other aspects of it. Why do you want Linux to win, if you don't like it? On the other hand, I really like the interface of my Debian computer. It runs ROX-Filer, so I can drag-and-drop files to copy or move them, and even to save them, so I never accidentally lose files like you can on Windows. I point-and-click to do most things except things you use a command prompt to do under Windows too (run LaTeX) or you can't do under Windows (dl & install software from my distribution's repository). For day-to-day use, the fact that I can't accidentally delete my important programs like C:\WINDOWS\explorer.exe doesn't bother me at all; it's not something I try to do often.

    And that completely leaves aside the question of win what? I don't think there's a competition and a judge who will declare whoever has 90 per cent market share in 2010 to be the winner. I'm already running Debian on my computer and I've been using various distributions of GNU/Linux as my main or sole operating system for longer than I'd been using Windows before that. It suits all of my purposes today. Why should I want it changed? Especially today, when Windows users can use file formats like plain text, TeX, HTML, Gnumeric, SVG, XCF or the new Open Document Formats and we can communicate just fine. If they want to screw themselves and use a dangerous operating system, that's their choice.
  • Re:Excuse me, but... (Score:3, Informative)

    by TheNetAvenger ( 624455 ) on Friday October 13, 2006 @02:14AM (#16419617)
    Whatever happened to the /. I knew? Where people didn't just roll over when a big-ass company imposes artificial restrictions deliberately to software that you should be owning, rather than licensing

    You mean like Red Hat does with its client and server software or VMWare does with its free and professional software versions... (Should I go on?)

    This is how software companies have worked for YEARS. Are we so use to getting all our software for free and NOT supporting or giving money to companies for development?

    It would be different if MS was truly 'screwing' users with the prices, but they are not. Even non-server Linux distributions sell for about the same as a Home copy of MS Windows.

    Are we all so 'young' we forget about the days of Novell ruling the network server world, where you paid THOUSANDS for a file and printer Server that had limited 5 Client access? Part of the reason WindowsNT took down Novell in the early 90s was MS didn't charge an arm and a leg for the Server OS, and then nickel and dime the clients, and it was also a true application and media server, not just files and printers.

    It would be awesome if companies could give away software for free and no one ever had to pay for R&D, but without R&D, products stop getting released and stop having innovation. Sure there is a cost, but MS offers a 'generic' form of Windows for users and OEMs that don't need the extra features, and even these generic versions offer more 'network connection' licenses than the $3500 copies of Novell businesses were buying in the early 90s.

    If all businesses 'curtailed' to this model, then the cost for Windows Vista would be $299 dollars for an OEM or Home user, where now they can get it for under $100 for basic functionality.

    If you want to run a Server, buy a server OS license, even Red Hat will sell you one for about as much as the MS WIndows 2003 Server, in fact more than what the 2003 Server Web Edition version retails for.

  • Re:Two words... (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 13, 2006 @02:45AM (#16419803)
    Or is there some other thing I'm not aware of?

    Yes, the non-MS solutions.

    X. X over SSH. And if you want to include MS afterall, there's still the big one: Citrix.
  • Re:THREE words (Score:3, Informative)

    by Rohan427 ( 521859 ) on Friday October 13, 2006 @03:09AM (#16419923)
    Name three.

    Akamai does not use it on 99.9% of their servers. Good thing for us Internet users too. If they used M$ on the tens of thousands of servers they have, the services they provide would cost a LOT more. Those costs would be passed on to you and me by thier many customers.
    Quake Global (my company) is switching to Linux.
    Burlington Coat Factory made the switch some years ago.

    Do a little browsing and you can name your own thirty-three.

    The prevailing attitude is that you must use Windows, regardless of how painful it is. Everyone else uses Windows, and the business of business is business. CTOs and CIOs don't want to hear about OpenOffice or Samba, etc, because it just muddies the waters they're paid to keep clear.

    Be very careful when making such blanket statements. The prevailing attitude in IT departments is to use whatever best suites the job. IT courses teach up-and-coming IT professionals to use whatever best does the job and to ignore price until it is the deciding factor between tools. Any executive worth a damn will trust the IT department - the experts they hired - to provide the best solution for the task and company. CEOs don't want to hear about the details. CIOs and CTOs know the details or know that their departments can make the right choices. The prevailing attitude in my company is to move away from Windows as much as possible because it's too expensive and unreliable. Executives, lower-level employees, IT, all are tired of the M$ BS and expense. Many companies are making the switch - all you have to do is read a little to see the evidence of it.

  • by Pofy ( 471469 ) on Friday October 13, 2006 @05:49AM (#16420795)
    >Legally, they can put whatever the heck kind of restrictions they want on their license.

    No, because laws controls and restricts what is allowed to put into consumer contracts. When selling to business, it is basically correct though, there is very little at all you can't put into a contract.
  • Re:Two words... (Score:3, Informative)

    by Octorian ( 14086 ) on Friday October 13, 2006 @07:54AM (#16421367) Homepage
    Cedega certainly does NOT play most games pretty well. It plays whatever 3-4 games are "considered to be popular" by the vocal majority of their subscriber base, pretty well. Screw everyone else. (you'll see enough comments at people pissed off over this) It almost feels as if Cedega is just making scores of game-specific hacks and workarounds, without improving the overall level of Windows compatability.

    While I technically still have a Cedega subscription, it seems as though I still have to reboot into Windows for almost anything I might actually want to play.

Testing can show the presense of bugs, but not their absence. -- Dijkstra