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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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  • by HangingChad ( 677530 ) on Thursday October 12, 2006 @07:42PM (#16415927) Homepage

    Load weapon

    Aim at foot

    Pull trigger


    • You wish (Score:3, Interesting)

      by overshoot ( 39700 )
      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.

    • 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.
  • A good thing (Score:3, Insightful)

    by nurb432 ( 527695 ) on Thursday October 12, 2006 @07:43PM (#16415941) Homepage Journal
    If they make it hard enough to do your job, or piss off enough home users.. It can only be a good thing.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      Eh, I'm sure a lot of us (being the Slashdot crowd) would be bothered by these things, but I honestly can't see 95%+ of Vista users even noticing.

      There are lots of great uses for virtual machines, but you don't need one to surf MySpace and YouTube, send e-mail, download porn, run Word, or any of the things the vast majority of home users will be using their PCs for.
      • 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.

      • 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.
    • by RLiegh ( 247921 ) * on Thursday October 12, 2006 @07:54PM (#16416083) Homepage Journal
      Can we take it that you're willing to volunteer for the job of easing window lusers over to *nix? 'Cos I know I sure as hell won't. I like the fact that using *nix gets me away from having to do n00b tech support. I don't want to see that fucked up!
  • by joshetc ( 955226 ) on Thursday October 12, 2006 @07:43PM (#16415945)
    Now everyone knows we only have to bother with pirating Vista Ultimate and Vista Business.
  • 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 [] to run alternate versions of IE (though it's got its own drawbacks).

    Something to think about, though.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by mgkimsal2 ( 200677 )
      It's got more of a long term effect. If people can't legally virtualize the basic/home versions, QA testing on those versions will suffer. Yes, technically, they may be the same products, but I'm confident there will be some little niggling issues that only crop up under certain configurations on one version or another. If the only legal way people can effectively test their software on the 'basic/home' versions of Vista is to purchase multiple copies for multiple machines, they may not do that, and opt
    • 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.
  • by rodgster ( 671476 ) * <> 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.
    • 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...

  • My options (Score:5, Interesting)

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

    #2 Use ReactOS [] 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.
    • Re:My options (Score:5, Insightful)

      by pla ( 258480 ) on Thursday October 12, 2006 @08:17PM (#16416439) Journal
      My options

      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.

      No virtualization? "Home" users don't virtualize, with one exception - To save having to multiboot into Linux (and those fall into the extreme minority). Thus, this limitation amounts to "no painlessly trying out Linux allowed".

      5 client connections? Not sure about that one... Did they decide the whopping 10 from XP allowed too much power to the users? At least for the XP line, only an idiot would run a business on Home (or even Pro) anyway, when SBS 2003 costs relatively little to make a shop legal.

      As for license transfers... With OEM versions, you already can't transfer them. So that means this won't affect 99% of home users right from the start. As for upgrades... Much like XP's much-protested activation, this will vanish with the first service pack as soon as MS starts getting dozens, then hundreds, then potentially thousands of calls a day from people who made one upgrade too many and have a dead system. MS can throw lawyers at any problem, but they can't afford to piss too many users off.

      So, most of these seemingly-offensive policies depend entirely on the fact that most of their users won't even notice the change. Then again, if these affect so few people - Why bother?
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Patoski ( 121455 )
        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.
  • 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.

  • That does it (Score:5, Insightful)

    by linguae ( 763922 ) on Thursday October 12, 2006 @07:56PM (#16416117)

    I mean, what is Vista about these days? First, they gutted out the Monad shell and WinFS, two features that would have possibly made me wait for Vista and get a PC instead of switching to a Mac. Secondly, they add new DRM restrictions that weren't present on Windows XP. Now, you can't even run the cheaper versions of Vista in a virtual machine due to licensing issues. As a Mac user, I don't feel like installing Windows natively with Boot Camp; I'd rather use a product like Parallels so that way I can run OS X and Windows simulataneously.

    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, and I was looking at Vista news to see whether or not installing Vista on my computer was worthwhile. But this is my last straw with Vista. How can a company sit on their butts for 5 years, not update their operating system (other than security upgrades), and rest on their laurels with the next major version of their operating system is beyond me. Windows XP is ancient compared to OS X's and Linux's fast adoptation of new technologies, new innovative features (Expose, Spotlight or Beagle), new development tools (look at Python's and Ruby's penetration in Linux), new internet browsers (Safari, Firefox, Konqueror), etc. Five years in computing is an eternity. And after five years, all we get is a half-baked clone of OS X with more licensing restrictions, more DRM, and a higher price tag (why should I spend $399 for full-featured Windows Vista Ultimate when I can get OS X for $129 [yes, I know that $129 is subsidized by Apple, you can't run OS X on a PC legally, blah blah blah, but $129

    I was looking forward to Vista until recently. Now I wish Microsoft would delay it another year so that way they can release it with all of its promised features. They also need to cut the BS restrictions with licensing as well. It looks like MS has lost me as a customer. They will continue to lose me unless they port the Windows API to OpenBSD....

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

      by nine-times ( 778537 ) <> 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 syousef ( 465911 ) on Thursday October 12, 2006 @07:56PM (#16416125) Journal
    Take a look at the EULA for Microsoft Flight Simulator 9 if you own it. You can only transfer license to someone else once. Latest version called FSX is coming out with activation (which amusingly has already been cracked before official release - already been distributed and some stores have accidentally sold it) and there are rumours that multiuser play is going to require a subscription.

    What's new is that Microsoft seems to have convinced themselves of their own propaganda and think people will pay again and again endlessly for the same thing ala a subscription model, put up with restrictions that make the software useless in their personal circumstances, and that they'll still increase their profits because most people only do a handful of things and if they can do them will keep paying for them repeatedly.

    I suspect Microsoft's going to have to deal with a rude awakening from their DRM dream in the next few years. I'll be very surprised if this tactic works. It's very much the same thing you're seeing with music and movie distributors wanting to live some economic fantasy instead of deal with the reality that some people are theives and most people won't buy things that are totally useless to them or worse actually a time wasting pain in the neck to use. In the mean time we're all in for a rough ride.
  • 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.
  • 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 ( 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.
  • Thanks microsoft. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Unknown Poltroon ( 31628 ) * <> on Thursday October 12, 2006 @08:04PM (#16416249)
    I'll be guilt free when in 7 years i finally feel the need to switch to vista and download a fully cracked and DRM free version off the file sharing site of choice. It must suck to be one of your paying customers.
  • by A beautiful mind ( 821714 ) on Thursday October 12, 2006 @08:04PM (#16416255)
    "Many years ago this was a thriving, happy planet - people,
    cities shops, a normal world. Except that on the high streets of
    these cities there were slightly more BSA offices than one might
    have thought necessary. And slowly, insidiously, the numbers of
    these BSA offices were increasing. It's a well known economic
    phenomenon but tragic to see it in operation, for the more BSA
    offices there were, the more arcane EULAS they had to make and the worse
    and more unreadable they became. And the worse they were to read,
    the more people had to agree to to keep themselves legal, and the more
    the offices proliferated, until the whole economy of the place
    passed what I believe is termed the EULA Event Horizon, and it
    became no longer economically possible to build anything other
    than BSA offices. Result - collapse, ruin and famine. Most of the
    population died out. Those few who had the right kind of genetic
    instability mutated into cavemen - you've seen one of them - who
    cursed proprietary software, cursed the companies, and vowed that none should
    use it again. Unhappy lot. Come, I must take you to the
  • Bone head maneuver (Score:5, Insightful)

    by syousef ( 465911 ) on Thursday October 12, 2006 @08:04PM (#16416265) Journal
    We all know what piracy really does is it devalues software (by increasing supply without increasing demand - nothing at all to do with physical stealing as they would have us believe).

    So to stop piracy they're going to make their software less valuable (less functional) which kinda defeats the point of preventing the piracy. Now you'll lose sales because less people will want your software because to a lot more people it's a useless piece of shit. Yep that'll teach them pirates.

    Love the new MS leadership. Quick Jim, lets press the self destruct button and lets get out of here before she implodes!
  • by davek ( 18465 ) on Thursday October 12, 2006 @08:06PM (#16416299) Homepage Journal
    Only when selling numbers are you able to dictate the exact details of how your product is used. What other marketable item exists where the seller has the full force of law behind it they say "this product can only be used for bla bla bla...". If I want to buy a sofa and use it as a bed, I can do that. If I complain to the sofa dealer about my back hurting, they won't listen to me, because they said it was for sitting, not sleeping. However, if my dealer is Microsoft, they call the FBI and put me in jail for violation of contract.

    Open source is the only software. When all you pay for is arranged numbers, you forfit all your rights of ownership to the dealer. At least, that's how it works these days...

    • 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 geekoid ( 135745 ) <dadinportland&yahoo,com> on Thursday October 12, 2006 @08:13PM (#16416383) Homepage Journal
    I would be courting game developers, big time.

    Free tools, lots of give aways, maybe buy a game company.

    Gaming is the only reason to go with Vista anymore.

    I do know that Apple doaes have most of the major titles, but there release is late.

    I would also have advertisments that are about gaming on a Mac.
  • by carrier lost ( 222597 ) on Thursday October 12, 2006 @08:22PM (#16416481) Homepage

    Personally, I'm all for anything that makes Windows:
    1. More expensive
    2. Less Useful
    3. Less Necessary
    4. More Frustrating

    Especially if it involves Microsoft pointing the gun at its own foot.


  • by crhylove ( 205956 ) <> 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.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by waferhead ( 557795 )
      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
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by zsau ( 266209 )
      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 ot
  • 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.
  • by MauMan ( 252382 ) on Thursday October 12, 2006 @08:32PM (#16416649) Homepage
    I keep VM versions of earlier MS operating systems and OSs at different patch levels (eg XP/XP S1/XP SP2) for testing purposes when I release software. I'm glad to see the Microsoft does not want small developers to test for compatibility on home versions of Vista.
  • 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.

  • by r3m0t ( 626466 ) on Thursday October 12, 2006 @08:48PM (#16416861)
    The license says you can only transfer the software once, and with the agreement. But the person you transfer it to can also transfer it once themselved, because they are bound by an agreement between Microsoft and them, not between Microsoft and you.
  • by Chabil Ha' ( 875116 ) on Thursday October 12, 2006 @09:31PM (#16417341)
    It sure would be nice to get someone from MS to talk to. Someone who isn't going to sputter out marketing hype and techno babble. No, just geek to geek. I would have some down to earth questions to ask instead of listening to the echo chamber. I would ask some questions I haven't yet seen on this story in addition to some that people here are asking. Honest questions wanting some honest answers.

    My questions would go something like this:

    Microsoft, I think you got a pretty good OS and I know that you know you have one too, so let's cut the hype here and talk like normal (geek) folks instead of marketers. Now, your EULA obviously makes sense from your standpoint, but there a few of us out here scratching our heads. For example, some of us build our own machines and like to upgrade our parts fairly often. Now, when we purchase your OS, we expect that license to go with us as we make our 'rigs better. However, as I understand your license, we can install Vista and only really do one upgrade before our license goes up in smoke. From our viewpoint that really doesn't seem fair to have to spend an additional $300+ for the OS for doing something simple like upgrading a $150 motherboard, or adding an additional $100 of RAM. What options are there out there for those of us who would like to have Vista, but not substantially increase the cost of upgrading hardware? Is our market segment too small for you to worry about?

    Some of us are developers and need a low cost solution to test our software against. As I understand the EULA, I won't be able to install Vista on a VM unless I buy one of the more pricier versions. I really feel like I've been painted into a corner here because buying a lesser version meets my needs as far development is concerned, but your EULA doesn't allow that. Did you take us into consideration when creating the EULA, and will any cheaper solutions exist for developing on your platform?

    Etc, etc. Cmdr Taco, can you set something up??? Or are the Microsofties as repulsed by /. as Bill Clinton is to Bill O'Rielly?
  • by Guppy06 ( 410832 ) on Thursday October 12, 2006 @10:00PM (#16417675)

    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 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
  • by Somebody Is Using My ( 985418 ) on Thursday October 12, 2006 @11:20PM (#16418441) Homepage
    I don't think you all grasp the cunningness of Microsoft's new strategy. It's well known that Microsoft's biggest competitor is... Microsoft themselves. Convincing people to upgrade to their latest-and-greates product has always been an uphill struggle for Microsoft. Microsoft has such a stranglehold on the market that no new product -not even their own- can break that iron grip.

    But with Vista, the marketing geniuses at Microsoft have come up with a plan to finally break that viselike grip. If the problem is that Microsoft's marketshare is too big, then there's only one thing to do: convince consumers to stop buying Microsoft products. Only then will Microsoft have a fair chance at breaking into the market that Microsoft now controls.

    This isn't the first time Microsoft has utilized this strategy; they tested the waters with WindowsME. However, Microsoft hedged their bets back then with the concurrent release of Windows2000. But WinME proved their tactics had merit; they created such a despicable product that consumers flocked to WindowsXP.

    Now, with the imminent release of Vista, Microsoft is betting the entire company; there is no "backup" product to save the day in case the strategy flops, as was Windows2000. Microsoft has put all its eggs in the basket with Vista, and they have worked hard to make sure Vista is something nobody wants. It has only the minimum of improvments while at the same time necessitating obscenely high hardware requirements to make use of those features. Microsoft is also -as this latest development shows- injected their new flagship OS with as many painful ways to restrict the consumer in how he uses the software he has paid for. So not only is it a product nobody needs, not only is it a product nobody wants, but it is also a product that doesn't do anything well. Vista is sure to flop, costing Microsoft billions of dolllars and a significant percentage of their marketshare. Microsoft has even gotten their games division involved; all future Microsoft games will be Vista (DirectX 10) only; when Vista inevitably flops, so will all those games.

    And then, when Microsoft is shattered by its own incompetance, that's when Microsoft will swoop in for the kill.*

    Devious and cunning. Who says Microsoft doesn't innovate?

    * My brain hurts.

Each honest calling, each walk of life, has its own elite, its own aristocracy based on excellence of performance. -- James Bryant Conant