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Vista to Allow "One Significant" Hardware Upgrade 641

fiorenza writes "Ars Technica spoke with Microsoft concerning the controversial changes in Windows Vista's licensing, and they have learned that Vista will permit one 'significant' hardware change before requiring users to either appeal to Microsoft support or purchase another license. Automatic re-activation online will fail after one use. Microsoft is using a new algorithm to monitor hardware changes and enforce licensing compliance, and the company says that it is more forgiving now than it was with Windows XP."
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Vista to Allow "One Significant" Hardware Upgrade

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    Windows has detected a new non-microsoft mouse and now your computer will self destruct in 5,4,3,2,1...
    • by hotrodman ( 472382 ) on Monday October 30, 2006 @04:31PM (#16647615)

          As a small-business owner who spends all day just configuring/fixing/testing/developing/working, I can tell you right now.....This would pound the last nail into the coffin for using MS products for me. MS obviously doesn't care about people that have to make things WORK and have little time to do so. After I have spend a few hundred hours tweaking a mail server that will have to deliver 100,000 messages per day, or a web farm that has to work FLAWLESSLY and serve hundreds of millions of hits per month, this one thing that I would not want to have to deal with, especially when I have to add/change a network interface to accomodate a SAN development or some other change where we don't have time to worry about such nonsensical shit as "Will the OS allow us to do this"

        Screw that. My shop will stay Linux anyway, but that is just BS!
        - Eric
    • by NerveGas ( 168686 ) on Monday October 30, 2006 @05:20PM (#16648581)
      That isn't as far-fetched as it sounds.

      Last week, our phone guy decided to reinstall the OS on our main voice mail server. Since it was running a "lowly" copy of Windows 2000 Pro, he decided that it needed a "server-grade" OS, and bought Microsoft Windows 2003 Server for Small Businesses. He installed in near the end of the week, and then took time off to put a new roof on his house.

      Well, this morning, the machine in question shut itself off. I turned it on, it shut itself off again in a couple of hours. I looked in event log, and found that the machine was turning itself off because we violated the EULA by not setting it up as a domain controller.

      Yep. Just because we didn't need to authenticate users, the machine keeps shutting itself off. Isn't that user-friendly?
      • no problem (Score:5, Funny)

        by zogger ( 617870 ) on Monday October 30, 2006 @06:04PM (#16649433) Homepage Journal
        ...your telephone guy left you stranded, so the least you can do is *return the favor*. Go over to his house, stop down the block and check it out. If he is up on the roof, quick drive over and steal the ladder, then drive off laughing maniacally.

      • by aaronl ( 43811 ) on Monday October 30, 2006 @06:10PM (#16649517) Homepage
        MS has this ridiculous system service called "SBSCore" that exists only to turn off the computer every hour if you aren't running as a DC. Install SysInternals' Process Explorer, suspend/pause sbscrexe, go into the registry to set the service to disabled, then remove all read permissions for every account from the actual file. The file is in \windows\system32\sbscrexe.exe. Then you can terminate the process. Don't delete the file, though, that really got Windows upset when I tried that.

        Reg key:

        HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Servic es\SBCore

        In regedit, right click, give Administrators permission to the key and all child nodes. Then change the Start DWORD that will appear undernearth that to 4.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by pugh ( 631207 )
        You should be more pissed off at your phone guy than Microsoft. Small Business Server 2003 is a package that's intended to be used in a certain way. It's considerably cheaper to buy everything included this way than to buy all of the parts separately, but it's subject to significant restrictions as to how you can use it. That's the deal. Shouldn't your phone guy have looked into that when he bought it on your behalf? I'm no Microsoft apologist but that's the way they choose to sell it and they are entit
  • So basically (Score:3, Insightful)

    by kennedy ( 18142 ) on Monday October 30, 2006 @04:27PM (#16647509) Homepage
    MS is looking to hurt the pc enthusiasts who for all intensive purposes helped them create such a vast "empire"?

    aside from the various "grey" hacks and cracks that *WILL* come out of this - this is a very poor choice for MS imo.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      "for all intents and purposes"
    • pc enthusiasts

      I think you meant "PC Novice". The enthusiasts were the ones trying new and different technologies rather than the bland boring crap that came with the PC.
    • Re:So basically (Score:5, Informative)

      by plover ( 150551 ) * on Monday October 30, 2006 @05:43PM (#16649041) Homepage Journal
      MS is looking to hurt the pc enthusiasts who ... helped them create such a vast "empire"?

      Sorry to disappoint, but the hobbyists are now decades removed from the empire builders. The hobbyists' desires no longer add value to the PC. The true empire builders are now the businesses who order 10,000 Dell PCs and the 10,000 Windows licenses to go with them. If you want to have an impact on the future direction of Windows, go work for one of the Fortune 500 companies and bend the ear of one of the resident Microsoft reps. Like any business, they only listen when it's money talking.

      By the way, Microsoft loves the big orders. They make boatloads of money with no expense. The nice thing about business customers is those 10,000 people already have their own support structure, and only a handful of headquarters people are authorized to call MS and bitch about problems. Microsoft can afford to spend a bit of money helping them, (making them look like they have gold-plated service,) and yet doesn't have to answer to the 9,995 idiots who would otherwise be punching the f'ing monkey and installing spyware.

    • by A_Non_Moose ( 413034 ) on Monday October 30, 2006 @06:21PM (#16649715) Homepage Journal
      MS is looking to hurt the pc enthusiasts who for all intensive purposes helped them create such a vast "empire"?

      "It looks like you're fucking up the english language!!11oneoneone
      Did you mean:
      a) Intents and purposes
      b) intensive porpoises
      c) insensitive poopy-faces?
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Americano ( 920576 )
      The PC enthusiasts may have helped Microsoft along, but let's be honest -- Microsoft's bread & butter today is businesses, the companies that buy copies of Office & Windows by the dozens, hundreds, or thousands, not the guy with three computers in his basement who enjoys tinkering. As somebody pointed out already, the enthusiasts are probably already using something other than Windows.

      For a business, given that most large businesses with a rolling upgrade/replacement plan, they will buy a PC, ru
  • by ByTor-2112 ( 313205 ) on Monday October 30, 2006 @04:28PM (#16647539)
    When, oh when, will we be able to use what we paid for for what we want, within the limits of the law, without asking permission. Sheesh.
    • by User 956 ( 568564 ) on Monday October 30, 2006 @04:37PM (#16647757) Homepage
      When, oh when, will we be able to use what we paid for for what we want, within the limits of the law, without asking permission.

      the phrase "0-day" doesn't exist for nothing.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      When, oh when, will we be able to use what we paid for for what we want, within the limits of the law, without asking permission. Sheesh.
      When you switch to Linux, of course.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 30, 2006 @04:39PM (#16647805)
      When we stop buying products that limit the ways in which we can use them.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      You can get what you paid for. You paid for a license.

      I never understood the idea of selling software, until I realized that software is never sold. For Microsoft, selling software would make no sense, because they couldn't really tell you not to decompile it, as long as you weren't breaking patent or copyright laws. Naturally, Microsoft doesn't want this to happen, since it would allow people to figure out their various proprietary protocols and formats [and then write a description and have somebody

    • by misleb ( 129952 )
      When, oh when, will we be able to use what we paid for for what we want, within the limits of the law, without asking permission. Sheesh.

      In -6 years.

  • Of course... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by oberondarksoul ( 723118 ) on Monday October 30, 2006 @04:29PM (#16647553) Homepage
    that all depends on how they choose to define 'significant'. Gamers who regularly upgrade their box are going to be unhappy at any rate; if a video card is considered 'significant', I can see storm clouds blowing. Of course, Microsoft won't care - they've got their money, and with the example of Halo 2, they can count on those purchases of Vista as given for the hardcore.
    • they lost me 7 years ago. That was the last box I bought with windows on. Since then, I've dumped them and switched to Linux. Never regretted it.
    • by IflyRC ( 956454 )
      Running XP, I have had to call support once. I have upgraded video cards, ram, hard drives, sound cards...the ONLY thing that has set off activation via hardware install was upgrading the processor and motherboard (which required a re-install of Windows XP). The other times I had to reactivate included my own choices of reinstalling the OS.
  • Another great use case for virtualization.

    • Which is exactly why the license forbids running most Vista editions in a VM.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by brunascle ( 994197 )
      yeah, they thought of that too...

      as it says in the EULA [theregister.co.uk], you cant use the Home or Premium versions with virtualization. only the $400 Ultimate version. but, apparently, there's no technical restrictions keeping you from doing it, just legal.
  • Cars (Score:2, Insightful)

    by nillawafer ( 1018564 )
    Anybody hear about the new cars? You buy them and you can only add one new component. After that, you've got to buy another one. Also, have you heard about the houses you can buy? You can only renovate them or add on to them one time. What?!? Doesn't make sense? That's because when you buy something you should be able to do what you want with it. The license is yours. When I buy a new car, I transfer my license the the new car. The license is mine.
    • Re:Cars (Score:4, Insightful)

      by jmorris42 ( 1458 ) * <jmorris@beau . o rg> on Monday October 30, 2006 @05:02PM (#16648237)
      > Also, have you heard about the houses you can buy? You can only renovate them or add on to them one time.
      > What?!? Doesn't make sense? That's because when you buy something you should be able to do what you want with it.

      Sorry dude, the infection has already spread. Go buy a house, cash money. Think you own it? Only if you bought a chunk of land in a very red state far away from any town.... of course most places like that are subject to being declared a wetland, wildlife preserve or national park with no prior warning.

      That house you think you bought was probably built by a developer in a major development project. They retained first dibs on it, selling you limited 'rights'. And if you will notice you agreed to annual fees to a 'homeowners association' that can and will tell you exactly what sort of renovations you can and can't do, what vehicles you can park, etc. Many even regulate against you erecting a TV antenna.

      And if that isn't enough, if your home is inside a city you may only use it for non-commercial purposes. And regardless of whether you live in a city/town, don't forget you get the 'right' to pay and pay property taxes to find any and all crazy schemes the government can invent.

      So yes, shrink wrap EULAs are horrible, but only because you can't see em until you pay, but we already bent over and surrendered the idea of property rights a century ago.
  • by Otter ( 3800 )
    ...before requiring users to either appeal to Microsoft support or purchase another license.

    I suppose that's true, in the sense that I'm required to either "appeal" to the valet parking guy or purchase another car.

  • by d3am0n ( 664505 ) on Monday October 30, 2006 @04:30PM (#16647591)
    So now the only reasonable option for the OS you purchased after you do something common like toss in a new video card, is to go out and get a pirate version? Well whatever, if MS wants to drive more people towards using superior pirated products, so be it. This seems to be part of a larger industry trend of artificially limiting products when there are uncrippled products out there if people look around, which just makes people want to look around. These sorts of tactics are going to bloat the pirate population, pass the rum me-hearty, y'aarrrrrrr.
  • I'm poor man (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Joebert ( 946227 )
    So does this mean I can't buy a 5 gig stick of ram now & another one later instead of a single 10 gig stick ?

    Man, it sucks being poor.
  • >> Automatic re-activation online will fail after one use.

    You get more than that with XP. How can Microsoft claim that this is more friendly?
    • "Automatic re-activation online will fail after one use." You get more than that with XP. How can Microsoft claim that this is more friendly?

      Because (they claim) fewer upgrades will require re-activation. They (claim to) have an improved algorithm that produces fewer false violations. That said, this sounds like the straw that breaks my proverbial camel's back.

  • Not exactly news (Score:3, Informative)

    by Sassinak ( 150422 ) <sassinak@@@sdf...lonestar...org> on Monday October 30, 2006 @04:30PM (#16647605) Homepage
    This is really funny but not really news knowing MS.

    See this: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2006/10/29/microsoft_ vista_eula_analysis/ [theregister.co.uk]

    and this: http://www.gripe2ed.com/scoop/story/2006/10/24/045 6/5625 [gripe2ed.com]

    and this: http://blogs.zdnet.com/Bott/?p=158 [zdnet.com]

    MS is doing their best to kill Vista when/where they can. I wonder if they have OS/2'itis.
  • by rehtonAesoohC ( 954490 ) on Monday October 30, 2006 @04:31PM (#16647623) Journal
    I purchased one copy of Windows XP Professional a long time ago, and since then I have installed it on at least 5 machines of mine or family.

    I did upgrade my computer at one point, and the activation failed, so I called Windows support. I was quickly connected to some outsourced support technician who asked me the CD key of my XP CD, as well as the serial number and release (I think?) number. After giving him this info, he gave me a new CD key, which I assumed to be one shot only, like the previous one I had.

    I have since learned that this is apparently a get-out-of-jail-free CD key, because I am able to install the same CD onto any machine with any hardware configuration and always pass Windows activation. And if Vista will be more lenient than XP was, then heck, I'm more than happy!
  • "... the company says that it is more forgiving now than it was with Windows XP."

    It's uncomfortable to be in the situation that when I want to upgrade my computer, I need to be "forgiven".

    The best of the Bush comedy videos [futurepower.org]
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by ClamIAm ( 926466 )
      "Forgive me Clippy, for I have sinned..."
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by newt0311 ( 973957 )
      no kidding. MS is now starting to behave as if they own your computer. What I find really interesting is that this helps linux a lot. right now, the biggest problem with Linux adoption (IMHO) is the application barrier to entry, ie. the lack of availability of games and other professional software. Interestingly enough, it is precisely the people who use such software who are also inclined to upgrade their hardware. so, MS is alieanating one of the most locked in segments in the entire market. This could be
  • Yes, "More Forgiving" in that now they wont sue you into the abyss ... just offer to let you pay them more money willingly ...

    "Nice computer you have there ... just make sure not to upgrade that same PC too far, since our platinum-level partners over at Dell and HP would be upset if anything were to 'happen' to your OS install ...."
  • http://techreport.com/onearticle.x/11109 [techreport.com]
    "Furthermore, users who go through such upgrades will be allowed to re-active their copy of Vista up to 10 times."

    I really dont think its as big of a deal as a lot of people are making it out to be. Here's an example of how it worked in XP:

    "User swaps the motherboard and CPU chip for an upgraded one, swaps the video adapter, adds a second hard drive for additional storage, doubles the amount of RAM, and swaps the CD ROM drive for a faster one.

    Result: Reactivation is N
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by LordKronos ( 470910 )
      Here's an example of how it worked in XP:

      "User swaps the motherboard and CPU chip for an upgraded one, swaps the video adapter, adds a second hard drive for additional storage, doubles the amount of RAM, and swaps the CD ROM drive for a faster one.

      Result: Reactivation is NOT required."

      And here is another example of how it worked (or rather, didn't work) in XP:

      Upgraded from a direct connected single hard drive to a RAID card and 2 drive mirrored array.

      Result: had to waste time on the phone with Microsoft get
    • "User swaps the motherboard and CPU chip for an upgraded one, swaps the video adapter, adds a second hard drive for additional storage, doubles the amount of RAM, and swaps the CD ROM drive for a faster one.

      I pretty much did all of that, and never had to re authorize. I even swapped the primary HD with a bigger one.
  • But simply re-installs. I hope it is safe to assume we'll be waiting ~5-6 years before the next Windows release. Suppose in 3 years I use my "one upgrade". Does this leave me room to reinstall Windows semi-annually or more frequent? I may not be the typical computer user but in the last 8 years or so I've sometimes gone as little as 2 weeks between formats.. this could be a serious issue for many people..

    The biggest benefit of a PC over buying something like a Mac was specifically upgrades. The ability to purchase a new video card for a relatively low price when games start requiring more than you can handle, etc. So effectively, this makes the PC lose its greatest benefit. That's absolutely ridiculous.

    Fuck you, Microsoft. Some of the other stuff that was new in their license kinda bothered me a bit, but it didn't really affect me much. But I'm a casual gamer, and this makes it impossible.
    • by Shados ( 741919 ) on Monday October 30, 2006 @04:40PM (#16647827)
      I didnt read the article, but the little bits above says that the algorythm is more forgiving than XP. in XP you can change almost everything and it doesn't notice... You think changing your videocard will trigger anything in Vista?

      Is this still true? I haven't tried to upgrade a component for a while (without at the same time reinstalling the OS onto a new HDD and all)--the last upgrade I did was to slot in new memory, and that went off without a hitch. I can see something like a video card being much harder, but my last video card replacement was under W2k, if I remember correctly, and probably required just a few reboots with a minimal amount of time spent using soft
  • This is nail number 128 in the coffin lid of the Universal Computing Device. Welcome to the machine.

    We will tell you when and where you may apply your licensed software. Do not try to trick us, because we will know. This hurts us more than it hurts you. It's for your own good. This is the only way we can protect our ability to deliver robust, secure software on-time and on-demand.

    ...Um. Scratch that.

    Thank you Linus. I mean, seriously. Thank you. Whose chaps would we be sucking if it weren't f
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by ettlz ( 639203 )
      Thank you Linus. I mean, seriously. Thank you. Whose chaps would we be sucking if it weren't for you?
      • Richard Stallman (GNU)
      • Theo de Raadt (OpenBSD)
      • Jordan Hubbard (FreeBSD)
      • Matt Dillon (DragonFlyBSD)
      • The Regents of the University of California
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by lawpoop ( 604919 )
      128 nails is more nails than anyone will ever need.
  • by Weaselmancer ( 533834 ) on Monday October 30, 2006 @04:35PM (#16647721)

    ...pray I don't alter it any further.

    • ...that a Smith and Wesson beats four aces any time.

      It's not off topic, just think about it for a moment.

    • As a discussion involving Microsoft grows longer, the probability of the Galactic Empire or Sith being mentioned approaches one.
    • "I am altering the deal...pray I don't alter it any further."

      Hmmm, that got mod'ed mostly as "Funny", yet when I read it, chills ran up and down my spine.

      I think there's rather more truth than not in the parent post. Remember, Microsoft owns that "copy of Windows" on that CD; you do not. Microsoft just lets you use it, for a fee. That's the deal, and they reserve the right to alter the deal at any point. That's what the EULA says, and the congress and the courts have largely agreed with them (or been pa
  • by bobdotorg ( 598873 ) on Monday October 30, 2006 @04:38PM (#16647785)
    If it's true that you need to purchase a new license after one significant upgrade, I suspect that for many, something like this will be their
    second upgrade. [apple.com]
  • Could somebody tag this 'assholes'? =P
  • Not to mention (Score:4, Informative)

    by dptalia ( 804960 ) on Monday October 30, 2006 @04:41PM (#16647837) Homepage Journal
    requiring all benchmarking to follow Microsoft's rules [theregister.com]. And not allowing virtualization for it's home versions.
  • Now the sense of "My Computer" is revealed for certain: it undeniably refers to "Microsoft's computer", that Microsoft forgives you for using.

    Does anyone believe that Microsoft would sell any copies of an OS that forced you to pay for a new copy just because you upgrade to a better computer, without the force of its monopoly? Probably because all the MS bloatware makes your old one run too slow.

    MS abused its monopoly by illegally bundling Internet Explorer. And by anticompetitively blackmailing HW vendors i
  • windows activation (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Pompatus ( 642396 ) on Monday October 30, 2006 @04:46PM (#16647955) Journal
    Windows activation is a joke anyway. You can keep using the same cdkey, you just have to call their 800 number. It's been awhile since I've done it, but they ask you a stupid question like "is this copy of windows installed on any other computers". I think once they asked me why I was reinstalling and I stated "reformat because of a virus". Let them argue that. If they complain you've called too much complain that their OS is too virus prone and keeps making you reformat. I don't know which is easier to do, get the anti-activation crack or call the 800 number.
    • by Shados ( 741919 )
      bingo. And it will be the same for Vista. It will just be a 5 minutes phone call away if you get activation issues, even if its not ligitimate.
      All this is, is an annoying way to "educate" (i use this lightly) people who don't know about how microsoft junk is being licensed. Aside for the phone call, you'll be able to do whatever with your CD... this is just for show more than anything else.
  • Windows Marketer...

    Hmmm, how can we generate more revenue?

    I know, we make it so that they can never re-install the OS on the same hardware without buying a new license.
    Then we design in new security flaws (what? We don't need to design in new security flaws? They're already there? - cool - no extra work needed then) - wait for the operating system to fubar itself, and then collect another license fee when the user re-installs it.

    Let's see - with a low estimate of 20 million users, at twice month re-insta
  • upgrade restrictions....

    With DRM, it is possible to do this...
  • by linguae ( 763922 ) on Monday October 30, 2006 @04:47PM (#16647973)

    It looks like forced activation and DRM is the wave of the future. MS gained their monopoly by creating an operating system (DOS and Windows up and including 2000) that can be ran on any old PC. MS used to not care about charging you for another license of Windows when you upgraded your PC multiple times; they figured that it was great that you were using Windows instead of OS/2, NEXTSTEP, DR-DOS, or the other alternatives at the time. Since they gained 95% market share, they repay you by implementing restrictive activation schemes that get worse with each release of Windows.

    I say, no thanks. Me and thousands of other people will still hold on to our Windows 2000 disks. Even though I don't use Windows anymore (too bad Boot Camp for Mac doesn't support Windows 2000), I know plenty of people who haven't gone to XP because of this. Activation negatively inconviences (and sometimes even locks out) those who legally buy their software (no activation scheme is perfect); those who illegally obtain their software can just download a cracked version or a corporate version of it. I don't want treated as a pirate as a customer. But that is how MS wants to treat us. Oh well. I'm not buying any new versions of Windows or Office for this Mac; I'm sticking to Windows 2000 and Office 2000.

    Viva Windows 2000!

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by couchslug ( 175151 )
      That Win2K disk is also good for data recovery.
      Just install on top of your borked XP system without reformatting. :)
      I have all the live CD alternatives, but if you only have a Win2K disk you can still save your stuff.
  • by The Creator ( 4611 ) on Monday October 30, 2006 @04:47PM (#16647979) Homepage Journal
    Before Microsoft has spent more money supporting a licenced customer than thay gained from the sale?
  • by cbiltcliffe ( 186293 ) on Monday October 30, 2006 @04:48PM (#16648001) Homepage Journal
    Microsoft's new algorithm:

    if ($windows_version = 'vista')
          $pirated = true;
    } else
          $pirated = true;

  • If M$ is going to even further ram this down our throats that if I add any hardware other than what they feel they've been paid for, they get paid again .... my first significant hardward upgrade will be the purchase of a Mac.

    I've already seen Vista preview editions at work, and I'm underwhelmed by it. If they're gonna lock it down so that I can't legitimately replace borked hardware without them getting a cut, they'll get nothing out of me.

    I'll run XP until they drop support for it, and I'll migrate to a
  • I've heard a lot of stories about all the changes that Microsoft is making to vista that are designed to combat piracy and prevent competition from the likes of Symantec, McAfee, etc.

    I for one am having in a hard time caring because I'm unlikely to run vista anytime soon, or have to support it. My primary environment is Linux, and while I do run Windows XP (at work), I do not depend on it. If they give me a new system at work with Vista on it, then I'll run it, but I won't spend my own money to buy a copy
  • No Biggie (Score:5, Informative)

    by Toreo asesino ( 951231 ) on Monday October 30, 2006 @05:21PM (#16648613) Journal
    I think i've re-activated my copy of XP about 5 times already - mostly because of new hardware. You call a free-phone number and they just ask you "how many computers have you installed it on?". If you're dumb enough to not say anything over 3, they'll give you a new key.

    It's not like the big Billy G has tapped into the line with a lie detector ready to call in a SWAT team or anything. Well, if he was, it was very convincing - anything's possible I suppose.
  • by kaoshin ( 110328 ) on Monday October 30, 2006 @06:33PM (#16649933)
    For Windows XP (pre SP1) a "significant hardware" change required an immediate reactivation. With the introduction of SP1, it stayed the same, except you were given a 3 day grace period to activate. Changes made to GPU, NIC, RAM, CPU, IDE, SCSI, HDD, or CD/DVD would result in a change in the hardware hash that is submitted to Microsoft, but only on the home edition of windows or on a professional edition that does not have a corporate volume license key. The corporate license for XP is not affected by hardware changes at all.
    Allowing one significant change for anyone is in fact more lenient than they were previously, as long as they continue to allow unlimited hardware changes for corporate users. For them to do otherwise would be crazy.

    "The change of a single component multiple times (e.g. from video adapter A to video adapter B to video adapter C) is treated as a single change." - Microsoft [microsoft.com]

    As long as the above still holds true, you could update your video card multiple times and it would still only register as that one significant change. If however, you also upgraded your soundcard it would register as a second change and would require reactivation.

    "Approximately 2 percent of activation requests are due to hardware changes or other reactivations." - Microsoft [microsoft.com]

    I'd wager that most people who are the kind of folks to upgrade their hardware also have corporate licensed editions of windows or are smart enough to know how to reload XP Pro or at least smart enough to pick up a phone and call Microsoft.

  • Just so I'm clear (Score:3, Interesting)

    by UnknowingFool ( 672806 ) on Monday October 30, 2006 @06:36PM (#16649975)
    If I read the EULA correctly, I only have the ability to install Vista twice? According to MS, any significant change would require activation? Significant meaning a new video or a new hard drive. Screw that. I've had at least 4 or 5 hardware failures in my machine since I installed XP. 2 HD failures (requiring full reinstalls), 2 MB failures, 1 video card failure. And that's not counting the number of times I had to reinstall XP just because it got bloated (I'm not the only user on my machine). Is it me or does it seem like MS wants me to "rent" their software?
  • by Necroman ( 61604 ) on Monday October 30, 2006 @06:36PM (#16649977)
    Anyone else notice the tags that are on this story?

    assholes, vista, microsoft, windows, drm (tagging beta)

    .... Oh Slashdot, I <3 you.
  • Acts of God? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by AnalogDiehard ( 199128 ) on Tuesday October 31, 2006 @12:28PM (#16659205)
    A year ago my PC got hosed by a lightning strike. I had to replace everything except the sound card.

    Under this act of God, beyond my control, M$ would have required me to call and beg for a new key.

    No thanks. It was overwhelming enough to purchase a tower, reinstall the OS and the apps, and recover from backups. And that was during a job hunt so the PC was critical to my career during a very stressful period. The last thing I needed is to deal with re-activating the OS.

    My upgrade path after W2K will be Mac. I have no desire to jump through activation hoops. Brilliant M$, you've just reduced your monopoly on the PC OS market...!

  • Recent experience (Score:3, Interesting)

    by UttBuggly ( 871776 ) on Tuesday October 31, 2006 @01:13PM (#16660067)
    I was more than a little concerned that I would run into a license validation issue recently.

    The motherboard in my son's PC went tits up, so he ordered an ASUS barebones box and an Athlon 64 CPU from NewEgg. We took everything else from his old eMachine chassis. (hey, it was a gift from his uncle)

    Anyway, we booted from an original XP CD we've owned for years. The PC it was originally installed on has long since been salvaged for parts and is no more. We installed the OS, an SP2 CD I keep handy, then connected to the net to get another 68 updates and such. Windows Update did it's "Genuine Advantage" update and....validated the XP license with no problem.

    I was prepared to browbeat an MS employee into realizing the original PC the license was installed on was like the snows of yesteryear, but it a non-event.

    The box has been running for 2 weeks with no issues. It's been through at least one Windows Update pass since then with no alarms or MS Gestapo banging on the door, black helicopters circling, etc.

    I would think a completely new system build (the eMachine came with a restore CD that only works on an eMachine) would have tripped an alarm for MS but that's apparently not the case.

    Hopefully, Vista will be as well designed! LOL.

"If it's not loud, it doesn't work!" -- Blank Reg, from "Max Headroom"