Robert McLaws: Windows Edition

Blogging about Windows since before Vista became a bad word

Microsoft Listens! Vista EULA Changes

Nick White from the Official Windows Vista Blog just posted some very interesting news. It appears that Microsoft actually has ears, and listens to the feedback it gets. While not budging on the fact that only Vista Business and Vista Ultimate are allowed to be used inside a Virtual Machine (it really does make sense, except for a few software testing-related edge cases), Microsoft has amended the terms of the Vista EULA to allow retail box copies of Vista to be transfered between machines an unlimited number of times.

It's important to note that the copy of Vista you buy on a new PC cannot ever be moved to another machine... just like in XP. That's not changing either.

Kudos to Microsoft for listening to the community. Now, about that Vista Family Pack...



  • James Cliffe said:

    Oh Robert, you and your family pack. <3

    November 2, 2006 2:30 PM
  • List244 said:

    About time they respond! Microsoft has made an excellent decision here which will surely increase their sales. I for one will be sure to purchase the new Windows, as far as limiting virtualization, I have no complaints.

    November 2, 2006 2:49 PM
  • Why do you say that it makes sense to only allow ultimate and business versions inside virtualization.

    November 2, 2006 5:20 PM
  • terri said:

    One quick correction, Robert.  Although you're close on the new computers, you forgot one scenario.  It would depend on the license used as to whether or not it will be transferable.  

    Many new computers are from system builders and they often use a retail license with a valid key.  That license should be transferable if the OS is removed from the first machine.  

    Lumping all new computers into the types sold by HP, Dell, etc. who use OEM licensing isn't quite accurate.

    November 2, 2006 7:09 PM
  • List244 said:

    MySchizoBuddy, In my opinion, this limitation of non-business/ultimate editions make sense because they are not the kind of users that need virtualization. Virtualization is often important in business settings as it allows for business' to test software without multiple machines being setup. In addition, they do not need to reboot a machine to try out software. Also, ultimate edition is the "ultimate" edition, so of course it would need it. Basic home users do not really "need" virtualization. For this reason, it makes sense to take it from those versions. If you need this, then you need Ultimate, they have to draw the line somewhere.

    Terri, I think it is safe to assume most PCs purchased will come with an OEM version of the OS. I do not know of any deals Microsoft has made that would allow companies to install non-OEM OSs on computers for retail. Which means, you are either getting an OEM version, illegal version, or you are getting that 400(Ultimate) dollar charge shoved in somewhere.

    November 2, 2006 11:41 PM
  • @List244

    That doesn't make sense. It is true virtualization is *most* used by enterprise users and as the Ultimate edition contains everything it should contain that as well, but just because only a small number of people use it in the home series is no reason to make it completely illegal in the Home series.

    Even more so because it's not a technical thing but just a license thing.

    I use virtualization at home very often. I always install new versions of software or some application I want to try out first in a VM. Just so I don't want to nuke my main system all to often :)


    I think Robert is right about the Family pack licensing. I will certainly not buy Vista Ultimate for the pricing they published as a single license, but I will buy it if I could install it on 2 or 3 systems.

    November 3, 2006 1:33 AM
  • markheath said:

    I am disappointed that I will need to get Ultimate edition to use virtulisation. I write freeware utilities from time to time, and the ability to use Virtual PC on my home computer would be invaluable for testing the installers. I was hoping that Home Premium would allow me to do this.

    November 3, 2006 1:42 AM
  • List244 said:

    Michielonline and Markheath:

    The idea is that you limit lower versions so you can sell higher versions. If they wanted to just give everyone rights to everything, they could easily just solely release Vista Ultimate. If you need virtualization, then, you are an Ultimate/Business user. That is the way Microsoft wants it. If the only thing in Ultimate you want is virtualization, think of it this way, you are paying 100 for the virtual license instead of another 300 for a real license. You have to draw the line somewhere.

    November 3, 2006 9:49 AM
  • I don't think lower versions will STOP you from being used in virtualization... it's just not LEGAL. But I'm not saying, not am I condoning, anyone breaking the law.

    November 3, 2006 12:15 PM
  • List244 said:

    I wouldn't try using virtualization without being sure it works. Microsoft's tests may cause problems when you try to activate the virtual environment. Of course, can't say for sure either way at this point.

    As far as the complaints about virtualization being needed to test things, really, I can't see this as true. If you are a home user, aren't you running Vista? Use virtualization for Linux, for XP, but why would you need to virtualize Vista itself? If you are already running it, no need for virtualizing it.

    November 3, 2006 5:48 PM
  • terri said:

    List 244, you're correct that many new machines will come with an OEM version, but certainly not all.  I'm not disputing that at all, only that there will be exceptions.  I know quite a few system builders who do use retail copies of the OS.

    It was simply a general statement where "can not ever" weren't the right words to use.  I think Robert will agree with that.

    November 4, 2006 3:57 PM
  • markheath said:

    List244, virtualization is fantastic for testing, even if you are already running the OS you want to test on. For one, you don't need to worry about a bug in your uninstaller accidentally removing some important registry keys. Also, you can quickly test on multiple different configurations without having to install and uninstall things on your main PC. For example, testing installs with different versions of .NET or DirectX, or testing your program upgrading itself from a previous version.

    Robert McLaws, do you know if Virtual PC 2007 will even install on Vista Home Premium? It doesn't on XP Home. Second, even if it does and you try to install your one copy of Vista HP into it, what will happen at activation time? As I understand it, Vista Ultimate will let you install to use in a VM up to 5 times.

    November 5, 2006 1:35 PM