Robert McLaws: Windows Edition

Blogging about Windows since before Vista became a bad word

Microsoft to Adjust Vista EULA for Anytime Upgrade Transfers

About six weeks ago, I was contacted by one of my readers asking for clarification on the ability to transfer a Vista Ultimate license that has been upgraded from Home Premium using Windows Anytime Upgrade. They were under the impression that you could only make a transfer once, which I told him was incorrect. Why would Microsoft limit Anytime Upgraded Vista Ultimate transfers when a retail copy of Ultimate wasn't under a transfer limit?

Well, it turns out he was right, the EULA did have a clause limiting you to one transfer after running an Anytime Upgrade of Home Premium to Ultimate. But I was totally stunned. Did MSLegal accidentally overlook those clauses when they made the earlier EULA change before Vista shipped?

So I e-mailed the Featured Communities team about it, who passed my very long and impassioned argument for fixing the issue on to the Licensing team. Among other things, I said they should fix it before the Microsoft-haters figured it out and turned what was probably an honest mistake into a huge deal. They said they had already received a number of questions about the issue, and would look into it. A couple weeks later, I was sent an e-mail saying they were going to address the issue, and they'd let me know what was going to happen.

Well today, I got an e-mail letting me know that the limitation has been lifted, and a new EULA will be posted shortly (probably tomorrow). Microsoft has also updated the Anytime Upgrade FAQ with the new information (scroll down to the very bottom, it's the last question.) Here's the excerpt, for people with carpal tunnel:

Am I allowed to transfer my software from one device to another when I upgrade using Windows Anytime Upgrade?

Microsoft is modifying the end user license agreement for full packaged product versions of Windows Vista purchased through a retailer or from Microsoft, and then upgraded using Windows Anytime Upgrade. Under the terms of the modified license agreement, you are now granted the right to uninstall Windows Vista and then reinstall the operating system on a different computer. Provided you uninstall the operating system from your original computing device and do not share the license among multiple devices, you are no longer limited in the number of times that you may reassign the license to different devices. This modification is effective immediately, and will be included within future versions of the end user license agreement. All other terms of the end user license agreement apply to your use of the software.

They even made it easy to understand. Now, I don't have the updated EULA yet, but I'm told there will be a post on the Official Windows Vista Blog about it tomorrow. I'll update this post when it's live.

So there you have it folks... just one more example about how Microsoft listens and responds to its customers. Maybe now all the haters will realize Microsoft is a different company now... but I won't hold my breath or anything.

UPDATE: For those of you that didn't believe me yesterday, Microsoft has confirmed this on the Official Windows Vista Blog, although they haven't posted the new EULA.