Microsoft Allows All Vista SKUs to Be Virtualized

Microsoft has done an about-face on its previous about-face and has now decided that it will allow all versions of Windows Vista to be licensed for use in a virtual machine environment. The software maker will announce this change of heart at its Virtualization Deployment Summit in Bellevue, Wash., on Jan.22. Virtualization lets a single machine run multiple operating systems, creating greater flexibility and efficiency for customers. The revised Vista end-user licensing agreement now states that "instead of using the software directly on the licensed device, you may install and use the software within only one virtual (or otherwise emulated) hardware system on the licensed device." "When used in a virtualized environment, content protected by digital rights management technology, BitLocker or any full volume disk drive encryption technology may not be as secure as protected content not in a virtualized environment. You should comply with all domestic and international laws that apply to such protected content," it says.

This is a reversal from June 2007, when the company announced it was standing firm on its more restrictive virtualization policy. Shanen Boettcher, Microsoft's general manager for Windows product management, told eWEEK that the about-turn is a response to ongoing feedback from customers. Larry Orecklin, Microsoft's general manager for server infrastructure, added that customers have shown increased interest and usage of virtualization over the past six months, and that Microsoft can provide guidance to ensure customers have a secure infrastructure. "We think the market is now ready for this," he said.

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So does this mean that if I have Vista [Edition] running on a Physical machine, and I decide to run a VPC on my physical machine, I can run the Vista [edition] I have on my physical machine on my VPC with the same license/cdkey?

i didn't even know you werent allowed to virualize it, i had it running on a virtual machine for a while, hell if i own a license i think i shoudl bea ble to do what i like with it..., now if only apple would let you run MACOS on a virtual machine legally..

(whocares78 said @ #3)
i didn't even know you werent allowed to virualize it, i had it running on a virtual machine for a while, hell if i own a license i think i shoudl bea ble to do what i like with it..., now if only apple would let you run MACOS on a virtual machine legally..

That's the thing really - you don't own much of anything. You are just purchasing the right to use it.

Only the higher-end levels had allowances for running in a virtual environment.

It sounds like they will now allow home users to run their OS virtually. (still need multiple licenses, one per instance, whether host or guest)

Now if they would let up some on Activation and make it less restrictive and faulty so that just updating a driver doesn't negate it.

I've never had that problem, I did have a problem when I had to call them because I put my Vista on a newly built machince, but they were helpful with activating it for me. Personally I've gotten over activation and it's really no problem imo. I think it's much more helpful for them if they increase the number of licenses you get with each retail copy of vista. I think 2 licenses per copy is a fair deal, since most people these days have more than 1 computer. If they could do it with Office I don't understand why they can't do the same with Vista.

Hey, how do you activate Vista in a VM anyway? Won't that screw with MS's activation system? The enterprise version didn't need activation from MS.

Change "SKUs" in headline to read "versions" and then you've got all the trappings of an interesting article.

What I find surprising is their comment on DRM. They're basically flat-out telling people "You can use VMware to own our DRM, but...play nice? Pleeeeeeeeease?"

I wonder what was the real tipping point that had them going back on the no-virtualization policy. Perhaps the realization that VMs would continue to evolve until Vista couldn't detect them anymore?