MS: Clean installs from "upgrade media" could be pirating

Late last week, Microsoft published a post on the Microsoft SMB community blog announcing that using any "hack" to install Windows 7 from upgrade media is not necessarily "legal" - and that users do not own the rights to perform such installs from upgrade media using this process.

If you're an owner of upgrade media, then you've probably experienced the painful migration process that the upgrade process tries to force you through - if you're using XP it requires you to boot to an existing Windows installation, use Windows easy transfer to backup your information, then will allow you to complete a "clean install" if it detects a partition with a previous, licensed copy of Windows installed. If you own Windows Vista you can also perform an in-place upgrade - which is often a slow, painstaking process.

The blog post, published by Eric Ligman appears to target Paul Thurrott's attempt to help confused users (that Microsoft has neglected) outlines that you must own a "qualifying full license to upgrade from in order to use the Upgrade license" and that by performing a clean install by using a hack you do not own a licensed copy of Windows. Eric Ligman also posted an image to demonstrate proper Windows upgrade licensing:

Eric goes on to point out that" ..when these posts and write-ups state that you can install clean from an Upgrade piece of software and they fail to mention that you need to own a qualifying software license to be legal to use the Upgrade software for the installation, they give the impression that because it is technically possible, it is legal to do."

The problem Microsoft has created is for customers that potentially do not have previous versions of Windows installed or on hand - a few years ago, you could boot to the setup, insert the older Windows media into the CD drive and it would detect that it was a legitimate copy. Now, Microsoft no longer offer this feature and forces users to have Windows already installed to prove that they have it licensed to them. Interestingly enough, this hack has actually been available since Vista was released in 2006 and was commonly used back then to perform clean installs from upgrade media too.

Eric goes on to point out that if you do own a full license to a qualifying previous version of Windows, then you own the rights to perform a clean install, as per the image above. A qualifying license is a full version of Windows XP or Windows Vista, not an upgrade edition.

Eric has also posted stating that he will answer further questions on Monday - Neowin will provide updates as more details are available.

Edit: Title corrected

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Eric has finally lost it.

His statement that "you must own a FULL VERSION of a prior OS" is crazy! That means that if you upgrade your current XP computer to Windows 7, you CANNOT upgrade it to Windows 8 without buying a new FULL VERSION license! Microsoft has ALWAYS considered a legally-upgraded OS to be the equivalent of a FULL OS license.

As Eric points out, an Upgrade version of the previous OS isn't, by itself, a license to the prior OS. But an Upgrade version ON TOP OF A PRIOR FULL VERSION is a competely legitimate basis for an Upgrade to Win7.

The are likely millions of us who haven't purchased a FULL version of Windows in years. My primary desktop's last FULL version license is based on a full version of Windows 3.11 purchased in 1993. Since then, I've been applying Upgrades on that original license and this is a completely legitmate strategy. Microsoft could require me to show that my original Win 3.11 license is not being used on any other PC and that my Upgrades aren't being used on any other PC, but if that's the case, then my OS meets MS' licensing terms.

I finally got a look at the Retail Windows 7 Professional EULA. It's finally on Microsoft's site.

In the Retail Windows 7 Professional EULA, I see this:

"15. UPGRADES. To use upgrade software, you must first be licensed for the software that is eligible for the upgrade. Upon upgrade, this agreement takes the place of the agreement for the software you upgraded from. After you upgrade, you may no longer use the software you upgraded from."

Let's say I have a PC with FULL Retail Windows 2000 Professional installed. Then I upgrade it using Retail Box XP Professional UPGRADE software.

Now I want to upgrade it using Retail Box Windows 7 Professional UPGRADE software. Can I "legally" upgrade my PC to Windows 7 or not?

According to the EULA, it appears I can. I have a license for XP, right? Or do I not have a license for XP?. [EULA: "To use upgrade software, you must first be licensed for the software that is eligible for the upgrade."]

I have all my Retail Box Windows boxes (2000, XP, and Window 7). I have all my License Keys. I have all of the paper that came with each releaase. All the licenses have been dedicated to this single PC. They are not being used anywhere else.

If this is contrary to the EULA, I'm not seeing it. But Eric Ligman's statement last week, Eric stated that only a "Full License" could be upgraded. But now I see that another "Microsoft spokesperson" is saying that the requirement for Upgrade is a dedicated license for an eligible previous version of Windows.

Tekzel said,
They aren't saying you can't do a clean install. You can, you can have the installer format the drive after it verifies that you have a licensed upgrade target on the machine.

This needs to be made very clear from official sources, and it's really irritating me that it's not.

I have an OEM version of Windows Vista from Dell. After reading several comments here and elsewhere, I finally understand that if I buy the Windows 7 Upgrade, every single time I want to install it on my machine, I must first install my Windows Vista. Then I can insert my Win7 Upgrade disk and do a format and clean install during Win7 setup procedure.

Process:
1. Install Windows Vista
2. Insert Windows 7 Upgrade
3. Select format and clean installation when prompted.
4. Repeat 1-3 whenever you re-install Windows 7

Right??

Here's my real question though... If I want to do another clean installation of Windows 7 after the initial one, doesn't the installer count itself as a licensed copy, and install over itself? Or is the disc just too dumb to know that the version of Win7 it's overwriting is valid?

I thought this was pretty simple, how can people get it so wrong.

If you have a valid license of windows on your computer, you can use the upgrade version ON THAT LICENSE ONLY (for OEM that computer only as license is tied to the computer).

If you do not have a valid license of windows, you have to either be an OEM and purchase the OEM copy from UMART etc... with the computer, OR buy a FULL RETAIL.

Otherwise you already have an OEM copy of the latest version of windows with your computer and this does not affect you.

There is NO middle ground. Just because you do not need to prove you are eligible to upgrade, does not mean it is legal, the EULA overrides technical limits placed on the software in a legal sense.

The way I see this is slightly different. You pay for a key to get through activation. Whats on the DVD is the same for everyone, except for the student / N / E editions. Whether you upgrade from nothing or you clean install the result is still the same, what exactly does it matter how you get there? So what people found a more affordable way to get Windows 7. I had this very idea last year during beta testing. Whats more is that if Microsoft activation accepts it, then it should either be ok, or otherwise the whole activation scheme is flawed for letting it happen.

How many people don't have a previous legit copy of windows? Maybe 5% ... maybe. Even Paul Thurrott (Supersite for Windows) disagrees with MS's stance on this.

What is all this BS about the upgrade being difficult? I did a clean install over my Windows Vista and it installed and activated just fine, no hacks or anything. Anything from vista was placed in Windows.old which is easily removable. Doing an install from a blank harddrive with media clearly marked "Upgrade" is pirating because you're paying for an upgrade license, not a full one.

MANY people with OEM licenses have NO Install CD (because it was shipped that way) and may no longer be able to get one. They own a PC with a full (OEM) license for their previous OS and performed a fully legal Win7 Upgrade.

Now their hard drive fails. Shouldn't they be entitled to re-install their Win7 Upgrade? How is that piracy?

This is BS...the reality is...even tho MSFT wants you to have a pre-existing install...there is nothing that forces you to keep the old install so its a moot point. The fact is this...as long as you have the following you qualify to use the upgrade. If you have a system that has its original restore partition fro the factory which actually contain your Windows install as a backup...you are legally upgrading. If you posess and actual recpvery disk that contains the OS or you have a retail or OEM copy of the actual disk media, you can legally upgrade.

They are saying if you use upgrade media to do a clean install and you don't have a pre-existing media or install you can't upgrade. Unless MSFT has a way to know...how can they? In the upgrade process Window creates a directliry called Windows.old...if you wanted to...you could take an old Windows installl create the diorectory maually and copy the files here. Unless you use registry hacks there really is no way I can see MSFT would ever know. if you use a key and you activated it...as far as I am concerned you bought and registered a legal copy. Even in the case if MSFT forced you to have at least the qualifying media...all you have to do is go online to a torrent site of to one of your friends and download a copy fo the CD and burn it so that u'd have other media. Also something as simple as having the files copied to a thumb drive counts as pre-existing media. There are so many ways around this it isn't funny.

In my opinion noth Apple and MSFT is screwing us with a full install media and a upgarde media. Th eonly true difference is the EULA. The files are basically all the same. The full media simply forces you to do a clean install whether you have a pre-existing install or not. The upgrade media runs from inside another version of Windows...or can still be booted and will look for pre-existing system files...which as I can can simply be files of a previous Windows product liek XP or Vista copied to a thumb drive.

Fact is ...everyone could technically buy the Windows 7 Upgrade disk and easily be legal.
For those with system still under warranty...you should purchase the upgrade from the OEM of your PC...if you don't your warrnty will be voided as they only cover teh OS you receive from them. And they will not help you with an install. MSFT won't either as they will suggest you get your upgrades from the OEM...however they will always help you with Windows problems...just not those theat may be related to your original vendor.

It is not ethically correct to use a cheap update version instead to buy the full version but, i am not sure if it is illegal.

It's not illegal in the sense that you would be arrested. Violating a contract is illegal and you would be held fiscally liable.

GreyWolfSC said,
It's not illegal in the sense that you would be arrested. Violating a contract is illegal and you would be held fiscally liable.


Eh, not so much. They have to prove damages for you to be fiscally liable. There are many "won" contract cases where the award is $1.

Every other day there's some post somewhere somehow about illegal this, illegal that about pirating whatever.
Followed by the same pointless stating the obvious for days on end.
Those who pirate, will pirate till it gets impossible to do so.
Those who don't want to, won't.
Nothing no one says is going to change that.
Word

"It has been revealed that an Intel Mac user can directly install Snow Leopard over Tiger, as the system specs and install disc see the match and carry out the instructions. However, as surprising as this may sound to some, Apple says it's not allowed." - http://news.softpedia.com/news/Apple-s-EUL...-6-120954.shtml

Apple forbids upgrades, too. Linux doesn't count. It's free.

"C. Leopard Upgrade Licenses. If you have purchased an Upgrade for Mac OS X Leopard license, then subject to the terms and conditions of this License, you are granted a limited nonexclusive license to install, use and run one (1) copy of the Apple Software on a single Apple-branded computer as long as that computer has a properly licensed copy of Mac OS X Leopard already installed on it. If you have purchased a Family Pack Upgrade for Mac OS X Leopard license, then subject to the terms and conditions of this License, you are granted a limited non-exclusive license to install, use and run one (1) copy of the Apple Software on up to a maximum of five (5) Apple-branded computers at a time as long as those computers are located in the same household (as defined above), are used by persons who occupy that same household, and each such computer has a properly licensed copy of Mac OS X Leopard already installed on it. The Family Pack Upgrade for Mac OS X Leopard License does not extend to business or commercial users."

Wow, a lot of people freaking out over nothing.

If anyone could READ even this ONE line in the article: "you must own a "qualifying full license to upgrade from in order to use the Upgrade license" they would realize that nothing has changed. It is, of course, illegal to buy an upgrade version if you don't own a genuine license for the previous version. If you do, however, you can go right ahead and legally perform a clean isntallation with upgrade media.

If you buy an Upgrade edition without any qualifying previous version then yes you are pirating. Go out and buy the OEM edition with a nice hardware upgrade or go get the full version.

The article may be misleading, but just look at that diagram:
1. Do you have a win xp/vista license? yes/no
2. Do you have a win 7 upgrade license? yes/no
If you answer yes for both then you're good to run 7.

It's that easy.

Why do modern so-called "journalists" feel it neccessary to sensationalize everything? The title, and your opening statement are flat-out false! Did you even read the original blog post? Apparently not, because if you did you would have seen this paragraph:

Now there are many, many, many, many of you out there that already own Windows licenses that qualify for the Windows 7 Upgrade, so this is a non-issue for you. (I am talking about people who own a FULL license for a previous version of Windows for their computers already, as shown in the first picture example above.) For you, since you have the previous version FULL Windows license and qualify for the Windows 7 Upgrade, you have the rights to do a "clean" install.

Nope, it's not, the graphic itself says you'd be legit. Microsoft only said that using an upgrade version of Windows without owning a previous license is illegal. Nothing has changed in their policy on that matter, they never said that doing a clean install was in itself illegal. Some people just like jumping to conclusions without reading articles properly.

This "hack" has been around ever since you could create a blank file called win.com in a directory called WINDOWS on the hard drive to install the Windows 3.1 upgrade without having a previous version of Windows, maybe even before.

Actually upgrading a previous version has always been flaky. That's why, according to MS: "For the best experience, Microsoft IT recommends that employees wait for the Clean Install with Data Migration images to be available."

The upgrade versions only exist to fill a price point that they don't really want to encourage. In other words: for marketing purposes only.

You can't even upgrade from Windows XP, they want you to buy Vista first if you want to choose the upgrade path. That'll be a rude awakening for many users... even though in reality it's nothing new, it'll probably be confusing and inconvenient for many average users.

The trouble is almost no one buys a full version of Windows. The exception would be the OEM you get with a new computer purchase or tech subscriptions. Most people can not afford to essentially pay double for the install... in this economy I would suspect it is even worse. Many stores don't even carry the full version... they carry the upgrades.

bluarash said,
The trouble is almost no one buys a full version of Windows. The exception would be the OEM you get with a new computer purchase or tech subscriptions. Most people can not afford to essentially pay double for the install... in this economy I would suspect it is even worse. Many stores don't even carry the full version... they carry the upgrades.


That is precisely *why* I've been horked off with both Staples *and* Office Depot; both chains sell hard drives, yet neither sells OEM/System Builder copies of Windows. (A hard drive is considered a *qualifying product* for anyone to purchase an OEM/System Builder copy of any Microsoft product, be it software or hardware.) Instead, I send folks to MicroCenter or Fry's (if they choose brick-and-mortar) or Newegg (if they buy online) and insist they buy hard drive and OEM product in the same order (that way, not even the BSA can say *boo*).

I think it might not be that long before Microsoft considers this a violation as well. At the moment it is completely legal, but a bit of a gray area. Buying a new hard disk (or a cable) is not really a new computer.

Still, I do see your point and for the most part would recommend the strategy as well.

MS let's people do clean installs with upgrade media because they want to. What they say to the press is pure legal rhetorics. So if you want to pay less for their product, you simply can. But they won't say that. It's just that simple. Also they can't state that you can do that without owing a Vista copy because companies would be able to do that, as they simply follow MS guidelines. If they REALLY wanted to make sure you have an original Vista copy, they would ask for BOTH keys at the installation and activation procedure.

Uh... they arn't saying "clean install from upgrade" is pirating >>

They're saying clean install without previous version of XP/Vista licenses is pirating...

DId anyone bother READING what Microsoft said? the diagram even SHOWS that clean installs are fine...

Ok. I have the disc but my hard disk has just been formatted. No previous version of Windows on it (not even a rescue partition). How do I go about installing? I don't want to have to reinstall an old version of Windows, I don't want to do a double install or hack the registry... I simply want to install and activate (with CD or key check).

bluarash said,
Ok. I have the disc but my hard disk has just been formatted. No previous version of Windows on it (not even a rescue partition). How do I go about installing? I don't want to have to reinstall an old version of Windows, I don't want to do a double install or hack the registry... I simply want to install and activate (with CD or key check).

You simply put in your previous version's CD at some point and let it check.

Are you guys seriously mad at Microsoft for expecting purchasers of the Windows 7 upgrade to have a previous version of Windows? Please tell me I'm missing something here. You pay a cheaper price for an upgrade but still want all the freedom of the higher priced full version?

This BS started with Windows Vista and it will end with Windows 7. If I purchase an upgrade copy of Windows 7, I am entitled to a clean install (provided a serial or media check). This means being able to format the hard disk and than install a new copy onto blank media. I don't want to do an in place upgrade, which is required for installing on a new hard disk. Installing Windows on Windows can always make things a mess. It is not an upgrade because I owned previous versions of the software. To be honest almost all Windows users are qualified upgrade users... there are some exceptions of course.

That's not what this is about at all. This is about buying only the upgrade disc and installing it without having a licensed version of a previous version of Windows.

A lot of Linux and Mac converts lately to Windows... huh? Who are these people that don't have a valid previous version of Windows. Individuals who are building their own systems, small OEMs or people who have pirated versions prior (and now decide to become legal)?

I didn't say anything about Linux or Macs... And if you are moving from Windows 2000 or prior, you don't have a valid upgradable product. Apple's SLA forbids using Tiger as a base for upgrading to Snow Leopard as well.

I don't understand all this moaning. Computers are useless without an operating system. If you buy a computer, either buy an OS for it or use a free one. It's not like Windows is that expensive especially since you get upgrade discounts (and this time pretty substantial one.)

WTF? Windows is insanely expensive. The last time I checked Home was $199, Pro $299 and Ultimate $329. You can get them slightly cheaper if you purchase them from a place like Amazon. You also have the option of bundling hardware to make it an OEM purchase (but this is a gray area).

All I am talking about is the ability to install Windows to a fresh formatted drive without having to have a previous version of Windows on it. It should not be necessary to rely on a software hack.

This has nothing to do with buying a computer. My reference to Linux and Mac was that they would be one of the few very that would not have a previous valid Windows license (XP or Vista). I made no mention of Win2k.

Yes, but an upgrade entitled me to a fresh install with a media check on Win95, Win98, WinME, Win2k and WinXP. This policy began in Vista. It was stated in the EULA (to some degree) prior, but was not enforced, nor should it be.

How the hell is this pirating unless you are running Windows in a VM, on a Mac or as a system builder?

No, Microsoft has that backwards. Microsoft is the one doing the pirating from customers, especially after someone already paid for the software. Not good business.

what you cheap a$$ ppl don't understand is that If you buy the Windows 7 upgrade disk. it is exactly what the cover says "UPGRADE" not full install disk.

Thats why they are forcing you to do an in-place upgrade rather than a full install.

I was smart and got a technet subscription and was able to Full Install Win 7 on all 3 of my machines as well as Putting office on all of them

How's that Technet evaluation-only, not-for-production software working out for you?

Yes, I know MS doesn't really define evaluation, but seriously, pot, kettle, you're both not properly licensed.

CrossCheck said,
what you cheap a$$ ppl don't understand is that If you buy the Windows 7 upgrade disk. it is exactly what the cover says
"UPGRADE
" not full install disk.

Thats why they are forcing you to do an in-place upgrade rather than a full install.

They are not forcing anyone to do an in-place upgrade. You CAN use your upgrade discs to do a clean install if you have a qualifying product to upgrade from. Just ignore the title; this thread is what comes from "unprofessional journalism".

The article says is clear. If you have a License for XP, and you have an upgrade license, then it's valid. Why the hell they are forcing people to perform an in-place upgrade rather than a clean install is beyond me.

Actually, they're not. I just upgraded from XP to 7. Booted from the 7 DVD, formatted the HDD with XP on it and installed a fresh copy of 7, no in-place upgrade required.

Joe USer said,
Actually, they're not. I just upgraded from XP to 7. Booted from the 7 DVD, formatted the HDD with XP on it and installed a fresh copy of 7, no in-place upgrade required.


I did the same on Mom's PC (7 RC 32-bit to 7 RTM 32-bit); the *custom install* method. Her files and setings were retained; however, her Windows directory (and subdirectories) were not. Custom installs with upgrade media, full-version media, or even System Builder OEM media are perfectly permissible (and even perfectly legal) as long as you follow the licensing criteria. (By the way, the *custom install* method is the only way in which to upgrade from the RC to the RTM version, or to do a cross-bitness (32-bit to 64-bit) upgrade; in both cases, the Files and Settings Transfer Wizard must be run both pre-install and post-install.)

What Microsoft is cheesed about is folks using upgrade media without having properly-licensed qualifying media at hand (not necessarily installed), which is actually a legitimate concern (and Microsoft is not the only victim of this; this happens more often with Nero and Roxio products than even Windows, as it also does with Adobe products in general, and Acrobat in particular).

Since you have a copy of Windows XP already on your drive the upgrade will work just fine.

It will have you do a custom install.

1. Backup your data
2. Boot off the upgrade CD
3. Custom Install, reformat the Hard Drive
4. Install!

This is why MS put out this statement ... they made it easier for existing customers and people are exploiting the hell out of it. Which makes me kind of sick. If you can afford the extra 80$ don't get it yet... end of story. Is this really why people sit here and bash on MS? Or even ANYONE that gives existing customers a break? What reason does MS have to give people that already own their products a break if all people do is exploit it?

java2beans said,
I have a feeling Apple is going to use this to their advantage when the make "Mac Vs PC" ads.

Unlikely, as Apple use a similar license idea for their OS X upgrade discs.

java2beans said,
I have a feeling Apple is going to use this to their advantage when the make "Mac Vs PC" ads.
I don't think so, the adverts are largely based around myths and lies, with this it would have some basis of fact, so I just don't see Apple going for it.

TSO said,
I don't think so, the adverts are largely based around myths and lies, with this it would have some basis of fact, so I just don't see Apple going for it.

ROFL. GOLD!!!

Perhaps in the future, Microsoft will forgo these two different types of licenses and, aside from an OEM license, will have a retail license that allows you to install the OS without a older qualifying product in your possession. It will likely be a little more expensive than an Upgrade License is, but less than a license "For Computers Without Windows" i.e., without a qualifying upgrade product. The way they make it now, if people know they can buy an Upgrade DVD for much less and still install it clean on a PC without an OS, they will, and they'll think that it must be OK, otherwise, bells would have gone off. If Microsoft decided to remove the very simple means for checking for a valid upgrade product, why are they now putting the responsibility completely on the conscience of the consumer? If they have the same requirements in the EULA for proper use of the upgrade media, they should have kept the same mechanism that enforced that part of it when the OS is installed.

Question: Paul Thurott suggests that we should not install 7 in the same partition as the former OS (XP in my case), but that's what I want to do. It sounds like from this that I will have a hard time activating the upgrade edition that I bought if I overwrite the XP installation - but it is possible. Will I have trouble choosing the XP partition in 7's install or is this truly not a good idea?

The upgrade should work just fine for you. You have a working copy of XP.

This post is talking about using upgrade media to clean install on a blank hard drive.

My enterprise upgrade media asked me if I wanted to format the drive when I booted with upgrade DVD. So, yeah, I did it.

This Windows upgrade routine is a stupidity! With other software (Autodesk for example) you just need to provide the serial number of the software you're upgrading from - exactly like +TCLN Ryster is saying.

When I wipe my HDD drive I have to install Vista first, then Windows 7 - this is what Microsoft wants me to do. What's the sense of this? No wonder people look for hacks then.

tom5 said,
This Windows upgrade routine is a stupidity! With other software (Autodesk for example) you just need to provide the serial number of the software you're upgrading from - exactly like +TCLN Ryster is saying.

When I wipe my HDD drive I have to install Vista first, then Windows 7 - this is what Microsoft wants me to do. What's the sense of this? No wonder people look for hacks then.



No, you do not!

From XP, simply do a custom install. (The same method works from the RC of Windows 7, which works until March 2010.) If you want to hold on to your files and settings, simply run the Files and Settings Transfer Wizard both pre-install and post-install, the wizard is on the Windows 7 DVD.) Or, since you have a legit license for XP, you can still install Windows 7 legally *even onto a clean hard drive*, as you meet the licensing criteria. You are reading WAY more into the article than what's actually there....which is what the author hoped.

A simple solution...

Allow folks to install directly from upgrade media without any sort of hacks but require them to input the CD key from their previous version of Windows. The advantages of this are two fold... 1) It will allow Microsoft to then invalidate this old key so that it cannot be used to activate the old Windows version again. and 2) It makes it easy for the consumer.

Checking the install media is ineffective as you can obtain the Windows XP or Vista CD/DVD from anywhere. It's the key that proves the license, not the CD/DVD.

What happens if someone needs to reinstall that upgrade because the system got hosed? The old key would no longer be valid as an upgrade path because it got invalidated on the previous install.

iamwhoiam said,
What happens if someone needs to reinstall that upgrade because the system got hosed? The old key would no longer be valid as an upgrade path because it got invalidated on the previous install.

That old key would be permanently tied to the new Windows 7 upgrade key allowing you to reinstall Windows 7 as needed, but not allowing you to activate the old copy of Windows. Simples.

I think the title of this article is a bit misleading. What MS is saying is simply, if you don't have a qualifying licence for the upgrade (which is a previous windows licence) and use this hack, you are basically violating the law. Come on Neowin, why the sensational title?

zagor said,
I think the title of this article is a bit misleading. What MS is saying is simply, if you don't have a qualifying licence for the upgrade (which is a previous windows licence) and use this hack, you are basically violating the law. Come on Neowin, why the sensational title?

I agree.

Once you've got a valid license, no one's going to take it away from you, especially in this case... the marketing consequences would just be too great. Once word got out all those new, shiny win7 packages would be returned from every retailer as un-sellable.

I think policy for most major apps is you forfeit the license you're upgrading when you install a new version upgrade, though it's rarely enforced if at all. And most any reduced price software upgrade requires some sort of proof that you qualify -- if not why even have a regular price/version? Beyond that the cost of enforcing policy just becomes too great, & the task too difficult.

My read on the win7 Family Packs is that there are so many people out there installing a single copy of Windows on every PC/laptop in the house, Microsoft figured they *might* cash in on any guilty consciences, long as the price was low enough. Why *give away* 2 added licenses if you thought there was any chance of selling them?

Microsoft hoping customers won't *abuse* their upgrade copies is the same sort of thing.

This story is (at best) poorly worded. If you read the blog posts in question, he says this:

"You might want to take a look again at what I wrote in the Blog post. In your scenario you are saying that you own a full Windows license and then bought the upgrade for it. That means you have a licnese to run Windows 7, so if you want to do a "clean" install, go ahead. There is no reason for you to keep draggin out the original media for the full Windows license that came on that machine."

This seem pretty clear to me. You have a full license for Windows XP/Vista, and you can do a clean install of Windows 7 from upgrade media *without any repercussions*.

Quite a deceiving news title, seems to be happening more and more... microsoft did not flat out say it was illegal to clean install from upgrade media... they said it is illegal if you don't already have a fully licensed copy of XP or Vista (but it doesn't actually have to be installed!)

I think as long as you actually have a valid copy of Vista or XP there should be NOTHING wrong with this. Who are they to tell you HOW to install your OS?

If I want to clean install an upgrade when I have a valid Vista or XP license I will do what I want.

If MS didn't want people to do a clean install from upgrade disks, then why did they even provide the option in the upgrade install anyway?

Because you can do it and it's ok with them? What you can't do (and the article and blog state this) is install the upgrade version without owning a previous Windows version. Got XP or Vista? Clean-install away...

Hasn't anyone told MS that reprimanding your own customers isn't a good way to garner good will and support? I think Ubuntu 9.10 is becoming more and more attractive with these silly stunts.

LoveThePenguin said,
Hasn't anyone told MS that reprimanding your own customers isn't a good way to garner good will and support? I think Ubuntu 9.10 is becoming more and more attractive with these silly stunts.

Will Ubuntu run my games? Will Ubuntu allow me to legally watch movies and play music?

No?

Ok, never mind then.

KaiSerSoze said,

What you fail in is, that is the statistic for web site visitors. You sneaky!


"Anyone can take the statistics that favors their desired outcome and use those to “prove” something."

This blog sarcastically says Linux has 46% Market Share.
http://blog.eracc.com/2009/02/18/linux-market-share/


BACK TO ACCURATE REALITY: Linux has 0.96% Market Share as of October 2009:
http://marketshare.hitslink.com/operating-...rid=8&sample=35

thenonhacker said,
What you fail in is, that is the statistic for web site visitors. You sneaky!


"Anyone can take the statistics that favors their desired outcome and use those to “prove” something."

This blog sarcastically says Linux has 46% Market Share.
http://blog.eracc.com/2009/02/18/linux-market-share/


BACK TO ACCURATE REALITY: Linux has 0.96% Market Share as of October 2009:
http://marketshare.hitslink.com/operating-...rid=8&sample=35

Granted.. my mistake :-) Ricknl can go back to sleep ehehe

Fine Microsoft, next time these "pirates" who paid their hard earned money for genuine Windows 7 will just download it from a torrent and not pay anything. Since you're already labeling your own customers as pirates why would they even bother paying you money?

What's so hard about just asking the user for the license key from the previous OS, instead of requiring the often impossible task of installing the old OS first before you can re-install Win7.

Menthix said,
What's so hard about just asking the user for the license key from the previous OS, instead of requiring the often impossible task of installing the old OS first before you can re-install Win7.

Is it not enough to simply insert the Windows XP/Vista install disc as validation when you're asked to? I know it was in the Windows 9x days. Otherwise, yes, that'd be stupid to require a full install as validation.

Menthix said,
Fine Microsoft, next time these "pirates" who paid their hard earned money for genuine Windows 7 will just download it from a torrent and not pay anything. Since you're already labeling your own customers as pirates why would they even bother paying you money?

What's so hard about just asking the user for the license key from the previous OS, instead of requiring the often impossible task of installing the old OS first before you can re-install Win7.



They are not asking anyone to do that, and apparently all you did was read NewWin's misleading title and not the entire article. The act of performing a clean install is not the issue; the issue is doing a clean install on a computer that did not already have a license to run Windows. If THAT computer (not just some other computer in your house) has a license to run either Windows XP or Vista then you can clean install Windows 7 all you want, but if you built a new system and installed the Windows 7 "upgrade" without anything else then you are what they are talking about here.

I still dont get it.
Is it about price? No, because OEM is cheaper.
Can you activate multiple PCs with one key? No.
Can you download it from Bittorent? No, because HP OEM, HP Upgrade and HP retail is on the identical disc.
The only thing that is different is the key. If I had an upgrade version I would do clean install too. Theres no reason why shlould I keep old XP on my HDD, right?

They aren't saying you can't do a clean install. You can, you can have the installer format the drive after it verifies that you have a licensed upgrade target on the machine. What they are saying is using hacks to get around that check is pirating. Which I think is stupid, and no matter what they say I will still do it. I just don't feel like spending the time to reinstall my old OS prior to installing my Win7.

The main two differences I am aware of between retail and OEM is support and portability. OEM licenses come with no support from Microsoft at all, the Retails versions include the ability to all Microsoft's help line. The OEM license is also tied to the hardware it was shipped with; it is technically not legal to move it from one computer to another.

Critical Error said,
I still dont get it.
Is it about price? No, because OEM is cheaper.
Can you activate multiple PCs with one key? No.
Can you download it from Bittorent? No, because HP OEM, HP Upgrade and HP retail is on the identical disc.
The only thing that is different is the key. If I had an upgrade version I would do clean install too. Theres no reason why shlould I keep old XP on my HDD, right?

It's about MS support costs for end users. OEM's are cheaper, yes, but those don't go through these channels.

sphbecker said,
The main two differences I am aware of between retail and OEM is support and portability. OEM licenses come with no support from Microsoft at all, the Retails versions include the ability to all Microsoft's help line. The OEM license is also tied to the hardware it was shipped with; it is technically not legal to move it from one computer to another.

Actually all you get for support is install support during the first 90 days. You also get 2 free tickets in there for support but afterward it is $59 per ticket. I'd just stick to the OEM copy. If you can get to premium support they handle OEM installs at $59 a ticket.

Tekzel said,
They aren't saying you can't do a clean install. You can, you can have the installer format the drive after it verifies that you have a licensed upgrade target on the machine. What they are saying is using hacks to get around that check is pirating. Which I think is stupid, and no matter what they say I will still do it. I just don't feel like spending the time to reinstall my old OS prior to installing my Win7.

+1

shinji257 said,
Actually all you get for support is install support during the first 90 days. You also get 2 free tickets in there for support but afterward it is $59 per ticket. I'd just stick to the OEM copy. If you can get to premium support they handle OEM installs at $59 a ticket.


Agreed, I'm not suggesting it̢۪s a great deal; just pointing out it is a difference. I personally think that what MS changes for an upgrade should cover the full product. Charging an extra $80 to punish people who don't already have Windows is just silly and only leads to pirating. Now if MS kept the pre-order upgrade pricing then yes, I could see leaving that as an upgrade only.

How to alienate honest/loyal users in one easy step by Microsoft. New advertising idea for Apple.

Xire said,
How to alienate honest/loyal users in one easy step by Microsoft. New advertising idea for Apple.

It doesn't pay to be honest when dealing with MS

Xire said,
How to alienate honest/loyal users in one easy step by Microsoft. New advertising idea for Apple.

Apple has the exact same policy when it comes to the Snow Leopard OS X upgrade disc. So much for that idea huh. :-p

They could run genuine check on both serial numbers after install but I think that will add a bunch of complication to the setup. Regardless the same workaround that works in Vista will work in Windows 7 if things stayed the same there.

How is it honest if you said you had a previous version of Windows to get a discount and you don't? That sounds like dishonesty to me.

I submit:
Money Saving Example
Nothing+Upgrade Product License Not Added+Upgrade Product License=Nothing Licensed
Or
Example of Money Saving Example with Names
Nothing+Windows 7 Upgrade License Not Added+Windows 7 Upgrade License=Full Install of Windows 7 License

to me, if you own the previous version and have its key and media, a clean upgrade install is not pirating, because you are still upgrading... MS has had checks since windows 3.1 to check for previous versions during the upgrade, all you had to do in the past was put a disk or cd in to prove you had the previous media... why can't they just force you to do that or enter your old CD-Key and have it validate it as a valid upgrade install

No actually this article is not very clear on why did MS stoped the previous method, unless they got credible evidence that pple use this hack to get upgrade versions and mess around with it ... .... ......

Kartikk said,
No actually this article is not very clear on why did MS stoped the previous method, unless they got credible evidence that pple use this hack to get upgrade versions and mess around with it ... .... ......

Because you can burn a copy of your friends OEM disk and use that as an upgrade eligibility proof. Its a little harder to do with an installed and activated product, though not at all impossible.

Tekzel,

What you say does not make sense.

You can get that media, install it without a serial number and not activate Windows. Windows 7 Upgrade will just work fine because it doesn't check the serial number of the previous installation, neither does it check if it is activated.

LoveThePenguin said,
Because once those who upgraded realise that their system runs like a dog, they'll purchase the more costly full edition. Cha-Ching!


Not necessarily. They could also purchaser an OEM *System Builder* version (still legit), which is usually barely more than an upgrade retail version.

ricknl said,
Tekzel,

What you say does not make sense.

You can get that media, install it without a serial number and not activate Windows. Windows 7 Upgrade will just work fine because it doesn't check the serial number of the previous installation, neither does it check if it is activated.

That is not consistent with what I have heard. My understanding is that it requires the installed OS to be activated.

LoveThePenguin said,
Buying MS software supports these kind of policies. Show your displeasure with your wallets.

Not everyone wants to make a statement bad enough to punish themselves. While I think Linux is a good thing, most people find it to be restricting and not as intuitive as Windows. They don't WANT to spend the time it takes to learn it well enough to be comfortable. That leaves the only other option: buy a Mac. And I don't hate myself nearly enough to use one of those.

So-Unreal said,
Well good thing we all do what we want to do and dont care about "license".

Indeed, many users don't care. And those could just as well pirate the OS, for all MS care. I never understood the idea of purchasing software to violate licenses. Either you go legal, or you don't. What's the point in paying money to mess with the company's license?

It's just like the movie, music, and gaming industries creating vexatious and ever more insidious devices to impede copyright infringement that inevitably punishes those who bought a copy. They must like driving users away!

I'm not saying I agree with their licensing model, but if you buy an "update" and don't own an older version of that software then you are not a "genuine" user. Adobe and many others work the same way. You think Adobe would be happy with you paying $200 for a PhotoShop upgrade if you have never bought the full version for $600?

Jolo said,
Microsoft insists on making life more harder to genuine users.

No, the retail license would still be valid for genuine users.

You just want things cheap, you don't care about making things "easy" for genuine users.

Foub said,
Most stores ONLY sell the upgrade version. I had to order specially an OEM version.

True. The stores need to start selling the full versions as well and define the difference between them.

Foub said,
Most stores ONLY sell the upgrade version. I had to order specially an OEM version.


Stores will never sell the OEM version, but yes, I have seen the full version of Windows on a retail shelve before.

Jolo said,
Microsoft insists on making life more harder to genuine users.

The title of this article is misleading and wrong. You can do clean installs from upgrade media. What Microsoft is talking about it buying a cheaper upgrade disc and using it to install Windows when you do not already have a previous version.

Foub said,
Most stores ONLY sell the upgrade version. I had to order specially an OEM version.

You're confusing the terms there. Most retail stores sell both Upgrade and Full versions, but very few sell 'OEM' software as that is for System Builders exclusively and does not come with the fancy packaging that you get with the Retail versions.

Not where I live. I've only ever seen the upgrade versions. The Retail versions just cost too much for most people so they don't bother to carry any.

Unlike with Apple I'm not in it for the fancy packaging.

Most software vendors do that but even Apple sell their software hybrid, which mean you can do both, clean and upgrade install. Microsoft is just more greedy than anyone else.

cabron said,
Most software vendors do that but even Apple sell their software hybrid, which mean you can do both, clean and upgrade install. Microsoft is just more greedy than anyone else.

True, but purchasing the cheap OS X Snow Leopard upgrade disc and installing it clean would also violate the license, although possible.

Jugalator said,
True, but purchasing the cheap OS X Snow Leopard upgrade disc and installing it clean would also violate the license, although possible.

Actually their upgrade discs seem to skip over a few things so the resulting install isn't complete.

Beastage said,
Stupid concept on MS part, just stupid... who approved this policy?

FACT: Apple use a similar license idea for their OS X upgrade discs.

shinji257 said,
Actually their upgrade discs seem to skip over a few things so the resulting install isn't complete.

Last time I checked I could perform an Erase & Install with my Mac OS X Snow Leopard Upgrade DVD from Leopard without resorting to hacks.

It's not illegal to execute a clean install as long as you have a Leopard Install DVD lying around somewhere.

.Neo said,
Last time I checked I could perform an Erase & Install with my Mac OS X Snow Leopard Upgrade DVD from Leopard without resorting to hacks.

They are not saying it is illegal to do the clean install, the NeoWin title is very misleading. Clean install with your upgrade media twice a week if that is what floats your boat, just make sure you own a full or OEM version of an older version.

This is nothing new, I remember when I did a clean install of Windows 98 using my "upgrade" CD and floppy (yes, that was before MS shipped bootable CDs) it prompted me to insert a Windows 95 CD or Windows 3.x floppy into the computer to verify that I had a legit version before I could move forward with the install.

cabron said,
Most software vendors do that but even Apple sell their software hybrid, which mean you can do both, clean and upgrade install. Microsoft is just more greedy than anyone else.

Don't use Apple is an example to show that Microsoft is more greedy, please. If you buy Apple software that means that you've at least bought a machine from them, so they don't care about the difference between a full version and an upgrade version--they already have your money. Apple however is greedy in that they won't let you install Apple software without purchasing a machine from them, even though you'd technically be able to run it on any Intel processor.

This article didn't seem to say much of anything though. The Microsoft representative seems to be only saying that you need a license for a previous version for it to be legal. It doesn't say that if you have a license but the previous version isn't on your computer at the time that its illegal.

Beastage said,
Stupid concept on MS part, just stupid... who approved this policy?


There a saying: "necessity is the mother of all invention".

MS is making their license scheme so complicated and Windows is so expensive, that they are just pushing people into all these workarounds and gymnastics to get what they want. MS created their own monster.

If MS would just get their F*?&%$ing head out the sand and put out one version of Windows with everything on the DVD, a panel where you choose what you want to install and sell it for 69$, they would make more money than they have ever seen.