Surprises in the Windows 7 license agreement

Over the weekend, many Windows 7 lovers have been busy looking into the wild and Ed Bott, ZDNet blogger, was not an exception. Bott has found some interesting information in the Windows 7 license agreement(EULA).

Bott reports that the EULA ends with an revision ID - EULAID:Win7_B.1_PRO_NRL_en-US which confirms that this leaked build is indeed beta 1. But no one from Microsoft is ready to confirm whether this build is indeed the beta 1 which is going to be released at CES.

Some of the other interesting things to note are:

  • You can install any number copies to test, develop and design your application with Windows 7
  • The license agreement allows installation of Windows 7 within only one virtual machine
  • No benchmarks allowed
  • For the sake of getting feedback, some of the internet-based features are turned on by default. You may switch off these features or not use them

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13 Comments

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Within one virtual machine meaning only within the virtual machine? There was a lot of confusion with Vista's license agreement before it's release in that it seemed to imply you could run your main install and a VM install simultaneously. This Microsoft shot down when it was released

So you're saying it's different now? Otherwise it's the same as Vista

Excellent. I am going to install this on my laptop tonight and see how it runs on an older, single core machine.
Looking forward to this.

I hope the license's are ironed out from the debacle that was the Vista license. I class myself as an enthusiast and would like to be able to reinstall an OS on an upgraded computer over time. I haven't had the change with Vista (apart from doubling my RAM) as it's not going to have the longest shelf life.

Yeah definitely the final EULA. You can have 1 copy, but install it on millions of PCs.
Thank you Microsoft, for finally approving of piracy.

It doesn't specify (from the summary, at least) what it really means by "benchmarks", but it's logical to assume that it's referring to benchmarking Windows 7 against XP, Vista and other OS's. Before you jump to any rash conclusions from this, keep in mind that it IS Beta code and Microsoft is obviously keen to keep a lid on any performance speculation until at least the final build. Early bad reports are what gave Vista such a bad reputation.

The Windows Experience Index is just a general benchmark to give people an idea what their computers are capable of running. It's not meant to be a replacement for the benchmarking tools everyone else uses.

xiphi said,
The Windows Experience Index is just a general benchmark to give people an idea what their computers are capable of running. It's not meant to be a replacement for the benchmarking tools everyone else uses.

Well its wrong the actual EULA says during testing of Win7 you not allowed to make benchmarks public.

You may not disclose the results of any benchmark tests of the software to any third party without Microsoft̢۪s prior written approval.

Very normal and reasonable as its not final so could put people off etc. We know they will anyway.

# You can install any number copies to test, develop and design your application with Windows 7
# The license agreement allows installation of Windows 7 within only one virtual machine

Wait don't these two contradict each other?

Chipshop said,
# You can install any number copies to test, develop and design your application with Windows 7
# The license agreement allows installation of Windows 7 within only one virtual machine

Wait don't these two contradict each other? :s


Not really. For a while now Microsoft has had a distinction between Physical and Virtual computers. This just means you can install it as often as you like on a physical computer, but only onto a single virtual machine.