Vista Licensing Terms Changed Significantly

Rejoice PC enthusiasts! In a drastic turn around from it's earlier Vista licensing model releases, Microsoft has announced today that the licensing terms for Windows Vista have been significantly changed to allow for much easier licensing transfers.

"I'm very pleased to let you know you this morning (or afternoon, or evening, depending on where you are when you read this) that the Windows division has revised the retail license terms for Windows Vista in a significant way. Namely, the terms regarding license-to-device assignment of the retail product (including Home Basic, Home Premium, Business and Ultimate) now read as follows: You may uninstall the software and install it on another device for your use. You may not do so to share this license between devices.

Our intention behind the original terms was genuinely geared toward combating piracy; however, it's become clear to us that those original terms were perceived as adversely affecting an important group of customers: PC and hardware enthusiasts. You who comprise the enthusiast market are vital to us for several reasons, not least of all because of the support you've provided us throughout the development of Windows Vista. We respect the time and expense you go to in customizing, building and rebuilding your hardware and we heard you that the previous terms were seen as an impediment to that -- it's for that reason we've made this change. I hope that this change provides the flexibility you need, and gives you more reason to be excited about the upcoming retail release of our new operating system."

Update: Microsoft has now added Vista to it's online Retail Software License Terms system. See the link below.

News source: Windows Vista Team Blog
View: Microsoft Retail Software License Terms

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56 Comments

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Hmm. I think this is very wise move by Microsoft.. Showing they listened to the concerns of the enthusiasts. This could be enough to sway me in to buying it for an existing machine. Before that, I would not have bothered if I knew each time I upgraded my motherboard I would be messing with activation.

so if I have 7 PCs @ home I still have to buy 7 copies !!? ....
I think I'll be waiting for the torrent <,<; ...

Quote - sLm4ever said @ #37
so if I have 7 PCs @ home I still have to buy 7 copies !!? ....
I think I'll be waiting for the torrent <,<; ...

at least he's being honest about it lol

Quote - sLm4ever said @ #37
so if I have 7 PCs @ home I still have to buy 7 copies !!? ....
I think I'll be waiting for the torrent <,<; ...

Umm... The licensing for Windows has ALWAYS been one copy, one machine. You have 7 machines, you buy seven copies. It's been like that since Windows 1.0. DOS had the same license in that regard as well.

The other major change from the XP EULA remains. The ability to install as many copies of the same licensed edition of windows on the same machine on different partitions was permitted under the XP EULA but is no longer permitted under the Vista EULA.

I use HyperOS and can run upto 20 copies of XP on the same machine, all validly licensed, and I know of lots of enthusiasts doing the same thing. Vista now will require a license for every single installation. This is not good at all.

I'm suspicious.

Microsoft knew that limiting their license would make people b!tch. And when they then say "oh oh, we _listened_!!" and remove the restriction, everyone like Microsoft...

Sounds like a marketing trick to me?

Anyone? ....

I’m very glad to hear this, I was outraged when I read Paul Thurott’s initial report of the license “clarification”. Microsoft definitely did the right thing, and I for one am much more excited about Vista knowing it will be licensed fairly.

Paul Thurott is another story however, I don’t think I can trust his reporting again, considering how casually he threw enthusiasts (bearing in mind by his description, this includes anyone who has opened the side of their computer... so when grandma pops in a modem or RAM, she should loose her license, that crazy hag! ) under the bus.

Well this is great news. I was going to wait a while as I planned on switching my motherboard and CPU for Core 2 Duo ones, but looks like now that won't matter. Guess I'll be picking up Vista earlier than I expected.

I must say I am actually pleased now and plan to buy Vista when it is out, I have been impressed with what I have seen so far and they seem to be listening to the major players in the PC world now. I format a lot and having to worry about the loss of the OS I paid for, for that reason, did not sit well before.

I am confused on something. Below is the part I'm confused about. Can someone break it down for me? I get what part A says but, then I read part B and it seems contradictory. I know there is a difference and I'm just not getting it. LOL I just want to understand this better. Wait, is it that if I go buy the package full, not upgrade that I can install it on my machine many times as I want, uninstall it and reinstall it on another computer I have as many times as I want as long as I don't use both at the same time and that part B means that if I choose to say upgrade from Premium to Ultimate that I can only transfer Ultimate one time?

a. Software Other than Windows Anytime Upgrade. You may uninstall the software and
install it on another device for your use. You may not do so to share this license between
devices.

b. Windows Anytime Upgrade Software. The first user of the software may reassign the
license to another device one time, but only if the license terms of the software you upgraded
from allows reassignment.

I'll be damned. ( in the good way! )

A little ray of sunshine pierces the ominous Microsoft cloud of late.

I'd like to think they listened because they really care, but I have the feeling this may be due to the fact that we, the enthusiasts, are the ones who write all the articles the consumers read. :)

Either way, the first smart decision (well, the packaging for vista is nice too) from MS in a long, long time.

Hey MS, how about using your monopoly to do good and play nice now? Think Clinton not Bush as a metaphor.

Quote - excalpius said @ #19
I'll be damned. ( in the good way! )

I'd like to think they listened because they really care, but I have the feeling this may be due to the fact that we, the enthusiasts, are the ones who write all the articles the consumers read.

I think this is partially true. I personally think some hardware companies complained to Microsoft because it could hurt their business.

Quote - excalpius said @ #19
I'll be damned. ( in the good way! )
Hey MS, how about using your monopoly to do good and play nice now? Think Clinton not Bush as a metaphor. ;)


Bad metaphor. Bill Clinton dropped bombs, too.

OK, so no special restrictions at all on license transfers? Besides the obvious one of not keeping the license on other installs of course. That's great! It's a good decision too, because such arbitrary restrictions are no good way of combating piracy if that was their intention. Pirates don't pirate by doing host-to-host license transfers...

I think MS is still a money grubbing evil empire bent on world domination and cash stockpiling. At least when I contribute to the Microsoft Bank Account(s) I won't have to worry about doing it more than once per PC.

nice to see, although it probably won't affect me since I'll probably get the OEM version, but still, prehaps eveil empire isn't so evil afterall lol (joke lol)

Quote - WelshBluebird said @ #14
nice to see, although it probably won't affect me since I'll probably get the OEM version, but still, prehaps eveil empire isn't so evil afterall lol (joke lol)

The OEM license always has and will tie it to the machine it was purchased for. Retail would be better. Don't forget there will be an upgrade version that's not as expensive...

Excellent. I will say however that I will be keeping Ubuntu on my machine for a while though. Linux distrobutions have come a long way from where they were. Last I actually installed on a machine was Red Hat 7. Ubuntu came as a pleasant surprise.

Ok. So here's a question. How does this affect the 10 activation limit?

Does installing it on a new machine require a new activation? If not, couldn't you uninstall Vista at each major hardware upgrade, therefore giving you an unlimited number of re-installs without having to worry about re-activation?

The 10 activation limit only refers to online activations. You'll still be able to activate, just over the phone. A hassle for sure, but honestly I'm not nearly as concerned with this as I was with having a worthless copy of Vista after changing PCs.

Quote - redfox2200 said @ #10
I think that would help in making more illegal copies

Yes, I'd like to have some of what you're smoking.

Oh My Jebus! This Rocks!

edit: How is Microsoft and their Activation system going to handle this? How will the OS know that you have uninstalled it one one computer and reinstalled it on another? Seems to me that if activation is allowing you to install it on multiple computers (as long as you uninstall on the previous computer). Doesn't this mean it would be right easy to install on both computers at once? Or will WGA check daily to make sure Vista is only being used one at a time?

I'm thinking it works like this:

When you install Vista MS gets a string that identifies your PC by its hardware components.

If you were to install Vista on a new PC with different hardware, MS updates the string to signify the new hardware. The old string is dumped.

If you uninstall on one machine and then install on a new machine, this works fine. However, if you try to install on one machine, the first machine will become deactivated when you install Vista on the second machine.

At least that's what makes sense to me. And i'm sure the ID string will contain other things to prevent you from installing on two identical machines.

Quote - Lexcyn said @ #3
Awesome. This is good news.

Yes it is very good news. The one-time 'device' transfer limit was a total blocker for anyone doing modding or software and hardware development.

Cool. Now I'm probably actually going to buy it. I would've just kept with XP if they hadn't changed their minds.

Quote - Phemo said @ #1
Cool. Now I'm probably actually going to buy it. I would've just kept with XP if they hadn't changed their minds.
agreed. i think this may change alot of peoples minds

This change won't affect most people. If you completely understood the previous statement on the licensing of Vista, you would understand that you would have been able to use it for up to 10 HDD changes, and one additional device with the HDD exchange. The only people who would have hit this 10 limit cap are those PC enthusiasts who review lots of different hardware such as motherboards, hard drives, CPU's, video cards, and whatnot, and even then, it would have been hard to hit this 10 limit cap.

Needless to say, this revised licensing system is better, however, the previous one wasn't going to pose as big of an issue as a lot of people are exaggerating it to be.

This change won't affect most people.

That doesn't matter... the entire principle was flawed. Microsoft, thankfully, saw that and have apparently rectified the problem - I am surprised but very glad to see that they are being reasonable.