Everything you read is wrong


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I'm here to tell you that virtually everything you've read online about the changes to Windows Vista's end-user license agreement (EULA) is wrong. Microsoft is limiting your rights to transfer Windows to new PCs? Wrong. Microsoft is limiting your ability to upgrade your PC? Wrong. Microsoft is limiting the Vista versions you can install in virtual machines? Well, that one is partially correct. But there's a reason.

http://www.winsupersite.com/showcase/winvista_licensing.asp

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Paul Thurrott's article doesn't refute any of the restrictions in the new EULAs pointed out by previous articles. It just downplays them by saying that they'll only affect a tiny and percentage of unimportant enthusiasts (which would include, for example, people at Neowin, and pretty much anyone who would read Paul Thurrott's article in the first place).

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Not that it's going to make any difference, sites like Digg with their linux fanboys won't propagate this story to refute what was said.

And they shouldn't, Paul's article is wrong.

I sent him this mail:

Hi Paul,

I have some comments on the EULA article. Please read past the boring

intro of this mail, to get to the (I hope) more interesting part.

Here's a copy of the XP Home EULA:

http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/home/eula.mspx

Let me quote article 1 and 1.1:

1. GRANT OF LICENSE. Microsoft grants you the following rights

provided that you comply with all terms and conditions of this EULA:

1.1 Installation and use. You may install, use, access, display and

run one copy of the Software on a single computer, such as a

workstation, terminal or other device ("Workstation Computer". The

Software may not be used by more than one processor at any one time on

any single Workstation Computer.

So if I translate that it says that MS gives me the right to use

Windows one computer. The right is tied to ME. "I" get the right to

use the software.

Then we see article 13:

13. SOFTWARE TRANSFER. Internal. You may move the Software to a

different Workstation Computer. After the transfer, you must

completely remove the Software from the former Workstation Computer.

That gives me the right to move Windows to different computer, as long

as I remove it from the former.

Now to your article, I quote:

"That person is, however, incorrect. As it turns out, the Windows

license is pretty simple: Windows is tied to a single device

(typically a PC), and not to a person."

Where does it say so in the EULA? It seems to be based on the next

quote(s), including one from MS:

"The Windows XP EULA appears to implicitly allow infinite transfers

because it doesn't explicitly explain how many times one might

transfer a single copy of XP. As it turns out, infinite transfers

wasn't the intention. "This clause was always aimed at very specific

circumstances," Microsoft general manager Shanen Boettcher told me.

"Someone has a hardware failure, but still wants to run that copy of

Windows on the new machine, for example."

So what it comes down is that is was not the INTENTION to allow users

to infinitely move Windows to new PC's. This IS however the case, with

the current EULA! Nowhere in the EULA can you find the text that

limits the amount of transfers.

In the Vista EULA it clearly states you can only move it one time.

Infinite and one are a big difference. I really don't understand why

you make it seem different in your article.

And about the several claims that "the number of people who actually

try to do this is incredibly small" and because of that it doesn't

really matter all that much. Well, it does! "a tiny percentage of

[Windows] users" is still a LOT of people. Even MS know this. The best

way for me to explain is to quote a MS developer: "One in a million is

next Tuesday". He says that a bug that affects one in a million users

has next tuesday priority. That's how seriously MS takes a tiny

percentage. http://blogs.msdn.com/larryosterman/archiv.../30/104165.aspx

Why are you defending MS in this??

I agree that MS bashing is easy and that MS should get the credits

when they do something good for the user. But this is NOT good! Don't

make it seem like nothing much has changed!

I hope you will seriously respond to this mail, and if you agree to

update your article.

Kind regards,

[ME]

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Paul Thurrott's article doesn't refute any of the restrictions in the new EULAs pointed out by previous articles. It just downplays them by saying that they'll only affect a tiny and percentage of unimportant enthusiasts (which would include, for example, people at Neowin, and pretty much anyone who would read Paul Thurrott's article in the first place).

Yep, I totally agree. And so does paul "Yes, a small group of enthusiasts who change hardware regularly will be adversely affected by the Windows licensing terms" :blink:

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I find it very funny that throughout Paul's whole article all he did was marginalize Microsoft's new restrictions. If Microsoft felt these changes would have such a small effect, then why make them? But, as he said opinions are a dime a dozen so i'm offering mine.

I wonder what understanding of a contract or law does Paul have? He starts out arguing that the license in vista was intended to be as strict as Vista, but, for some unknown reason, it turned out to be worded very liberally. He then argues that since it was intended to be stricter we should just smile and be happy with this change. Why? This change results in less rights for us. It is not our job to "read Microsoft's mind" and figure out what their intending in their license agreements. There is no argument that the XP license is a lot more liberal on changes to subsequent computers (provided you only have it on one at a time).

Then his argument about Virtual Machines does not even mention Microsoft's real reasoning. It was added as a direct stab at Apple, plain and simple. It is also disgusting that he lightly hints at breaking the EULA on this issue with his, "There is nothing technical preventing you from doing so, of course.", comment. Violating the EULA makes you as wrong as the guy who downloaded it for free from a torrent site, except you were stupid enough to shell out a few hundred bucks as a pirate. This section has been added to the Vista EULA to counter Apple's Bootcamp setup. Otherwise, the only people installing Vista on VMs is developers and the like. They should be allowed to test their stuff on every version of Vista and probably will be through MSDN licenses.

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This section has been added to the Vista EULA to counter Apple's Bootcamp setup.

Boot Camp is not a virtual machine, it's a front end to their BIOS compatibility layer in the new Mac's EFI (Y)

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Hmm, so let me get this straight. Replacing stuff like a video card or a CPU, granted not at the same time, shouldn't cause you to have to reactivate? Since that article said its algorithm takes into account mobo and hdd changes more so.

BTW, which verison of Vista will end up being equivalent to Win XP Prof.?

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Hmm, so let me get this straight. Replacing stuff like a video card or a CPU, granted not at the same time, shouldn't cause you to have to reactivate? Since that article said its algorithm takes into account mobo and hdd changes more so.

BTW, which verison of Vista will end up being equivalent to Win XP Prof.?

Business and Ultimate in some ways. Enterprise is only for large corporations.

Scirwode

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Boot Camp is not a virtual machine, it's a front end to their BIOS compatibility layer in the new Mac's EFI (Y)

I'm not 100% sure how BootCamp does the backwards compatibility with at least the BIOS, but i thought it was emulating the standard BIOS that PCs use. Since Microsoft's explanation of Virtualization is very broad it can very well fall under that imho as Virtualization dosen't always have to be done in software (and they specifically add hardware).

This is the section of the EULA that leads me to say it was a stab at Apple (emphasis is mine).

USE WITH VIRTUALIZATION TECHNOLOGIES. You may not use the software installed on the

licensed device within a virtual (or otherwise emulated) hardware system.

I still say it outlaws bootcamp...

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only thing im worried about is i build/upgrade my computer every 10months to a year or so. I don't want to buy a new copy of ultimate every time I want to play the newest game.

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I'm not 100% sure how BootCamp does the backwards compatibility with at least the BIOS, but i thought it was emulating the standard BIOS that PCs use. Since Microsoft's explanation of Virtualization is very broad it can very well fall under that imho as Virtualization dosen't always have to be done in software (and they specifically add hardware).

This is the section of the EULA that leads me to say it was a stab at Apple (emphasis is mine).

I still say it outlaws bootcamp...

Boot Camp is not virtualization. It just adds a BIOS-compatibility module to the EFI. Virtualization means that multiple operating systems are running at the same time on the same hardware.

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Limiting installation on virtual machines is going to be a pretty big nuisance to developers. When I was doing platform testing for a software company, I'd have tons of different installations of Windows on different VMWare images, running on different machines. Most of it was for confidence, but we'd still have on XP Home and an XP Professional all running automation on the software. With the changes you'd have to use the special versions of Vista on the VMWare images, but you'd have to have an entire machine set up just to test against Vista Home.

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thank you for posting this, it helps people see that they should only rely on official sources because an amateur's eye is basically speculation. I'm not saying that there is anything wrong with that but people should consult multiple sources in order to avoid confusion.

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Yep, I totally agree. And so does paul "Yes, a small group of enthusiasts who change hardware regularly will be adversely affected by the Windows licensing terms" :blink:

Exactly my thoughts upon reading it. He just tries to say that the people who it's going to affect are not great in number, but it's basically all of us who are tech enthusiasts.

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Yep, I totally agree. And so does paul "Yes, a small group of enthusiasts who change hardware regularly will be adversely affected by the Windows licensing terms" :blink:

When Windows examines changes to the system, the two most heavily weighed components are the PC's motherboard and hard drive, in that order. If you change both of these components at one time, Windows will almost certainly assume it's running in a new computer and cause you to reactivate. "It's that old question, 'When does a boat become a new boat?," Boettcher asked, rhetorically. "When every plank has been replaced, is it a new boat?" In the case of a Windows XP and Vista-based PC, there is an algorithm that examines hardware changes and, based on an internal score, determines whether a reactivation is required.

When that happens, Windows will attempt to reactivate electronically. If that fails, the user will need to call and reactivate manually. This is the same under Vista as it was under XP, though again the algorithm has been updated to be less strict.

The point is it affects even less people than it does for Windows XP.

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I have a critical question here:

Despite what Vista EULA says, will I be able to transfer Vista twise or 4 times for example?

I mean, will Vista have some sort of a "checking algorithm" or is it just a text in an EULA?

I'm asking because in the XP EULA (as Paul claims), Microsoft did NOT permit unlimited transfer and yet users can transfer as many as they can without any problem.

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I have a critical question here:

Despite what Vista EULA says, will I be able to transfer Vista twise or 4 times for example?

I mean, will Vista have some sort of a "checking algorithm" or is it just a text in an EULA?

I'm asking because in the XP EULA (as Paul claims), Microsoft did NOT permit unlimited transfer and yet users can transfer as many as they can without any problem.

Unless they retrain Apu at the Microsoft Activation Hotline, you'll just be able to call in and tell them you bought a new motherboard, and that it's only installed on the same computer, and they will give you the activation code. I've installed my copy of Windows on 3 PCs just by calling each time and telling them I bought new stuff.

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Boot Camp is not virtualization. It just adds a BIOS-compatibility module to the EFI. Virtualization means that multiple operating systems are running at the same time on the same hardware.

Thanks! After a good read i learned that Apple's bootcamp isn't Virtualization or Emulation (i was thinking it was emulation). Thanks for the heads up to you and the other poster who mentioned it to me earlier.

I have a critical question here:

Despite what Vista EULA says, will I be able to transfer Vista twise or 4 times for example?

I mean, will Vista have some sort of a "checking algorithm" or is it just a text in an EULA?

I'm asking because in the XP EULA (as Paul claims), Microsoft did NOT permit unlimited transfer and yet users can transfer as many as they can without any problem.

If you violate the EULA you're a pirate... Why spend money to become a pirate?

Unless they retrain Apu at the Microsoft Activation Hotline, you'll just be able to call in and tell them you bought a new motherboard, and that it's only installed on the same computer, and they will give you the activation code. I've installed my copy of Windows on 3 PCs just by calling each time and telling them I bought new stuff.

Without taking it off the other two machines? If so, your a software pirate. I don't think discussing piracy is allowed on Neowin :|, but either way i can't understand why you would buy the software than violate the EULA. Isn't it cheaper to become an illegal user for free?

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I might not have read the entire thread lol

But, I know with the Beta's it can be installed on up to 10 PCs??

Does anyone know how many computers RTM will be able to be installed on??

-Rich-

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