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  Important Windows Vista Licensing Changes
Time: 01:53 EST/06:53 GMT | News Source: *Linked Within Post* | Posted By: Kenneth van Surksum

Robert McLaw from Windows Now writes: Ed Bott tells us about changes to the Windows Vista EULA. But that's not the whole story. Starting on Page 11, here is a synopsis of what I believe are the most far-reaching changes, as I have interpreted them:

Home Basic

  • Can't copy ISO to your hard drive
  • Can't install to a network server
  • You may share files, printers, etc with a maximum of 5 network devices
  • You MAY NOT use Remote Desktop, only Remote Assistance
  • You MAY NOT use in Virtual PC | Virtual Server |VMWare

Home Premium

  • Still can't copy ISO to your hard drive
  • Still can't install to a network server
  • Sharing for 10 network devices
  • Still no Remote Desktop
  • Still no virtual hardware
  • 5 simultaneous Media Center Extender sessions (up from 3 in MCE 2005)


  • Can copy ISO to your hard drive
  • Can install to a network server (I'm assuming for Terminal Server scenarios)
  • Sharing for 10 network devices
  • Can use Remote Desktop
  • Can use in a virtualized environment, BUT
  • Can't use DRM-protected content if Vista Ultimate is the "guest" OS
  • Can't use BitLocker if Vista Ultimate is the "guest" OS
  • 5 Media Center Extender sessions

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#1 By 44902 ( at 10/12/2006 3:23:41 AM
Such morons...

#2 By 2459 ( at 10/12/2006 5:21:10 AM
There's an error in Robert's summary. The license does not state that you cannot use Home Basic or Home Premium within a virtual hardware system. It states:

4. USE WITH VIRTUALIZATION TECHNOLOGIES. You may not use the software installed on the licensed device within a virtual (or otherwise emulated) hardware system.

meaning you cannot use the same software you have installed on a licensed device (e.g., your computer) in a virtual hardware system.

IOW, you can either install Home Basic or Home Premium on a real computer or a virtual machine, but not both (without acquiring an additional license).

Likewise, the limitation on rights management technologies and BitLocker in a VM only apply when you are using the same Ultimate license on both real hardware and the VM. Otherwise, you may use those technologies in a VM. The license doesn't exclude them in the latter case, but does strongly advise against their use for obvious reasons.

6. USE WITH VIRTUALIZATION TECHNOLOGIES. You may use the software installed on the
licensed device within a virtual (or otherwise emulated) hardware system on the licensed device. If you do so, you may not play or access content or use applications protected by any Microsoft digital, information or enterprise rights management technology or other Microsoft rights management services or use BitLocker. We advise against playing or accessing content or using applications protected by other digital, information or enterprise rights management technology or other rights management services or using full volume disk drive encryption.

Also Remote Desktop isn't specifically excluded as an access technology for Home Basic and Home Premium. It just isn't mentioned in their context (though as someone else suggested, RDP likely falls under the "similar technologies" clause) because the server is not included with either Home Basic or Home Premium.

This post was edited by n4cer on Thursday, October 12, 2006 at 05:39.

#3 By 2960 ( at 10/12/2006 12:54:47 PM
An important one was missed...

You can only transfer your Vista license, even a full-purchase license, to another computer ONCE. Once it's transferred to that second computer, it can go no further.

So those of you who are enthusiasts and upgrade regularly (usually twice a year for me) are in deep stuff.

What a baaigain.


#4 By 3 ( at 10/12/2006 1:29:58 PM
yeah certainly seems a very messy change and one not aimed at those of us who like to upgrade and update their pc's

#5 By 61 ( at 10/12/2006 2:54:38 PM
Yeah, I don't like it.

I guess if you have an activation problem just tell them you had a piece of hardware fail that needed to be replaced, or something similar.

#6 By 23275 ( at 10/12/2006 3:09:29 PM
Does anyone have any idea if the transfer restrictions apply to fully boxed retail versions of the product? or... are these restrictions applicable to OEM and or equipment CALS, only?


#7 By 2960 ( at 10/12/2006 4:03:06 PM
As best anyone can decipher from the License, it indeed does apply to full versions.


#8 By 2960 ( at 10/12/2006 4:04:10 PM

Somewhere else, someone else brought up the issue of system board replacement on machines, even under warranty, running into this issue.


#9 By 61 ( at 10/12/2006 4:51:55 PM
Tech, I'm thinking more along the lines of harddrive failure.

#10 By 23275 ( at 10/12/2006 5:08:02 PM
After having read what is available a couple of times, I can only interpret that fully boxed retail licenses, regardless of the number of installs on different configurations, will be supported - so long as it is not activated on more than one configuration at a time - for the life of the product. However, it does suggest that after two such installs, one will have to call and get authorization and a new key, which the agreement suggests Microsoft is perfectly willing to do.

So for those of us that change configs for actual use outside of short testing periods at least as frequently as we buy new shoes, there does appear to be some hope.

We are turning however, to one of our clients at AEA Group, who specializes in intellectual property law - to at least get an opinion.

Does anyone know how final all of this is?

#11 By 28388 ( at 10/12/2006 7:56:02 PM
heh... FC6 here I come.... c'mon Oct. 17th!

#12 By 61 ( at 10/13/2006 12:19:16 AM
What DRM? What lock-in? What lack of freedom?

Don't just spout off terms and not actually back them up.

There is no secret DRM in Vista (well, I can't say that, otherwise it wouldn't be a secret, but still...).
There is no vendor lock-in here, you can always go another route. Using Windows does not = lock-in.
Using Office, however, does lock you into using Office (unless you want to risk using OO.o's translation stuff for reading Office document formats).

What lack of freedom is present in Windows?

#13 By 47914 ( at 10/13/2006 9:10:14 AM
Wow, too bad mac and oss don't have their act together as a viable desktop OS alternative! If they did, they could reap BIG market share gains right now.

#14 By 23275 ( at 10/13/2006 12:41:05 PM
#17, If I may... A lot of WinITPros [sorry to rip off an actual URL], and regular Windows users are not nearly as devoted to the platform they use as Linux or MAC users are.

Frankly, the word "movement" used in any context greater than that used to describe a benign bathroom function kind of creeps most Windows and WinITPros out - but not to any degree that they'll take to the streets over - most are too busy working their way through the realities attending the day.

Self-Proclaimed MAC bigots are seen in a similar light.

Windows users seem to be a lot more practical - prudent prudentia or the practical application of intelligence... causes Active-Winners to look at things in pretty much an objective way - for how they can be used, or how they will impact our work, families and friends who call and start off by asking, "hey.... I was just thinking of you... as they quickly turn to asking for help with one of their systems..."

Words like "Community" when used alongside a computer operating system are equally creepy to many here - somehow elevated out of context.

"Too anything " makes most people uncomfortable. So do CEO's that speak more about what Microsoft is doing, or has done than they do their own products - at their own trade shows - all while they stuff features found in Windows Media Player 11 into their latest version if iTunes.

It's like having a stained wooden front door. We wake up and find JDS on our porch with a paint brush. He smiles, says good morning, and proceeds to paint it blue in front of us.
We bend down, pick up the paper and as moderate as ever, listen as JDS says, "Good morning, I know you had a really nice door, but I knew that it would look better if it were painted blue..." The morning Active-Winner, wouldn't speak - not until he'd finished his coffee, read a few headlines and dressed for work... On his way out... he'd look back and reflect on the time he'd have to spend over the next weekend, fixing the door.

This might happen just this way - once, twice, three times... on the fourth, guys like CPUGuy finally state the obvious - like, "Look, I don't have time for this, but it's got to stop... you don't know what you're talking about and if you did and still chose to present anything but fact, you might just get on my last nerve."

More than anything, it is about prudentia

#15 By 2960 ( at 10/13/2006 1:34:00 PM
Ya know something IKetchum, you're a pretty smart dude. I've been enjoying the hell out of your posts lately :)


#16 By 13030 ( at 10/13/2006 2:57:17 PM
#19: IKetchum

LKetchum as in 'el ketchum'.

#18: A lot of WinITPros, and regular Windows users are not nearly as devoted to the platform they use as Linux or MAC users are.

I would agree about the regular users, but I think the IT pros (and management) have a different degree of devotion.

IT Pros tend to have nerdy "I'm right" or "I know more" personalities. They would argue a weak or even wrong position merely because they can't admit to fault or an error in judgment. Make something a matter of opinion and they'll never be convinced. Their devotion is more an unwillingness to admit that a competing product may be viable than a devotion to a current product. I expect that there are some "practical" IT pros out there, but that personality trait runs counter to the artistic or intellectually driven characteristics that are generally found in those drawn to the IT field.

Certainly, management decision makers have devotion, but only in a financial and CYA perspective. They would pick whatever solution is safest without disrupting current business processes. This makes Windows the answer even before the question is asked. The users know it, the developers know it, it's from a company we all know will be around for a long time... a reasonable and safe choice, no further evaluation necessary.

#18: ...the word "movement"... "Community"... "Too anything "...

That's how I feel about zealots in general. Extremists of any persuasion are generally a bad thing for society.

#17 By 23275 ( at 10/13/2006 3:26:56 PM
#19, Kindest thanks. I am, above all, more than fortunate - I had the best examples to follow and learn from in government service and certainly in the examples of people that have chosen to work with me - they are amazing and better than anyone deserves.

I have committed to adding here, all else that we are adding in new types of sites and tools that many of our customers and peers have asked for - namely, that we share with a wider group of people what we have learned, but in very practical ways that are attended by actual and free help from our company and its people. I think people like me owe sites like Activewin a lot - they provide a lot, so we'll not be leveraging that to drive interest, but on the contrary, we intend to drive traffic and support away from ourselves and back to Activewin.
We will not for example, so much as include a link here, back to where the main sites will run,
but we will certainly link back to sites like this. It's the right thing to do and it pays respect to the pre-web 2.0 guys that carried a lot of water for a long time.

#20, is right on - but the exercise of opinions and preferences is driven by different, more centralized motivations in most Windows admins and devs - using what works to accomplish tasked or desired goals - the defense of which is perfectly normal - so long as it is kept balanced [which it most often is]. We have no time, for example, to post for or against any *Nix, or MAC and therefore, we do not go to such sites. We do however, support and resolve issues each and every day for both MAC centric customers and users as well as seven (7) different Linuces that run in production in our centers. We attend to them with as much, and more care than we do our W2K3 servers - mostly because we have to - no sarcasm there... it's just the way the log sheets reflect the reality we deal with.

So expect, or accept, as is more likely the case :) what we intend to do - share what we are doing, how to do it, and what it means. I intend to follow the advice of Rossy Benny Hammer Jr. [USA, Retired] - the one man that gave me a chance and leadership when I deserved it least.
That was 30 years ago - when I really was as naive as I wish I still were. He said, "Just write as though they were sitting in front of you and you are in a conversation with them." Sound advice when trying to make interesting and valuable, texts opposite linear and non-linear encryption techniques.. among other, otherwise mind-numbing subjects.

#18 By 61 ( at 10/13/2006 3:37:43 PM

So, there is no DRM on Linux as long as you stick to OSS... you do know there are OSS apps for Windows? You do know that even apps like WMP the DRM can be turned off?
This is simply not a valid excuse

Using Windows does not lock you into Windows. Using Microsoft products do, as they only work on Windows (save for the few Mac apps and the even fewer *nix apps), but using Windows does not lock you in. There are altenatives to MS applications, which a lot of people do use.

Freedom... what exactly does Windows restrict me from doing? I mean, you do you have general license agreements which only allows you one machine per copy, and you do have to actually pay for it but I can still use any app I want to, play any game I want to, and go to any website I want to.
Is your entire freedom argument stemming from the fact that Windows is pay-for proprietary OS?

#19 By 32132 ( at 10/13/2006 11:58:59 PM
#11 and #13 Aside for the massive number of useful applications for Windows, one of the best reasons to use it is because it is so widespread.

Linux has between .36% and .40% market share according to the largest web analytics firms.

If you are a developer you can write applications for XP at 85/86% of the market knowing that little or no tweaking is necessary to run those apps on Win2K ... or you can develop for .36% or .40% of the market knowing that most Linux distros are not even 100% compatible with each other.

#20 By 20505 ( at 10/15/2006 12:07:56 AM
I understand this is not a business site but bear with me. Why is it that IBM can't use its muscle to make a viable business alternative to Windows?

They have the knowhow, muscle and financial wherewithal to do this; i.e. buy up two or three popular Linux distros, use the best features of each, then use their marketing muscle to get some drivers and develop some useful apps along with the open source community.

In my opinion a bullet proof, easily managed locked down OS running on cheap machines is a no brainer for the business community. Put these on the desks of folks who use the computer for very simple tasks. I assure you if they could be integrated in a windows environment businesses would buy them. I certainly would for about half of my employees.

#21 By 23275 ( at 10/15/2006 12:58:28 AM
#24, I count two reasons why not: 1) Who would develop for it and how would they do it and 2) such a platform already exists and is supported by millions of people already familiar with development tools.

In the second case, terminal versions of Windows, with no moving parts, a rich user experience and terminal server based programs, cost very little and are extremely easy to manage and deploy. We do this all the time - mostly for hospitals and independent practices.

So, the need is well served by both known and inexpensive hardware and most importantly, a very large number of developers that do not have to build specialized versions of the software. For example, Kodak's [formerly Infocure's] suite of practice management programs, run as well as a terminal client program as they do as a full desktop client program.
The terminal hardware comes pre-loaded with the OS in firmware.

Companies, like Wyse, who specialized for decades, building client systems for mini computers, designs and builds the hardware many people use. IBM itself builds similar terminals as does HP. All three have tried using their own OS versions - which did not sell well at all - because there were too few developers and too little additional enterprise software that was also needed/desired.

If, as a business owner, you have a group of users who have specifically understood applications needs, then please do consider using Windows based terminals. They can also run all Office 2003/2007 applications in this mode. The beauty is that servicing a downed user takes a few seconds. Unplug five wires - power, display, mouse, keyboard and network - plug in a new terminal - turn on the new terminal and log the user back in. It takes about a minute.

Please do have really good engineers set up your terminal server - it isn't hard, but you'd be surprised at how few guys can get it right.

The benefits can be huge - namely, cost savings, ease of management, and a familiar/identical interface people can use immediately. Using enterprise web based applications is no barrier, either since IE run equally well. And certainly, integration with Windows networks is native and identical to how it is done with a full PC.

If I were you I'd work from the requirements you have for your business and the people in the user group that could benefit from such a deployment - then engage a partner, or your own staff to explore how best to support these users. Don't forget that you can segment these users - both phsically and logically - meaning, don't forget the hard switching side, were you may see some benefit from canalizing these users within their own network segment(s).

#22 By 32132 ( at 10/15/2006 1:14:16 AM
#25 I love Terminal Server. I hate java apps on Terminal Server. They suck ... resources like you wouldn't believe.

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#25 By 178479 ( at 12/16/2008 5:39:57 PM
The real problem with issues like these are that the regular user, like me for example, who are trying to learn more about OS's, would have no idea why they couldnt copy an ISO to their harddrive, would be directed to MSKB and would end up wasting hours of time still not coming out of it with an answer, and if coming out with an answer, it would be one that cannot be fixed without lots of hassle and extra dollars.

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