Closure of RC2, Feedback Handling in the New York Times, and Licensing Information for Windows

As you've probably already surmised, downloads of Windows Vista RC2 for the Customer Preview Program (CPP) have now closed and the links are no longer active.  We were bowled over by your response to RC2 -- in fact, we hit our download target (200K+) within 72 hours of propping the files!  This is an incredible response.

Special thanks go out to everyone who participated in the CPP by downloading and installing this new build, and please keep the feedback coming -- it makes a huge difference.

If you want another take on how your feedback helps and how the team tracks it, check out this story in the tech section of the New York Times.  (The story also has a good photo of the Life Cycle team -- that’s Sven Hallauer, Director of the Life Cycle team, in the black t-shirt, second from the left.  For more from Sven on the process of getting builds out to the public and what RC2 is all about, check out this podcast).

The amount of information coming out of the Windows Team between now and business availability in November is going to be daunting, but we’re really excited about Windows Vista and we know you are, too, so we’ll do our best to give you as much detail as soon and as often as we can.

On that note, today published the retail license terms for Windows Vista; you can find them here.  Two notable changes between Windows Vista license terms and those for Windows XP are: 1) failure of a validation check results in the loss of access to specific features (this is the SPP news you’ve likely been reading about this past week); and 2) an increase in our warranty period from 90 days to 1 year, which brings Windows in line with most other Microsoft products.

Comments (118)
  1. Anonymous says:

    The downloads for Windows Vista RC2 surpassed expectations (200K downloads in the first 72 hours!) and

  2. Anonymous says:

    Techweb ran an article on how the public, free Vista RC2 download was closed. "As promised, Microsoft

  3. Anonymous says:

    This has got to be a mistake. (Why do I seem to say that a lot recently when reviewing an action taken

  4. Anonymous says:

    Windows Vista RC2 (build 5744) was available internally late last week, and I’m writing to you from it

  5. Anonymous says:

    When will beta testing for the next Windows "Fiji" start? Where should I keep a watch? Connect or Betaplace?

  6. Anonymous says:

    They have to recoup that 5+ billion in R&D some how. Screwing their customers is the way to do it. Microsoft has become the very thing they hated. IBM.

    I know a company exists to make money and provide a return for its share holders, but screwing your customers is plain wrong. It may only be 5-10 percent but that’s a huge number of people. I for one hope that all those people say no to Vista. That’s a lot of money not being made. Maybe 2006 is the year the second IBM starts it’s fall. Crosses fingers.

    Apple was very helpful to me today. I have a new non-Microsoft system being shipped. Thank you.

  7. Anonymous says:

    I fear Microsoft woul’d act here like the three monkeys" don’t want to see, dont’ want to hear and at last they don’t want to speek to us.

    There are three simple questions from "bsdmonolith" and we only want three little answers with yes or no.  But more than a "promise" from Nick White to explain until this week, we have nothing…

  8. Anonymous says:

    They don’t care. They have lawyers which are more feared than The Borg… ^^

  9. Anonymous says:

    Guppy06 – I hear ya and agree with the thrust of your post – my point was that we’re still (AFAIK) waiting for a more definitive statement on the EULA as Nick White’s post on the 16th implied that there are many incorrect assumptions about the EULA at the moment.. I know you’ve posted that any clarification about the EULA renders it a faulty document at source and I also agree with that, however what I’m waiting for is something from ‘the horse’s mouth’ about what we can and can’t do…

    Now, how accurate Nick White’s take on this is, I don’t know but my point was that until we get a bit more detail/confirmation then we’re speculating… I’m not a lawyer and therefore I’m not fluent in legalese..

    My position is that I would like to buy Vista when it is released, if however the EULA proves to be as restrictive as we’re currently fearing then I simply won’t be buying it.. I’m already going over to things like Open Office because of costs and intrusive licensing considerations so maybe the OS is the next logical choice..

    If Koroush Ghazi is right about the worldwide numbers of techie enthusiasts then Microsoft is going to lose a big bite of the cherry if they enforce the EULA as we currently believe it to apply… I’ve liked Vista (RC1) so far but given my turnover of PC innards I won’t be tied-down to two changes only. (Nor do I think I’d sell my soul; I doubt it’d be worth the price of Vista Ultimate anyway!) 😉

  10. Anonymous says:

    Dear Mr. Nick White

    Can you explain a simple question, please? This could help to eliminate some rumours and possible misunderstandings.

    Will the EULA we are speaking from be valid for the FPP Version of Vista Ultimate or not?

    I have called the support and ask about this issue and they told me after a consultation with Redmond that only the EULA for the Enterprise Version is fixed and that the massive restrictions we can read in the published EULA are for the OEM and system builder licences.

    Can you confirm this statement?

  11. Anonymous says:

    I know that beta 2 supports EFI and that the final release wont. Do RC1/RC2 also support EFI?

  12. Anonymous says:

    "More information?"  "Fully informed?"  It seems to me that nwhite and his superiors are completely missing the point.

    We are angry at the terms of the EULA *on their face.*  And as I have seen nothing in the EULA that says anything to the effect of "as amended by whatever is posted on a particular random blog," there is nothing further that you could offer, because it is simply not a part of what you expect us to press F8 at.  

    Let us not mince words here:  the "further information" you refer to cannot be anything but an attempt to hoodwink customers into signing onto the EULA as it is written.  And if we were to be sated by additional such "clarifications" about why we shouldn’t be concerned about the *actual language of the EULA*, we likely wouldn’t be complaining to begin with.

    You have reached the point of no return.  You can either change the EULA, or you can keep it as it is.  However, if you choose the latter, no amount of marketing-speak will change the outcome of that decision;  the amount of business your current EULA will lose you will not change in any appreciable way.  At the end of the day, it is the EULA and the EULA alone we are expected to sign.

    Now, if you’ll excuse me, I only have fourteen months to migrate and become accustomed to an alternative OS I’d rather not use before my XP installs reach their end-of-life.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Hey Marshall and Guppy06:  nothing ever gets done, inside MS or outside, by one person alone.  As I stated before, I’m working with my colleagues to get a better idea of the true meaning behind the language in the EULA so I can share that with you and you can come to a more informed decision than could be made by taking only the interpretations currently being discussed on the internet (which are not fully informed and in some cases, flat wrong) into account.

    Stay tuned.

    And BTW, no offense taken — you’ll have to do more than that to offend me.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Bad news, procrastinators. Microsoft has shut the door on downloads for Windows Vista Release Candidate 2, according to the Windows Vista Team Blog: As you’ve probably already surmised, downloads of Windows Vista RC2 for the Customer Preview Program (CPP)

  15. Anonymous says:

    Hey so the corporate licences are no more, but seriously though guys governments use windows too.

    The Chinese or US governments isn’t going to accept software that can be crippled by a product activation scheme and has to phone home every few days.  So do you have any info on the government licenses you will supply.

    Just curious.

  16. Anonymous says:

    to kritscha: you´re right. The new licence won´t pass the EU. Maybe that´s the point why point 15 & 16 are missing in that licence description.

    But what will happen, will Vista not get shipped to Europe or will there be a diffrent Licence for the european versions?

    Especially the clause about reselling will harm german law.

    Simply said, such restrictions from the building company is not practicable in Germany.

    1) When you buy something you can resell it whenever you like,

    and 2) like wykinger said: When something you bought doesn´t work, like after second Hardwarechange, than it is broken and has to be exchanged for free by the Distributors or Developers.

    Well, maybe I should however buy a Licence, it could be the cheapest support ever made by MS 😉

    Please think about it, ´cause you done a very good job on that new VistaOS. Don´t let the ship sink because of such annoying resriction-bullsh..

  17. Anonymous says:

    Depending on what Vista considers a "device" as mentioned in the license, it seems to me that new license could kill Vista as far as the gamer or custom PC builder markets are concerned.

    And it doesn’t sound good for PCs without internet access either. (Seems to me like that whole call home thing is an invasion of privacy, and likely problematic if a particular PC has no internet access at all.)

    So that license restriction, combined with the insanely high price tag, in my opinion will likely encourage people to use illegal hacked versions, if they use Vista at all. (I’m no hacker, but it seems to me that the more Microsoft tries to prevent their software from getting hacked, the more likely people will try just so that they can say they did it. The old "forbidden fruit" routine.)

    Of course, in the OEM market it’ll probably still sell since John Q. Public won’t likely know about this license restriction until it comes back to bite him. Unless of course it gets on CNN and local news stations.

  18. Anonymous says:

    There will be no such thing as "community death". In the gaming community case, developers will just switch to OpenGL and alternative OSes.

    OpenGL is now used for many popular games: Doom series, Quake series, World of Warcraft etc.

  19. Anonymous says:

    This is a totally ridiculous situation.

    Can MS please explain what it means by a device ?

    If I change my mouse have I changed device?

    If I change graphics card?

    Upgrade/replace CPU?

    Motherboard (everything else the same).

    If I change the engine do I have a new car? I think not!

    ‘Device’ needs clear definition to mean anything at all?

    The biggest single thing MS could do for consumers is to allow deactivation of Windows. Adobe have managed this effectively with its CS2 products – why can’t MS ?

    Given that WGA and activation will be mandatory in VISTA and product features will be deactivated for systems that fail these tests (and who doesn’t believe that ultimately it will be a complete lock out until you have a legitmate activation … that’s the way it is already heading in XP) why not use the system to deactivation.

    When you activate Windows generates an environment code based on hardware presence (with a little tolerance for change) – why not get WGA to regenerate that code when checking your installation is valid and check it against the activation state for the product serial number? That way multiple activations couldn’t be acheived by drive imaging and users could move their software where they liked because MS would only activate software that isn’t already activated.

    Also for home users who purchase full version software why not do the same as Home and student Office 2003 and allow up to 3 activations of VISTA. That in itself would stop a lot of ‘casual’ piracy.

    Something needs to be changed in the new EULA otherwise I for one will not be upgrading to future versions of Windows.

  20. Anonymous says:

    Pollaxe, I think it would be a mistake to allow any of these upcoming "clarifications," whatever they may be, convince you to purchase Vista, if for no other reason than because Microsoft isn’t putting their signature on it.

    For example, the current favorite theory put forward by those like Thurrott is that, while the EULA doesn’t *allow* multiple transfers, Microsoft won’t *enforce* that clause.  But for how long?  Because Microsoft’s "magnanimity" isn’t in the terms of the EULA itself, there is nothing preventing Microsoft from changing their minds, and, because you hit F8 to the terms of the EULA *as written,* you’d be up a creek.

    With any form of contract, you have to rely on your own judgment (or legal advice from your own lawyers) on whether or not to sign it.  Listening to the advice of the other party about the terms of the contract, especially if they’re the ones that wrote it, is just asking to be taken advantage of (does the name Faust ring any bells?).  If a particular clause *might* be to your detriment, you need to assume that it *will* be, until you get something saying otherwise *in writing.*  But putting these things in writing in the EULA is exactly what these forthcoming "clarifications" seem designed to avoid.

    It is ultimately your credit card we’re talking about, but the price tags on the retail versions of Vista are just too high for me to be willing to take the "pray they don’t alter them any further" stance.

  21. Anonymous says:

    Regarding the death of the pc gaming industry: OK let me rephrase that:

    How happy do you think harware OEMs are going to be with Microsoft when the Vista EULA diverts $50-65 BILLION USD from the OEMs to Microsoft?

    How did I arrive at that number? Based on Koroush Ghazi’s estimates of 50-65 million "PC Enthusiasts" worldwide and assuming they significantly upgrade their systems 3 times per year (which translates to roughly $1,000 USD for two licenses of Vista Ultimate under this EULA).

    50-65M Users x $1000 = $50-65B USD

  22. Anonymous says:

    err "You really think that doing this you’ll increase PIRACY ?! "

    It was DECREASE PIRACY…sorry 🙂

  23. Anonymous says:

    I assembled my current system from various parts, both new and old (new motherboard, new microprocessor, new RAM), in 2003. Hopefully, upgrading it will be possible in the months to come, to something such as an Intel Dual Core.

    I was impressed enough with RC2 of Vista to consider purchasing it upon the January release–but why would I want to purchase it now, if I can only transfer this software to another computer one time? I don’t know how long I’ll have my current system…it could be 6 months, it could be a year, it could be a year and a half…so why would I want to waste a Vista activation on my current system at this point?

    I’ve been a Microsoft supporter for years, have defended Microsoft in newsgroups…but I can no longer justify defending Microsoft upon learning about the licensing restrictions. I’m very unhappy, and any desire to upgrade to Vista is gone now.

  24. Anonymous says:

    I’d like to state for all of you who’ve contributed to the comments on this post, that your reactions have not gone unnoticed, but rather, we’ve heard you loud and clear on this issue.  I cannot promise that we’ll ultimately be able to devise a solution to any or all of your concerns around the Windows Vista EULA, but I would call your attention to our response to the issue of the new start-up sound.

  25. Anonymous says:

    Hey Marshall:  you can rest assured that many, many of my colleagues, both senior and otherwise, are monitoring this conversation closely and will help me to provide readers with more information so that you’re fully informed when making a purchasing decision.

    Please read the aforementioned comment again, as it says more than you imply.

  26. Anonymous says:

    Hi kritscha:  the EULA you’re referring to pertains to all consumer versions of Windows Vista:  Home Basic, Home Premium and Ultimate.

  27. Anonymous says:

    After thinking about it some more I don’t see how that will stand in court.  If a person buys an operating system then they can use it how they please.  If I bought a computer, found it didn’t work, returned it, bought another and then six months latter I decide to upgrade then I should be allowed to use the same license.  I don’t care if it announces everyday over the net that I’m on comp A at this time but I should not be told what to do with my license.

  28. Anonymous says:

    I currently live in Europe and the current Vista EULA license isn’t going to make the cut here under some of the E.U. country consumer laws. However, since Microsoft doesn’t seem to want to respond to this ongoing conversation about the EULA I ask that all of you contact your state governments and make them change the laws so that Microsoft or any other software company can not tell us with their software license that we can not upgrade our hardware or change hardware when we want. It seems Microsoft doesn’t seem to understand a whole lot until they are dragged into the courtroom. If that is what they want then let us, the public, start to control their destiny for them!

  29. Anonymous says:

    I agree with most of the post above. I change my hardware about 2-3 times a year and even reinstall my OS (mostly more than one at a time) 5-6 times a year. If this won´t be possible with Vista, why should i buy it. That will be a castration of all pc-enthusiastics.  I have joined the CPP and found that Vista is quite great, b.u.t. n.o.t. t.h.a.t. w.a.y., MS. For my private use of an OS, Vista already died. For my professional use… what do you think, how many companies are deaf,dumb and blind to depend on an OS which can´t be easily reinstalled after a hardwarechange ? And nevertheless, everyone who thinks an unhackable software can´t be reality is right.

    If MS drops the prices about 60% and drop the activation circus they would probably raise their annual win and get more customers than they ever imagined!

  30. Anonymous says:

    ^An article by Paul Thurrott on Vista licensing…

  31. Anonymous says:

    Thanks nwhite.  And at least MS is blatantly clear this time around in the licensing terms.  And Thanks MS that making the choice of my next OS surprisingly simple.  Will be some Linux variant and definitely not MS.

    Will be a steep learning curve.  But as we all learnt from the financial industry, nothing, be it people or assets, cannot be replaced.

  32. Anonymous says:

    If what I’ve read about the licence agreement is true (only getting to transfer the licence to another machine once) then this will be enough to make me stay away from Vista.

    I upgrade my machine on a yearly cycle, usualy graphics. hard disk one year, then motherborard/cpu/ram in alternate years. Sometimes sooner when there’s a step change like PCI express.

  33. Anonymous says:

    I am apalled when I read thru the new license!  Can this be right?  Is MS really restricting to only 2 times resintallation?  Or is it 2 upgrades?  Nuts!  I bought WinXP Pro Retail (4 copies) so that I can upgrade my computers freely and still be legally licensed.  And if I upgrade to Vista, let’s say I upgrade my mobo to a P985 board next year, and if intel came up with something else better which would require reinstalling Vista, then I can’t upgrade my machine because I won’t be licensed?  

    Heck, what’s the major difference between the retail packs and the OEM license, then?  One extra installation?  What are the licensing people over in Redmond smoking?

  34. Anonymous says:

    I have to agree with most of what has been said by others on the Vista license. If MS does not change this then I will stick with XP SP2. If I can’t experiment with new hardware, or upgrade hardware, without having to purchase a new license, then its just not worth it.  

    Oh well, beta testing Vista was fun till it lasted.

  35. Anonymous says:

    Dear Vista team, why can’t you allow a user to deactivate a machine? Urge, the music download site suppointed by windows media player 11 allows 3 PCs activated with the same account simultaneously. But it allows you to deactivate 1 pc per month so you can continue using the same account on a new PC.

    Why can’t this be done with Vista activation?

  36. Anonymous says:

    Hi. I’m a CEO of a large software company which is your Gold Partner.

    We were going to buy Vista for all employees and me myself for home. Also convinced many to buy it too.

    After this what I read about license and limitation for changing my hardware (which I do every 2 months or less even), just 1 hour ago I’ve decided and canceled all of 447 Vista preorders I had.

    NO CHANCE I will buy an OS under those terms and with such limitations that kill the very core nature of PC versatility and advantages.

    We’re certainly going to consider and discuss business transformation to UNIX compatible OS like Debian Linux and Java.

    I must add, moving to Java from Microsoft (.NET) will be much cheaper solution for us than going Vista in production with such license.

    Microsoft, and mister nwhite, the move you just did just proved you are arrogant and greedy sons of…. [self-censored] and that you do not respect your customers.

    I see you are already loosing quite a big sum of customer base and with just considering this you lost many potential customers as not many will decide to go Vista after this, even if you do change planned license terms back to acceptable.

    As much as Vista was meant to be a huge move and evolution, that much this move literally cut it’s success in half at least, and I believe will practically destroy Vista project.

    All the money we invested in Microsoft products, Microsoft certificates and moving our company to Microsoft Certified Gold Partner is made absolute rubbish and pointless investment with this license for your next product.

    We are now aware that our trust invested in Microsoft was our huge business miss.

    ATM I’m quite angry and I will restrain to swear and be very, very rude by just finishing the topic and going out a bit.

    Being extremely disappointed, we will not even grant you an honor of our official protest and complaint and all our contact will probably end this way and with silent contract break.

    In the name of the same protest I will not even sign myself here.

    Not Named,

    CEO of **********

    Microsoft (possibly ex) Gold Partner

  37. Anonymous says:

    I can’t edit my comment – can you edit it and remove the HTML and fix the link – remove %22. Maybe a note to say HTML is not supported would be good 😉

  38. Anonymous says:

    Hi Marshall:  the issue is still being discussed and while I presently have nothing new I can share with the community, if and when that changes, I will post to the blog immediately.  Please know that many of us are doing all we can to ensure your voices are heard.

  39. Anonymous says:

    I’m an official dvds-mailed-to-me beta tester of Vista.  I have yet to install it because of these awful license restrictions.  I will get a FREE copy of Vista Premium.  I will not install this either.

    I think Microsoft wants everyone to use Linux or a Mac.  It’s not like the company is broke.  Between Vista’s tight licensing and unreliable Genuine "Advantage"[sic], there’s no way people who know what they’re getting into will want to use it.

    Instead of mitigating their reputation, Microsoft continues to reinforce people’s stereotype of them as a company who mistrusts and abuses their customers.  When will they stop?

  40. Anonymous says:

    This is totally insane, tommorow if I have multiple hard drive failures or some stupid DLL goes down the the drain and I have to re-install it, I need to pay for that !! I understand software is not cheap but making money out of people’s problems is as good as looting them.

    I will NOT move from Whatever form of Windows I live with. Will definetly shift to Linux , you get plenty of free downloads with all utilities thrown in for FREE and there is no ACTIVATION required to use them, and yeah ! they dont crash 10 % of what my current windows does.

    You might have spent more time to strengthen the new release but I guess the licensing dept wouldnt have worked even a man-day to come up with such stupidity.

  41. Anonymous says:

    nWhite.  It is Friday now…..  No hurries but any clarification with your team?  Anything to share at all?

  42. Anonymous says:

    I am one of this 5% PC enthusiasts and a hardcore gamer. I must change my hardware 4 or 5 times a year because of the requirements of games. I also can`t use Linux or such other OS, because most of the games will nor run on this plattforms.  I also can`t stay at Win XP, because MS will never support it with DX10.

    Also what shall i do, when MS don`t let me upgrade my hardware without purchasing,every 2 times i do this, a new Vista copy for CHF 500,- (Switzerland ,ultimate upgrade)

    The gamers must have the ability to upgrade and/or change there hardware otherwise the PC will no longer be atractive for gamers and the market for PC-games and pc components will be massivly decrease.

    With this terms, Vista will be the end for the PC as an games plattform…

  43. Anonymous says:

    I think Microsoft has to do better with thier licencse because if I can not upgrade my computer 2 times without buying a new Vista then I may as well stay with XP! I think some one at Microsoft has GOOFED BIG TIME!

  44. Anonymous says:

    Another thing…you’ll probably say: "Well, €450 it’s for the Ultimate edition"…you’re right but for the basic Home I’m sure it’ll costs NOT less than €200 which is a lot!

    Guys..the point is…I don’t care to pay those moneys…I care of the fact that I want MY OWN WINDOWS VISTA to use with my private computers! Quite everyone have a Desktop and a Laptop…with this EULA I’m forced to buy 2 licences! At least, with XP I was able to use one computer at a time, with the same licence…but now 🙁

    I still think that private users should be able to buy a product and use it at least on 2 computers…expecially with an ULTIMATE version! What’s the problem with it?! That’s what I don’t get… -.-

  45. Anonymous says:

    I must agree with some of the earlier posters here. I’m not as concerned with the initial price as I am with not being able to upgrade my hardware as often as I like or need to. This is a deal breaker for me. I’ll stay with XP Pro til the retail upgrade terms are more favorable.  

  46. Anonymous says:

    Who cares? No one will buy it under this EULA and with the activation crap. If i knew XP seizes working after # of activations and I have to call support and read  and write 84 numbers I wouldn’t have bought it either.

    If Vista EULA doesn’t ship with FREE license in the way we can install it as many times as we want, I will happily go pirate way.

    Pirates are there to make the life easier, obviously.

  47. Anonymous says:

    If the EULA needs to be "clarified" or "explained," then the EULA is flawed.  The language of the EULA must stand on its own merits because it is all that is agreed to by the end-user.  As curious as I may be to see these attempts at "clarification," these additional blog postings or press conferences or what have you cannot be a part of my purchase decision here because it is the EULA and the EULA alone that must be agreed to.

    If these clarifications, whatever their nature, are not to be a part of the EULA’s binding language, then they aren’t clarifications at all.  And even if these further press releases move in a direction that I am happy with, if Microsoft is not willing to make them binding by putting them into the EULA, then I am not willing to bind myself to that EULA.

  48. Anonymous says:

    I’ am broken but I think your right, and as I said… the three monkeys. Nwhite “promise” us that they explain there terms in the last week… they didn’t.

    They will never explain, because there is nothing to explain and they will never change the EULA, because it is so easy to pull out the money from the stupid consumers we are in there eyes.

    MS knows very well that they have the monopole for Game OS and they will us treading again and again with such restrictions, because they can… there is no alternative for gamers.

    Shame on you…

  49. Anonymous says:

    What ever – With that EULA Microsoft will destroy completely the PC components and PC games market. Any enthusiast how has not completely lost his sin of reality like Microsoft, won’t buy Vista, because he can’t upgrade his Hardware more than one time.

    I don’t understand why MS acts like this. We are the people who pushes the most money in this market and they are treading us with all they have…

  50. Anonymous says:

    I’m sure that really tough licensing will only harm consumers while pirates and hackers will get the Hacked Department of HomeLand Security Edition of Vista which needs no activation key, and bypasses Windows Genuine Advantage (WGA) completely.

    Of course Windows XP licensing started strict, then got less strict then got more strict so Microsoft may yet change their mind based on feedback from customers.  Microsoft is a very fast acting company when responding to customer outcrys such as the Large Xbox controller before the controller S.

    I liked that the student edition of Office could be installed on 3 computers, pitty the Pro version could only be installed on 2 (1home, 1 laptop).  The truth is that if product activation and WGA really works and reduces piracy then Microsoft should allow one key to install on more than one computer in a household, say up to 3 computers at a time.

    Infact this is what they should be doing with licensing, beefing up WGA so that it cant be bypassed by hacks while either allowing customers to install Windows on more machines or giving them a cheaper version of Windows.  To do anything less is suicide, as more and more old secondary computers in peoples houses will end up running Linux instead of Vista(with all the fancy Aero glass stuff turned off).

  51. Anonymous says:

    If you read nwhite’s post, he only promised to keep a close eye on this thread and GIVE US MORE INFORMATION on the licensing.

    In other words, not likely that he will be relaying the comments here to high up.  In any case, even if the wizard (or jerks) in the ivory tower hears this, not likely that they will change the terms.  They answer to sales target alone.

  52. Anonymous says:

    "The first user of the software may reassign the license to another device one time. If you reassign the license, that other device becomes the "licensed device,"

    Could someone from the product team tell us exactly what the above quote means? I most certainly will need to tranfer the license to a new device more than once. If I am not allowed to do this, I will not waste my money on an operating system I can’t use in a couple of years.

    I’m sure the pirates you are trying to stop will have no problem finding a way around this limitation, while the rest of us get burned.

  53. Anonymous says:

    Guppy06, well put.  Let’s hope whatever "new" information that nwhite is going to "inform" us with is included in the "new and improved" EULA.  If not, maybe all of us reading the EULA needs to go back to school to learn how to interpret the EULA the MS way.

  54. Anonymous says:

    It’s been nearly two weeks, and I find I’ve grown bored with this.  No word of a new EULA, and it seems the previously-mentioned "clarifications" aren’t going to be coming any time soon either.  Microsoft’s dug in, their representatives have told several members of the press that the general interpretations of the odious parts of the EULA are correct, so there’s nothing more to be done anyway.

    For 50% more than the Vista Ultimate license I was looking at, I can get a Mac Mini.  Sure, the license may not be much better than what Microsoft is pushing with Vista, but building Macs isn’t feasable for most people.

    As for my PCs, long-term I’m looking at Fedora and SUSE.  However, the fallout from this EULA announcement has given me short-term concerns about the security of my XP installations.  Early on, the "one transfer only" clause of Vista has been described by Microsoft as a "mere clarification" of the XP license, essentially saying that Microsoft’s belief is that the XP license itself allows only one transfer, a threshold I passed a long time ago.

    Microsoft attempting to unilaterally and retroactively change the terms of the XP EULA in and of itself wouldn’t cause me concern were it not for Windows Product Activation and Windows Genuine Advantage.  WPA and WGA give Microsoft the power to enforce such retroactive changes to the EULA, leaving the user no recourse outside of a courtroom.

    Microsoft might not do it, but they seem to feel they would be justified to do so, and I don’t doubt they have the desire.  Where I was able to tolerate WPA and WGA insofar as they enforced the terms of the EULA as written, I find for the security of my machines and my own peace of mind that I must roll back to Windows 2000 until my transition to Linux is complete.

    And I’m half-tempted to attempt to return my XP Pro FPP and License Pak for a full refund, as I do not agree to the terms of what amounts to be a new EULA (since I see nothing in the old one allowing such a retroactive change without my consent).

    For those of you who are going to continue to wait with bated breath, have fun and try not to pass out.

  55. Anonymous says:

    Billy Gates gone wild.  I think a lot of people will turn their backs on Vista and use XP till it dies.  Even if MS will stop supporting XP, the community will still try to make some support for it and hate Vista at the same time.  Also, as usual, the hacker community will hack it anyway; there is no program in the world that was not hacked.  So with first few month of Vista release some hacker dude will make it free for people 🙂  It always happened and will always happen, no matter how strict MS security is.  Billy read peoples’ comments, try to understand them, make MS as people friendly!  Make it cost at most $150 for Vista and a lot of people will most likely BUY Vista, not steal it.  Think before you act and stop being greedy!

  56. Anonymous says:

    Guppy06, exactly.  nwhite, no offense but this is not an issue a single person can fix.  It probably takes the whole legal department to come up with these terms.  You won’t be able to give new additional info that is not on the EULA, unless, of course, that MS is changing the EULA.

    And fat chance of that happening.

  57. Anonymous says:

    I will put it this way as I’m enough of the marketing babble.

    Q#1: Can I replace my motherboard infinite times and still use the same Vista I bought the very first time?

    Q#2: Can I replace any of my hardware infinite times and still use the same Vista I bought the very first time?

    Q#3: Can I buy a new PC, sell the old one, infinite times and still use the same Vista I bought the very first time?

    A#1: If any answers on those questions is NEGATIVE, I will NOT BUY Vista.

    For games I WILL use pirated copy and for work I WILL move to Linux+Java from Windows+.NET.

    nwhite, can you please answer my simple questions?

    I would appreciate it. Thank you.

  58. Anonymous says:

    Hey mhornyak, can I get your FREE copy of Vista Premium from you.  I’ll install it on my machine 🙂

  59. Anonymous says:

    I can understand recouping you R&D investment, but recouping 10-13x the investment in one year is pure greed. Are they planning on replacing Vista in 2008? Vista will endure at least 5 years like XP has. Wouldn’t it be wiser to spread this quantity over that period of time? Yes you make your $65B, just in 5 years. [censored smart-ass remark]

  60. Anonymous says:

    I think the most important point here (as someone mentioned earlier) is that the so called "small number" of enthusiasts in question are very often the people who work in the industry (I am a system builder for a small frim). There’s just no way I could ,with clean conscience, recommend Vista to customers when it features this kind of draconian licencing. If Microsoft doesn’t rethink this, they might find the knock on effect of alienating people such as myself hits them much harder (financially) than they expect.

  61. Anonymous says:

    I think you guys at Microsoft really need to reconsider the amount of limitations that are put into the Vista OS.

    In the years that I’ve owned Windows XP, I have had software trip activation 1 time. I’ve had to reinstall many times, particularly this year, and I had to call support just to reinstall my OS.

    Now you’re saying that I can’t upgrade my computer and transfer my Vista license over? That has got to be the most outrageous thing I have ever seen–and for months I have been touting Vista to my friends, colleagues, coworkers, and VP of Technology at work.

    I’ve been a part of the beta program for well over a year, and I have seen Vista come a long way with product features that I have been touting to others as a really nice thing to have, especially Network Access Protection.

    I’m a single voice of computing in my company and social networking. I have worked intricately with the Vista OS and have a strong command of its new features and its upgrades. And my voice as I speak to others is highly respected. If I said one bad thing about the Vista OS, it could very well convince a very large amount of people to not buy the OS.

    Something as simple as a friend coming to me and asking if they should upgrade–up to whether or not the VP of Technology at work puts any financial thought into changing over the PCs before they are forced to.

    I think you guys should take a play from the id software book, notably Marty Stratton. In an interview regarding Quakecon 2006, Marty had stated that there is no real measure to the amount a "good showing" can have to that 1% of base. Your marketing teams can’t measure it, but the effect is enormous.

    That 1% of consumer base is extremely powerful. We tell everyone whether or not a product is worth investing in, because our voice is trusted. We are the ones posting on forums, blogs, news websites, chat channels. We are the ones preaching it at our friends and colleagues.

    What we say matters–and if you think otherwise, you guys need a new marketing team.

  62. Anonymous says:

    Microsoft must be getting licensing advice from the Recording Industry and Hollyweird.  I don’t understand why the prices of these items are not just made affordable.  Things sell when they are affordable.  Make it an offer no one can refuse.  vladdilla, you are right on the money, $150, and everyone upgrades.

  63. Anonymous says:

    Another point is that we, the “Pc enthusiasts” are your most common customer for your ultimate edition of Windows Vista. Who else should buy this expensive version?

    I can understand that Microsoft act with this restrictions for the OEM and system builder versions, but for retail? – This versions, I’ve to pay the full price was never be tied to a single PC. Why now?

    If someone here can understand german, there is something confusing in this license description. The points 15 & 16 are not included….

    If the link doesn’t work, please copy and paste.

  64. Anonymous says:

    Hey everyone:  thanks for all your comments and know that I appreciate where you’re coming from WRT our licensing terms.  I wanted to let you know that I’m monitoring this conversation closely and plan to provide more information via this blog next week.  Also know that my goal is for you have all the information at your disposal so that you can make educated decisions WRT purchasing and using Windows Vista.

  65. Anonymous says:

    nWhite, if you are a Product Manager, don’t you have some kind of influence in decision making?

  66. Anonymous says:


    not necessarily.  According to the guidelines MS gave system builders, MS clearly consider a new motherboard as a new machine and not an upgrade.  Although the guidelines pertains to XP OEM Licensing, there is nothing to indicate that MS considers differently with Vista.

    Let’s say you upgrade next year to a i975 board for the Intel QX6700 (assuming you have a 975 board with an old VRM that does not support VRD11 now…..).  MS will consider that as 1 transfer.  Now, let’s say you want to upgrade later in the year to Intel’s X38 chipset (FSB1333), you won’t be able to because that’s a different motherboard.  As far as MS is concerned, that will be ANOTHER TRANSFER.  But of course, we enthusiasts consider that as upgrades.

  67. Anonymous says:

    Surely an April fool?!

    This is like asking drivers to invest in a car, with the caveat it can only be taken for a drive twice before needing replacement!

    Actually most discouraging – this does nothing to assure me that this MS OS is going to be capable of enduring reliability/longevity as publishers seem to infer that its software will have a shorter lifespan than the average PC hardware…!!!


    In echo of other comments thus far, this change (if actualised at product release) would be sufficient to preclude my upgrading and will likely only further spur pirateers to do the world a favour. Built-in obsolecence gone mad…

    Still, if this is to become a commercial reality, it will at least provide a strong commercial context to enable MAC OSx and Linux to make up some ground. Perhaps ole Bill misses a bit of competition and wants to obtain some more?! Certainly this would seemingly be the only likely outcomes. It will surely only be the stupid/careless who end up buying Vista on this basis and no doubt the according commentary arising will appropriately fit such folly.

    Reconsider or accept significant commerical ramifications arising.

    Further, I’d like to join my voice to bsdmonolith that this announcement has made out corporate IT strategy a nonsense. Lots of red faces abounding for thinking that MS provided a good long term bet. Our CIO has already said that if this is how it’s going to be, it’s going to be bye bye to all in-house .NET development and hello to free LINUX training for all. Such a pity when the technologies seemed to be moving in the right direction that other, lesser import issues are now going to wholly overshadow and write off the achievements.

    Still, plenty have said LINUX/OpenOffice deserved more of a go than they were commercially getting – looks like MS are going to honour this sentiment with a little commercial suicide to engender their making up some ground!!


  68. Anonymous says:

    I reinstall windows at least once or twice a year. (Hopefully I won’t with Vista)  I also upgrade parts of my machine every year.  After reading through the new ELUA it became apparent that I will no longer be able to do this.  If this is really the case then I might not buy Vista for quite some time.  At least not till I get my new rig this coming winter or spring.

  69. Anonymous says:

    someone:  Keep an eye on this blog once we launch Windows Vista 😉

  70. Anonymous says:

    I have to agree – I’ve been testing Vista on RC1 and I like it – I’m not particularly into eye candy but I like the features of Vista. However, I also like changing components in my PC and tinkering with it. If the licensing model being touted is correct I will *not* be purchasing Vista (to my regret.)

    Surely one of the great strengths of the PC is the ability to change components, it is, essentially, a modular platform. Crippling that ability (within a very expensive OS) is a retrograde and ill-conceived step.

  71. Anonymous says:

    Yeah coupled with the fact that the installation of software can force you to reactivate in XP, if the license is stricktly inforced on Vista this could be a problem for many many users at home and in corporations who would get caught out.

    Vista is a good product, a very good product from what I have seen.  However home users are going to be confused enough with 32bit and 64bit versions, and the increased security features of Vista.  If the new WGA flags customers to often, which it may them Microsoft will have a lot of unhappy customers.

    Microsoft should show more faith in its customers, and focus its efforts on attacking pirates instead of people who actually buy its software.  Sure if a product key has been used 100 times and is posted on the internet then deactivate it.  However if someone upgraded or transfers their retail license from one computer to another, to limit a paying customer to 2 hits is crazy.

  72. Anonymous says:

    I can’t tell you how disappointed I am that this is even being considered. I would understand it more if you had to activate – deactivate a license to upgrade or move it to another system to keep it from being mass installed, but to build an artificial barrier to dramatically shorten the lifetime of the license all together is just more than I’m willing to pay for. I really hope this is reconsidered. I’ve been looking forward to getting a copy of vista for home but if this is the licensing agreement that is included I’m not going to put myself in such a limited situation where I can’t upgrade my pc as I like.

    I think this kind of licensing is going to push people more towards piracy or other operating systems rather than encouraging them to buy legal copies. I just don’t understand the logic here.

  73. Anonymous says:

    Microsoft needs to address the questions being asked in the comments in this forum. There are a lot of enthusiasts who change their hardware every few months. New motherboards, new videocards, additional memory. How will these users be affected? Secondly will there be a family edition of Windows Vista so that customers with families can install this onto two or three PCs?

  74. Anonymous says:

    Hmmm…. well allegedly RTM is out next Wednesday so time is (apparently) short….

  75. Anonymous says:

    Well, if I were to buy Vista, I will not be buying the RFP anymore as it is probably going to be over 100% the price of OEM and post no significant advantage over the OEM package in terms of computer/component upgrades…….

    It is already very ridiculous that MS consider almost every mobo upgrade (except if your mobo failed) as a new computer.

    Of course, most of the comments here are from legitimate users which intends to be probably licensed.  Otherwise, we probably won’t even care about the licensing terms…..

  76. Anonymous says:

    I cannot believe that you are going to restrict reinstallation/transfer of Vista licenses to two machines essentially. What is going to happen for the enthusiast market? Ok, I want to upgrade to a new processor in a year. Oh wait… I can’t, I just upgraded my hard disk a year ago. Sorry, you have to buy a new license. Have a motherboard burn out, and want to upgrade to a new processor/mobo? Sorry, but you have to get a new license.

    I guess you can see where this is going. All these licensing restrictions and caps on what we can do is just going to piss the consumer more and more off. Sure, maybe this will only apply to 1% of the market, but this is like the frog in the boiling water; are we going to lose all our freedom?

    Essentially, what you’re telling us is this: The 1% of you users can’t be trusted, so we’re going to punish the rest of the 99% out there.

    Please don’t make me switch to that operating system…

  77. Anonymous says:

    Christ, this is a bad idea!

    My mobo on my current PC failed this year and after replacing it I was forced to format and re-install Windows.

    So if I was using Vista, when I want to upgrade, I’ll have to throw away my legitimate licensed copy and buy another one?

    Thats madness(!)

  78. Anonymous says:

    I don’t like the Vista EULA any better than the rest of you but you have a choice. Accept Vista with it’s EULA or maybe a rewritten one by the time it comes out or don’t buy it. Protest with your wallet. Use XP for another few years but don’t threaten with pirated copies of Vista. Using pirated OS’s is much worse than anything Microsoft is doing. It makes you a lawbreaker and as such you deserve censure.

  79. Anonymous says:

    It is SOOO simple:

    nwhite just has to answer 3 simple questions…

    I will put it this way as I’m enough of the marketing babble.

    Q#1: Can I replace my motherboard infinite times and still use the same Vista I bought the very first time?

    Q#2: Can I replace any of my hardware infinite times and still use the same Vista I bought the very first time?

    Q#3: Can I buy a new PC, sell the old one, infinite times and still use the same Vista I bought the very first time?

    A#1: If any answers on those questions is NEGATIVE, I will NOT BUY Vista.

    For games I WILL use pirated copy and for work I WILL move to Linux+Java from Windows+.NET.

    nwhite, can you please answer my simple questions?

    I would appreciate it. Thank you.

  80. Anonymous says:

    That way Vista should be it wont be allowed in Germany.

    Too much grabbing of personal data, to much sending

    back to MS (i´ll loop back all adresses from MS to so what?) and best: if vista allows onely 1 HW-change, and i got to change secound time, and then Vista aint working anymore,

    it´s a fault of vista and then grips german warranty and you have to give me a new Vista. That may cause "outdated" Vistas at E-Bay en mass.

    On the other Hand, even Gamers,who have to change HW often, wont buy Vista. Thinking how MS beated IBM´s OS2???

    OS2 was the better OS allready running at 32 bit, but MS

    Windows 3.1 with 16bit won. There was onely 1 reason for it:


    What if Vista will be so bad to the Gamers?

    Answer: Another OS would grap its chance. Maybe not as good as Vista, but surely kicking Vista out of the market.

    And gaming can be done at consoles, too.

    Leaving games for gaming,theres no longer any reason not to use linux.

    So MS has slowly to start thinking what the cusomer want to have, cause its the customers money you depend on.

  81. Anonymous says:

    no no no…I can talk for lots of europeans here and I can assure you, Microsoft, that this is a B I G mistake… You absolutely CAN’T force me to buy a RETAIL licenze and use it only twice!! I mean…I’m italian and here a RETAIL licenze will costs NOT less than 450€ !!!!!!!!!! I can assure you that there’re TOONS of ppl that are thinking to use a cracked version, and they’re right! I mean…I pay 450€ and I’m still NOT free to use it as I want?!? You should do a thing like this:

    I’m a home user…perfect…do a licenze which I can install Windows on a maximum of 3 pcs!! Why this is not possible?! Antipiracy behavior?!? I can assure you that you’ll see the piracy increased…

    You should show more respect to the home users…gamers and modders are all home users and with this EULA you’ll force them to use a cracked version…Think about that…

  82. Anonymous says:

    Dear Mr. Nwhite

    I think most of us are bothering on point 15 of your EULA. (15. REASSIGN TO ANOTHER DEVICE.

    a. Software Other than Windows Anytime Upgrade. The first user of the software may

    reassign the license to another device one time. If you reassign the license, that other device

    becomes the “licensed device.)

    This point is more than clear. What should we interpret in the term “The first user of the software may reassign the license to another device ONE TIME.”

    There is no way for interpretation, or misunderstandings. It is clear MS will not allow us to change our hardware more than ONE TIME. If we do so, we must purchase a new copy/license of our Vista version.

    That the reason why we can’t accept your EULA. This should be the worst point of all your limitations for me. The WIN XP EULA never used a word that we only can change our hardware or “device” one time and now with Vista…

    What shall we do, to buy Vista and trust your or Mr. Paul Thurrott word that if we change our hardware more than one time that we only have to phone the support and our Vista copy will reactivated? Your EULA bring it to a clear point and if we accept the EULA we never have any change to demand the reactivation of our copy or rather to become our right…

  83. Anonymous says:

    An excellent riposte by Koroush Ghazi.

    I would hope Microsoft would want to engage with the tech enthusiast market as well as the more general leave-well-alone brigade..

    *If* the interpretation of the EULA proves to be exactly or close to what we all fear then it’s far too restrictive to be a viable OS for anyone who changes components regularly…

    However, we’re all still speculating, so I’m waiting for clarification – as is my credit card.

  84. Anonymous says:

    What this is doing, is simple. $$$$$

    We all know the pirate community will find the HACK for Vista’a WPA. It is only a matter of time. Making Vista basically OEM +1, will only force the pirate community to create the hack quicker.

    I, for one, change motherboards, video, hard drives very regularly. This license is totally abhorrent to me. It is another step MS is taking and shows it’s true greed colors.

    The XP version of the EULA is proper and fair. I have a copy of the software, I agree it should only be on one PC. The method MS uses to make sure it is only on one PC I agree with (except for false positives). But, which PC is my business. Not theirs. EVER!

    Can you say UNACTIVATE!  Gee, it’s only been requested a zillion times!! But, there is no MS profit in unactivation.

    True colors are very bright at MS. Very bright indeed.


  85. Anonymous says:

    And isn’t it quite interesting that there is not a single neutral comment on the licensing terms (I am not hoping positive comments here….)

  86. Anonymous says:

    And response to Paul from WindowsIT Pro:

    And now Paul’s somewhat changed position:

  87. Anonymous says:

    someone — Y’know, I have yet to read anything official from Microsoft even confirming the existance of a Windows code-named "Fiji".  All we know is that there is Vienna.

    Of course, once Vista ships, I do hope that the existance, or lack thereof, of Fiji is officially confirmed one way or the other…. (a note to the folks running this blog…)

  88. Anonymous says:

    nWhite,  We appreciate that you are trying to voice our concerns but …..

    What I am afraid is that you are talking to a machine marked as deposit only at the bank.   ie.  It has no ears…….

  89. Anonymous says:

    New start-up sound?  Is that part of the new Vista EULA now?  which section is that in?

  90. Anonymous says:

    nwhite, THANKS for letting us know our comments are being heard – it really is appreciated.

    I’ve already said my peace above, but let me add this one more request – whatever you guys decide about this licensing clause, I really hope you’ll go to greate lengths to explain the usecases, and the reasons for doing it that way!

  91. Anonymous says:

    HAHAHAHA. We are talking about EULA here and you started turning about some "startup sound". I mean WTF?! Who the heck cares about startup sound? That’s the least of your problems nwhite(Microsoft).

    Looks like the Vista ship will be remembered in software history like Titanic was in naval.

    Good job Microsoft. Windows OS EULA (r)evolution just eat it’s brightest child.

  92. Anonymous says:

    I upgrade my PC 3-4 times a year and now with Vista I can’t do that because Microsoft says I can’t? This is the lamest thing MS has ever done. This info is all over the net. If it holds true, I doubt very much that Vista will hit that initial target base of 20%.

    I know I won’t be buying it. I hate Jobs & Co., but my next purchase will be a Mac & OSX.

  93. Anonymous says:

    Well I’m shocked to know that Microsoft managers (probably nwhite too) know nothing about software and market.

    If they think activation is a problem for crackers, their knowledge is very, very limited.

    Vista will be hacked not much longer after first RTM. The funny thing is that people who would otherwise buy Vista will just use pirate copy because of so funny license terms.

    Come on, this just makes life harder for those who buy it. There is no and will never be a single program that is uncrackable. Never ever.

    By this license terms, you actually force people to go pirate.

    And you should realize that. Negative publicity you got by even publishing this kind of license just a month or two before release will just ruin a lot of sales.

    Home users won’t give up on DirectX10 if license rejects them.  They will just use a pirate copy.

    Wake up Microsoft until it’s too late for your sales manager.

  94. Anonymous says:

    Yeah Santiago, you’re right…I mean…VISTA is a really well done SO, especially for the closed kernel thing…I always loved to have this thing…I’m one of the security repart managers of a big italian industry and I really can assure you that this VISTA really liked us…but I don’t really think I’ll buy VISTA with this new EULA…I’ve a desktop and a laptop and I DON’T WANT to buy 2 licences…that’s all…

    Microsoft, the world is full of gamers or pc-enthusiastics that change hardware every week (LOL) and you really can’t force them to buy 21321312 licences…I’ll repeat…the best thing to so is to let home users to use their own licence with 2-3 computers…and I can assure you’ll get toons of new users…

    You really think that doing this you’ll increase PIRACY ?! No way guys…You’ll increase PIRACY if you’ll leave the EULA as it is now because ppl will NEVER ACCEPT to pay twice for the same computer…

    How can I say this? Simple…I’m just reading 10 famous european FORUMS and noone of the members want buy your SO cause of this EULA…

    Microsoft…think about that…but really…

  95. Anonymous says:

    So, I do the first steps. It seems Mr. Nick White or any other Microsoft employee wants to continuous this conversation about the EULA, or explains something. I have informed a consumer care TV show about the ongoing with the Vista EULA and Microsofts behaviour.

    I also consult a lawyer and he said that this EULA will never be accepting in Switzerland, because here you will buy the usufruct when purchasing the FPP Version…

    I hope this will open the eyes of the consumer here in Switzerland. I think 99.99% of all private Windows users never read more than the first sentence of the EULA, so they will never know what going on here with Microsoft and than, after they have change there hardware twice, the surprise will be great.

  96. Anonymous says:

    I know that the EULA  is valid for all Versions of Vista. I want to know wich licensemodell this EULA is for.

    FPP, OEM, System builder, Volumelicense wich? – if it’s for the FPP than you will become some problems in the EU….

  97. Anonymous says:

    What business would allow a supplier the power to deactivate a resource on which the company relies? WGA and activation effectively gives microsoft the power to hold companies to ransom. If they were to sue Microsoft for some reason then Microsoft could revoke their licences and shutdown their business, without having to go to court. This is an outrage!

    With regard to WGA on home users PCs the situation is even worse, because the don’t have the influence or resources that a business may have. Microsoft has given itself the role of judge, jury, and executioner with this licence. They have the power to arbitrarily, and without proof declare a users licence to be breached, shutdown their computer and deny access to their data.

    The single PC restriction for the lifetime of the licence is totally unreasonable because the definition of what constitutes a PC differs in the minds of the user and microsoft. To a user their PC is that collection of parts that they currrently use, but if they change some of their parts it’s still their PC. Having to buy a new licence for a PC just feels wrong when you already think you have one, and this will upset users no end. Please reconsider this licence!

  98. Anonymous says:

    Nick, while you’re at it, also have a look at this <a href="; target="_blank">Greed: Microsoft Vista to Kill Computer Book Market</a>

    I hope you can get us some clarification asap. I’ve been on a lot of boards, blogs, etc, and people aren’t happy at all. Surely MS’s aim is not to "milk" people now. I hope the managers further up will realise this EULA won’t do MS any good. Don’t underestimate the influence a minority can have. If these changes in the EULA are as described on other tech news site, it might bring some short term success for MS, but LONG TERM it won’t work and people will switch to another OS.  

  99. Anonymous says:

    The Enthusiast Community will be the real victims here. Paul Thurrot’s assumptions in his WinSuperSite article are valid <i>for the mainstream user</i>. However, as Koroush Ghazi pointed out, they are not where the lion’s share of revenue is generated. It is the Enthusiast Community that spends money on the components with the highest margins. Who buys physics coprocessors? Dual video cards? Auto overclocking motherboards? Does the soccer mom go out and buy a boutique computer or $400 aluminum chassis? No. She buys a PC on sale at Best Buy, Circuit City, or Walmart. She uses it till it cannot be repaired by her children or her "techie friend" (usually a member of the Enthusiast Community), 4-6 years on average. I personally know many folks still running Windows 98 because the PC still works and they can’t bring themselves to spend money on a new one when this one is perfectly fine, except slow.

    Conspiracy theorists may find that the recent acquisitions of Alienware (by Dell) and VoodooPC (by HP) are really attempts to position themselves in preparation for this nightmare EULA.

    How long do you think the (soon-to-be disenfranchised) Enthusiast Community will wait to use a pirated copy? I think I could count the millisenconds on one hand.

    Fix the EULA. Prevent the death of the PC Enthusiast Community.

  100. Anonymous says:

    Further info for those who thing Vista licensing and XP licensing is the same:

  101. Anonymous says:

    i’m a home/student and buisness user from croatia.

    i wanted to buy vista, but after reading here i just gave up.. sorry cant accept such license that actually disrespects legal customers.

  102. Anonymous says:

    Paul Thurrott’s article very eloquently explains what I’ve wanted to post on this blog since the flury of licensing comments began.

    What he failed to say explicity was "you’re getting your undies in a bunch for nothing AND if you’re part of the 5%  PC enthusiasts group you can still install Linux if you don’t like the EULA".

  103. Anonymous says:

    So probably this the surprise MS has been planning for Vista…they’ll support EFI after all.

  104. Anonymous says:

    Jim Allchin denies RTM next Wednesday so ignore the above.. 😀

  105. Anonymous says:

    I waited for a week to comment hoping that some further clarification would be given to the new licensing terms.  I only own 4 copies of WinXP Pro and had looked forward to upgrading to Vista.  However, I like many who have commented upgrade my system as time goes on rather than buying a box and letting it sit for years.  I’ve been playing with Fedora Core because I was concerned about DRM restrictions.  However, it seems my concern was misplaced and I should have been worried about the EULA.  If this policy isn’t changed I won’t upgrade.

  106. Anonymous says:

    Personally, I don’t think it matters how many times I may or may not wish to upgrade my computer in a year. In fact, that is far from the point.

    The point is, who gave Microsoft such control over how I use my computer? The shameful answer is, I did. By not voting with my wallet sooner. Then introduced Activation and I, like many others, ranted on my favourite websites about the injustive of it all. But continued on anyway. Then came WGA, DRM, choose your poison of choice, and again, foolishly, I did my customary ranting and then carried on regardless, throwing more money into the Microsoft coffers.

    It seems quite clear to me that Microsoft have a big issue with the "personal" in "personal computing", and much prefer the term "Microsoft Computing". Enough is enough. This latest licensing issue is the final straw, for this user at least.

    I flatly refuse to continue to allow Microsoft to dictate how I use my computer on a day to day basis, in such a draconian fashion. You (Microsoft) could change your mind on this issue completely tomorrow. It will make no difference to me. You’ve made your end objectives crystal clear and I’m afraid that your vision of the future of personal computing is way out of synch with mine, and, I suspect, many others like me.

  107. Anonymous says:

    What I really want for the terms to be….

    Is for MS to license Vista on a per concurrent machine basis.(physical or virtual)

    For example, something like this I can accept:

    1)  The copy of Vista cannot be simultaneously installed on more than 1 machine concurrently, with the exception of a reasonable duration of transition period (let’s say maybe 3 days to a week).  And that is for the sole purpose of transferring settings and files to the new active machine.

    2)  Upon transfer to a new active machine, the existing copy of Vista on the previous machine must either: a) be removed completely, or b) be activated with a different valid licensed Vista key within the transition period.

    Or something to that effect.  In terms of resaling rights, should be something like what the XP licensing is right now.

    And activation I can deal with and to make this scheme work, MS can probably do something like this:

    1)  Create a hardware mesh value like they currently do.

    2)  Upon initial activation, the computer send the mesh value to a central MS DB together with the license key (I know some people may have problem with this but just a suggestion)

    3)  Connect to the MS DB to update and cross check periodically and upon significant hardware change.

    4)  If the MS DB contains a different hardware mesh value than the old Mesh value on the machine and a new mesh value on the machine with the same key,  online reactivation fails.  User need to call in for reactivation. And if that fails, Vista goes into trial mode for 180days (which is what a lot of MS products trial duration is).

    5)  If the machine cannot connect to MS DB for more than 180 days for whatever reasons (for example no internet access), then the user will have to call in to reactivate..

    But I would rather MS just do without the activation as I truely believe that activations won’t stop piracy but a better supported product, easier, clearer, and more flexible licensing terms will.

  108. Anonymous says:

    I’m just not buying this line about ‘clarification’ as Thurrott is singing it (lyrics apparently provided by Shanen Boettcher). They may have the 5-10% numbers right, but that’s all. The wording of the current retail EULA is clear: you can transfer the software to another system if you erase it from the prior system.

    Thurrott, Boettcher, et al may wish to spin this with an ex post facto ‘that wasn’t our intention’ statement, but at best this sounds like spin, and at worst a baldfaced lie. MS has many lawyers. Surely those lawyers would have been able to properly encode the intention in clear legal terms, if that intention did in fact exist?

    I’m not one of those livid MS-haters. In fact, I still think y’all will rethink this and get it right, without insulting our intelligence by continuing to repeat the ‘clarification’ line. If this is a change MS really wants to make, well then, go ahead and make it honestly and forthrightly. I can even see a case to be made for ‘the difference between OEM and Retail licensing was confusing too many customers’. Or maybe you have some other case to make – if so, please make it! But ‘clarification’ sounds pretty hokey.

    Come to think of it,  ‘clarification’ still leaves the case to be made. What’s the basic justification for locking the (higher-priced, retail version) OS to a machine rather than letting a person move it from system to system, or even give or sell it to someone else?

    I suspect going with the ‘one transfer’ clause would be a mistake – for even if the number of retail buyers who do so with an eye towards transferring the license is only 5-10% of total, I suspect a good many of them are precisely the influencers you want to keep.

    I still really hope you’ll remove the ‘one time’ thinking from the Vista retail licenses. As previously mentioned, I really *want* to use, love, and recommend Vista. That particular verbage drastically lowers my personal predilection for staying on the bandwagon.

    C’mon MS – you’re better than this, I’m ?pretty sure? you are, anyway …

  109. Anonymous says:

    Can someone from the Vista team reply to this, just in case i’m getting hysterical over nothing???

  110. Anonymous says:

    Guys, I’ve been using, supporting, and even evangelizing your various products since the Win3x days. I use other OS’s too, generally advocating a ‘best tool for the job at hand’ stance, but even so, I most often recommend MS OS’s as the best tool for the job.

    So it’s pretty sorrowfully that I read the recently-published Vista license. I’ve been running the Vista beta and RC versions, and I see a lot here to love. I see right through what a lot of others are labelling as eye candy alone, and find a lot of features I really want to use.

    But now you tell me that I’ll pay $300 or $400 for a single copy (haven’t yet decided for sure which version I want), and that copy will not be able to legally follow me through two computer upgrades to a third one. And this is where the value scale goes on tilt for me; it’s just too much. I’ve always been able to clearly understand and extoll the extra value of a FULL vs OEM license, but now I can’t do that, and it’s a pretty painful change.

    I’m not one of the idealistic zealots who picks every possible nit with MS. I just want the great value proposition that MS has always delivered for me – the great value position I have defended cogently & patiently through the years against many FUDsters. For me, calm analysis of this license provision shows a scary change in that value proposition. If this license provision really does make it to RTM, it will almost certainly significantly reduce both my own use, and my recommendation of, Windows client operating systems.

    Microsoft certainly has the right  to set its pricing and licensing terms as it pleases.  But I really, *really* hope y’all reconsider this clause before RTM.

  111. Anonymous says:

    Hello all. In the face of all this MS idiocy I would like to invite you to look at the latest realease of a Linux desktop. I hate to do this but I think most people aren’t aware of how things have progressed.

    I’m pretty sure the next release of Ubuntu will be following form on this, too.

    I’ve used these OSes, and I’ve used windows, and I’ve looked at Windows Vista, and I’m just shaking my head. MS wants me to pay $300-400 for a usable OS, filled with annoying antipiracy spyware. If I’m a "consumer" it expects me to use an OS that, if I’m understanding correctly, won’t make, read, or burn ISO images?

    Now, instead of Vista, I could get SLED for $50 bucks, or Ubuntu for free, and I’d then have an OS that was cheaper than Vista, easier to install than XP was, didn’t spy on me, came with an office suite, photoeditor, multimedia programs, and possibly desktop publishing, 3-D graphics, multi-protocal instant messenger, full featured rip-n-burn, etc., included in the basic install.

    Microsoft Corp,, in case you have not noticed, Linux has become, well, usable. Now it’s not Windows, and people will be sorta confused for a while over slight differences in interface, but it’s not different enough to stop mass conversion. $300-400 is a lot of money to not have controll over your own computer.

    Now I am not a Linux zealot or anything. I am just a sorta geeky guy who uses all kinds of OSes for fun. In the past year I’ve run 3 or 4 Linux distros, win32 pro, and win64 pro on my laptop. (all legal. I got windows license for free as an engineering student.)  I never really felt to beholden to a particular OS, but things are just getting ridiculous.

    Microsoft, I think you understand money, so let me spell it out for you:

    M$ BASIC $olution:

    Windows OS:  $300-400 for a usable system

    Office:             $180-300 depending on say, upgrade or new.

    Total for minimalist usable machine: $500-700

    Ubuntu/SLED $olution:

    OS:                 $FREE-50

    Office:             $Included

    Total for $olution:  $FREE-0

    I’m sorry Microsoft, but the economics are against you, especially when Ubuntu and SLED have autmatic updates just like Windows and are probably more secure. I don’t care if you are a corporate customer of consumer, but at this point running MS Vista seems likely to cost at least 50 times the alternatives, with no known benefits, unless you’re a gamer:

    The one thing you’ll be missing without windows is DirectX, and, sorry to say, I doubt most computer users know what that is.

    Now I am not trying to be pro Linux. I use windows fairly often, particularly for ripping DVDs. But I am just completely lost as to why Microsoft wants to kill their business. I is rather amusing, I suppose. I can’t deny that I’d like to see a DRM suporter bite the dust. But seriously, this is idiocy.

    (PS: if you decide to try ubuntu, look up automatix. It adds in the nice proprietary stuff they don’t want to include with the install disk.)

  112. Anonymous says:

    "The first user of the software may reassign the license to another device one time. If you reassign the license, that other device becomes the "licensed device,"

    I believe this is what you’re talking about. Part of the EULA for VISTA. To me this reads as you can change the OS from one computer to a totally different, seperate computer once. Not just upgrading the parts in your existing computer.

    And then if you read THIS portion of the EULA:

    ‘Some changes to your computer

    components or the software may require you to reactivate the software. The software will

    remind you to activate it until you do.’

    That sez you CAN do upgrades and only MAY have to REACTIVATE. Not buy another disk, not buy a new license. Just maybe you might have to simply reactivate. That’s because you’re only upgrading your existing machine. Not taking the OS to a new one.

    There’s a big discussion going on in a lot of other forums about this same subject. And it seems to me that everyone is focusing on the wrong part of the EULA for current machine upgrades.

  113. Anonymous says:

    what a shame after all of this time being with this project, i cannot get the rc2 to install, and to date NO help has been forth coming. Why????

  114. Anonymous says:

    "FPP, OEM, System builder, Volumelicense wich? – if it’s for the FPP than you will become some problems in the EU…."

    This kind of EULA can’t go to EU. No way.

    It’s impossible and will probably result in Vista being banned from EU market.

    If not banned, EULA will be changed.

    I doubt USA will enforce Microsoft EULA the air-strike way as they do with democracy.

  115. Anonymous says:

    Almost 15 days and no response?


    I mean, how dumb Microsoft EULA authors have to be not to see how community reacts?!

    Btw, someone said:

    "MS knows very well that they have the monopole for Game OS and they will us treading again and again with such restrictions, because they can… there is no alternative for gamers."

    Why not? There are pirate copies to obtain. No problem.

    I don’t mind using a pirated version if EULA stays like this.

  116. Anonymous says:

    Hi ceejay:  You’ll want to check out the forums at, as we cannot provide support via this blog.

  117. Anonymous says:

    Hey magamiako:  I understand where you’re coming from — despite being small in numbers, you who read this blog are big in influence.  In fact, that’s the reason that I have a job 🙂

    My hope is that by continuing this conversation with you all here on the blog, I can become one of those "trusted voices" as well.

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