Claws out for the clauses
As you can see from the extracts below, no Vista retail version is allowed to be migrated more than once to a different PC (clause 15). Nor can it be run on more than one partition or hard disk - even on a single PC (clause 2).
In addition, it's clear from the ADDITIONAL LICENSE TERMS (clauses four and six) that you'll need to buy the Ultimate version if you want to be able to run Vista on virtual PCs.
Clause 1b of the combined end-user license agreement (EULA) for Vista Home Basic, Home Premium and Ultimate, says (our emboldening),
Clause two says (our emboldening),
that license to one device (physical hardware system). That device is the “licensed device.” A
hardware partition or blade is considered to be a separate device.
use the software on up to two processors on that device at one time. Except as provided in the
Storage and Network Use (Ultimate edition) sections below, you may not use the software on any
(Other sections in clause two removed - Ed)
Clauses 15 and 16 say (our emboldening),
reassign the license to another device one time. If you reassign the license, that other device
becomes the “licensed device.”
(We've left out section b because it didn't seem relevant - Ed)
16. TRANSFER TO A THIRD PARTY.
a one time transfer of the software, and this agreement, directly to a third party. The first user
must uninstall the software before transferring it separately from the device. The first user may
not retain any copies.
Clause 4 in the ADDITIONAL LICENSE TERMS sections for Vista Home Basic and for Home Premium says,
licensed device within a virtual (or otherwise emulated) hardware system.
Things are quite different on the virtual-PC front for users of Vista Ultimate. Clause 6 of Ultimate's ADDITIONAL LICENSE TERMS section, says,
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.
Now compare all the above extracts with clause 4 below, which is identical in the separate EULAs for Windows XP Pro and Home. This clause is the only directly-relevant part of those documents and says,
must completely remove the Product from the former Workstation Computer. Transfer to Third Party. The initial
user of the Product may make a one-time transfer of the Product to another end user. The transfer has to include
all component parts, media, printed materials, this EULA, and if applicable, the Certificate of Authenticity. The
transfer may not be an indirect transfer, such as a consignment. Prior to the transfer, the end user receiving the
transferred Product must agree to all the EULA terms.
Want to read the unadulterated EULAs? Get started by diving over to page three...