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Microsoft Vista EULA spits in the eye of self-builders worldwide

by Bob Crabtree on 24 October 2006, 01:54

Tags: Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT)

Quick Link: HEXUS.net/qag5d

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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.


Windows Vista

Clause 1b of the combined end-user license agreement (EULA) for Vista Home Basic, Home Premium and Ultimate, says (our emboldening),

1b. License Model. The software is licensed on a per copy per device basis.

Clause two says (our emboldening),

2. INSTALLATION AND USE RIGHTS. Before you use the software under a license, you must assign
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.

a. Licensed Device. You may install one copy of the software on the licensed device. You may
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 device.

(Other sections in clause two removed - Ed)

Clauses 15 and 16 say (our emboldening),

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.”

(We've left out section b because it didn't seem relevant - Ed)

16. TRANSFER TO A THIRD PARTY.
a. Software Other Than Windows Anytime Upgrade. The first user of the software may make
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,

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

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.


Windows XP

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,

4. TRANSFER—Internal. You may move the Product to a different Workstation Computer. After the transfer, you
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...