ZDNet Blogs – October 11, 2006:

I’ve seen several sites point to Microsoft’s new Software License Terms page, which contains PDF versions of the license agreements for many Microsoft products.

I read through the license agreement for Windows Vista Home Basic, Home Premium, and Ultimate (PDF) and saw lots of new language. Much of it just formalizes what Microsoft has been doing under separate agreements for some time, such as the Validation requirements introduced with Windows Genuine Activation.

But I have yet to see anyone point out one significant change in retail licensing terms. Think you can transfer that retail license to any machine you want? Think again.

Sections 15 and 16, “Reassign to Another Device,” and “Transfer to a Third Party,” are new. You can go read the exact terms for yourself. The sort version is that you may “reassign the license to another device one time” or “make a one time transfer of the software, and this agreement, directly to a third party.”

That limitation on retail licenses is a remarkable change. Previously, a retail license could be removed from one computer and reinstalled on another with no limits. Now, you get to reinstall one time and one time only.

Will this affect a lot of people? Not really. Those most likely to be affected are hobbyists who constantly rebuild, replace, and upgrade systems. Presumably, the new two-machine limit will be enforced by Windows Product Activation.

Is it any wonder that most computer hobbyists are switching to Linux? It’s almost as if Gates wants us to switch!



  1. Neil says:

    Folks you are forgetting about if that current install crashes and you have to re-install it. Most re-format the drive and setup the OS from scratch. If this is the case you better pray your PC doesn’t crash again or you upgrade too many components again.

  2. OmarTheAlien says:

    Granny can go buy a PC, plug it up following the really big pictures in the setup blurb, turn it on, answer a few questions then compute happily away for years. I can build a PC, do really bad things to it, install whatever in it, crash it on purpose, and it still comes back for more abuse. If I take my time, do the proper research to ensure that all the children will play well together then I can pretty well do whatever I want for a few years, until the next big candy apple (unfortunate choice of word there?) computer flavor reaches critical mass and I have to rebuild. I don’t care how many orgasms per second it can simulate, all I’m interested in is if the forty dollar shareware that I just downloaded that does exactly the job I need will work, along with the sequencer from yesteryear that works so well with MIDI.
    So what, I wonder, is the problem?

  3. Pedro says:

    Keep wondering Omar, you won’t get it

  4. OhForTheLoveOf says:

    #32 – I don’t care how many orgasms per second it can simulate,

    Damn… I care. Thats ALL I care about.

    #33 – We get it Pedro… Bill Gates is a 45th Level Mason in collusion with the Trilateral Commission, The Illuminatti, and ZOG, to destroy the American way of life with his hedomistic Windows… Whatever… That act is getting old.

    If my rocket hits the target at 90 FPS every time, then Windows works very, very well. I didn’t just buy my first eMachine from Best Buy… I’ve been building high end machines for years… Not just for me, but for businesses, video editors, artists, gamers, and grandmothers… Certainly there are things about Windows that are tricky, and annoying… But there are 40 million lines of code there and the overwhelmingly vast majority of them are rock solid.

    Windows XP is good software.

  5. Pedro says:

    #34 Not as gloomy, but certainly an example of poor understanding of what is good for customer satisfaction (and ultimately, higher profits), and that’s why they have failed so much lately.

    Look at another article here in DU, they failed with WebTV. They saw that the YouTube people got what they were unable to get. Now they want to do it all over, but theis time “they’ll get”. Yeah, right.

    And, don’t get me started on the Zune and the PlayForSure fiasco

  6. Rich says:

    Looks like I’ll be Grandpa Walton and hang on to my currect single-core, fire-breathing-dragon, 32-bit Intel XP machine ’til the end of time. This only firms up my resolution.

  7. OhForTheLoveOf says:

    #35 – I hear you a little better now Pedro and I am sort of with you…

    I am a big fan of Windows and Office, with caveats… I hate Outlook, for example. I even love many of the gaming products they release (although Train Simulator still puzzles me)…. But keep in mind, I’m talking about the products themselves.

    I’m a fan of the smart business they’ve done… The positioning and politics to go from start-up to behemoth. Hat’s have to get tipped for what this company does right.

    But its a big company and they’ve made many mistakes and in many cases done things just flat out badly.

    The evolution of the OEM lisencing deals started with wrong and went downhill from there. Years later, I’m still steamed about how they strong armed Dell and HP and etc., not to bundle “competitor’s” products (like the arguably superior Netscape) with PCs. Or how about the deal that said Dell, etc., could not sell a PC without Windows?

    ALL of my beefs with MS are about practices… Not products…

    …is what I’m sayin’

  8. Greg Allen says:

    Even under the current sceme, it’s a pain in the neck to be like me and upgrade my own systems — it sets off the protection sceme and you get locked out. What a pain! Especially if you live overseas like me! Can you imagine being put on hold for an hour at MS with international call rates? Might as well buy a new copy! (I suppose that’s the point.)

    Please, please AN APPEAL TO ALL GEEKS! Come up with an alternative that is easier to install than Linux!

  9. Pedro says:

    #38 I don’t think it could get any easier than Ubuntu, try it.

  10. Lauren the Ghoti says:

    C’mon, folx, I mean – let’s get real, huh?

    With the universal and unanimous rejection of this latest harebrained scheme of Billy’s (yes, unanimous – have you read one word of support for it from anyone who’s not an M$ employee? Didn’t think so…) – the Softies have absolutely no choice but to drop it; the only question is, how quickly? Next week or next month, no matter, it’s history.

    What amazes me is how such a huge corporation, with such an incalculable wealth of brainpower on tap (in theory, anyway) would not realize at the first suggestion of this idiocy that users are not going to accept it, period. No rocket scientists required. It will not fly, and the dain-bramaged executives who signed off on it should be escorted from the premises tomorrow morning.

    I don’t believe that in the history of computing there has ever been any attempt to foist off such an utterly moronic policy on one’s customers.

    • • • • • • • • •
    #13 – Just chalk your father-in-law’s technomasochism up to the awesome power of brainwashing and peer pressure. He cannot possibly consider that those 100s of millions of $ of advertising and a 90%+ market share could happen if Windows wasn’t THE best OS available – so, naturally he won’t consider anything else, since it HAS to be even worse!

    • • • • • • • • •
    #15 – Your ‘disclaimer,’ “I use them all” is a crock. Your blatantly biased and fact-free statements re Macs prove it.

    “Forced obsolescence” my hairy yellow ass.

    This post is brought to you by a pushing-8-years-old Blue & White 350MHz Power Mac G3, running 10.4.8 flawlessly. This machine came from a community college, where it was subjected to the kind of day-in, day-out use & abuse that few office computers ever see. It continues to work to this day – like every other (over a dozen) Macs I have owned over the last 22 years.

    And, just to rub your nose in it, it runs 24/7/365 except when I restart for OS updates and such. Since 10.2, it has experienced a grand total of 4 crashes necessitating a reboot – and I don’t pamper it, I merely maintain it intelligently. And I know for a fact that my experience is in no way unusual. Methinks you’ve stared at one too many Blue Screens Of Death.

    “…I don’t think their reliability is any better than any other Taiwanese manufactured PC”

    Ya.And next you’ll say “I don’t think Lexus reliability is any better than any other Asian manufactured car.”

    Cars, PCs, tools – you name it, whatever. The people who know enough to recognize superior products, and use them have always been and will aways be a minority.

    “>5% market share” – uh, you mean 5%. How in Hell does market share have one single thing to do with the quality of a particular platform’s users’ computing experience? Answer: It doesn’t.

    But using your reasoning, Window’s over 90% share means Windows users are in PC Heaven, an absurdity the most ardent M$ lover would choke on.

    …anyway, So Sayeth The Ghoti

  11. Mike Shield says:

    I don’t like Vista which is not easy to use and many program cannot run correctly on it. But our website statics show the users of Vista is growing fast.

  12. foho says:

    vista can capture the destop. I like it.

  13. Paul says:

    I’m a little confused. If we buy the windows vista CD we have to pay to reinstall it again on our computer? How can it tell we put it on another computer?

  14. XP lover says:

    I have XP on my desktop, went out of my way to get it instead of Vista. When i look for a laptop it will probably have Vista or windows 7 on it. I’ll probably downgrade it to XP because vista sucks. Heck I used windows 95 until 97, so I see no reason why to upgrade an OS more than every 7 years. I think XP is in particular popular so probably 10 years in that case.

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