Sunday, November 05, 2006

Microsoft Rethink Vista Licensing

In a fairly dramatic and last minute U-Turn, Microsoft has announced it is dropping some of the more draconian Vista licensing restrictions. In a recent entry on the Windows Vista blog, Nick White has revealed that plans to restrict licensed users to only being able to re-install Vista once have been lifted. Nick says "Our intention behind the original terms was genuinely geared toward combating piracy; however,it’s become clear to us that those original terms were perceived as adversely affecting an important group of customers: PC and hardware enthusiasts."

There are two aspects to this U-Turn, besides the welcome return of a degree of common sense in Redmond. First, the original idea would have simultaneously encouraged piracy and made Linux look even better which was probably not the intended result. Secondly, while giving way on the lunacy of restricting hobbyists and other PC enthuiasts, MS has NOT given way on the other tightening of Vista licensing. Some might argue that the original restriction was simply a stalking horse - to test the waters to see if the public would accept the tight restrictions. When public opinion, pretty much as predicted, went against the Redmond marketers, MS relented on this point, but not on the requirement for Volume Licensing copie of Vista to be activated (and regularly re-activated).

Product Activation is something prety much universally loathed by every sysadmin I know - and with that loathing comes a dislike of Microsoft (loathing by association, if you will). As one admin I know put it: "I dislike Redmond assuming I'm guilty until I spend a lot of time and effort proving otherwise. And sometimes, even when I'm not guilty, the anti-piracy code thinks otherwise!"


I see comments have been disabled on this article on the Vista Team Blog. I guess they've had enough negative reaction. Turning off comments is one way to prevent further less than positive comments.

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