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Author Topic: Windows Vista EULA to users: Go to hell!  (Read 8560 times)

zridling

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Windows Vista EULA to users: Go to hell!
« on: October 20, 2006, 12:13:16 AM »
From Wendy's Blog, a techie lawyer: Forbidding Vistas: Windows licensing disserves the user:

"Reading the Windows Vista license is a bit like preparing for breakfast with Lewis Carroll's Red Queen: You should be ready to believe at least six impossible things about what users want from software.... It is unlikely that a home user looking for a computer operating system has any of these 'features' of the Vista EULA in mind:

  • Self-limiting software
  • Vanishing functionality through invalidation
  • Removal of media capabilities
  • Problem-solving prohibited
  • Limited mobility
  • One transfer only, and a bonus,
  • Restrictions on your rights to use MPEG-4 video

Read the details...

f0dder

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Re: Windows Vista EULA to users: Go to hell!
« Reply #1 on: October 20, 2006, 06:34:16 AM »
Nasty.

Aagain, I hope Vista fails massively. But again-again, users are sheep.
- carpe noctem

Lashiec

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Re: Windows Vista EULA to users: Go to hell!
« Reply #2 on: October 20, 2006, 06:52:49 AM »
Nasty.

Again, I hope Vista fails massively. But again-again, users are sheep.


Baaaaaah! (says the sheep) ;D

Carol Haynes

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Re: Windows Vista EULA to users: Go to hell!
« Reply #3 on: October 20, 2006, 07:22:25 AM »
Many home users and small businesses will stick with what they have (a lot are still using Win98) unless there is a really compelling reason to shift.

Unfortunately most people will shift to VISTA eventaully because they either get new machines with VISTA OEM installed and larger businesses will shift because they have support contracts which push the latest version of everything on them.

We have to accept that VISTA will be a massive 'success' in MS's eyes whatever happens - as usual knowledgeable users and other businesses will be left to pick up the pieces - and this time the pieces are likely to be many (IMHO).

With MS doing what they are doing I am on my last version of Windows - and when support for that stops I will probably still keep it unless the rumpus becomes so much that MS backtracks on its policies. I have too much software investment to swap to Linux unless big software houses like Adobe and SonyMedia port their products to Linux - which is highly unlikely.

mwb1100

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Re: Windows Vista EULA to users: Go to hell!
« Reply #4 on: October 20, 2006, 10:33:40 AM »
Does Vista have anything I really want?  I'm not even sure if my hardware will run it effectively, so the only time I'm going to get it is when I buy a new machine. 

I think that'll be when I move to Mac instead...

Vista's going to be the best thing to happen to Apple since the iPod, and now that iPod is levelling off the timing couldn't be better for Apple.

Josh

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Re: Windows Vista EULA to users: Go to hell!
« Reply #5 on: October 20, 2006, 12:38:22 PM »
Am I the only one who doesnt really care about these "restrictions"? It seems to me that these changes are all dealing with pirated copies of windows (limiting functionality, disabling features, etc). As such, when I purchase my copy, I really dont feel I will have to worry about being listed as "Invalid" since I have never experienced anything negative from Windows XP when it comes to WGA or activation on that front. Windows has never deactivated on me, or required me to revalidate with WGA due to a hardware change. I have only had to call in one time to reactivate during a reinstall (I had to reinstall 4 times in a week due to some hard drive issues), which took about 3 minutes, and wasnt painful at all.

I guess you can call me a sheep for my views and not wanting to see microsoft make its license more like the various GPL licenses, but, I do feel that I am quite knowledgable, holding an MCSE for Windows 2003 server and getting ready to certify on Vista, plus having several years of PC support under my belt and I feel that this license isnt really anything a legit user will have to worry about. I have followed all of the articles and to me, it seems that most of these articles have no other purpose than trying to flame microsoft for trying to protect their product. As it is, the only limitation that seems to worry me even in the slightest is the moving to more than one pc during a license's lifetime, and even if that does become an issue, there are ways to obtain extremely cheap licenses which are legit directly through microsoft. Heck, I bought the XP license I am using now for $25 and that covers a full copy of WinXP MCE 2005. After reading the article more, it seems the transfer policy is only for giving the pc with the software to someone else. Nowhere in that license quote does it say that you can't move Windows Vista to another PC if you require that. The only stipulation I can find is that you must remove it from the PC it was originally on (makes sense) before installing it on a new pc. And again, the only limitation I see with the transfer comes with OEM copies, which are bound to the PC they are sold with (or hardware) which is why OEM's get such a good discount for the software.

Anyways, As I said, I really dont see a problem in microsoft limiting its software as it has the right to do so to protect its product, but let me ask all of you, do you really think this is going to affect you so much that it would limit or hinder your ability to use the software on a daily basis?

Carol Haynes

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Re: Windows Vista EULA to users: Go to hell!
« Reply #6 on: October 20, 2006, 03:34:17 PM »
Josh it specifically says in the EULA that the license can only moved to another device once (there is also a clause about transferring the license to another person only once but that is a separate issue). The problem is if you do a lot of hardware fiddling and upgrading.

I have had to phone in numerous times with XP to get my license revalidated after changing hardeware (most recently after changing my network card). I even had one case when I uninstalled some software and had to revalidate - the MS tech said that was perfectly normal and happens a lot.

For me the point is that they are restricting full price licenses to pretty much the same terms as the cheaper OEM copies. If you pay for a full license, or a full license upgrade why should you lose that license just because you build (or significantly upgrade) 2 computers in a five year period - which is what MS are actually saying. I can't remember the clause number off hand - someone quoted in the thread I started with a link to the PDF of the EULA.

I have no intention of upgrading to VISTA but if I have to buy any more copies of Windows I will definitely be buying OEM copies in future (even if I have to purchase a floppy disc drive or a CDROM to justify it).

As for activation and WGA - there are legions of examples of false positives with WGA (just do a search on it and you will find practically every well known columnist with a list of issues). In XP it is an annoyance because you can't download updates but your system still works. In VISTA MS are actually going to remove functionality - and reading between the lines it looks like they mean increasing removal of functionality to force WGA compliance. If your system is legit but doesn't veriofy for some reason with WGA then MS have proven to be pretty unhelpful and basically try to force people to buy a new license pack.

There is also the issue of removing your rights to listen to protected music that you paid for - this is a killer for people who buy legit music online and can only serve to encourage people to buy from dubious MP3 stores rather than protected WMP files.

f0dder

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Re: Windows Vista EULA to users: Go to hell!
« Reply #7 on: October 20, 2006, 04:44:56 PM »
Josh: I've had a couple of the PCs at the museum bitch about being invalid - and that's after I got valid licenses for them (yes, it was a pirate-copy mess before I started adminning there). And on the other hand, there's still a lot of people using pirated XP licenses (without crack patch) that aren't affected. WGA is not reliable - period.

I don't want a GPL license for Windows, and I fully support Microsoft's right to make money. But I think they at least ought to be fair against their users. The licensing is bollocks, and all the DRM will - as always - only hurt the end users. DRM'ed music CDs will just be put through a professional studio loopback (or chinese hardware that doesn't respect the copyright bit). Similar story for protected video.

So what effects does Vista leave on lawful users?

1) You need Vista for DirectX 10 - booh.
2) You need Vista for the hybrid harddrives - booh.
3) You'll probably need Vista for playing back HD content.
4) If you change hardware often, you're screwed. From reading the license PDF, I got the impression this doesn't just apply to the OEM Vista version.
5) You aren't allowed to run the "cheap" versions in vmware. Why?
6) "Garage" programmers will have a hard time doing driver development. It will be much harder for a new startup to become the next sysinternals.

...and that's just a bit of it.
- carpe noctem

zridling

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Re: Windows Vista EULA to users: Go to hell!
« Reply #8 on: October 21, 2006, 12:53:55 AM »
I also think Vista will put a chink in the hardware market. Enthusiasts aren't going to suddenly stop building their own PCs and run to buy Dell's latest fire sale (pun intended). Carol has argued this in several places online, but Vista's EULA is equivalent to saying you can buy a piece of furniture for your home, put it in any room you want. You can even move it once, but if you do, you have to call the furniture store and ask their permission to approve the move, and you must let them inspect your house to make sure that you moved it to an approved "room." But if you move it twice, then the furniture store has the right to come in your house and burn the furniture piece to the ground, making it unusable.

Got it? Not me. I'll stick with XP and save money on hardware in the meantime.

JavaJones

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Re: Windows Vista EULA to users: Go to hell!
« Reply #9 on: October 21, 2006, 01:06:32 AM »
Hahah, that analogy is priceless!

- Oshyan

Hellie

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Re: Windows Vista EULA to users: Go to hell!
« Reply #10 on: October 22, 2006, 08:07:55 AM »
I tried to rewmove WGA and it completely trashed my PC and I could not reinstall XP from the OEM disc.. I took some expert from my IT Dept and trying to remove WGA had left my brand new PC seriously ill.

Problem solved I downloaded SUSE Linux Eneterprise Desktop. Its just brilliant $50 per year for updates, thats fine. I have tried Fedore and Ubunto but keep going back SUSE as I work from home it does everything I want it to.

Even though like Carol I have invested in Software I am prepared to lose that investment. My PC is much more stable using SUSE no more expensive Firewalls and AV and forking out for software. The benefits to me far out weigh the occasional incompatibility issues.

Helen

 

dk70

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Re: Windows Vista EULA to users: Go to hell!
« Reply #11 on: October 22, 2006, 09:03:25 AM »
Policies can change over time. If more than occasionally pain in the butt even MS will have to adjust. May be WGA will be perfect on Vista but still have problems on XP - you will know what to do.

Exclusive Vista features they can probably argument for. But why is it they push XP SP3 down the road, 2008 now. SP2 will be close to 4 years old by then! Hard to avoid feeling like a sheep.
« Last Edit: October 22, 2006, 12:39:38 PM by dk70 »

NeilS

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Re: Windows Vista EULA to users: Go to hell!
« Reply #12 on: October 22, 2006, 11:21:01 AM »
Policies can change over the time. If more than occasionally pain in the butt even MS will have to adjust.

I'm not even sure if this will be necessary. As nasty as the new EULA sounds, we don't have any way of knowing at this time if MS will enforce the "one move" rule to the letter, or if it's just a legal measure to give them more ability to say no in cases where they suspect foul play. If the previous EULA wasn't entirely clear about situations in which MS would say no, then I can imagine that MS had a few cases where they suspected foul play and their lawyers told them to back off a bit because the EULA might not stand up in court as well as they would have hoped.

So there is the potential that, with the new EULA, nothing will really change for the vast majority of people, even most enthusiasts. Of course, this assumes that the spirit behind the EULA is somewhat less draconian than the actual wording in it, which I suspect it will be. The problem MS face is convincing people of this, which they don't seem too bothered about just now, not that I'd expect it to do any good if they did try to reassure people.

Jimdoria

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Re: Windows Vista EULA to users: Go to hell!
« Reply #13 on: October 23, 2006, 03:24:29 PM »
NeilS, adopting software with a nasty EULA is like playing the backwards lottery. You are betting that you won't be the one to get the hammer dropped on you. But no matter how good the odds are, it's still a bet.

Josh said:
Quote
Heck, I bought the XP license I am using now for $25 and that covers a full copy of WinXP MCE 2005.
Oh, please share! How does one achieve such a remarkable feat? If it's part of your MSCE cert or requires you to register as an MS OEM, then it's hardly fair to tout it as a viable option for very many people. Unless you include the costs of meeting such requirements in the price.

Quote
...which is why OEM's get such a good discount for the software.
Hey, it's great that OEMs get such a good discount for Windows! Too bad they aren't the ones who have to USE that bargain basement copy of Windows. Jump over to Ed Foster's Gripelog at gripe2ed.com (or more to the point, to this specific article)  and you can read about the OEM cusotmer whose motherboard died, and when their local PC shop swapped in a new one, Windows wouldn't run due to product activation. MS woudn't help them - "OEM isue" dont'cha know - and the OEM wouldn't help them either. So because the OEM saved some money on the Windows license, the end user is looking at having to pony up for a full retail copy, in addition to the copy they have. Hardly a savings. And who makes the determination that the mobo is the piece of hardware that defined the "computer" the license was attached to? Is a computer with a different motherboard a different computer? This OEM said yes. And I'd bet the same argument could be made for a PC with a different hard disk or, these days, even a new video card, if a vendor were so inclined.

And it you say "well, doen't buy from that OEM," that's certainly easier said than done. Dell doesn't offer you the option of a full retail license if you buy a machine from them. Neither will any of the other major PC vendors. (It's my understanding theat MS does not ALLOW them to.) So where are you supposed to find this "other OEM" that will sell what you're seeking to buy, when all OEMs are goverened by the same central licensing policy, set by Microsoft? Can you point me to a single vendor who sells their computers with a pre-installed, full retail version of Windows, with appropriate disk and documentation, including the approriately installed drivers for the vendor's hardware?

At least with XP you have the option of installing a full retail license if you can swallow your indignation and spit up $100 or $200. Seems like with Vista that won't even be an option. This stuff is not just intended for what they say it's intended for. It's also cudgel marketing.
- Jimdoria ~@>@

There are two kinds of people in the world: Those who divide everybody into two kinds of people, and those who don't.

NeilS

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Re: Windows Vista EULA to users: Go to hell!
« Reply #14 on: October 23, 2006, 05:47:08 PM »
NeilS, adopting software with a nasty EULA is like playing the backwards lottery. You are betting that you won't be the one to get the hammer dropped on you. But no matter how good the odds are, it's still a bet.

Well, that's one way of looking at it. But if you assume worst case always, then you'd never cross the road, because you're betting that some idiot in a car won't hit you, no matter how good the odds are.

Anyway, it's nothing like a lottery, because a lottery is entirely random. The enforcement of the EULA is going to go one way or the other (in general - obviously there will be rare cases where someone get screwed or gets something for free), and it's going to depend on how MS decides to balance profits agains negative PR. If people really aren't sure how the EULA (or rather, how MS intends to enforce it) will affect their usage model, and if they can't afford to fall foul of it, then they'd be advised to wait and see how it affects people in a similar situation.

There's a slim chance that an outcry at this time will cause MS to change the EULA, but it's exactly that: slim. It's going to be pretty hard to get enough people shouting loudly about it when no-one has actually been screwed by it yet. However, if they do enforce the EULA to the letter, I expect we'll hear some fairly loud shouting sometime early next year.