Sorry about the title – but I am not happy with Microsoft today.
According to Slashdot, Windows Vista, the full (rip-off?) retail version of Vista, will only allow you to transfer it to another machine once.
Put in real terms – retail Vista will not allow you to have the freedom to move it around between your machines.
Now OEM versions of Windows (XP and probably earlier versions) do have a similar restriction which locks your Windows licence to one machine. And, although it’s irritating, it’s fair enough as it’s meant to be an OEM version for one PC.
I find it unacceptable for this to happen with a retail version, however. If Vista lasts as long as XP has without a new Windows version, it’s quite likely that I’ll upgrade my main computer more than once in that time. Meaning, in order to run Windows on my newest hardware (which is likely because Windows is really only for games and Win-specific apps now), I will very likely end up being forced to purchase a new licence.
This, in my opinion, is absolutely unacceptable. I bought the OS, I should choose whether I want to move hardware and software around, not Microsoft. I can understand limiting it to run on only one machine at a time. That’s understandable. But capping the number of times you can transfer it isn’t.
But wait! There’s more! Vista Home Basic and Home Premium will not allow you to run them inside a virtual machine. Business and Enterprise will have no such restriction. This also infuriates me. If I buy a copy of that operating system, I should be free to run it wherever I like. And how are they going to enforce this anyway? If they blacklist hardware configurations (such as VMware’s setup, for example), there is definitely a margin for error meaning some real machines may get locked out. Plus, it doesn’t take much to run Windows under a funky virtualisation environment such as QEMU or Xen (Xen needs a newer processor with a VT or SVM virtualisation chip thing to run Windows).
But this brings me to a more important point. I’m not trying to start any conspiracy theories here, but by doing this, Microsoft are forcing Mac users that want to run Vista under Parallels (virtualisation for OS X, Windows in a window on the OS X desktop) to buy Ultimate (I think Business is volume licence only, correct me if I’m wrong).
Sorry if this comes across very anti-Microsoft. Well, it is, I suppose.
Hey, Microsoft, if you’re trying to alienate me from using your products, you’re doing a good job…
At this rate, I’ll wait until the latest possible moment to move my Windows installation to Vista.