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Microsoft Flip-flopping on Virtualization License 304

Posted by samzenpus
from the make-up-your-mind dept.
Cole writes "Microsoft came within a few hours of reversing its EULA-based ban on the virtualization of Vista Basic and Premium, only to cancel the announcement at the last minute. The company reached out to media and bloggers about the announcement and was ready to celebrate "user choice" before pulling the plug, apparently clinging to security excuses. From the article, "The threat of hypervisor malware affects Ultimate and Business editions just as much as Home Premium and Basic. As such, the only logical explanation is that Microsoft is using pricing to discourage users from virtualizing those OSes. Since when is a price tag an effective means of combating malware?" Something else must be going on here."
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Microsoft Flip-flopping on Virtualization License

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  • It's obvious (Score:5, Informative)

    by GFree (853379) on Thursday June 21, 2007 @04:30AM (#19591629)
    This is clearly Microsoft suffering a managerial battle of the wills. One half wants to bow down to pressure to reverse the EULA ban on virtulization, while the other half is strong opposed to relenting.

    I suspect (hope) that desperation with the lack of popularity of Vista will force Microsoft's hand.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by aichpvee (631243)
      How long before the EULA says that you can only run microsoft software on it? The DoJ isn't going to stop them these days and it seems like a more reasonable (doesn't take much, how is virtualizing a more secure OS going to be a security risk on windows!??!) case can be made that it would cut down on malware.
      • by drsmithy (35869)

        How long before the EULA says that you can only run microsoft software on it?

        Given that the vast, vast majority of Windows PCs are bought to run some non-Microsoft software, and hardly anyone would be interested in a general-purpose OS that wasn't general-purpose, I'd be willing to say a very, very long time.

      • by 3vi1 (544505)

        How long before the EULA says that you can only run microsoft software on it?
        Never. The second 3rd party games and SAP are no longer allowed, Microsoft loses all its home and business users.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by MBGMorden (803437)
          Maybe not eliminate them, but they could well implement some "licensing" scheme for games, much like console manufacturer's (of which MS is one of now) do.

          You can kinda already see it starting with the "Games for Windows" initiative. How long before a game (or any other app) needs to be digitally signed by MS before you can use it? Not for security or anything like that, but the manufacturer just has to pay MS it's dues so they can get their "Games for Windows" logo and the ability to run on the platform.
      • Re:It's obvious (Score:5, Interesting)

        by MysteriousPreacher (702266) on Thursday June 21, 2007 @08:19AM (#19592743) Journal
        That would be tricky for MS to pull-off but they could just make it very difficult for certain applications to run on Windows. Require a certification process, implement technical measures to authenticate the applications and then use the DMCA to destroy anyone who dares to bypass the protection by using fake credentials.

        Make it nice and expensive to obtain the credentials, or just use a clever licence agreement and that'll certainly stop the pesky open-source kids from meddling. The best thing is, if the DoJ decide to take an interest, MS can tell them that it's necessary for security.

        I really can see Windows going the same as some console platforms. Either you make your software with permission or you don't do it at all.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by ConceptJunkie (24823) *
          Sounds like you're describing the whole "trusted computing" initiative. I don't doubt that's where MS is trying to go.

          That's one of many reasons why I simply use Linux with a Windows 2000 VM for those games and other software I can't live without (and won't run in Wine).

    • by vdboor (827057) on Thursday June 21, 2007 @05:42AM (#19591957) Homepage
      You are changing the EULA of your latest product. cancel or allow? :-)
    • by Savage-Rabbit (308260) on Thursday June 21, 2007 @06:02AM (#19592045)

      This is clearly Microsoft suffering a managerial battle of the wills. One half wants to bow down to pressure to reverse the EULA ban on virtulization, while the other half is strong opposed to relenting.
      So each half is doing a non atomic operation and since each party is working independently of the other and they are constantly interrupting each others non atomic decision making process schizophrenic statements ensue. Correct me if I am wrong but that's a type of race condition isn't it?
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by fbjon (692006)
        No no, they simply took a snapshot before the announcement, then accidentally reverted to the previous state.
    • How long until... (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Opportunist (166417)
      ...all we get is $EULA and it's adapted on a daily base with the routine call in Redmond?
    • VMWare is great - you create all these little servers running one app each. OR you could run an OS that multitasks properly like one of the fine UNIX OS's from Sun, IBM or HP.

      Yes, I know it has other uses, but the main one is to replace the hundreds of shitty little 1RU Windows boxen in the computer room
      • VMWare is ideal for development on multiple platforms. On the same box I can run window, HP-UX, and RHEL. Then multiple developers can use the same piece of hardware as a development/build/test platform. For that matter we have different VMs for different builds of our software so that we can write patches to the previous versions very simply. The only thing they can't do is load test as effectively as if they had their own server. I'm sure there are people who use virtual machines in their production
  • by wallyhall (665610) on Thursday June 21, 2007 @04:32AM (#19591641) Homepage
    but could this just be Microsoft trying to squeeze yet more dollars of profit out of everything they can (i.e. now virtulization)?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 21, 2007 @04:35AM (#19591653)
    Only if you believe that EULAs are enforcable.
  • by ZwJGR (1014973) on Thursday June 21, 2007 @04:36AM (#19591657)
    Artificially introduced market segmentation.

    Seperate the user base by requirements. To match a low, medium and high priced product range, when there is no real difference between the actual products other than artificial restrictions.
    By specifically disbaling certain features from the low versions, power users (the few who will touch Visat with a bargepole), will be forced to empty their bank accounts for the high version (Vista Ultimate/Business), otherwise they may just buy the version which could do everything they required (which would be cheaper).
    Less revenue for Microsoft.

    This is similar to the recent debate over MS Visual Studio Express vs. Professional. The former's EULA disallowing plugins of some variety which actually loaded fine. This forced users to buy the uncrippled version for actual development. More money to MS.
    • by Rakishi (759894) on Thursday June 21, 2007 @05:26AM (#19591875)
      Uhhmmm, your point? This is done by almost every company out there, including hardware companies (no, once the yields are good that low end cpu is no different from a high end one except for being factory clocked lower).

      What do you prefer, that every copy cost more than the medium priced version does now? That people who can't afford the product not be able to buy one with only the features they USE for less?
      • The difference (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Opportunist (166417)
        So far, I can't remember a law that outlaws overclocking or unlocking additional render pipelines.

        On the other hand, should I dare to mess with the software to bend to my will...
      • by MoxFulder (159829)

        Uhhmmm, your point? This is done by almost every company out there, including hardware companies (no, once the yields are good that low end cpu is no different from a high end one except for being factory clocked lower).

        Welll.... that's not quite true. Usually CPUs get tested for thermal stability at high frequencies, and then they get conservatively downrated. So a CPU that runs fine in factory testing at 2.3 GHz might get sold at 2.0 GHz, for example. However, *if* there is extra market demand for the

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        It'd be nice if MS would simply say something to that effect, rather than the BS they currently spew about VMs being less secure, blah blah.

        I think we all [mostly anyway] understand that MS is a commercial organisation that needs to make money somehow, so pricing products differently for separate customer bases does make sense. But the "not being allowed to run Vista Basic/Home on a VM" does seem an awful lot like desperately trying to hang on to a monopoly. And then, using BS about security to justify
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Sesostris III (730910)
      To be fair, this is a not-uncommon business practice that predates Microsoft.

      And Microsoft aren't the only current practitioners either! (I note Oracle has something which is called a "Restricted Use" license).

      Sesostris III
    • by Ravnen (823845)
      What's artificial about it? Users have different requirements, and are willing to pay different amounts, so can naturally be grouped into different segments. Targeting different products at the different segments, with appropriate prices, will lead to greater economic efficiency. Any competent manager would use this approach where possible.
    • Remember the 486SX? I believe it was the same as the regular 486, except with the floating point math coprocessor disabled. I seem to recall that due to manufacturing defects, some chips came out with a broken math coprocessor, but everything else was fine. So these were dubbed SX and sold at a discount. (I'm still not sure if this is correct, about relabeling broken cpu's.)

      Anyhow, Microsoft's not the only one to do this kind of stuff. Of course, they don't have the excuse Intel had.

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by ZOmegaZ (687142)

      otherwise they may just buy the version which could do everything they required
      Which I believe is called XP.
  • DUPE! (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 21, 2007 @04:38AM (#19591665)
    This was already mentioned yesterday: http://slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=07/06/20/064324 1 [slashdot.org]
    • by gbobeck (926553)
      Actually, it is more of a semi-dupe...

      From the /. article you linked...

      "...The announcement coincides with an embarrassing double-backflip: Microsoft had pre-briefed journalists that it was going to allow home users to run Vista basic and premium under virtual machines like VMWare, but it changed its mind at the last minute and pulled the announcement."

      This article was only briefly mentioned (and linked), but wasn't the main focus ( which was "Microsoft pleading with consumers to use Vista") of the article.

  • I've bought the software (note - this is a lie; there's no way I'm going to buy Vista any time soon). Microsoft has made their money. They should stop telling me how I can use it.

    This is why I like free software. I'm treated as the owner.
    • Well, not an owner (as the owner of some property I may do with it as I see fit, usually), but at least as a customer. Funny enough that you get treated more like a valued customer by a "company" that doesn't sell you their product but rather give it to you for free than by a company that you pay for the "service".

      I think a few old proverbs need rewriting.
  • Price Tag (Score:5, Funny)

    by Evil Cretin (1090953) on Thursday June 21, 2007 @04:40AM (#19591673)

    Since when is a price tag an effective means of combating malware?
    When it makes people switch to Linux.
  • No kidding. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by jimicus (737525) on Thursday June 21, 2007 @04:40AM (#19591675)
    "Something else must be going on here". No shit sherlock.

    The thing that's going on is market segmentation [wikipedia.org]. To put it briefly: Microsoft reckons that those customers who are likely to want to run Vista in a virtual environment have got the money to buy a more expensive version. It's the exact same principle as is used for pricing some commercial databases according to "number of CPUs in the system which is going to be running it" - anyone who's got the money to buy and the need to run a 16-processor system can probably afford to spend more on the database, regardless of whether there's any technical difference between the 16 processor version and the 8 processor version of the software.
    • Re:No kidding. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by suv4x4 (956391) on Thursday June 21, 2007 @05:11AM (#19591805)
      "Something else must be going on here". No shit sherlock.

      The thing that's going on is market segmentation [wikipedia.org]. To put it briefly: Microsoft reckons that those customers who are likely to want to run Vista in a virtual environment have got the money to buy a more expensive version.


      If it was that simple, Microsoft wouldn't conflict itself so much. There are many more things going on, not the least of which, is the virtualization on the Mac (not a core Mac user myself).

      Mac+OSX has still many disadvantages on its own, the biggest of which is vendor support for software and games. Parallels integrates relatively seamlessly virtualized Windows into a Mac.

      Under virtualization, you really don't need more than Vista Home, since you can't run Aero anyway, so people would naturally flock to that. Many PC owners are willing to switch to Mac today, as long as they have a seamless Windows experience, which they still need.

      Microsoft isn't just trying to make a buck, they're trying to decrease the rate of Vista/Windows virtualization. The problem here is: they can't change the license of XP which is out there already and people run that on their Macs.

      So the conflict (at least part of it) is: forbid virtualization on cheap Vista (and thus stiffle Vista adoption as people run their XP on Macs), or allow virtualization since XP already allows virtualization anyway.

      And only after all those strategy issues are resolved, comes the question if Microsoft could make more buck with expensive virtualizable Vista: corporate customers usually need to virtualize Windows for testing. But they don't really need a ton of copies for that purpose. A 1000 employee company may need just 5-6 licenses for the 5-6 developers who specifically need to do testing of their software. Hence the buck making potential isn't really quite there.
      • Microsoft isn't just trying to make a buck, they're trying to decrease the rate of Vista/Windows virtualization.

        My bet is they're doing so to protect the interests of OEMs, who purchase Windows licenses in bulk and bring in the capital-dollar-sign money to Microsoft. If it came down to buying a comparable Dell with Vista Home Premium pre-installed or buying a Mac Mini and shelling out $250 for Parallels and Vista Home Basic, I'd choose the latter and gladly pay the price difference for the extra utility. As
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by MoxFulder (159829)
          Ah, Mac fanboys... you never cease to amaze me. You protest loudly about how Microsoft makes it hard to run Windows on a Mac. What about the fact that Apple makes it illegal to run OSX on your Dell [osx86project.org]???

          The barrier is just as artificial. An Intel Mac is no different from a modern PC, except that Apple has added some hardware detection to the OS so that it won't run on non-Apple hardware. Of course, this hasn't stopped enterprising hackers from figuring out ways around it.

          Apple and Microsoft are both produc
  • Since when is a price tag an effective means of combating malware?

    Well, it does mean that there are only 5 potential victims for your malware :P
  • by sucker_muts (776572) <[sucker_pvn] [at] [hotmail.com]> on Thursday June 21, 2007 @05:07AM (#19591791) Homepage Journal
    The reason Microsoft wants to keep the cost high to virtualize Vista is because they want people to actually run Vista as the main os. When lots of people start running linux (or parallels on macs), they are using Vista simply as a bunch of libraries to run one or two apps.

    They want to remain in control of the platform, if people use mac or linux as their main os and use Windows to run one of those not-yet-supported programs the power of Microsoft wil start to degrade...

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      "...the power of Microsoft will start to degrade"

      Too late for that. The word is out that "the new version of Windows" (many people still seem not to know its name) is not as good as XP, and understanding is growing that OSX and Ubuntu are better alternatives, apart from a lack of some popular software (though notably not Office, iTunes, Firefox or Photoshop).

      As pointed out already, visrutalization [I know I mistyped it, but it looks interesting so I'm leaving it] is a partial solution, but whatever fe
      • by Ash-Fox (726320)

        Too late for that. The word is out that "the new version of Windows" (many people still seem not to know its name) is not as good as XP, and understanding is growing that OSX and Ubuntu are better alternatives, apart from a lack of some popular software (though notably not Office, iTunes, Firefox or Photoshop).
        I remember when the ''The word is out that "the new version of Windows" is not as good as'' 98.

        So no, I don't think it's too late.
        • Well, can you keep a straight face and tell me WinME was better than 98? Fortunately for MS 2k was out and it was (unlike NT4.0) something the home user could actually take to play his games, else they'd be pretty much in the boat they are now.

          Unlike with ME, they now have no fallback system (well, there's XP but they want to move people away from that, so I don't give that fallback option any chance), there is a very quickly growing Mac community, with "ordinary" people catching on and opting for Macs inst
      • apart from a lack of some popular software (though notably not Office, iTunes, Firefox or Photoshop).
        Maybe this is why I'm a happy Mac user. Add VLC media player to your list of cross-platform apps, and I really don't need anything else out of a computer. I would venture to think that there are many more just like me too. Throw in the free iLife suite and GarageBand and I have more computer than I've ever needed.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Microsoft are already losing their stranglehold on the market; they're fighting against desktop linux, fighting a rear guard action against open standards and OEM's are looking to escape per machine licensing. Releasing so many versions of Vista was really a dumb move and DRM simply isn't going to work when the OS is run as a VM guest.

      My guess is that they're stalling for time while getting a TPM savvy hypervisor in boot ROM. Antitrust authorities wouldn't be amused by this, hence the handwaving about malwa
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Dan Ost (415913)
        What many commentators miss is that you're free to install your one copy of Vista in a VM, Microsoft can't stop you from doing that. The EULA (poorly worded as it is) only restricts (or permits) running multiple virtualized copies from the one license.

        Can anyone corroborate this?

        Or, even better, is the EULA available online somewhere where I could verify this statement for myself?
  • by ex-geek (847495) on Thursday June 21, 2007 @05:18AM (#19591823)
    Microsoft gives you at least a (costly) option. Apple (correct me, if I'm wrong) doesn't.

    And no, I am not a MS fanboy. I've been using Linux for more then ten years almost exclusively. Lack of hassle with licensing issues being one of the reasons for my choice of OS.
    • by itsdapead (734413) on Thursday June 21, 2007 @06:05AM (#19592057)

      Microsoft gives you at least a (costly) option. Apple (correct me, if I'm wrong) doesn't.

      True-ish, and Apple certainly can't chuck any bricks in that particular greenhouse. However, there are a couple of mitigating factors:

      1. Apple do not have a 95% monopoly of the desktop market. If you don't like Apple's policy, vote with your feet (sounds like you already have). OTOH the group who are disadvantaged most by MS's policy are those who don't like Windows and are trying to switch to Mac or Linux but - because of the MS software monoculture - can only do so if they still have a way of accessing Windows.
      2. The issue of virtualising OSX is in a chicken-and-egg state - I don't know if VMWare or Parallels support EFI (needed by OSX) or support OSX's graphics requirements (of course, no one reputable will admit to having tried it).
      3. I don't think there's a huge market for it (once you dismiss the "I want to try OSX on my PC" brigade) - the big demands for windows-hosted virtualization come from the developer and server consolidation markets. The Apple world doesn't have the huge army of in-house developers that buy VMWare Workstation , and I'd guess that OSX Server is used predomniantly for high performance file sharing, render-farming etc. - not the sort of things you virtualize. The money in OSX-hosted virtualization is from users who need to run Windows. (Cross refernce with above point). I'm guessing they only support other non-MS guests because they were already supported by their existing windows-hosted products.

      If Apple doesn't sort this out soon they're going to start hacking off developers - virtualization is so darn useful. This will come to a head when 10.5 is released and betas of 10.6 go out and developers have to juggle past, present and future major versions of the x86 based OS - but the initiative will have to come from developers, via Apple - Parallels and VMWare have no strong incentive to break a sweat over it.

      P.S. Also bear in mind that the last thing Apple want is, officially or otherwise, a "try-before-you-buy" route for OSX: even if the implementation was non-flakey, the first impression of playing with a new OS is always frustration because of the differences and the fact that your instinct is to plunge into "clever stuff" rather than work through the basics. Better if you are sold on the idea by an evangelist, part with cash, and have a $2000 incentive to get over having to press the fricking pretzel key instead of "ctrl".

  • The Mac Threat (Score:5, Insightful)

    by stewbacca (1033764) on Thursday June 21, 2007 @05:48AM (#19591983)
    From TFA:

    Cynics say that this is Microsoft's way of punishing Mac switchers, while Microsoft calls it a "security" issue.

    Microsoft isn't stupid, and they can see the writing on the wall. Switchers pose a problem for Microsoft, because most anecdotal evidence and many studies show that switchers don't switch back to Windows. Now before you bash me as an Apple fanboi, consider this: most people who leave Windows are looking for an out due to frustration. Even if you think Mac OS X is inferior to Windows, someone looking to get away from Windows might not be the most objective person in the world. Apple's plan is to get people to switch, to just taste OS X, and then count on them not going back to Windows. Intel Macs make it "safe" for users to try it, because they can always fall back to Windows if OS X doesn't work out for them.

    The most ridiculous part of the MS strategy, though, is to assume people pay attention to the EULA anyway. I recently installed XP on my Intel Mac on to a boot camp partition. Parellels is smart enough to see the boot camp partition and run in VM mode. Is that "illegal"? Will Microsoft come kick in my door? Would I be able to do the same thing with Vista (probably) even though the EULA states I can't?

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      Switchers pose a problem for Microsoft, because most anecdotal evidence and many studies show that switchers don't switch back to Windows. Now before you bash me as an Apple fanboi, consider this: most people who leave Windows are looking for an out due to frustration.

      I'll give you evidence for the contrary. In 1999 I was fully Linux, I switched from Windows because my laptop was too low spec and Windows ran bad, and Linux ran well. In december 2001, I switched from Linux to a fancy new iBook G3 runni

      • by Tanuki64 (989726)
        First you write:

        Now, the idea is to run Linux on it eventually, but I'm married and haven't got the same kind of spare time as I did back in 2000....

        Then:

        That said, I know how to secure and harden Windows machines.

        Yes, I know Windows can be hardened, though I cannot do it myself, I do know one or two people who can. But I have never seen a person, who could harden his Windows and forget maintenance forever. Keeping in touch with all the Windows problems is a lengthy and time consuming task. The stran

      • Of course some people switch back. Just like, even though consumer surveys show Apple at 85-90% satisfaction rates, some people still don't like them. Had you been able to purchase an Intel MacBook, though, and didn't like OS X, you'd have been more apt to have kept the MacBook and just booted in Windows mode. This, I believe, is what Apple is counting on.

        Most people weren't even interested in trying to switch before Intel Macs because of the hardware cost of buying a new Mac for something they "might"

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by pandrijeczko (588093)
      I can't be objective about Mac OS X - I've never used it because I've never had a need to and I doubt that I ever will.

      But I think you're mistaken if you believe that people who choose to migrate from Windows are flocking to Macs. The fact is that if you're a Windows user with a PC, running Mac OS X entails buying a new piece of hardware that is probably more expensive than the PC you already have. Here in the UK, I've been a techie in the I.T/telecoms/security arena for some 20+ years now and I can count

      • Re:The Mac Threat (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Dan Ost (415913) on Thursday June 21, 2007 @08:24AM (#19592779)
        The thing your missing is that most people don't consider switching until they've already decided the replace their current machine. At that point, spending the $$$ for a Mac isn't really any different from spending the $$$ on a new Windows box except that with the Mac, there's the chance that they may not be as frustrated with the OS as they are with the current machine. If if doesn't work out, then they can simply load windows on their Mac and they're no worse off (except that they've explicitly paid for windows...but it seems to be a price they're willing to pay for the chance to get away from windows).

        People who are savvy enough to know that they can migrate their current machine to Linux aren't really the people that MS is afraid of leaving (they've already lost them or kept them, depending).
  • by MemoryDragon (544441) on Thursday June 21, 2007 @05:50AM (#19591989)
    Mac OSX Home Basic 129$
    Mac OSX Home Premium 129$
    Mac OSX Business 129$
    Mac OSX Ultimate 129$

    Ubuntu Home Basic 0$
    Ubuntu Home Premium 0$
    Ubuntu Business 0$
    Ubuntu Ultimate 0$

    A both OSes have home versions which allow restore of backuped Data...
    For Vista you need Ultimate or Business to get restore functionality ;-)

  • Malware (Score:3, Funny)

    by Ravnen (823845) on Thursday June 21, 2007 @06:02AM (#19592037)

    Since when is a price tag an effective means of combating malware?
    I imagine it can actually be effective in combatting some forms of malware. If only 10% of users buy the high-priced version, only 10% would be vulnerable to any malware targeted at it. This would make it much more difficult for malware to spread, especially the sort that spreads from one infected machine to another.
  • Lame (Score:4, Insightful)

    by palemantle (1007299) on Thursday June 21, 2007 @06:19AM (#19592119)
    From TFA: "For its part, Microsoft says that hypervisor rootkits are a serious threat to virtualization, and they could be right."

    Surely, they don't mean to suggest that hypervisor rootkits stop being a threat as soon as the user ponies up the additional $210 or so for a Vista Ultimate edition?
    Come on, M$, take your time and try to come up with a better excuse than that! Saying ... oooh hypervisor rootkit!!! ... won't fool any of the guys who know enough to employ virtualization.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Ravnen (823845)
      From a purely technical perspective, the argument is of course ridiculous. However, it actually can make sense is if they're assuming users buying Vista Ultimate/Business are more technically sophisticated, and so not as likely to be vulnerable to this sort of malware. There's also the issue of volume: Vista Ultimate and Business are more expensive, so will have lower volume, making them less attractive targets for malware authors.
  • ... only criminals will have virtualization.

    Didn't MS say someting about the security issues of hardware virtualization? Hello? Haven't they hard of Blue Pill? Can someone explain how an EULA can keep malware from attacking a system? (And yes, I know that Blue Pill isn't a real threat... today.)
  • DRM Thing? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Zo0ok (209803) on Thursday June 21, 2007 @07:09AM (#19592341) Homepage
    Not even the Ultimate License allows you to watch/play DRMd content in a virtual machine. It is impossible to technically restrict what can be done with content as soon as it is played in a Virtual Machine. Audio is especially easy to make perfect digital copies of, even if it is DRMd.

    Allowing home editions of Vista to be run in Virtual Machines would essentially make the DRM protection in Vista useless.

    • mod parent up. You tap the data streams in and out of the VM, it is much easier
      for to get at the content from software.

      In the end though, what nasty person is going to pay attention to a eula?
      The first hack is going to be to patch so that vista doesnt recognize that it is in a VM.

      then the warez/pirate folk will go on their merry way...

      This will only affect casual piracy, and fair use (as usual.)

  • by GomezAdams (679726) on Thursday June 21, 2007 @07:40AM (#19592495)
    My current assignment is with a server consolidation team. One of the things we are doing is reducing the number of servers and virtualizing everything we can. If we can't virualize MS Windows to reduce hardware count then in the future Linux will be the platform of choice for servers. All the major players have Linux versions of the server software I use - databases and web based servers are the majority of corporate servers today so when I design systems I don't even consider a Microsoft based solution. Scalability and security are the main reasons. The Microsoft solution is to throw hardware at a problem requiring more licenses and more expense to the data center at all levels. Since Java runs everywhere, although I prefer other languages, WebSphere and WebLogic are the major players along with Apache for web based applications. Any database I need runs on any UNIX and some Linux distros. So I have no need to fight the PHBs who eat Microsoft FUD for breakfast when I can point to, in this case, millions of dollars in annual savings when they dump every server running Microsoft and never put another one in the data centers.

    So leave Gates and Co alone. I don't want them to allow virtualization. It will make my job a whole lot easier.

    • Have fun as your virtualized DB servers thrash their VM's & toss them about like so much tissue paper.

      Also, your PHB's won't be sold on MS's consumer line. They'll be looking at the Business & Enterprise editions, which, AFAIK, both allow virtualization.

      Synergize your information infrastructure by integrating Microsoft-brand cereals into your e-diet. Microsoft Business & Enterprise products are part of a well-balanced breakfast. The fiber you need; the software you trust. Eat Microsoft.

  • by DrRobert (179090) *
    I asssumed that the reason they want to limit virtualization is that it becomes realitively easy to remove DRM from anything when the OS is virtualized, because the host OS can capture and record whatever "pipe" comes out of the virtual environment. DRM is key to MS vendor lock-in and domination of media markets. Particularly with the OS level DRM integration in Vista.
  • the bottom line here is that recent innovation in marketing - the selective license. "So how much does it cost?" "That depends. How much money do you have?" If you really had a choice, would you do business with someone like that? Of course not.

    The real truth here is that they want to charge you more money if you are virtualizing because they know you either have more coin if you are running a VM (most likely an intel mac) or that you are not going to be a long running customer. (most likely running l
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Lisandro (799651)
      Products should not be sold based on how valuable it is TO YOU, but how valuable it is on its own merit. Product price should not be allowed to be based on how much money you have to spend, that does not affect the actual value of your product.

      No, sorry. The price is set by how much the consumer is willing to pay for the product, because products are NOT not inherently valuble. The trick is finding a balance between manufacture cost and sell price.

      The only thing that keeps this practice in check normally is
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Ravnen (823845)
      Actually, price discrimination improves economic efficiency, and perfect price discrimination theoretically allows a monopoly to be as efficient as perfect competition (and remember that almost no competitive market is perfectly competitive). This means that, if you're interested in maximising overall gains from economic activity, and a market is a natural monopoly (e.g. because of network effects), then price discrimination should be encouraged.

      Without perfect price discrimination there will still be som

  • by Skapare (16644) on Thursday June 21, 2007 @08:40AM (#19592915) Homepage

    The virtualizable version of Linux costs 2 and 3 times as much as the non-virtualizable version of Linux. Additionally, Linux has a restriction that each copy may only be running on one machine or disk drive at a time.

  • IE7 (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Yvan256 (722131) on Thursday June 21, 2007 @09:18AM (#19593311) Homepage Journal
    What I'd like to see is an extremely cheap version (even free?) with IE6 and IE7 pre-installed. Nothing else apart from Flash and Windows Media Player (and the ability to install, say, Quicktime).

    Web developers (developers, developers) without a Windows box cannot test websites for IE. And given IE's track record with standards compliance, this is not a good situation for Microsoft. I'm not buying a whole Windows box just to test websites in their crummy browser.

  • by Budenny (888916) on Thursday June 21, 2007 @11:40AM (#19595549)
    Prosecution: he installed this OS in an unauthorized fashion, prohibited by the EULA.

    Defense: Once he has bought it, you cannot tell him what to do with it.

    Prosecution: He didn't buy it, he licensed it.

    Defense: He went into a shop, paid for a disk, and has no further obligations. If that's not buying, what is? Do you think he also licensed his copy of War and Peace that he bought in the same store at the same time on the same card?

    Prosecution: And, we claim damages....

    Defense: Damages for what? He bought it, he installed it, he used it. Can a book publisher collect damages because I use my ordinary glasses to read it with instead of buying a new pair as stipulated in the Eula?

    Well, it would be a fun case to see.

If money can't buy happiness, I guess you'll just have to rent it.

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