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Microsoft Businesses Apple

Microsoft Slugs Mac Users With Vista Tax 661

Posted by samzenpus
from the pay-up dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Mac users wanting to run Vista on their Macintosh, alongside Mac OS X programs, will have to buy an expensive version of Vista if they want to legally install it on their systems. The end-user license agreement for the cheaper versions of Vista (Home Basic and Home Premium) explicitly forbids the use of those versions on virtual machines (i.e., Macs pretending to be PCs)." Update: 02/08 17:50 GMT by KD : A number of readers have pointed out that the Vista EULA does not forbid installing it via Apple's Bootcamp; that is, the "tax" only applies to running Vista under virtualization.
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Microsoft Slugs Mac Users With Vista Tax

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  • Summary incorrect. (Score:5, Informative)

    by Whiney Mac Fanboy (963289) * <whineymacfanboy@gmail.com> on Wednesday February 07, 2007 @11:16PM (#17929934) Homepage Journal
    The summary is incorrect (quite understandable, as the article is misleading for the first half).

    You're free to install Vista Home on a mac using bootcamp.

    You're not free to install Vista home on any virtual machine including vmware under windows, bochs on linux or parallels for Mac.

    In other words, the discrimination is against virtual machines, not Macs.
  • by Whiney Mac Fanboy (963289) * <whineymacfanboy@gmail.com> on Wednesday February 07, 2007 @11:19PM (#17929960) Homepage Journal
    Incorrect.

    1) The EULA terms apply to all VMs, not just Macs.

    2) This anonymous comment found here [virtualserver.tv] says:

    This does not limit your use of the software in a virtual environment. It is intended to limit your use of the same license for multiple installations. For instance, if you buy a new desktop with a copy of windows installed, you can't take that same license of Windows and install it in a virtual machine. This would be similar to not allowing you to install the same license on another machine. Ultimate edition opens up licensing and allows you to use the same license inside a virtual machine, even though the license is already installed on the physical machine.
    Be nice to see some confirmation from MS tho'.
  • by Anubis350 (772791) on Wednesday February 07, 2007 @11:22PM (#17929998)
    ...or any other boot loader like rEFIt is *not* a virtual machine. This only applies to people using paralells and the like and applies equally to *anyone* who runs Vista in a VM (and this was expected a while ago too I seem to remember)... In other words, this is non-news people...
  • by RalphBNumbers (655475) on Wednesday February 07, 2007 @11:22PM (#17930002)
    A Mac running Windows via Boot Camp is not running the OS in a virtual machine.
    It's just using the same kind of BIOS-compatibility layer that any other PC with EFI uses to boot Windows.

    But, in any case, the idea of paying $400 for Vista Ultimate + $80 for Parallels, just to run the occasional windows only binary on your mac, is incredibly noxious.
  • by boxlight (928484) on Wednesday February 07, 2007 @11:22PM (#17930010)
    Tell me again why a MAC user would _want_ to run vista on their MAC?

    I'm a Mac user and I need access to Windows because I have to test my Java code on Windows. I don't want a separate PC machine just for testing code.

    Other Mac users may need to run Windows-only software like Microsoft Project or games that are only available for Windows.

    boxlight
  • by umbrellasd (876984) on Wednesday February 07, 2007 @11:35PM (#17930122)
    Agreed. This clause refers to running Vista in VMs a la VMWare. The concern is that they want you to buy 3 copies of Vista instead of cloning three VMWare images and running 3 machines on one fat piece of hardware. Bootcamp isn't even virtualization as what it does is make it easier to grab the appropriate Windows drivers (for Mac hardware and load them during the install process. Installing Vista on a Mac is the same as installing on any other supported hardware (Intel Core duo + ATI video doe my iMac); it's the OS run directly on your hardware with appropriate drivers. The guy from Parallels is right about his comment because they _do_ virtualize the hardware and give you a VM, but thats not at all the same as the title claim which is "All Mac users pay a M$ tax to run Vista". No, they won't have to and that would be a stupid move for M$. They will be very happy to make their $199 or whatever it is if you are a Mac user and disable enough of your brain to think you might like to occasionally prefer Vista over MacOS.
  • by mr-mafoo (891779) on Wednesday February 07, 2007 @11:40PM (#17930178)

    Yes, you are be legaly allowed to install Vista via bootcamp on a mac because all bootcamp does is set up a bootloader and HD partition and then burns a CDROM of drivers for you. No virtualisation envolved... unless 'They' claim that the bootloader is one ;)

    This article should have been under a VMWare related thread. The pricing hits linux users most. (developers with win boxes propably are gona opt for the pro version anyway.)

  • by Spaztian (1041588) on Wednesday February 07, 2007 @11:40PM (#17930182)
    Bootcamp is not virtualisation. You may still install windows on a separate partiaion of a Mac and boot from Vista individually. The special license only applies to virtualising Windows on a computer (any computer, wether it's another Windows machine, Linux or Apple). The title and topic of this article is misleading.
  • by nmb3000 (741169) <nmb3000@that-google-mail-site.com> on Thursday February 08, 2007 @12:08AM (#17930422) Homepage Journal
    First, the article should be tagged flamebait.

    Be nice to see some confirmation from MS tho'.

    Well, here are the important parts from the license agreement [microsoft.com]:

    MICROSOFT WINDOWS VISTA HOME BASIC

    4. USE WITH VIRTUALIZATION TECHNOLOGIES. You may not use the software installed on the
    licensed device within a virtual (or otherwise emulated) hardware system.

    MICROSOFT WINDOWS VISTA HOME PREMIUM

    4. USE WITH VIRTUALIZATION TECHNOLOGIES. You may not use the software installed on the
    licensed device within a virtual (or otherwise emulated) hardware system.

    MICROSOFT WINDOWS VISTA ULTIMATE

    6. USE WITH VIRTUALIZATION TECHNOLOGIES. You may use the software installed on the
    licensed device within a virtual (or otherwise emulated) hardware system on the licensed device. If
    you do so, you may not play or access content or use applications protected by any Microsoft digital,
    information or enterprise rights management technology or other Microsoft rights management
    services or use BitLocker. We advise against playing or accessing content or using applications
    protected by other digital, information or enterprise rights management technology or other rights
    management services or using full volume disk drive encryption.
    And here [microsoft.com]:

    WINDOWS VISTA BUSINESS

    f. Use with Virtualization Technologies. You may use the software installed on the
    licensed device within a virtual (or otherwise emulated) hardware system. If you do so,
    you may not play or access content or use applications protected by any Microsoft digital,
    information or enterprise rights management technology or other Microsoft rights
    management services or use BitLocker. We advise against playing or accessing content
    or using applications protected by other digital, information or enterprise rights
    management technology or other rights management services or using full volume disk
    drive encryption.
    Obviously this says nothing about Macs.

    It is intended to limit your use of the same license for multiple installations.

    The wording does seem to suggest this. By saying you cannot install it in VM running on the "licensed device " it sounds like it just means you cannot run the software inside a VM on the same machine that's already been licensed for it. If you buy Ultimate, they're basically giving you two licenses, one for the physical machine and one for use in the VM. The Home versions do not include this "bonus" license.
  • by seanadams.com (463190) * on Thursday February 08, 2007 @12:14AM (#17930456) Homepage
    The VM feels just as fast as a native machine for CPU and filesystem stuff. I haven't attempted to benchmark it - this is just subjective "real world" feel. For graphics it might be slower, but I don't use games or 3D apps, so I don't notice.

    I have not had a single compatibility issue. In fact everything just works so well you don't even notice all the individual little things that work just fine, such as two-finger trackpad scrolling, USB devices, drag and drop, etc. Some things like wireless networking actually work _better_ in the VM than on a native windows install, because they're handled by MacOS and abstracted to a simpler virtual drivers that the VM uses.

    It's actually kind of eerie how well it works!
  • Re:Why not? (Score:2, Informative)

    by Ziwcam (766621) on Thursday February 08, 2007 @12:37AM (#17930612)
    Do you really think that the versions of OS X over the years have only ever added minimal features as typically included in a service pack? Dashboard, expose, and spotlight are all major features added just to the last release. Features that, coincidently, Microsoft has decided to emulate and also charge for in Vista.

    The features added in each release are quite a bit more than a mere "service pack". Granted, each release may not have as many new features as Vista, but they also don't take 6 years to get out the door, either.
  • Re:Why not? (Score:5, Informative)

    by malchus842 (741252) <stephen@adamsemail.net> on Thursday February 08, 2007 @12:40AM (#17930634) Homepage

    Sorry, but 10.2 to 10.3, or 10.3 to 10.4 are NOT service packs. The service packs are the 3rd digit: 10.3.2, 10.4.8 and so on. When the middle digit changes, they charge - and they provide significant new features. When the last digit changes, they provide bug fixes. Very simple.

    If you are going to rail on the Mac, fine, but please at least know what you are talking about.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 08, 2007 @12:58AM (#17930754)
    Basically they are saying if you want to run Vista on a Mac, you're gonna have to fork up cabbage for an Ultimate edition who's only purpose is to run on a Mac (whether you do it in a VM or via Bootcamp is your business).

    Huh? Only if you want to run it in BOTH bootcamp (which is NOT a VM) and in something like Parallels. You are perfectly free to run any version in either of those systems but only the Ultimate can be run in both.
  • MAC != Mac (Score:3, Informative)

    by antdude (79039) on Thursday February 08, 2007 @01:16AM (#17930846) Homepage Journal
    MAC Address? If you want to say Apple computer's Mac. Case!!
  • by MSFanBoi2 (930319) on Thursday February 08, 2007 @01:33AM (#17931010)
    yes they did. Care though, to harken back to the late 80's thru mid 90's when Apple licenced the OS to other manufacturers. Like PowerPC (I think that was their name, can't remember the name, I do remember the "Lets Kick Intel's Ass" adverts though) that made kick ass Mac's that performed BETTER than Apple's stuff and cost LESS than Apple's stuff. Apple got pissy, revoked all licensing and has been doing it since.

    I support 20+ THOUSAND PC's and over 1000 servers. All run Windows. I don't have to worry about viruses and spyware, because Windows based systems work perfectly fine.

    That so called thing about Mac's being more stable has been bunk since the release of Windows 2000. Say such things really does make it look like you been hitting the RDF Koolaide a bit too hard.

    Pure fun? Lemme see, none of the games I play work on the Mac. Thus my PC running Vista is a LOT more fun. Not to mention I have fun building my own PC with whatever hardware I chose to put into it. Can you do that with a Mac? Nope. Not even close. Thus you really are stuck with the Mac. Or rather, stuck with whatever Apple chooses to sell you...
  • by nmb3000 (741169) <nmb3000@that-google-mail-site.com> on Thursday February 08, 2007 @01:48AM (#17931098) Homepage Journal
    The wording is somewhat odd, but it's probably partially because the idea of VMs is pretty new and they are just trying to adjust traditional licensing terms to the idea.

    What is a "licensed device"?

    I think the licensed device is the system that Windows is running on. If you buy one copy of Home and install it on your computer, that system is the licensed device. If you buy a computer from Dell, that computer is the licensed device. A VM running on these systems would be considered a separate entity and need it's own software license.

    Now, what would the "licensed device" be with a standalone copy of Vista Home Basic if the original intent is to run it in a VM?

    The way I read it, the licensed device in this case would be the VM. I see no reason why you couldn't run Home under a Windows/Mac/Linux VM if that is the only place you install it.

    you can't have the same licensed software installed in two or more places

    I think that's exactly it. Home versions of Vista come with ONE "full" license (to be used on any hardware) and ZERO "virtual" licenses. Enterprise and Ultimate versions come with ONE full license and ONE virtual license (to be used on the same machine as the full license was). Following this logic, it would be just fine if you bought Ultimate, installed it first in a VM (using the full license), then installed it in another VM (using the virtual license) running inside the original VM.

    Really, it's not that bad. If this is indeed what they were trying to say, the license is pretty nice for the Ultimate and Enterprise editions. The whole point seems to be to prevent someone from trying to bypass the licensing agreement by installing Vista in dozens of VMs using only a single license.
  • by mr_matticus (928346) on Thursday February 08, 2007 @03:30AM (#17931608)
    That depends on the definition of "emulated" you use. If somewhere toward the beginning, it talks about the use of a virtual machine or some other kind of software emulation, you'd have to test their definition. If the architecture is emulated in hardware, you'd be off the hook. There are protections against "unreasonable and unintended consequences" in contract language, and this would be one of them--but more importantly, you'd never need them because Microsoft would never construe microcode emulation to be in violation of their license. I suspect you were modded up simply because of your shrink wrap jab. Back in the real world, though, your concern has nothing to do with EULAs but rather contract language in general (that is, ALL contracts would be affected by this pedantry), especially those with more dire consequences (corporate licensing and binding stipulation).
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 08, 2007 @03:35AM (#17931626)
    erm... this just means you'd have to buy one copy of the more expensive vista, before putting the image up on BT for a billion of your close personal friends, it doesn't impede this in any real fashion. Other posters are correct in stating that they just want payment for each copy running in an image on beefy hardware.
  • by killjoe (766577) on Thursday February 08, 2007 @05:36AM (#17932114)
    "I have yet to hear of a single court case lending any validity to that viewpoint."

    It hasn't been tested in courts but I think it's reasonable to expect that the EULAS carefully prepared by an army of lawyers would stand up in court without problems.

    "Were I to buy one of their products, I'd head down to the computer store, pay Microcenter for a product in a box and I would own it."

    You own the box, you own the CD that came in the box, you own the papers in the box. You don't own the program, you are merely licensing it's use from MS under the terms they dictate.

    "There is nothing that gives them any right to say shit about what I do with it (within copyright law). They weren't even part of the transaction."

    You are simply wrong.

  • by Lonewolf666 (259450) on Thursday February 08, 2007 @06:17AM (#17932262)

    It hasn't been tested in courts but I think it's reasonable to expect that the EULAS carefully prepared by an army of lawyers would stand up in court without problems.

    In Germany, a Microsoft EULA clause that forbids unbundling of OEM versions has failed in court a few years ago. It was the Bundesgerichtshof to boot, Germany's highest court in non-constitutional affairs.

    Large companies use EULAs as FUD tactics far more often than you think. If the EULA can scare most people into obeying (not counting those who outright pirate the software anyway), it has served its purpose even if it doesn't hold water in court.
  • by Lonewolf666 (259450) on Thursday February 08, 2007 @06:47AM (#17932378)
    In Germany, a similar "contract of adhesion" was found unenforcable in court a few years ago. The lawsuit was Microsoft vs. a computer dealer who unbundled hardware and OEM versions of Microsoft software. M$ lost that one.

    Note that the end user in Germany is given additional protection against "unfair and surprising" clauses in "Terms Of Service", EULAs and the like. So even if Hans Kraut carelessly accepts a particularly onerous EULA under circumstances that would make it binding, he has a chance of taking it down in court.
    Merchants have to be more careful, as they are held to a higher standard of diligence.
  • by node 3 (115640) on Thursday February 08, 2007 @07:08AM (#17932446)

    The concept of the EULA has been tested and upheld now in numerous lawsuits in numerous states.
    I call "bullshit". In fact, I call "super-bullshit" since the exact opposite is the case.

    "Most courts that have addressed the validity of the shrinkwrap license agreements have found them to be invalid ... A minority of courts have determined that the shrinkwrap license agreement is valid and enforceable"

    Taken from: wikipedia [wikipedia.org].
  • by theolein (316044) on Thursday February 08, 2007 @07:24AM (#17932520) Journal
    This is completely false. The license forbids users running home versions of Vista in Parallels or, in fact, in any VM software, such as, surprise, surprise, VMWare, which is a big competitor to Microsoft's Virtual PC and which Microsoft is trying desperately to kill. Those users who do need Windows on a Mac mostly need it to a)play games, in which case, they will definitely not do it in a VM, or b)do office work or run some proprietary Windows only software, in which case they'll more likely than not be running Vista Business.

    If Home users on Macs want Vista Premium to Game they can,........ wait for it ..... simply dual boot in the Bootcamp partition and run Vista Premium natively.
  • by ari_j (90255) on Thursday February 08, 2007 @10:00AM (#17933386)
    The common law is the body of case law in a given jurisdiction. It originated in England, as compared to the civil law countries of the European continent (and Quebec and Louisiana, going back to their French roots). English colonies inherited the common law and, by and large, are still common law jurisdictions today. That includes every state in the US (other than Louisiana) that was added after independence.

    Now, as to the common law of contract, the statement is still not necessarily right. General rule of thumb: Don't get your legal advice from Slashdot, or anywhere else on the Internet.
  • by ari_j (90255) on Thursday February 08, 2007 @10:05AM (#17933422)
    Check out the list of categories on that article:
    • NPOV disputes
    • Wikipedia articles needing factual verification
    • Articles with unsourced statements since February 2007
    • All articles with unsourced statements
    More importantly, read about Wikipedia's stance on legal advice [wikipedia.org]. Finally, remember not to get legal advice from the internet. Not from Slashdot, and not from Wikipedia.
  • by contrapunctus (907549) on Thursday February 08, 2007 @11:33AM (#17934514)
    I find this a common attitude on mac oriented forums:

    Person 1: "I want to do this. How can I do it?"
    Person 2: "Well why would you want to do that?" and proceeds to explain how it's a stupid idea and how one shouldn't do it (or provide an irrelevant solution/rant).

    Most of the time Person 1 has a legitimate/rational reason. Person 2 (who often is barely competent) can't conceive of every situation but feels free to criticize Person 1 without providing help.
  • by Locutus (9039) on Thursday February 08, 2007 @12:11PM (#17934974)
    haven't been around very long I see. It's called the "tying arrangement" and if you were REALLY interested, it's just a google search away. But I'll help you a bit.

    http://www.answers.com/topic/sherman-antitrust-act [answers.com]
    NOTE: look for the part called "tying arrangement".

    LoB LOL

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