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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 PygmySurfer (442860) on Wednesday February 07, 2007 @11:19PM (#17929956)
      Exactly, hasn't this been reported about 17 times already on Slashdot?
    • by ozphx (1061292) on Wednesday February 07, 2007 @11:27PM (#17930056) Homepage

      It also seems that even if you do buy and install the more expensive version of Vista on your Mac, you're not able to play or access content protected by Microsoft's digital rights management system, for fear that the full volume disk encryption won't work.
      Well of course it won't bloody work! If its running under emulation then: a) The system can be picked up and have bits of memory dumped. b) Theres no TPM, so theres no secure place to keep the keys. c) Hands up if you expect the MAFIAA to sign VMWare's emulated Protected Video Path drivers! They use ROT13.... twice!
    • by NitsujTPU (19263)
      It's not just the summary (I read the article to be sure, hence posting after everyone else who made this point, hence losing the karma :-( ), the article is also incorrect.
    • 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.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Angelwrath (125723)
      Sounds like someone from Digg came to Slashdot to post the article. This is precisely the kind of tabloid-esque, inaccurate title for an article that Digg is now plagued with.
  • older news (Score:5, Funny)

    by DaMattster (977781) on Wednesday February 07, 2007 @11:19PM (#17929964)
    I just know I am going to get modded for this. Please be gentle. I believe Chairman Gates, when asked about why he wasn't allowing low end copies of Vista to be run virtually, his response was akin to, Consumers do not have the knowledge or technical expertise to run Vista in a virtual environment. Please! I think his statement was English for "You need to pay more money to us in order to do that."
  • Uhmm (Score:2, Redundant)

    by NitsujTPU (19263)
    Why can't the Mac users just boot directly into Vista?

    Virtualization, in the sense that it's meant in this usage, only works if the operating system would have worked natively on the original hardware. IE, those Mac users could boot up to Windows with no problems. The issue only arises if they want to run it in a virtual machine monitor, which has myriad other uses than running applications for one OS "under" another.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by ocelotbob (173602)
      Because if you only need to run one or two apps, it doesn't make much sense to have to shut down all your other apps just to run the few programs that don't run under OS X.
  • by boxlight (928484) on Wednesday February 07, 2007 @11:20PM (#17929970)
    the cheaper versions of Vista ... forbids ... use ... on virtual machines (ie Macs pretending to be PCs)

    Running Windows on a Mac with Bootcamp (Apple's "dual boot partitioning software") is not a virtual machine. With Bootcamp you're running Windows right on the intel-based hardware just as if the machine was a plain-jane PC.

    Parallels is virtual machine software that runs on Mac -- in which case Microsoft's beef should be with SWSoft/Parallels, not Apple.

    boxlight
  • by MSFanBoi2 (930319) on Wednesday February 07, 2007 @11:20PM (#17929980)
    No, you gotta go buy an Apple PC to even think about running OS X.

    So, you gotta buy a higher end version of Vista. At least you can run it on the Mac.

    Now try buying OS X and installing it on the box you just built... can't do it.

    I never understood why when Apple locks you out no one really complains, but when Microsoft does it, its horrible.
    • "I never understood why when Apple locks you out no one really complains, but when Microsoft does it, its horrible."

      Apple has forever locked out non-Apple hardware from Apple OS. That is one of the reasons that MS is a significantly larger player. MS said, "bring the hardware and we will (somewhat) embrace it". Apple's strategy has been to own both the hardware and OS. Microsoft's strategy has been to (mostly) allow all comers. I really can't say which philosophy is better. Apple and Microsoft both ha
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by wass (72082)
      I never understood why when Apple locks you out no one really complains, but when Microsoft does it, its horrible.

      Inaccurate comparison, you're simplifying the situation (intentionally?)

      Apple will let you run OS X on any computer it's licensed for, regardless of what other OS's may also be running on the computer. As long as you can run OS X on that computer, they don't give a shit what you do with it.

      Microsoft, on the other hand, says you only have Vista rights if Vista is the primary OS at that time.

      • by ArbitraryConstant (763964) on Thursday February 08, 2007 @12:38AM (#17930616) Homepage
        "Apple will let you run OS X on any computer it's licensed for, regardless of what other OS's may also be running on the computer. As long as you can run OS X on that computer, they don't give a shit what you do with it.

        Microsoft, on the other hand, says you only have Vista rights if Vista is the primary OS at that time. Or you can pay them much more money to play fairly, despite the fact that you purchased a copy of Vista licensed to run on this particular computer. Microsoft is restricting your ability to use the software you purchased to run on that computer, and only let you do so if they're the software in charge. This is typical Microsoft behavior and has been since day one.
        "

        It's quite disingenuous to claim that Apple is being more reasonable with respect to virtualization.

        Microsoft: We want more money to let you run Vista under virtualization.

        Apple: You may never, under any circumstances, on any hardware, at any time, for any reason, ever run OS X under virtualization. Period.

        Microsoft's terms suck, there's no doubt about that. Apple's are worse.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Rutulian (171771)
          Apple: You may never, under any circumstances, on any hardware, at any time, for any reason, ever run OS X under virtualization. Period.

          Where does it say that in the OS X license agreement? I only see restrictions pertaining to Apple hardware, not virtual machines.

          Microsoft: We want more money to let you run Vista under virtualization.

          Make that twice as expensive to run Vista inside another OS. Vista Ultimate costs about $400 compared to Premium which is about $250.
    • by edwardpickman (965122) on Thursday February 08, 2007 @12:11AM (#17930444)
      A little history lesson. Apple started out producing harware with their OS from day one. The primary reason is control. I've been using Microsoft OSs since the late 80s but up until lately they were a pain to configure and even now stability is dodgy because of all the hardware and software support. There's a price for everything. The Apple approach may seem more limiting but there are major benefits. Unlike PCs or Amigas they were never for tinkerers. You can do some minor upgrading but they largely come turnkey. If have a driving need to build your own go for it. Two of my three desktops I built but the Mac was turnkey. Gotta say it's been nice and I haven't had to do a thing to the OS except accept updates once a month. The PCs both require regular maintainence. They run more software but the Mac is more stable and simply works. I'm stuck with PCs due to software needs but if you want to talk pure fun to use it's a hands down win for the Mac.
  • because only macs run virtual machines. lets ignore Vmware altogether. Oh yeah and boot camp does not exist. This is such an idiotic article.
  • by justanyone (308934) on Wednesday February 07, 2007 @11:21PM (#17929990) Homepage Journal
    Alternatives to doing this include:

    * mailing a part of your anatomy to a loved one (William Gates);
    * using Wine to run a limited set of programs in an almost functional way;
    * switching to a different program that does the same thing natively on the Mac;
    * using a multi-boot scenario to boot into another OS instead of OS/X;
    * using VMWare (does this run under OS/X YET???) to create a VM that runs an MS OS;
    * creating a VM that runs Win2K or XP and ignoring the "benefits" of Vista;
    * running naked through the frigid streets with a placard reading "UBUNTU ROCKS, BABY!"
    * Diazepam, lots and lots of Diazepam (generic of Vallium, for the uninitiated).

    Enjoy your happy and carefree lifestyle of free choices freely made in a consequences free environment !!

    [ Oh. Sorry. I forgot. There are consequences. Never mind. ]
  • 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 SydShamino (547793) on Wednesday February 07, 2007 @11:43PM (#17930214)
      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.

      Agreed. And CodeWeavers are grinning ear to ear over the new market Apple and Microsoft have handed them for CrossOver Office for the Mac.

      (Apple by switching to Intel allowed them to compile Wine with ease, the MS making to too darn expensive to run the occasional Windows binary using MS software.)
  • by Beached (52204)
    I thought this battle over Mac PPC hardware being light years faster than Intel hardware was over when Mac started using Intel. Now they can run Vista in a virtual machine when most people would be happy to be able to run in on a real machine without it chugging.

    We should now all go out and buy a Mac.

    Seriously, they do mac some pretty cool hardware, buy one. you won't regret it.
  • by seanadams.com (463190) * on Wednesday February 07, 2007 @11:26PM (#17930050) Homepage
    Microsoft sees the writing on the wall. People are getting clued in to the fact that you don't need to suffer running a Windows PC in order to run Windows apps.

    Every day I need to use multiple linux VMs and several Windows-only engineering apps, but I prefer to do as much as possible (especially email and desktop apps) in MacOS. With Parallels, the whole problem of needing multiple machines is completely solved, and the Coherence feature "just works". I can fit my whole life on one MacBook now instead of a clunky fugly Dell laptop, and I feel like my productivity has doubled.

    I can totally see why Microsoft sees VMs as a threat. They give you the Windows apps you're forced to use due to Microsoft lock-in, but they let you get your work done on a good, modern, reliable OS. I can keep using the Windows XP license I already have, and because it runs in a VM I can upgrade my "hardware" without ever getting nagged about license keys. And as long as I buy my hardware from Apple, I'm not going to be forced to buy the OEM copy included with a new PC. And I sure as heck don't have to upgrade to Vista any time soon.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by VGPowerlord (621254)
      I was all set to mod you up until you said

      And as long as I buy my hardware from Apple, I'm not going to be forced to buy the OEM copy included with a new PC.
      Yes, you don't get an OEM copy of Windows. Instead, you're forced to pay for an OEM copy of OSX included as part of the system's price, much like Windows is included as part of the system price of, say, a Dell.
      • by seanadams.com (463190) * on Wednesday February 07, 2007 @11:52PM (#17930296) Homepage
        Yes, you don't get an OEM copy of Windows. Instead, you're forced to pay for an OEM copy of OSX included as part of the system's price, much like Windows is included as part of the system price of, say, a Dell.

        I don't have a problem paying for the software that I want to run - do you?

        I suppose if you wanted a MacBook _only_ for running Windows, which is conceivable, then you might have an issue with OSX being included. But that's not my situation.
  • ...explicitly forbids the use of those versions on virtual machines (ie Macs pretending to be PCs).
    Since the switch to Intel, aren't Macs essentially the same as PCs now?
  • Good job Redmond, kill your early adopters and sell your software only to the lockstep upgrade crowd.
  • 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 msauve (701917) on Wednesday February 07, 2007 @11:42PM (#17930202)
    if you believe that shrink wrap licenses are valid.

    All modern x86 processors emulate the x86 instruction set in microcode - i.e. they're prohibited "emulated hardware" systems.
    • 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).
  • Well done (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Kabal` (111455)
    Lets give this guys shitty blog more hits.

    1) Write article where apple is getting hard done by
    2) Dis microsoft
    3) ???
    4) PROFIT!
  • by IronTeardrop (913955) on Thursday February 08, 2007 @12:09AM (#17930426)
    ... isn't there some editorial process here that is supposed to filter out obvious stupidity?
  • by GodInHell (258915) * on Thursday February 08, 2007 @12:18AM (#17930488) Homepage
    Yes, they have a lovely contract that says I cannot install this on a VM. Okay.. that's lovely - saddly since it's only revealed after purchase once the return policy is voided, is an obvious adhesion contract (a contract with fixed terms that you MUST agree with to use a service), and the contracts sole purpose it to leverage it's unreasonable position of advantadge to force the client into an untenable position.

    Translation, I could break that baby in court after thirty seconds of argument before a judge.

    -GiH
    Just a law student.
  • by jonwil (467024) on Thursday February 08, 2007 @12:39AM (#17930632)
    IANAL but from what I have read, all the license clause says is that if you want to run vista home in a virtual machine, you need one license for each copy of vista home you are running (whereas vista pro lets you use a copy in a VM even if its already being used on the real machine too).

    Or am I reading it wrong and Vista Home prevents running it in a VM even when you aren't using that same licensed copy of Vista Home elsewhere (e.g, if its running inside a VMWare image hosted on a linux machine)?
  • by GiMP (10923) on Thursday February 08, 2007 @01:41AM (#17931064)

    You may not use the software installed on the licensed device within a virtual (or otherwise emulated) hardware system.
    I believe this ONLY prohibits software virtualization. The EULA clearly notes (page 1, #2) that a "hardware partition" is defined as a separate device. One could clearly argue that hardware virtualization of the likes of AMD's Pacifica and Intel's VT are can be called "hardware partitions". If not, what is a hardware partition? Multiple motherboards in a single chassis? Multiple northbridges and southbridges with dedicated processing cores on a single PCB? Where do we draw lines?

    Parallels, the example given by many, requires hardware virtualization. Thus, this EULA should not restrict users from utilizing it to install and use Vista.
  • by suv4x4 (956391) on Thursday February 08, 2007 @01:44AM (#17931072)
    Macs pretending to be PCs

    Funny, and I thought nowadays Apple sells PC's pretending to be Macs.
  • Bollocks. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by DimGeo (694000) on Thursday February 08, 2007 @03:15AM (#17931528) Homepage
    You need to buy the expensive version if (you want to be legal and) you want to run inside a VM. You can dual-boot any version of any OS you'd like.
  • 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.

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