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MS Requiring More Expensive Vista if Running Mac 545

ktwdallas writes "Mathew Ingram from Canada's Globe and Mail writes that Microsoft will require at least the $299 Business version of Vista or higher if installing on a Mac with virtualization. Running the cheaper Basic or Premium versions would be a violation of their user agreement. According to the article, Microsoft's reasoning is 'because of security issues with virtualization technology'. Sounds suspiciously like a 'Mac penalty' cost that Microsoft is trying to justify."
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MS Requiring More Expensive Vista if Running Mac

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  • Dupe (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 14, 2007 @05:38PM (#18735171)
    Old news, that is a requirement for running virtual on any machine not just Macs. Beside, Mac doesn't let you run OSX under virtualization anywhere!
    • by Aladrin ( 926209 )
      Yeah, we heard about this months before Vista was even released. I think MS said they'd be changing the EULA as well, since they apparently hadn't realized it. (Or, in an uncommon fit of caring, listened to their customers.)
    • Re:Dupe (Score:5, Informative)

      by dal20402 ( 895630 ) * <<dal20402> <at> <>> on Saturday April 14, 2007 @07:26PM (#18736029) Journal

      Beside, Mac doesn't let you run OSX under virtualization anywhere!

      Apple's (not "Mac's"; a Mac is a computer, not a company) license doesn't say anything about virtualization. It requires you to run the OS on Apple hardware. If you want to run OS X on a virtual machine within Linux or Windows on your Mac, that's just fine.

    • Re:Dupe (Score:4, Informative)

      by myowntrueself ( 607117 ) on Saturday April 14, 2007 @07:51PM (#18736249)
      Beside, Mac doesn't let you run OSX under virtualization anywhere!

      IIRC, the OSX license only states that you can only run it on Apple hardware.

      Since a virtual machine running on a Mac *is* running on Apple hardware there should be no problem running OSX on a VM running on Apple hardware.
  • If sounds like a Mac penalty because you didn't listen. They require the pricier version of Vista for ALL virtualization, not just on Macs. If you want to run Vista in a VM on a PC you're under the same requirement by the EULA.
    • by vivaoporto ( 1064484 ) on Saturday April 14, 2007 @05:43PM (#18735235)
      So, it is not a Mac penalty, it is a VMWare penalty.
      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by bluephone ( 200451 ) *
        Well, you're under the same penalty if you use Parallels, or MS's own Virtual PC, but yes.
      • by Unnngh! ( 731758 )
        It is a hypervisor penalty in general. I've gotten the business edition running on Xensource, which comes as a pre-packaged linux install cum xen hypervisor. Have also set it up on MS Virtual Server 2005 though it runs like a dog on that system. I don't even think it's supported by either of those VMs yet but it more or less functions. As usual, the /. headline is just flamebait.

        Really, I could see a demand for running the dumbed-down versions of Vista in virtualization. Much like the virtual images
    • So? (Score:2, Insightful)

      by StarKruzr ( 74642 )
      Who are the consumer-level users who want virtualization going to be?

      Go ahead, you can take as much time as you want to think about it.
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward
        One word: Students.

        I consider that to be a consumer use of Vista in virtualization.
      • Re:So? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Westley ( 99238 ) on Saturday April 14, 2007 @06:13PM (#18735495) Homepage
        Who says you have to be a consumer-level user to want to install a consumer-level version of Vista?

        It would be nice to be able to test whether an app works on all versions of Vista without having to have them all on physical boxes.
        • MSDN (Score:3, Informative)

          If you need to test an app on Vista then presumably you are developing an app for Windows. If this is true then you probably already have a MSDN subscription. This subscription provides you with MSDN versions of M$ software so that you can have test enviroments to vet your software. This MSDN software comes bundled with its own license so this does not apply anyways.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by nanosquid ( 1074949 )
        Who are the consumer-level users who want virtualization going to be?

        A large number of Mac users.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      I have tried running a legitimate XP copy (SP1) on Ubuntu with Innotek's VirtualBox - and the WGA gets the idea I am running an illegimate version of Windows even after I input my key into it (stored bought boxed version). Instead of explaining why it's bad (perhaps the license isn't pricey enough but this is only an SP1 disk so it shouldn't count should it? I didn't agree to those term on the Eula back then:) - they bring up a Survey that was extremely offensive - asking me how I felt having an illegimat
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by nwbvt ( 768631 )
      Why would they penalize users for running on Macs anyways? If they are using Windows, they are using Microsoft's product. MS doesn't sell hardware, so how would it matter to them what Windows is running on?
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      The title of the article is really badly researched. Virutalization is not the only way to run Vista on a Mac, when using Bootcamp you can legally use any version.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by arminw ( 717974 )
        ......when using Bootcamp you can legally use any version.......

        Is this only a EULA prohibition from MS or do they actually check whether their vaunted software is running under parallels or bootcamp and then not work correctly in the former? If it is only the EULA it can be and will be safely ignored by 99.99% of all users anyway so what's the big deal? After all WHO reads those things? MS and the other software makers will have people believe their EULA have the force of law. As long as I don't violate co
    • Not to mention you can buy Windows XP at Newegg, pay $12 for the upgrade and get Windows Business much lower cost than $299 right now.
    • by SiliconEntity ( 448450 ) on Saturday April 14, 2007 @06:36PM (#18735655)
      Right, and keep in mind that you can install Vista on a Mac in a dual-boot configuration, and then these rules about virtualization do not apply. AFAIK you can install any version of Vista on a Mac, dual-boot, and it's perfectly legal. It's really no different than for Windows users.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        But keep in mind that Vista, and other MS operating systems, are very much designed to "phone home". This is especially true with their "Unwanted License Testing", also known as "Windows Genuine Advantage", that keeps trying to update and install itself at every update cycle.

        The result is that Microsoft can, and probably will, start detecting the virtualization environments and "informing" users of their license violations. How they do this is probably a matter of negotiation among their sales managers and
    • by VValdo ( 10446 ) on Saturday April 14, 2007 @08:26PM (#18736593)
      Microsoft penalizes competitors in mysterious ways. Take this recently released strategic email [] from Bill Gates:

      From: Bill Gates
      Sent: Sunday, January 24, 1999 8:41 AM
      Subject: ACPI extensions

      One thing I find myself wondering about is whether we shouldn't try and make the "ACPI" extensions somehow Windows

      It seems unfortunate if we do this work and get our partners to do the work and the result is that Linux works great without
      having to do the work. Maybe there is no way to avoid this problem but it does bother me.

      Maybe we could define the APIs so that they work well with NT and not the others even if they are open.

      Or maybe we could patent something related to this.
      This is clear evidence that they (at least) considered using patents and deliberately creating incompatibility to hurt competitors, even under the guise of being "open". Don't you think this virtualization pricing thing just might be less a concern about security (?) and more an attempt to do something similar via the EULA?

  • by nurb432 ( 527695 ) on Saturday April 14, 2007 @05:39PM (#18735201) Homepage Journal
    Sooooo does that also include their virtualization products? Hmmmm?

    This seems sort of counter productive to me, i would think they would want peopele to run vista on as many machines as they can.. Especially if there is a chance they can push a user away from another OS. But then again, they are a monopoly, they dont always have to do what makes sence.

    • Depends on how you look at it.

      If you are a corporate customer, the price tag is nothing for a copy of Vista Business. So corporate customers are not going to have a problem.

      For a non-corporate user thinking of a switch to Mac but is scared of needing an occassional Windows application, the extra expense might dissuade from a switch attempt.

      Win win if you ask me... :)
      • by nurb432 ( 527695 )
        Umm no, its not 'nothing'.. Agreed its not high in large enough volumes, but its not free. Have you ever dealt with Microsoft on an enterprise volume license agreement before? Sounds like you haven't.
    • When MS talks about 'security' you have to ask 'Is this security in the computer systems meaning of the word or in the financial security sense of the word?'

      In this case its fairly clear that MS is mainly concerned with financial security.
  • by StandardCell ( 589682 ) on Saturday April 14, 2007 @05:40PM (#18735205)
    Any of your doubts as to why your software continues to be pirated, cracked, or otherwise made available to those who you think have no desire to pay is in part directly because of your continued arbitrary restrictions against otherwise legitimate users.
  • But why? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ceeam ( 39911 ) on Saturday April 14, 2007 @05:40PM (#18735207)
    What kind of Vista-exclusive software are you gonna run? (Especially under virtualization)
  • by StarKruzr ( 74642 ) on Saturday April 14, 2007 @05:41PM (#18735219) Journal
    ... was never so appropriate.

    "Security vulnerabilities?" You mean how you can isolate a VM away from the rest of the world and if it gets infected with a virus, you can just shut it off, blow it away and start over?

    THAT kind of security vulnerability? How incredibly, incredibly lame.
    • by Frumious Wombat ( 845680 ) on Saturday April 14, 2007 @07:10PM (#18735919)
      The primary "Defect" here is that number of different Vista versions are being decided by a former toilet paper salesman [], rather than by any sane engineering rationale. There ought to be no more than three; "Client", "Server", "Really Big Server", ala NT 4.0. Cut the consumer-confusing price "optimization", and clone that feature from MacOS (or their own past) as well.

      In rant mode, one could argue that they ought to charge you more if you run without virtualization from a more secure operating system, because you're going to have more problems. I'd love to see a Vista install instruction sheet that begins with, "have a competent admin install and secure Solaris-10 + VMWare on your laptop..."
    • "Security vulnerabilities" is not due to the isolation of the host and guest OS (that's a good thing for the client), but due to the fact that you could more easily debug a virtualized OS to the point where you can take a peek at their DRM implementation (that is bad for them, client couldn't care less).

      What's good for you is not always good for Micro Soft. And what's bad for Micro Soft is not always bad for you.
  • Disingenous dupe FUD (Score:4, Informative)

    by The Bungi ( 221687 ) <> on Saturday April 14, 2007 @05:42PM (#18735225) Homepage
    You've reported this previously [], with the same FUD "OMG MS IS TEH EVILZ" slant designed to outrage everyone into an ad-impression frenzy. TFA points out (not that you did) that this refers to virtualization, and does not apply to dual-booting. The restriction applies to Windows-on-Windows as much as it does on the Mac or any other OS. One might argue that the restriction is "bad", but it's very different from the "Microsoft sticks it to poor Mac users on purpose" summary. If you don't agree to the EULA, then don't use Windows. It's that simple.

    Really, how many times are you planning to run this "story"? Maybe the plan is to stop once the FUD meme is spread to your satisfaction like [] all [] the [] others [] before []?

    There are enough things to criticize Microsoft over. These FUD campaigns are going to backfire one of these days. You can only claim you're being FUD'ed for so long before everyone realizes you're no better.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by rolfwind ( 528248 )
      Perhaps over-reported, but it's not baseless FUD against Microsoft. There is no real reason to require a more expensive license other than to prevent people from migrating to other platforms.

      If there was a stronger DOJ without the current administration's meddling, at least I would have hope that they would interfere and infer that it would in violation of their monopoly position or 90's agreement.

      (Have you never wondered why cell phone companies these days have to transfer your number if you move your ser
      • There is no real reason to require a more expensive license other than to prevent people from migrating to other platforms.

        Look at it another way - this may be an *incentive* to migrate to another platform.

        • That would be nice but I'm already off the Windows platform 95%, but I there are a few windows only apps I need to run which my business depends on.

          Rather than dual booting which just won't cut it because of time switching back and forth between my linux apps, I would rather run Virtual box and use something like XP Pro's rdesktop to get a seamless experience until a decent competitor to the apps I need comes into the Linux market, the apps get ported, or when they actually work in WINE.
    • by cgenman ( 325138 ) on Saturday April 14, 2007 @06:00PM (#18735399) Homepage
      If you don't agree to the EULA, then don't use Windows. It's that simple.

      If you don't agree to the EULA, don't abide by it. Write letters, make noise, RETURN COPIES OF THE SOFTWARE TO THE STORE, and generally make a big, fat mess of things. Nothing will change unless you do.

      Companies need to know that they don't own the things that they've already sold. That once they've made their money, the usage of it is out of their hands. Putting terms and conditions into an introduction written on the inside of a box that everyone knows you can't return does not make for a legal contract or moral agreement.

      Make a mess of things, or things won't get better.
      • by cHALiTO ( 101461 ) <> on Saturday April 14, 2007 @06:24PM (#18735585) Homepage
        I agree 100%. This 'License' business is way out of control. How can they tell you how to use a product in your home? all that "you didn't buy a copy, you bought a license to do only X" is bullshit. I bought a copy, a cd/dvd with a program on it. The copyright owner can sell me a 'license' to modify (extend) my rights to it regarding -distribution and reproduction- (after all that's what copyright should be all about) of such work, but in no way what I can do with it in the privacy of my own house. It's MY copy and I'll use it for whatever I fucking like. They can't 'license' something to me so I can do with it only what they allow, or at least they shouldn't. When and how did this ever change?

        sorry for the rant, I'm just sick to death about this 'licensing' nonsense, GPL, BSD and friends included.
    • by fermion ( 181285 )
      /. is doing a public service by helping spread the word of the requirements for virtualization. After all, we would not want someone breaking the law by accidently running the wrong version of MS Windows? And where else are they going to learn this? Is it on the retail packages? Is it at the top of the Amazon product page? You think retailers are going to risk losing a sale by informing people of this? Remember, the best way to limit crime is prevention. If /. prevents a single user from accidently e
  • Not this again. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Rakishi ( 759894 ) on Saturday April 14, 2007 @05:42PM (#18735227)
    First of all this story is weeks if not months old, and a dupe to boot. Second of all this applies only if you run vista in/as a virtual machine not if you install on a mac that also has virtulization (for another OS say). In other words you can use boot camp to boot to your heart's content but can't run the cheaper Vista version in a VM under OS X just like everyone else in the fucking world who wants to run vista under a VM.

    I mean what the hell is up with Apple users and their inferiority/persecution complexes? This applies to all VMs and likely the number of non-mac users running windows under a VM (developers, linux users, etc.) is far larger than the number of Mac users who'd be doing it.
    • everyone else in the fucking world who wants to run vista under a VM.

      Only because you have to run some windows only app. You know, someone sends you a MS Project document.... Not all of us are Microsoft Fan Boys.

      • by Rakishi ( 759894 )
        As someone else pointed out in another comment (I totally forgot about this myself given how little of a damn I give about this topic) you are perfectly free to run any version in any VM. You simpyl can't run it both in a VM and as a standalone install. So if all you need is a few programs then you are perfectly free to run any version you want. If you also want to run it under say boot camp then you need to buy either two copies or a more expensive version.

        At least unlike OS X I can actually run windows un
    • It's the article writers, submitters, and Slashdot admins. Loaded, misleading headlines and articles--especially ones mentioning Apple--tend to generate the most attention, which gets them lots of ad revenue.
  • by Myria ( 562655 ) on Saturday April 14, 2007 @05:47PM (#18735275)
    And what, Apple lets you virtualize OS X?

    The anti-virtualization clause is likely unenforceable anyway *. However, most businesses that use Windows buy volume license agreements under contract, and the contract states that they will obey the EULA. That brings the EULA from the gray area into enforceability for them.

    * They know that their DRM system can be cracked easily by virtualization. They might be able to win under the DMCA because of this.

    I'm not a lawyer, I just read a lot.
  • This has been known and written about since back when Vista was first released for business customer's at the end of last year. It doesn't suck any less, but why are we talking about this today?
  • by michrech ( 468134 ) on Saturday April 14, 2007 @05:53PM (#18735339)
    Someone beat him to this "news". Hell, it was even discussed on Slashdot [] before. You can read the *first* article about this here [].
  • cpu as it's 2 of them and home can only use 1 cpu.
  • Running Scared (Score:4, Insightful)

    by TheRealMindChild ( 743925 ) on Saturday April 14, 2007 @05:55PM (#18735359) Homepage Journal
    Microsoft is scared of virtualization. All of a sudden, there is no longer a requirement to have Microsoft software driving your real hardware. Especially with Parrallels able to run Windows Apps on your desktop without even looking at a Virtual Machine window, MS, I'm sure, can feel it all slipping away.
    • Microsoft is scared of virtualization. All of a sudden, there is no longer a requirement to have Microsoft software driving your real hardware. Especially with Parrallels able to run Windows Apps on your desktop without even looking at a Virtual Machine window, MS, I'm sure, can feel it all slipping away.

      Why? You are still going to have to pay for a windows license for each VM you run.

  • STOP THE PRESSES! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by 0xdeadbeef ( 28836 ) on Saturday April 14, 2007 @05:56PM (#18735371) Homepage Journal
    THIS JUST IN - APPLE requiring MORE EXPENSIVE PC if running MAC OS!
    • If I only had mod points to mod parent up. Where's the outrage with only being able to run Mac OS X on Apple hardware only? At least with Windows, you don't need a more expensive machine.
  • Why would MS care? (Score:2, Informative)

    by jamesl ( 106902 )
    What difference does it make to MS if Windows Vista is installed on a Mac or Dell? A customer buying Vista at retail for a Mac sends more dollars to MS than Dell does for an OEM copy. It's a good deal for MS.

    Never let facts stand in the way of a juicy conspiracy theory.
  • You can run Vista Home Basic on a Mac with Boot Camp, if you so desire. Just not from wthin OS X.
  • by jesterzog ( 189797 ) on Saturday April 14, 2007 @06:11PM (#18735489) Homepage Journal

    This is old news, and not Mac-specific, but since it was re-posted anyway: What extra features does the $299 Business version offer to protect Windows against security issues with virtualization technology, and why aren't these features in the Basic and Premium versions?

    If it does offer something extra then I'm interested to know, but the linked article basically states that Microsoft has "restricted the use of Vista to versions that it assumes are likely to be run either by corporations or by sophisticated users."

    So in other words, assuming this is correct, they're openly using higher pricing as a security defence? (ie. "Let's make our product more secure by charging more money for it!") If so, then that's a new one and it seems kind of backwards.

    • What extra features does the $299 Business version offer to protect Windows against security issues with virtualization technology, and why aren't these features in the Basic and Premium versions?

      Why not ask the simpler question:

      If you want and need to run Vista in a virtual machine on the Mac why are you installing the consumer versions of the OS? This is going to cost you a big chunk of change no matter how you go about it.

  • by Have Blue ( 616 ) on Saturday April 14, 2007 @06:16PM (#18735517) Homepage
    Boot Camp is not virtualization; it's a set of tools (firmware patch, driver CD creator, NTFS formatter with nondestructive partitioning) that allow Apple hardware to boot Vista directly. You won't violate the cheap Vista license if you use it under Boot Camp. You only need the expensive version for Parallels, which lets you run an OS in a window as an OS X app (real virtualization).
  • First of all, this only matters if you think EULAs have worth outside of toilet paper. Second, the actual language of the EULA is

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

    So if I install it on a real machine and then run it within a virtual machine on that device, I'm violating the license. But if I install it on a virtual machine to begin with, the license ends up being self-contradictory.
  • FUD (Score:5, Informative)

    by iamacat ( 583406 ) on Saturday April 14, 2007 @06:18PM (#18735533)
    You can not run the host and guest OS of Vista Home using the same key. Microsoft gives you extra permissions to run several copies of Vista business on the same machine using only one license. Nobody is stopping you from running Vista Home Basic under Parallels if you bought a dedicated license for this purpose. In fact, it would be dubious since Mac+OSX+Parallels can be viewed as simply another computer and, for all its ills, Microsoft is not practicing hardware lock-ins.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by makomk ( 752139 )
      You know, it's funny how all these people are getting moderated up to +5 Insightful for saying this, yet not one of them seems to have provided a single scrap of evidence for it.
  • by kimvette ( 919543 ) on Saturday April 14, 2007 @06:33PM (#18735633) Homepage Journal

    'because of security issues with virtualization technology'

    The only security issue I can see is from Microsoft's perspective: if Windows is merely a guest OS hosted on Mac OS X, Linux, BSD, or other, it is obviously not the users' primary operating system. Since it is not their primary operating system it is clear they are either not a fan of Microsoft, or even worse, are loyal to a competitor's product, be it free/OSS or proprietary. Since the days are numbered for earning revenue from that customer, what better way to maximize profits from that customer by requiring them to buy the products with the highest profit margin, despite the fact that the customers do not need the eye candy and other non-features the premium versions provide?

    It's all about short term gains. Rather than focusing on maintaining long-term growth (Microsoft has already grown as much as they can and they know it) Microsoft has turned from being one of the most customer-friendly companies around to being one of the most hostile; revoking your first sale doctrine rights (e.g., you cannot transfer a COMMODITY PRODUCT from an old PC to a new PC), spying on your computing activities (genuine advantage) and jacking up prices when the customer is receiving LESS value with the new OS (it hogs RAM and processor, boasts slower I/O AND is DRM-heavy). Also, they claim that F/OSS is bad because it does not come with a warranty or support. Well, have you ever read the Microsoft EULA? It comes with no support, and warranties and liabilities are EXPRESSLY DISCLAIMED.

    Where is the value in the backing of a big company again?

    My company has developed custom software solutions for customers, one of which is an interesting software registration (Windows activation-like - well, more like Adobe CS's, but about three years before Adobe implemented theirs) architecture. We back these works for higher with a warranty, e.g., if a genuine bug is found, we fix it and issue the fix at no charge. Feature requests, of course, are billable (time/materials, basically the cost of doing business) but we don't waive warranty.

    IMHO all software companies should back their products with support and bug fixes. Period. Microsoft doesn't; they downplay the impact of bugs (see yesterday's /. discussion on M$ office crashes NOT being security threats) or they take many, many months to fix really major security holes, while holes in DRM libraries get fixed and issued as Windows Updates releases in a DAY OR TWO, despite the negative impact on user experience is NIL.

    Again, where is the value of Windows over F/OSS solutions?

    Is it any shock they are requiring you to buy the high-end product to run as a guest OS? Of course not; Microsoft has nowhere to go but down, and they are fully aware of it so they are scramling to profiteer as much as they can before they collapse.
    • Of course not; Microsoft has nowhere to go but down, and they are fully aware of it so they are scramling to profiteer as much as they can before they collapse.

      Would that were true. Oh, I agree, they're really putting the screws to their customers (changes in the past couple years to corporate pricing and forced upgrade cycles are more obvious examples of that behavior than this VM licensing issue) but Microsoft is not a company to be counted out. Absolutely, I agree, as a dominant monopoly they've achie
  • it's quite simple, this will be a footnote in history, as MS crackers remove any DRM which prevents it, and release it to the p2p nets.

    so.. where is the button to moderate the story flamebait?
  • Try running Virtual PC under XP Home. Nope...not supported. So it's not surprising that Vista would be any different.
  • OK dumb question. What's to stop you from virtualizing the cheapest version of windows vista you can get anyways?

"My sense of purpose is gone! I have no idea who I AM!" "Oh, my God... You've.. You've turned him into a DEMOCRAT!" -- Doonesbury