Wendy Seltzer Deconstructs the Vista License

Wendy Seltzer does a great public service analyzing the new MS Vista licensing terms.

Legal Tags: Forbidding Vistas: Windows licensing disserves the user: Reading the Windows Vista license is a bit like preparing for breakfast with Lewis Carroll’s Red Queen: You should be ready to believe at least six impossible things about what users want from software.

It is unlikely that a home user looking for a computer operating system has any of these “features” of the Vista EULA in mind: The Red Queen

1. Self-limiting software
2. Vanishing functionality through invalidation
3. Removal of media capabilities
4. Problem-solving prohibited
5. Limited mobility
6. One transfer only
and a bonus,
7. Restrictions on your rights to use MPEG-4 video

Details below. While Microsoft should be commended for putting its license into plain English, that doesn’t help to make the license restrictions any more palatable.

If you are interested in licenses, or think you might ever install Vista, read the whole thing.

Unix anyone?

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4 Responses to Wendy Seltzer Deconstructs the Vista License

  1. If people keep using Microsoft products, they get what they deserve. After 20 or 25 years of continuous security holes, blue screens of death, non-existent customer service, outrageously priced, feature limited malware, the public has had plenty of time to find alternatives. But the news of more insanity with Vista as witnessed by your post, I do laugh. Bill Gates and his lapdogs just keep on doing it……… to everyone. So Bill, how’s that foundation doing for your guilty conscience?

    Pardon my rant, but BG & MS really get me cranked. Long live Open Source.

  2. steve jobs says:

    I agree. Of course, there are alternatives…

  3. wcw says:

    Microsoft isn’t so bad. The nice thing about most of their EULA’s (like Vista’s) is the clause that says, “If you do not accept [the terms]..return it to the retailer for a refund or credit.” This refund or credit approximates the OEM cost of the software, usually around $50. So, if you get a super-cheapo $200 desktop, you can get a quick 25% off simply by returning the OS and installing something else. Anything else. Really, anything.

    $150 is pretty cheap for a box.

  4. Steve Jobs…that kills me. For the os-alternative-phobic there is also Ubuntu Linux.

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