Print 114 comment(s) - last by Vinnybcfc.. on Apr 22 at 10:30 AM

One Microsoft executive is rather ticked at sneaky users and their "hacks".

In an openly sarcastic blog entry, Microsoft's Eric Ligman tore into users who have been exploiting a workaround to allow a Vista upgrade to install on a computer that did not previously have a Windows OS, such as a new PC.  Ligman, Microsoft's senior manager of community engagement for small business in the U.S., had no sympathy for these users, who he labels as "clueless" criminals.

It was reported last winter by DailyTech that by using an 11 step process, a cheaper Vista upgrade could be installed on a PC with no pre-existing operating system.  This gaping loophole was apparently left wide open by Microsoft and stood in contrast to previous versions of Windows that required a copy of the previous Windows OS, with no exceptions. 

While many noted that the OEM version of Vista tended to be cheaper, the upgrade version did have some advantages, in that you could switch between 32-bit and 64-bit versions (OEM only allowed one specific OS), it had a more flexible license allowing easier reinstalls, and it could be found at significantly cheaper if you were a student. 

In the Windows Secrets newsletter early this month, Associate Editor Scott Dunn asserted that he believed that Microsoft purposefully left the loophole open to encourage savvy users to adopt Vista.  Said Dunn, "the fact that the upgrade back door is still present in Vista SP1 is a strong indication that the feature has at least the tacit support of Microsoft officials."

In his blog Ligman offers up a raving retort, arguing:

So if you see anyone stating, or writing, that buying an upgrade by itself (Windows Vista Upgrade for instance) without having a full license first gets you the rights to run the software, just realize that what the person is actually stating is, “I clearly have no clue what I am talking about and so I am writing a bunch of gibberish that proves this hoping people will think I have a clue, even though I obviously don’t.

If they continue to tell you that, “But I can get it to physically install, so it must be legal,” this further shows their complete lack of comprehension. Just because something will install does not make it legal. For example, a pirated piece of software will (usually) physically install; however, running pirated software is 100% illegal (and who knows what else it will install on or do to your computer). If you don’t believe me, try calling 888-NO-PIRACY and letting them know that you are running pirated software throughout your company. Explain to them that you feel it is legal to do so because you got it to physically install, so it must be legal and ask if they would mind auditing your company to verify the legality of this. Let me know how that turns out for you.

In order to clarify for "clueless" readers, Ligman offers the shortened explanation on the legality of the upgrade workaround using only three letter words or shorter-- "It is not ok to do so. It is BAD to do so."

Ligman encourages users to voice their anger against the "pirates" who have been exploiting the upgrade "hack".  He also encourages his readers to play advocate and inform news publications that have been writing about the workaround that what they are "encouraging" is wrong or illegal.

While Ligman wants to blame the users and the journalistic community for what he says is unlawfulness, many think the blame rests with Microsoft for not providing clear enough licensing terms and information.  Among the supporters of this philosophy is Paul DeGroot, an analyst with Directions On Microsoft.  DeGroot stated, "Many corporate customers still think they can buy bare PCs and image them with volume media."

DeGroot also blasts that Microsoft won't allow users to transfer installs between computers on some version, stating, "The prohibition against moving it to another computer is counter-intuitive for most people, and it smacks of revenue maximization rather than reasonable restriction."

Ligman's rant is not unfamiliar territory in the tech industry.  From Steve Ballmer and Steve Jobs to Mark Cuban and Michael Bay, it seems these days nobody is afraid to opine on tech topics, and oft sarcastically and noisily at that.

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Microsofts disregard for customers
By Dasterdly on 4/16/2008 10:14:57 AM , Rating: 4
This guy just shows how pervasive the bad attitude twords customers is at the top echelons of the company. If Vista didn't prove that already :)

RE: Microsofts disregard for customers
By SiliconAddict on 4/16/2008 10:33:03 AM , Rating: 5
Every company treats their customers like shit now a in point Apple. I've never seen a company actively walk over their customers as much as them.

RE: Microsofts disregard for customers
By RandallMoore on 4/16/2008 11:21:24 AM , Rating: 5
Creative Labs?... LoL

RE: Microsofts disregard for customers
By mmntech on 4/16/2008 11:47:50 AM , Rating: 3
Lol. Apple is still pretty light weight on the mistreatment. At least Leopard contains the full version and upgrade tools on one disc. Even MS isn't the worst I've seen though. Big box retail stores have them all licked when it comes to abusing customers.

The whole Vista thing has become a PR nightmare for Microsoft since they bungled the marketing of it, among other things. As of writing, the full version of Home Premium costs a whopping 66% more than the upgrade version at Best Buy here in Canada. However, this work around has proven the upgrade is pretty much identical to the full. Microsoft is definitely ripping off consumers who think they're getting more from the full versus the upgrade, or for people who want a clean install without XP. There's no reason full and upgrade can't be on the same disc, and sold at the lower price.
It's always better to buy the OEM editions since they're significantly cheaper than both boxed versions. Most people outside of tech world probably don't realize this though.

RE: Microsofts disregard for customers
By imperator3733 on 4/16/2008 12:05:20 PM , Rating: 4
If someone gets the full version and does not have a previous version that they could upgrade from, then the extra money that they pay makes their installation legal .

If someone has a previous version that they don't intend to use after upgrading, then they can buy the upgrade version and still do a clean install using the "loophole" method, since they already have a license that is eligible for the upgrade.

I don't know for sure but I think the full versions might have the ability to do upgrades. The upgrade editions exist so that people who already have a previous version of Windows do not have to pay as much money as they would otherwise need to.

The only problem with buying OEM versions is that the support is more limited (which isn't a real issue for enthusiasts) and that it is harder/legally impossible to move the license to another machine in the future.

RE: Microsofts disregard for customers
By mcnabney on 4/16/2008 5:39:26 PM , Rating: 3
No, the problem with OEM versions is if your motherboard burns up, which is really not that uncommon, so does your license to run Windows.

By Durrr on 4/16/2008 7:05:47 PM , Rating: 2
i had a mobo eat the dust, and it had no probs re-activating XP, don't know if that changed with vista. Running OEM XP Pro

RE: Microsofts disregard for customers
By 4wardtristan on 4/16/2008 7:54:07 PM , Rating: 2
i cant say i know the legal definitions of what is and isnt yours and what you can do with "it"

but when you re-active oem software via MS's phone system, the computer lady asks you:

"is this on the same pc?"

"is this the only copy of the software?" - (repair install for eg.)

so thats alright, but as i said, i dont know all the definitions (of a "pc" for eg., surely a pc is not just a motherboard?) so i could be speaking complete garbage, which wouldnt suprise me.

By johnsonx on 4/18/2008 2:13:45 AM , Rating: 2
I have called to re-activate XP after replacing a failed mainboard. I told the person on the phone quite specifically that I replaced the mainboard. They said ok, and gave me an activation code. So anyone who says that an OEM license dies with the mainboard is incorrect.

RE: Microsofts disregard for customers
By omnicronx on 4/16/2008 12:08:28 PM , Rating: 1
Apple charges how much for an incremental tiger update (which is not a new OS) and you complain about MS?

I can buy a vista upgrade(a new os) for less or the same amount as a tiger upgrade(really just a bunch of updates)
Now who is screwing us more here?

There's no reason full and upgrade can't be on the same disc, and sold at the lower price
Not that I have done it myself in Vista, but with XP, you can do a full clean install with an upgrade CD, you just have to insert a CD of an ealier version windows first.

I am the first to agree that prices for Vista are too high, but why on earth you think that an upgrade should include a full install. That pretty much defies the purpose of selling an upgrade disk at a cheaper price. It does not make good business sense, and while it may suck for you, they would be stupid as a business to do such a thing. Also as a student, even the full vista versions are really cheap (even in canada). If you are not a student, I am sure you can find someone who is to buy you a copy. I can't say I have paid full price for any MS os/app (windows, office etc) since windows 98 as educational prices are always much cheaper.
Where there is a will there is a way.. unless of course you are looking to find OSX at a cheaper price, good luck with that =P

RE: Microsofts disregard for customers
By daftrok on 4/16/2008 12:44:52 PM , Rating: 2
I think it they are simply one in the same. There should be NO upgrade or full install disc, just disc. The disc should save your data (if any) and remove the previous version (if any) and replace it with Vista. And the prices should be as such:

Vista: $100.

I'm tired of multiple versions. Just have one. If it eats too much resources on your computer, TURN OFF AERO. Turn off the stupid animated windows with its transparent bars and "smooth" transitions and animated cascading windows. You'd be surprised how much faster things run. Vista Basic is essentially Windows XP with Vista skin and Directx 10.

RE: Microsofts disregard for customers
By encryptkeeper on 4/16/2008 2:45:58 PM , Rating: 2
Turn off the stupid animated windows with its transparent bars and "smooth" transitions and animated cascading windows.

If you want these features, go with Ubuntu, 7.04 or higher which, coincidentally has a bunch of headaches of it's own, just of a different sort. But at least they're FREE headaches.

RE: Microsofts disregard for customers
By omnicronx on 4/16/2008 2:54:40 PM , Rating: 2
7.10 comes with Compiz Fusion with the default install, and I have had much less headaches with it too than 7.04.
Can't wait until KDE4 with ubuntu 8.04 though, I tried the beta and the effects are amazing. Blows both Mac and Windows out of the water.

By daftrok on 4/16/2008 8:18:43 PM , Rating: 2
How is it on memory usage? And one thing I heard about Linux is that its compatible with games if people out there took the time to make drivers to run them. As of now are there a good portion of game drivers for Ubuntu or am I SOL in that department and will have to go to a different version of Linux?

RE: Microsofts disregard for customers
By omnicronx on 4/16/08, Rating: -1
RE: Microsofts disregard for customers
By goku on 4/16/2008 4:29:56 PM , Rating: 4
omnicronx, you've obviously not been alive or at least conscious very long because had you been, you'd know that only 13 years ago, Windows COULD be had for that price, in fact I believe you could have had Windows 95 for even $50... But I do know that Windows 95 did NOT cost significantly more than $100, so what now?

RE: Microsofts disregard for customers
By goku on 4/16/2008 4:24:39 PM , Rating: 2
That is bullshit, Vista Basic is NOT essentially Windows XP, XP has a shitton more features than vista basic. And vista basic still uses more resources than Windows XP under any configuration.

RE: Microsofts disregard for customers
By daftrok on 4/16/08, Rating: 0
RE: Microsofts disregard for customers
By Hexus on 4/17/2008 2:02:36 PM , Rating: 2
but you are false in thinking that XP has more features or it uses more resources.

Everything Vista uses more resources. Games, Programs, all of it. It's because has horrible resource allocation. The Aero and sidebar interface use ludicrous amounts of RAM and expects a lot from your graphics card.

From my experience the system requirements are about the same

No, they are not the same.

Pentium 233-megahertz (MHz) processor or faster (300 MHz is recommended)
At least 64 megabytes (MB) of RAM (128 MB is recommended)
At least 1.5 gigabytes (GB) of available space on the hard disk
CD-ROM or DVD-ROM drive
Keyboard and a Microsoft Mouse or some other compatible pointing device
Video adapter and monitor with Super VGA (800 x 600)or higher resolution
Sound card
Speakers or headphones

Vista Basic:
1 GHz 32-bit (x86) or 64-bit (x64) processor
512 MB of system memory
20 GB hard drive with at least 15 GB of available space
Support for DirectX 9 graphics and 32 MB of graphics memory
DVD-ROM drive
Audio Output
Internet access (fees may apply)

There is a vast margin in the requirments between them and this gap is increased further when you use Premium or Ultimate versions.

RE: Microsofts disregard for customers
By Hexus on 4/17/2008 2:04:24 PM , Rating: 2
All above Specs were taken directly from Microsoft's site.

RE: Microsofts disregard for customers
By daftrok on 4/18/2008 11:45:02 AM , Rating: 2
I'm pretty sure for the past four years people have these specs on XP:
1 GHz processor....This has been standard for at least five years
512 MB of system was this
20 GB hard drive with at least 15 GB of available space...and this
Support for DirectX 9 graphics and 32 MB of graphics memory...yup
DVD-ROM drive....NO! Just kidding yeah
Audio Output...speakers are soooo overrated
Internet access (fees may apply)...what's the internet?

By Vinnybcfc on 4/22/2008 10:30:38 AM , Rating: 2
Which on XP will fly while Vista will be sluggish with 512MB of RAM.

By Garreye on 4/17/2008 10:32:31 PM , Rating: 2
If it eats too much resources on your computer, TURN OFF AERO.

This is not a good idea. Instead of offloading the display processing onto the GPU, which is what happens when Aero is running, you're telling people to turn it off and have the graphic processing be done through the CPU, when it is already struggling to keep their system running smoothly. This is also true for memory usage because aero uses the graphics memory for storing display info, rather than main memory. This is especially beneficially if your GPU has dedicated memory, as it will get used for something other than gaming. But even if you're running integrate graphics with shared memory, running Aero will use up the portion of main memory dedicated to the GPU, and you will have more room in the other portion to run programs.

Vista Basic is essentially Windows XP with Vista skin and Directx 10.

This is absolutely untrue. Check out this article over at Ars, you'll change your mind on that, I can pretty much gurantee it:

RE: Microsofts disregard for customers
By hcahwk19 on 4/16/08, Rating: 0
By hcahwk19 on 4/16/2008 3:41:04 PM , Rating: 1
BTW, I happen to like Vista for the most part. Things run really well, especially since I activated the superadmin account and turned off that darn UAC.

By winterspan on 4/17/2008 5:16:59 AM , Rating: 1
HAHAHAH.. I cannot even BELIEVE you have the nerve to call the OSX 10.4 Tiger to OSX 10.5 Leopard upgrade an "incremental update" versus the XP to Vista upgrade.
Just because MS calls it by a new name, doesn't mean it does ANYTHING remotely useful that the previous version doesn't.
In contrast with XP-Vista, the Leopard upgrade of OSX actually brought *significant* new features to all parts of the OS. And here is the important part -- features which AVERAGE USERS will actually find useful and improve their experience.

Now I have two computers sitting here and zero of them are Macs. One with Vista, and one with XP. The are literally ZERO meaningful differences between them, save some compatibility problems with Vista.

Oh wait, there are some great improvements over XP like that MS Paint now has a CROP FUNCTION! and "Sounds Recorder" can Save WMA files! oohhh and how could I forget "Chess Titans".

The only remotely useful things I can even think of are for developers and system admins, like pre-installed .NET framework 3.0, powershell, admin utilities, reporting, etc.

And for the average consumer?

Aero - piece of crap attempt at a graphically rich, video accerlerated interface. For real effort, See OSX or Ubuntu

"Flip3D" - paaaathetic. Again, for an actually useful implementation
of application windows management, see OSX "spaces/expose" or Ubuntu+Beryl

"Sidebar" - just as worthless as the other implentations from Apple/Yahoo/Google

"Windows Photo gallery/Contacts/Calendar/Mail/Movie Maker/DVD maker/Games Explorer" - All completley useless to anyone but a complete novice.

"Backup center" - I already use an excellent 3rd party backup software.

"DirectX 10" - not a gamer.. but If i was, it would be worthless as well

"HD Photo / XPS" - totally worthless

"SuperFetch"- totally worthless
"ReadyBoost" - has no effect at all. again, totally worthless

"Desktop Search" - Already available on XP
"IE 7.0" - Already available on XP
"Media center 11" - Already available on XP

By dgingeri on 4/16/2008 12:26:11 PM , Rating: 2
"Lol. Apple is still pretty light weight on the mistreatment. At least Leopard contains the full version and upgrade tools on one disc. Even MS isn't the worst I've seen though. Big box retail stores have them all licked when it comes to abusing customers."

From my experience, they are one of the worst. Not quite as bad as MS with Vista, but pretty bad.

Apple: "Oh, you got a DOA iMac, well, we don't replace those. Take it to an authorized service center on your own time and wait 3 months to have it repaired."

Apple: "Oh, you have a dual processor Mac Pro that you paid $16k for with 3 years of on-site service, and it is locking up at random. You must be doing something wrong, but if this persists for 3 months, we'll send out a tech to take look at it. Not repair it, mind you, just to look at it and blame you for the problems until 1.5 years of the warranty is gone, then we'll fix it."

I was impressed with Apple back in the early days, because they truly had superior hardware with SCSI disks and better written drivers, but lately, I feel they have just become the same aristocratic profiteers that the rest of the industry likes to blame for the problems.

By daniyarm on 4/16/2008 11:50:14 AM , Rating: 3
Creative is bad, but at least they don't go out of their way to screw their customers. It seems that Apple execs have weekly brainstorming sessions on how else they can screw their customers.

By Polynikes on 4/16/2008 11:55:21 AM , Rating: 3
While we're pointing fingers... Nvidia. Initial Vista driver support was crap.

By V3ctorPT on 4/16/2008 1:07:11 PM , Rating: 2
my live 5.1 is full of pidgeon sh*t... it rests in a wharehouse that i have since year 2k... bad support...

By cochy on 4/16/2008 11:29:44 AM , Rating: 5
And their customers love it!

By geddarkstorm on 4/16/2008 11:31:55 AM , Rating: 2
They have to get the skulls for their bone thrones from somewhere.

By MrBlastman on 4/16/2008 11:51:59 AM , Rating: 3
They've replaced the ethics course in B-School with:

"How to poop on your customers with a smile!" 101

That all business undergraduates are expected to take and pass with a minimum of C or higher.

Those undergraduates that move on to major in Management or Business Adminisration are henceforth required to take consecutively:

"Socially Creative Ripoff Endeavors Whilekeepingalowprofile" 201 (SCREW)

"Total Hedgemonial Empowerment" 301 (THE)

"Creating Utmost Societal Turpitude Only Money-machines Excellently Ravish-upon" 401 (CUSTOMER)

Except, they fail to mention the acronyms in the syllabus.

For those highly ambitious students, they can take the electives:

Finance's Only Realization (FOR)

Pilfering Real Oblivions For International Total-control (PROFIT)

So, who needs ethics when you can Screw The Customer For Profit?

join b-school today to learn more!

By eye smite on 4/16/2008 1:55:56 PM , Rating: 2
Oh I have to agree with that completely, and the reason these companies do this is because what they're thinking to themselves is " We've got them by the cajones, what other product are they going to use". That's why I've advocated a standardized version of linux for any computer with full vendor/driver support that works just as easily as windows to give the competition that will turn that attitude around. Obviously lawsuits aren't doing it, so it has to change, and the world community not being so accepting of Vista is the first step, and what's great about it is it wasn't planned by anyone, and MS did it to themselves as they've always done. Just my 2 cents.

By aharris on 4/16/2008 2:26:37 PM , Rating: 2
Never had a problem with Apple, and I deal with them on a daily basis. The only people I know of who have problems with Apple are the ones who try to 'work the system'. Just doesn't work with Apple Inc.

Haven't really had any problems with Microsoft either...

...except for that one time when I called Tech Support and asked them to fix Vista. They didn't seem to like that call very much.

RE: Microsofts disregard for customers
By imperator3733 on 4/16/2008 11:42:00 AM , Rating: 1
What do you mean? Using upgrade media to perform a clean install when you don't have a valid license to upgrade from is ILLEGAL! He's trying to get people to understand that it's not okay.

The reason that "loophole" exists is, as he says in the comments section of his post, that if someone has a legitimate license for an eligible version of Windows already installed on a computer, they can buy an upgrade disc, and perform a clean install using that method so that they get rid of all junk that accumulates over the years. Once that happens, you couldn't use the previous license, of course, since that is how you got the upgrade license.

RE: Microsofts disregard for customers
By omnicronx on 4/16/2008 11:50:13 AM , Rating: 3
Although illegal, many people are also not given the windows install CD when they buy their computer. Perhaps this could have something to do with it.

By FITCamaro on 4/16/2008 12:35:37 PM , Rating: 3
True. Any major OEM you buy does not give you the install disc for Windows.

Should people have to pay the full version price to upgrade because they were screwed by the OEM they bought the computer from?

RE: Microsofts disregard for customers
By daniyarm on 4/16/2008 11:53:44 AM , Rating: 5
If I paid for a previous version of Windows I have EVERY RIGHT to install an upgrade version weather I have the disc or not. What if my XP disc got damaged?! And what about their licensing regarding single computer use. As long as I use only 1 computer in the house, I have every right to use 1 copy of OS.

RE: Microsofts disregard for customers
By imperator3733 on 4/16/2008 11:58:00 AM , Rating: 2
If you have an XP license, then you can get the upgrade version and install Vista using the "loophole" method. After that, you couldn't use the XP license anymore since it has been upgraded. In this case, the "loophole" method is legal since you already have a eligible license to upgrade from. The problem is when people don't have a previous license.

RE: Microsofts disregard for customers
By MrBlastman on 4/16/08, Rating: -1
RE: Microsofts disregard for customers
By crimson117 on 4/16/2008 12:49:20 PM , Rating: 3
No, a more accurate analogy is if you got a discount on the new Subaru by trading in your old Subaru. You wouldn't expect to still be allowed to drive the old Subaru after making the trade-in.

If you wanted to drive both, you could keep the old one and just pay full price for the new Subaru.

RE: Microsofts disregard for customers
By MrBlastman on 4/16/08, Rating: -1
RE: Microsofts disregard for customers
By zombiexl on 4/16/2008 2:31:27 PM , Rating: 3
The level of stupidity in your post gave me a migraine.

You got a customer appreciation discount. An upgrade is more analogous to a trade-in like it or not. They (MS) just don’t resell old software like they (car dealers) do with old cars.

When you install the upgrade you are agreeing to stop using the old version. So while you may have the physical media, you do not have a license to use it. Read the damn license and then and only then open your mouth about a subject on which you seem to be blissfully ignorant.

By hcahwk19 on 4/16/2008 3:50:28 PM , Rating: 2
The problem with all software licenses today, are that they are not accessible until after you open the package and begin the installation. Only then does the EULA pop up. Read it just once. You have to be a lawyer to understand many of the provisions and clauses in the EULA. Since most people are not lawyers, and would not understand some or much of the EULA, they simply click that they agree with the terms, whether they actually do or not. The terms are never negotiated, and the only reason they exist are because we as consumers have not rejected them en masse enough to make a statement. Therefore, these software companies lead us around by the short hairs repeatedly and proceed to stomp all over our private parts because they know that we won't tell them NO. So what happens if you don't agree with the EULA. Many stores do not allow returns on opened software, and therefore you are screwed if you do not like the terms of the EULA.

RE: Microsofts disregard for customers
By bighairycamel on 4/16/2008 4:16:19 PM , Rating: 2
When you install the upgrade you are agreeing to stop using the old version. So while you may have the physical media, you do not have a license to use it. Read the damn license and then and only then open your mouth about a subject on which you seem to be blissfully ignorant.

Wow, you just pretty much summed up his entire point, while insulting him at the same time. Maybe it's time to take a reality check on the ignorance-alert.

RE: Microsofts disregard for customers
By zombiexl on 4/16/2008 4:49:53 PM , Rating: 2
Can you point out where I'm wrong in my assessment of the license? I stated fact, with a little humorous insult that really wasn’t that funny in hindsight.

You may not like it, but that’s what you get when you buy an upgrade. Check the dictionary if you think I’m wrong.

RE: Microsofts disregard for customers
By bighairycamel on 4/16/2008 5:26:48 PM , Rating: 2
I didn't say you were wrong, i said you summed up his point... which being that if you get the "upgrade" you are no longer allowed to use the older product that you bought and paid for.

So what if it's in the license; his point and argument was that's its stupid. 99.9% of consumers would like to be able to use a product for life if they paid for it. Are you really that much of a corporate puppet that you would side with the rediculous license agreement?

By zombiexl on 4/16/2008 5:30:16 PM , Rating: 2
I wasn’t aware that being intelligent enough to know the definition of upgrade made someone a puppet.

RE: Microsofts disregard for customers
By MrBlastman on 4/16/08, Rating: -1
RE: Microsofts disregard for customers
By zombiexl on 4/16/2008 4:44:46 PM , Rating: 2
I'll try to make this simple and as complete as possible. It appears you know how I feel about laws and licensing just from my post stating the facts.

As for the license:
It’s not a discount for owning a different product from that company. If it was then you would be correct. It is an UPGRADE. I’ll try to make this simple. Let’s say I add a turbo to my car. Do I now have 2 engines?

Where do I stand on licensing? I don’t agree with a lot of licensing and laws, but that doesn’t mean they don’t apply to me.

I'm all for less laws, smaller government and less taxes but I also like staying out of jail. So guess what… I obey laws and do what I can legally to try to change the laws.

RE: Microsofts disregard for customers
By hcahwk19 on 4/16/2008 8:52:39 PM , Rating: 2
The thing is, you won't go to jail for any of this crap. MS wants you to believe you will. If you install the upgrade version as a clean install without owning a previous windows, all you are doing is violating the EULA. The EULA is not enforceable as a way to send anyone to jail over. The EULA basically amounts to a contract between you and MS. If you, or MS, do not adhere to the provisions in it, it simply amounts to a breach of contract. No jail time for that. If MS takes you to court and wins against you, you will probably pay some monetary damages to them, but you cannot go to jail.

By zombiexl on 4/18/2008 12:59:27 PM , Rating: 2
Actually if you are using software without a valid license you face the same penalties as for pirating the software. That maximum sentence does include jail time.

You are correct that it most likely won’t end that way. But hey go ahead and face MS in court. You trade $100 savings for legal fees in the 1000’s to 10’s of thousands.

RE: Microsofts disregard for customers
By MrBlastman on 4/17/2008 9:48:28 AM , Rating: 2
Apparently I have an unpopular opinion, I don't really care as there is quite a bit of bias here.

As far as the turbo + engine example - yes, THAT would be an upgrade.

However, going from XP -> Vista is NOT an upgrade in the sense that:

1. XP is a standalone operating system
2. Vista is a standalone operating system

When you move from XP to Vista, or put Vista on a blank machine, you are essentially installing a whole new operating system and not overwriting or RTPatching the individual XP files (or diff'ing, whatever you want to call it), you are installing a complete, new instance of the operating system on the machine.

This isn't the same as adding a turbo to an existing car, changing out the Coilovers, adding endlinks, bushings, swaybars, strut bars, control arms, camber plates, lightweight clutch, 4-pot brakes, bigger pads, slotted rotors, lighter-weight but wider wheels, R-compound racing slicks etc... Why? Because you are adding them to the same chassis.

You are not adding Vista to the XP install, you are installing a new instance of Vista. Granted, I have never upgraded XP to Vista so I'm speaking from knowledge of past versions of Windows. 95 - 98 upgrade, now that was an upgrade of sorts, but the fact that you can take the Vista "Upgrade" CD and install it on a FRESH PC, without any prior working version of XP, lends direct credibility to my argument that the Vista "Upgrade" CD is in fact, installing a completely new instance of Vista. That isn't upgrading, that is giving you a new model.

This is why I am pointing at this fallacy and trying to bring it out.

You aren't upgrading anything when you are using the workaround to put Vista on a blank machine. The CD contains a complete version of the OS, not bits and pieces, such as a "Turbo" to add to a working engine of XP. I'm very aware of what an upgrade is and what it is not.

Yes, the box says it is an upgrade, they also give you reduced prices when you buy this, and provided you have XP on your machine, they will let you install it. This is serving as proof of being a member of the Microsoft Owner Appreciation club.

EULA aside (I've never been in agreement with any of them for anything), conceptually I feel my argument is sound. I can not argue with what the EULA says - that much is in writing. Installing Vista standalone with an upgrade CD is in violation.

As another user points out, a EULA is only as good as its enforceability, like any real law.

I'm just trying to get across that this "Upgrade" is not really an "Upgrade" but a veiled complete piece of software.

RE: Microsofts disregard for customers
By Jellodyne on 4/17/2008 11:07:28 AM , Rating: 2
> I'm just trying to get across that this "Upgrade" is
> not really an "Upgrade" but a veiled complete piece of
> software.

Honestly, its not all that veiled. And it may blow your mind that Vista Basic OEM and Vista Premium and Windows Server 2008 Datacenter Edition for the Enterprise all pretty much the same thing, only one of them can cost more than a new WRX.

You want a copy of windows you can pretty much do whatever with, buy a full retail copy of Windows. It costs what it costs. If you want to save some money, you can buy an OEM copy or an upgrade copy. With the OEM copy you're agreeing to install it on one computer only, and with an upgrade copy you're saying you're going to install it on a machine that currently has a previous version of Windows and stop using the previous version. You can't agree to that, then don't buy it. Thise conditions are the reason its cheaper. Its really not all that complicated.

If you don't like it, you may be suprised at how much you can do on Linux these days, and how easy it is to install and use. And the price is right.

By MrBlastman on 4/17/2008 11:21:56 AM , Rating: 2
You are correct as they bascially all are the same thing.

I think there are thousands, if not millions of people that both ignore what the EULA says and could care less. The average mentality is - if you buy it, hold it, and can feel it, it is yours. This is the problem the IP industry faces and I think it will continue to be a large problem for many years.

I've used Linux, BSD, Solaris, Tru64 Unix, AIX and other flavors for years. At home though, I can't since the software I run (flight simulators with high end supporting hardware) only runs on Windows. The stuff just won't work on a non-Windoze box... yet :)

By just4U on 4/16/2008 1:01:06 PM , Rating: 2
We all understand that It is "NOT" Ok. But, I tell you what... I am 100% positive that Microsoft would rather you install a Valid copy of the upgrade edition over say ....
a hacked free version. Especially if/when the person picking up that Upgrade CD is paying more for it then they would have for a OEM CD...

It's all good tho. I think this is just another way that MS gets folks to consider making the jump. They talk about ways around certain installs (like getting a full year for free before you pay) and this loophole for upgrade editions.. and then they make it seem how irate they are but ..

Bottom line, They'd like you to move over to Vista to.. so they talk candidly about various ways to get the install on your machine.

Its like this. I bake 4000 cookies that I can't possibly get rid of.. I tell all these people DONT EAT THOSE COOKIES and I act all irate when they do but.. really I am secretly glad their all being eaten.

RE: Microsofts disregard for customers
By Verran on 4/16/2008 1:11:22 PM , Rating: 2
Is it illegal?

It's against the EULA, that's for sure. But EULA is not law. I was amazed that the exec in the story used the world "illegal", but now I'm seeing it here too.

Why would this be illegal? What law are you breaking by doing this? Certainly not copyright. So what other laws is this software covered by.

I don't claim to be a legal expert, but by my understanding there's nothing illegal about this. I'm not saying it's right, I'm just questioning the literal illegality.

By hcahwk19 on 4/16/2008 3:59:24 PM , Rating: 4
You are not breaking any laws. All the EULA can possibly ever add up to would be a contract. By installing a Vista upgrade without owning a previous version of Windows would simply be a breach of contract. It is not illegal to breach a contract. Now, MS could sue everyone who does this for breach of contract, but that would cost way too much money to locate and serve everyone who does this. If the court sides with MS, then you would have to pay some damages, but not a single person could go to jail for this. Technically, you could possibly be breaking some contract law, but nothing illegal is happening like they want you to think. MS want us to think that we are violating copyright laws, or that we are somehow pirating software, but that is not the case. It is a matter of contract law, and remedies in contract law usually just amount to a little bit of money. In no way is it feasible economically for MS to go after every person who did this, although that does not seem to stop the RIAA (of course the courts have allowed them to bastardize copyright laws to get their judgments).

By phxfreddy on 4/16/2008 6:43:34 PM , Rating: 2
Vista....bloat code. They're really screwing themselves and they must know it. They must sense the end is near.

RE: Microsofts disregard for customers
By FXi on 4/19/2008 2:55:18 PM , Rating: 2
While I paid for the full ultimate, anyone can tell you that MS's pricing is horribly over the top, and the price reduction took very little off that.

Nothing will change that. MS can rant and rave against folks taking their product, but back in the XP starter days, the whole authentication process was promised to LOWER prices. It clearly did not. The user community feels, generally, that the pricing of Vista for what you are given is highway robbery. The user community responds. MS doesn't like that response.

Sorry, the pricing of Vista means MS threw the first stone. They should easily have expected the response. Maybe MS should count the number of retired millionaires they've made out of mere managers (oh wait this response is from a future one of those perhaps?) and then ask if they couldn't do something more constructive to address their pricing.


By 306maxi on 4/20/2008 8:04:40 AM , Rating: 2
A load of bollocks.

An OEM copy of Vista Premium costs 60 odd pounds in the UK. So if you use it for 2 years which is about how long a motherboard will be used by an enthusiast then you're talking 30 pounds a year. Which is nothing. My mouse cost me more than that. In fact I regularly go out for meals with my girlfriend and spend more than that. Anyone who buys a full retail copy.... well they're just asking to be ripped off to be honest! Vista Ultimate is about 100 pounds here which isn't really all that much. Ultimate retails for about 370 pounds which is an absolute ripoff. At the end of the day if you're going to build a new PC every year and you're going to sell the old one then the other person is going to pay for the OS you have on it.

You can only complain about Vista being expensive when you compare it to free. If you want to do that then run Linux or a pirated copy of Windows. At least with Vista you won't have to pay to get a service pack like you do with OSX.

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