Vista license terms to limit benchmarking


— 12:01 PM on November 3, 2006

Microsoft might have backtracked on its plans to limit Vista users to a single device transfer, but the Vista end-user license still seems to have some unpleasant surprises left. InfoWorld has spotted a term in the license that sets limits on which benchmarks of Microsoft's .NET Framework can be published.

9. MICROSOFT .NET BENCHMARK TESTING. The software includes one or more components of the .NET Framework 3.0 (".NET Components"). You may conduct internal benchmark testing of those components. You may disclose the results of any benchmark test of those components, provided that you comply with the conditions set forth at http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=66406. Notwithstanding any other agreement you may have with Microsoft, if you disclose such benchmark test results, Microsoft shall have the right to disclose the results of benchmark tests it conducts of your products that compete with the applicable .NET Component, provided it complies with the same conditions set forth at http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=66406.
The linked .NET benchmarking terms mandate—among other things—that users provide all information necessary for third parties to replicate their benchmarks, and that users run benchmarks using "all performance tuning and best practice guidance set forth in the product documentation and/or on Microsoft's support Web sites." Since the terms page is liable to be changed at any point, Microsoft is essentially giving itself complete control over which .NET benchmarks can and can't be published. Similar limitations were included in the license for the .NET Framework when Microsoft first released it, but they were never made part of the Windows XP license agreement. Thanks to TR reader David for the tip.
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