Microsoft strips transfer limit from Vista license

In a surprising but nonetheless pleasing turn of events, Microsoft has decided to revise the Vista license terms to get rid of the starkly-criticized one-transfer limit. The old license terms stated, “The first user of the software may reassign the license to another device one time. If you reassign the license, that other device becomes the ‘licensed device.'” The new terms simply say, “You may uninstall the software and install it on another device for your use. You may not do so to share this license between devices.” According to Microsoft Product Manager Nick White, the change was made specifically to cater to hardware enthusiasts:

Our intention behind the original terms was genuinely geared toward combating piracy; however, it’s become clear to us that those original terms were perceived as adversely affecting an important group of customers: PC and hardware enthusiasts. You who comprise the enthusiast market are vital to us for several reasons, not least of all because of the support you’ve provided us throughout the development of Windows Vista. We respect the time and expense you go to in customizing, building and rebuilding your hardware and we heard you that the previous terms were seen as an impediment to that — it’s for that reason we’ve made this change. I hope that this change provides the flexibility you need, and gives you more reason to be excited about the upcoming retail release of our new operating system.

While Microsoft’s move is commendable, it’s worth pointing out that the amended Vista terms now appear similar to the Windows XP terms, which state, “You may move the Software to a different Workstation Computer. After the transfer, you must completely remove the Software from the former Workstation Computer.” However, Microsoft General Manager Shanen Boettcher recently told Paul Thurrott that the XP terms were never intended to allow unlimited transfers, and that the clause only pertained to “specific circumstances” like a hardware failure.

Let’s hope Microsoft stays true to its word this time and allows enthusiasts to transfer their copy of Vista multiple times regardless of their motive for doing so. Thanks to Neowin for the tip.

Comments closed
    • zimpdagreene
    • 13 years ago

    Well that’s something. That was a huge hang up for me. But I still won’t buy. Not yet. I rather let others test bed it and work out some of the kinks before I do.

      • Smurfer2
      • 13 years ago

      Hang up for me too. I will buy, the question is when. At this point at least 6 months after release, but it will probably be even longer and I’m not complaining!

    • Dposcorp
    • 13 years ago

    Microsoft good, Sony bad.

    Thus endeth the lesson.

    • MadManOriginal
    • 13 years ago

    q[

    • WaltC
    • 13 years ago

    I don’t think they did anything at all except to change the verbiage for the language impaired among us who didn’t understand what they said the first time…;) What they said the first time is actually exactly what they said the second time, but in a less-legalistic, common parlance more apt to be properly understood by the layman. Both times what they said was that you couldn’t share the same license among separate machines simultaneously, which always seemed very clear to me.

    I’m glad of the language change, however, since the idea that Microsoft was trying to force us to buy a new copy of Vista after every other hardware upgrade was so patently ridiculous I was amazed to see anybody interpret the language that way–but they certainly did, didn’t they?…;) Now that it is finally understood what Microsoft said the first time, even though Microsoft had to rephrase their Eula language to have it understood, hopefully sanity can return to pundit-ville…;)

    I’m always amazed when people try and attribute things to Microsoft, or any company for that matter, that just don’t make a lick of sense. Glad to see Microsoft so responsive to it, though. These days common sense unfortunately seems in short supply, sometimes. The idea that we were supposed to buy a new copy of Vista after every other hardware upgrade never made any sense at all, did it? That’s why it should have been obvious that such an interpretation of Microsoft’s intent /[

      • MrJP
      • 13 years ago

      Ironically, I think you meant “language-impaired”. 😉

    • Chryx
    • 13 years ago

    g{

      • Vrock
      • 13 years ago

      Yes yes, but without specifying the number of transfers, the EULA is still open ended. We’ve already been down this road. They can and would spell it out more clearly if they wanted to.

    • blastdoor
    • 13 years ago

    Wow, I have to say I am genuinely impressed. Good job microsoft!

    I just bought a new MacBook Pro, but my desktop is still a PC. If MS decides to be decent, then perhaps I’ll continue to maintain and upgrade the PC as a gaming machine while I use the Mac for everything else (I had intended to keep the PC only until the hardware was out of date, and then switch my desktop machine to the Mac as well, settling for less game selection and/or buying a console).

    • MadManOriginal
    • 13 years ago

    Well well, it seems the small but influential enthusiast community can make a difference. Common sense wins in the end, whodathunkit?

      • Saribro
      • 13 years ago

      Enthousiasts are the best source of mouth-to-mouth advertisement any company can dream of, especcialy on tech-matters. As an example: Think about the novice computer users in your family/friends. Who do they go to for computer-related advice? Eh voila, there you have it :).

    • Vrock
    • 13 years ago

    Woot?

    Where are all the “ZOMG M$ is teh 3vi1!!!!!1111eleventy” folks now?

      • CampinCarl
      • 13 years ago

      Waiting for them to screw up, I’m sure.

    • d2brothe
    • 13 years ago

    speechless….absolutely speechless

    • Proesterchen
    • 13 years ago

    Good move, Microsoft!

    .
    PS: In other news, the wierdest thing happened to me today, my XP Pro needing re-activation after I deinstalled the Cat 6.9 package (for replacement with Cat 6.10), citing to much change in hardware config. It required only a couple of clicks, but made me wonder how robust the whole scheme really is.

    (The only thing I actually changed since re-activation in August, when I moved from an Opteron 170 to this Core 2 Duo E6600, was the DVD-burner a couple of weeks ago.)

    • replay
    • 13 years ago

    Cool, now I WILL buy Vista. Previously, I was not going to touch Vista. I reformat software and rebuild hardware too often to be told I can only transfer the license once, for an OS something I pay $200+ per license for.

    • kvndoom
    • 13 years ago

    If it’s only installed on one machine at a time, why should they even CARE how manytimes you put it on a different system? Do like they do with games, if it’s such a worry- put some draconian copy protection onto the CD / DVD, and require the disc to be in the drive at all times. Not like we aren’t used to it. Sheesh.

      • Generic
      • 13 years ago

      Bite your tongue sir!

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