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CEO of TuCloud Dares Microsoft To Sue His New Company

Unknown Lamer posted more than 2 years ago | from the conversation-via-lawyer dept.

Microsoft 109

Fluffeh writes "Word from Ars Technica is that OnLive, a service provider that seems to totally flout Microsoft licensing and offers iPad users a Microsoft Desktop for free (or a beefier one for $5) isn't being sued by Microsoft, as this blog quotes: 'We are actively engaged with OnLive with the hope of bringing them into a properly licensed scenario.' The people who are angry include Guise Bule, CEO of tuCloud. He accuses Microsoft of playing favorites with OnLive — whose CEO is a former Microsoft executive — while regularly auditing license compliance for companies like tuCloud that provide legitimate virtual desktop services. Bule is so mad that he says he is forming an entirely new company called DesktopsOnDemand to provide a service identical to OnLive's, complete with licensing violations, and dare Microsoft to take him to court. Bule hopes to force Microsoft into lifting restrictions on virtual desktop licensing that he says inhibit growth in the virtual desktop industry, and seem to apply to everyone except OnLive." One of the restrictions applied to licensed remote desktop providers is that each user must have his own dedicated machine (pretty onerous in the days of 16+ core servers costing a mere grand or two).

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109 comments

Okay, so I'm not completely informed here, but.. (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39411427)

while regularly auditing license compliance for companies like tuCloud that provide legitimate virtual desktop services.

If you own a volume license, yes, they can do that, and there's not a damn thing you can do about it.

Re:Okay, so I'm not completely informed here, but. (2, Interesting)

Rockoon (1252108) | more than 2 years ago | (#39411529)

The reason OnLive gets a pass is because OnLive is a rapidly growing business dominating a completely different market (virtualized gaming) run by a veteran player in the industry, while toCloud is a rinky-dink outfit that has no real prospects for large growth that has to keep telling the world how they are "Virtual Desktop Superheroes" because its so easy to forget.

Re:Okay, so I'm not completely informed here, but. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39411565)

And it seems like the guy is just jealous because he hasn't made the connections in the industry. This stuff matters, even if geeks like it or not. This is exactly why LinkedIn, Facebook and other social networks are good. In fact, not only social networks, but whole socializing and making connections with others. It matters, even if geeks try to say that only their actual "skills" should be evaluated. But making connections and socializing is a skill too.

Re:Okay, so I'm not completely informed here, but. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39411743)

Yes. Just like scuba diving is a skill. Irrelevant. Oh, well. Humans have a tendency to play favorites, cheat, and judge based on arbitrary standards. What can you do?

Re:Okay, so I'm not completely informed here, but. (1)

Bengie (1121981) | more than 2 years ago | (#39411961)

"What can you do?"

Sue? A publicly traded company should not be able to play favorites when it comes to license enforcement.

Re:Okay, so I'm not completely informed here, but. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39412177)

Why not? Patent trolls play favorites on whom to sue. It's the licensor's right as owner of the IP to do as they wish with their property.

Re:Okay, so I'm not completely informed here, but. (3, Insightful)

PhilHibbs (4537) | more than 2 years ago | (#39412537)

Gifts above a certain value are taxable. I'm not sure if that counts for gifts between companies. The story about Inida taxing "angel funding" is similar to this, and if one company is creating an uneven playing field by giving gifts to another company then that is not desirable in a free market. It could even come under antitrust, if they are doing this to increase Windows' market share in the mobile virtual desktop space.

Re:Okay, so I'm not completely informed here, but. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39412783)

So the solution is to force copyright holders to sue everyone, whether they want to sue or not?

Re:Okay, so I'm not completely informed here, but. (1)

anyGould (1295481) | more than 2 years ago | (#39414283)

Isn't that how it already works for trademarks? If you want to have exclusive rights, you either have to enforce it or lose it?

Unfortunately, while the gaming service is now available in Canada the desktop isn't yet. So I can't say if it's worth the trouble or not.

Re:Okay, so I'm not completely informed here, but. (1)

KhabaLox (1906148) | more than 2 years ago | (#39414081)

A business in the US can't refuse service to someone because they are black. Should an IP owner be allowed to refuse to license their IP to a business that is minority owned?

Re:Okay, so I'm not completely informed here, but. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39421699)

corporations are not people

Re:Okay, so I'm not completely informed here, but. (1)

Bert64 (520050) | more than 2 years ago | (#39419551)

Why not? A publicly traded company's only duty is to make money for its shareholders... That duty is not incompatible with the goals of favoritism in other markets... If OnLive comes to dominate its market, while still being utterly dependent on MS, then MS will have huge leverage over them and be able to take the lion share of the profit.

Re:Okay, so I'm not completely informed here, but. (1)

coredog64 (1001648) | more than 2 years ago | (#39422129)

Why not? A publicly traded company's only duty is to make money for its shareholders...

Can we stop already with the incorrect summary of Ford vs. Dodge Brothers?

Most state codes permit, or even require, incorporators to
include a statement in the corporate charter that defines and limits the
purpose for which the corporation is being formed. If the corporation's
founders so desire, they can easily include in the corporate charter a recitation
of the Dodge v. Ford view that the corporation in question "is organized and
carried on primarily for the profit of the stockholders."
  In reality, corporate
charters virtually never contain this sort of language. Instead, the typical
corporate charter defines the corporate purpose as anything "lawful."
What about state corporation codes? Do they perhaps limit the corporate
purpose to shareholder wealth maximization? To employ the common saying,
the answer is "not just 'no,' but 'hell no.'"

http://www.virginialawbusrev.org/VLBR3-1pdfs/Stout.pdf [virginialawbusrev.org]

Re:Okay, so I'm not completely informed here, but. (4, Interesting)

LordLucless (582312) | more than 2 years ago | (#39411579)

That's one way to look at it. The other is that Microsoft's favouritism has allowed OnLive to grow rapidly and dominate a complete market, while tuCloud has been forced into being a rinky-dink outfit with no real prospects due to Microsoft's abuse of their OS monopoly.

Re:Okay, so I'm not completely informed here, but. (1)

Richard_at_work (517087) | more than 2 years ago | (#39411615)

The other way to look at it is that OnLive have been poking around this concept for several years, and are engaged in a private dialog with MS, while this bloke has only been public for a few months and has only talked to the wrong people (the Ars comments point out that he only talked to the RDP guys at MS, not any licensing specialists).

Re:Okay, so I'm not completely informed here, but. (3, Insightful)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 2 years ago | (#39412255)

The fact that there would be need for a "licensing specialist" speaks volumes about the complexity of navigating the Microsoft licensing system. I think the major problem that MS is trying to stop is from somebody offering the same functionality to desktop users. Imagine a system where Mac and Linux users wouldn't have to buy a Windows license to access a full windows desktop. This could make switching to Mac (or Linux) a lot easier for most people. MS would sell a lot less licenses if a single license could be time-shared between 20 or 30 users

Re:Okay, so I'm not completely informed here, but. (2)

Richard_at_work (517087) | more than 2 years ago | (#39412317)

A single license can be time shared between 20 or 30 users, it just has to be on its own machine.

I've done the whole MS licensing dance, as part of a budget where I was responsible for $1.5million of buying, and to be fair MS licensing is fine in 99% of cases, but it's that other 1% which you need help for. And this falls into that 1%, because neither OnLive nor this guy want to do what most other businesses want to do.

Re:Okay, so I'm not completely informed here, but. (3, Insightful)

quacking duck (607555) | more than 2 years ago | (#39412421)

The fact that there would be need for a "licensing specialist" speaks volumes about the complexity of navigating the Microsoft licensing system.

I was researching Sharepoint a couple years ago. In Microsoft's FAQ for it, where I thought I'd find lots of technical Q&As, the section on licensing was longer than all other sections combined.

A software product/service that requires a lawyer more than a technical person to evaluate? Screw it.

Re:Okay, so I'm not completely informed here, but. (2)

rwise2112 (648849) | more than 2 years ago | (#39413603)

Actually I don't think any licence is ever simple for anyone except lawyers, and sometimes is still only an interpretation.

My company was trying to determine if we could use the free version of Google Maps, but the licence didn't make it clear. In the licence Google says not to contact them about the agreement, but consult a lawyer.

Re:Okay, so I'm not completely informed here, but. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39413837)

Wait... are we still claiming that Microsoft has an OS monopoly? Because I thought we are talking about tablets, and iOS and Android seem to have cornered the market....

Re:Okay, so I'm not completely informed here, but. (3, Informative)

Richard_at_work (517087) | more than 2 years ago | (#39411609)

No, you aren't completely informed. No generally available MS license currently allows for the virtualised provision of Windows 7 as a hosted service - only the Server 2008 licenses allow virtualised service provision. He could do what he wants with the right Windows Server license, but he can't offer a virtualised Win 7 instance in the same manner.

Re:Okay, so I'm not completely informed here, but. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39411691)

actually, there is specific licensing for virtualized desktops. try looking here http://download.microsoft.com/download/C/6/7/C673E444-6DDD-40B8-B29F-625354F2A8F7/Licensing_Windows_for_Virtual_Desktops_Whitepaper.pdf

Re:Okay, so I'm not completely informed here, but. (1)

Richard_at_work (517087) | more than 2 years ago | (#39411755)

actually, there is specific licensing for virtualized desktops. try looking here http://download.microsoft.com/download/C/6/7/C673E444-6DDD-40B8-B29F-625354F2A8F7/Licensing_Windows_for_Virtual_Desktops_Whitepaper.pdf [microsoft.com]

And nothing in that white paper actually contradicts what I say - read it :)

Re:Okay, so I'm not completely informed here, but. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39411913)

Nobody READS things any more, they just post shit and claim it supports their lies. Or haven't you been paying attention to the wikipedia and right-wing blogger "information" model?

Re:Okay, so I'm not completely informed here, but. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39411941)

2. Virtual Desktop Access (VDA)
The second licensing vehicle for virtual desktops is Virtual Desktop Access (VDA), which is a new license that will come into effect on July
1st, 2010. Customers that want to use devices such as thin clients that do not qualify for Windows client SA would need to license those
devices with a new license called Windows Virtual Desktop Access (Windows VDA) to be able to access a Windows VDI desktop.
Windows VDA is also applicable to 3rd party devices, such as contractor or employee-owned PCs.
Windows VDA (Virtual Desktop Access) is a device based subscription that is available at 100/year/device, and is available through all
major Microsoft volume licensing programs.
Windows VDA extends the benefits of Software Assurance to devices such as thin clients for virtual desktops. This license is required in
addition to the server and management infrastructure for VDI, such as the Microsoft VDI Suite or other 3rd party licensing to enable access.
WINDOWS VDA BENEFITS
PCs covered under Windows Client SA and thin clients licensed with Windows VDA both get the same set of benefits for accessing virtual
desktops. In general the benefits address the major concerns when moving the desktop to the datacenter, but many are forward thinking
around how VDI can enable greater business flexibility. Benefits unique to the Windows VDA license include:
  Install Windows 7/Windows Vista/Windows XP virtual machines on any combination of hardware and storage

Re:Okay, so I'm not completely informed here, but. (2)

Richard_at_work (517087) | more than 2 years ago | (#39412197)

And again, that doesn't contradict what I have said - VDA requires you to issue a license to a given device, it doesnt allow you to swap licenses around between devices ad hoc. That means you cannot provision a virtualised Windows 7 license for a hosted service, in the way that this guy wants - he would have to have one Win 7 license associated with each end user device.

Again, there is no current license which allows you to sell a virtualised Win 7 hosted service.

Re:Okay, so I'm not completely informed here, but. (3, Interesting)

afidel (530433) | more than 2 years ago | (#39412565)

Exactly, the major problems are that the VDA license is *per device* instead of per user, that the license is only available to volume license customers, and that MS has told hosting providers that they must maintain separate physical servers and *storage* for each customer. Almost every other piece of MS software is available to service providers under reasonable rental terms so that they can provide their customers a convenient service, it's only the desktop license where MS has repeatedly refused to offer terms that their end users and service provider partners find reasonable.

Re:Okay, so I'm not completely informed here, but. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39411839)

No there is license for Windows 7 VDI. My company was looking into doing this to provide a full personal Win 7 Desktop for remote users. We decided to just use Terminal Services instead.

Re:Okay, so I'm not completely informed here, but. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39411675)

RTFM, this guy is following the rules, to the letter. That means he can only offer the service to people that already pay monster money to Microsoft (and THEN they have to pay him too)

in short his company is ALREADY a customer playing by the established rules (and being audited) trying to ask permission to add more features. While the OnLive people should be raided by the BSA marshals by now... they're getting "talked to" about licensing violations that would get a proper business' doors locked because they've already whipped up huge business in the press.

When Microsoft trots out "piracy" numbers, licensing technicalities like this are EXACTLY what they are going after nowdays. If their "war on piracy" was REAL they'd be sending the BSA with Federal Marshals to lock up OnLive. If there is some new rule that OnLive is getting, why shouldn't the people that ALREADY PAY to have the same feature get the new rules too? Microsoft is still a monopoly and giving new terms to somebody that's not properly paying shouldn't be allowed... as they are interfering with their PAYING customer's business by allowing this.

Re:Okay, so I'm not completely informed here, but. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39411725)

While the OnLive people should be raided by the BSA marshals by now

Copyright issues are a civil matter. Since it seems like Microsoft and OnLive are working it out, there is no reason for MS or BSA to do anything.

Re:Okay, so I'm not completely informed here, but. (1)

zoloto (586738) | more than 2 years ago | (#39411927)

not that the BSA have any real authority to begin with...

Re:Okay, so I'm not completely informed here, but. (1)

Em Adespoton (792954) | more than 2 years ago | (#39419277)

While the OnLive people should be raided by the BSA marshals by now

Copyright issues are a civil matter. Since it seems like Microsoft and OnLive are working it out, there is no reason for MS or BSA to do anything.

Copyright issues haven't been just a civil matter in the US for years now. Copyright infringement is a federal crime against the state, AS WELL as being a civil matter.

Re:Okay, so I'm not completely informed here, but. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39412981)

If there is some new rule that OnLive is getting, why shouldn't the people that ALREADY PAY to have the same feature get the new rules too?

Maybe because when they established their private contract with Microsoft those terms were not in it? If Business A makes one contractual arrangement with Business B, and then Business C makes a better deal with Business B, that in no way invalidates the first contract unless it is specified in some way in the contract that the deal will remain equitable with any other later deals.

What it does is give grounds for renegotiation of contract terms.

Re:Okay, so I'm not completely informed here, but. (4, Insightful)

tgd (2822) | more than 2 years ago | (#39412003)

while regularly auditing license compliance for companies like tuCloud that provide legitimate virtual desktop services.

If you own a volume license, yes, they can do that, and there's not a damn thing you can do about it.

There is no such thing as a volume license for Windows -- there's enterprise agreements, and you get a volume license key, but that key is only valid if used to replace the OEM key that comes with new hardware. (I.E., its provided to EA customers so you can push out desktop images to your hardware, but you can only do so to hardware that *came* with an OEM license. There's no concept of a "new" VLK license.)

The *only* legal option companies like this have are getting an OEM distribution license (which Microsoft doesn't do for non-hardware vendors), or use full retail copies. There's nothing MS can do to prevent OnLive from using full retail copies, but at $200ish a VM, the cost to the end user goes up. And what you can't do is use guest accounts and published applications from the cloud, because you don't have CALs for those users.

There are routes that companies can do to make it work, but not routes that somehow magically bypass the cost of buying Windows.

(And, FWIW, I am completely informed here -- I've gone through this process for similar services before.)

Re:Okay, so I'm not completely informed here, but. (1)

wanzeo (1800058) | more than 2 years ago | (#39413141)

So I'm curious, what licensing scheme must services like AWS or other virtual desktop services use? If I sign up for a virtual Windows instance at an hourly price, and stop the instance after a few hours, I will pay much less than $10.

Do they buy a bunch of licenses, and then only allow that number of virtual machines to run at a time? Does Microsoft offer a virtualization license?

Re:Okay, so I'm not completely informed here, but. (1)

tgd (2822) | more than 2 years ago | (#39413541)

AWS runs Windows Server, which has very different licensing (including VM).

Plus, the up-front cost of reserved instances covers the license cost.

These companies are about providing either terminal services infrastructure or VDI infrastructure, both of which don't have license types for that kind of service. (Note, AWS doesn't have the terminal services role, for example.)

Re:Okay, so I'm not completely informed here, but. (1)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 2 years ago | (#39422809)

And since when can MSFT not sell what it wants to who it wants? if I own a company I can decide to sell to Joe but not to Bob, as long as i'm not doing it because of race/creed/religion/etc so if I am friends with joe and want to give him a better deal WTF is it any of bob's business? if he don't like the terms he is welcome to talk to Apple or build his own Linux. I am getting so damned tired of this "Waah we don't like the way you do business so we should get to do what we want waaah!" bullshit. you want the product, you pay what the owner says to pay, don't like it? Don't let the door hit you on the way out.

Real smart. (4, Funny)

DWMorse (1816016) | more than 2 years ago | (#39411445)

What could possibly go wrong?

Re:Real smart. (1)

Pieroxy (222434) | more than 2 years ago | (#39411481)

Yup. It's not like he'll regret his statement when he'll have 1024 lawyers on his back.

Re:Real smart. (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39411495)

Yup. It's not like he'll regret his statement when he'll have 1024 lawyers on his back.

640 should be enough for anyone.

(yes, I know that's not really a Bill Gates quote, but it's still funny)

Re:Real smart. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39411971)

really? it's not funny. it's a tired meme that really needs to be put to sleep just like the star wars memes do. at least try to be original.

Re:Real smart. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39412289)

No need to get upset Billy.

Re:Real smart. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39412439)

It "needs"? What it has feeling now? That poor, needy meme. I almost fweel swowwry for it.

Re:Real smart. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39413425)

Come back when you learn basic english.

Re:Real smart. (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 2 years ago | (#39413219)

(yes, I know that's not really a Bill Gates quote, but it's still funny)

There are citations in both directions on that one. You are revealed as being a sneaky Microsoft shill, as well as anonymous and cowardly.

Re:Real smart. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39411557)

I think you mean 640 lawyers. That should be enough for anyone.

Re:Real smart. (1)

Dhalka226 (559740) | more than 2 years ago | (#39412917)

He won't. That's the beauty of his "ballsy" statement.

He's starting a brand new business. I'm sure he's incorporating it, both because he has to incorporate it in some format and because of the legal insulation it provides. He'll pick the state that is most unfriendly to the concept of piercing the corporate veil (since courts are required to use the laws of the state the business incorporates in). He doesn't care one whit about the business or its would-be customers; he's starting it just as a slight at Microsoft and an attempt to get himself sued. He's guaranteed to capitalize it only as much as absolutely necessary to avoid accusations that he deliberately under-capitalized it.

So if he gets his wish and 1024 lawyers come pounding on the door, he goes to court. He probably loses, at which point he folds the business he never cared about and goes "oh well!"

It's not a non-zero risk, but it's about as close as one can get. He'll lose the seed money, but he's probably made the capitalization money back in free publicity from the articles anyway.

Re:Real smart. (1)

Kalriath (849904) | more than 2 years ago | (#39422755)

The best part is actually that as a service provider, he's required to license products under an SPLA. And Microsoft can just choose not to extend one to him. Plan foiled.

Re:Real smart. (0)

pinfall (2430412) | more than 2 years ago | (#39411635)

Wait, tuCloud? Take a dumbass name like tuCows and add your own noun at the end? First, spend $1,000 on a real name, then beat up tuMicrosoft.

Re:Real smart. (1)

haruchai (17472) | more than 2 years ago | (#39421537)

The Ultimate Collection Of Winsock Software? Awesome and memorable name. Micro(computer)soft(ware)? Office? Lame.

Why even post articles about microsoft desktops (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39411465)

Fuck Microsoft.

Possibilities? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39411477)

Microsoft buys out OnLive

Microsoft takes a share of OnLive's revenue

Microsoft creates their own offering and puts their new competitors out of business

OnLive pays the licensing fees but receives some sort of "technical pioneer" grant so it evens out.

Re:Possibilities? (1)

ais523 (1172701) | more than 2 years ago | (#39411509)

Is there any actual reason (antitrust, etc.) why Microsoft would have to give OnLive the same licensing grant as everyone else? I can imagine Microsoft simply having arranged an alternative licensing deal with them.

Re:Possibilities? (2)

Ihmhi (1206036) | more than 2 years ago | (#39411575)

Let OnLive develop the tech and customer base, then buy it and integrate it into XBOX/Windows Live.

Embrace, Extend, Extinguish 101.

Give this man a medal. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39411485)

Finally action instead of words, the licensing scheme that microsoft employs is so far off the mark its impossible to sell if your client isn't as big as Pfizer or GE.

Streisand Effect. (2)

Ranzear (1082021) | more than 2 years ago | (#39411489)

Sounds more like a dig for free marketing. "Hey people! Big nasty Microsoft is suing us because we're a wholesome little company! You should totally give us your business!"

Totally not gonna backfire...

Some people (1)

DarkOx (621550) | more than 2 years ago | (#39411491)

This is not a hard concept you don't poke the bear. Its one thing to setup a service they might like for some reasons and hope they ignore your strained interpretation of the license agreement it's another dare them to sue. Microsoft has an in house legal team, I am sure one or more of those people need a project, this could cost Microsoft next to northern and this guy everything. The only reason I can see to do this is breaking the agreement in court but I doubt that will happen

Re:Some people (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39411687)

His company is turning away customers because the customers can't afford the licensing terms demanded by Microsoft. So he's probably already had this conversation to do something like OnLive is doing and been told NO. He is a properly licensed and paying and audited customer and he wants OnLive shut down, or he wants the same licensing terms for his business too. He's got a totally valid point. Microsoft cries about the "war on piracy" and creates all sorts of terms and conditions to remain legal while paying them more and more money.... yet the OnLive people don't seem to be PAYING the proper money in the first place, and breaking the rules...

How is Microsoft sticking up for PROPERLY LICENSED customers? The ones trying hard not to be labeled "pirates"? OnLive should have their doors locked... that is what's FAIR to ALL the customers.

Re:Some people (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39411709)

Because there is no way onLive have a separate licensing deal with MS...

Re:Some people (3, Informative)

Decessus (835669) | more than 2 years ago | (#39412095)

"However, unlike with Office, Windows licensing has been heavily scrutinized ever since the Consent Decree Microsoft signed with the Department of Justice, so it just isn’t possible for Microsoft to cut special deals without getting into legal hot water."

According to this article over at ExtremeTech, Microsoft isn't allowed to have separate licensing deals for Windows.

http://www.extremetech.com/gaming/121769-is-onlive-pirating-windows-and-what-will-it-cost-them

Licensing Rules, Perhaps; Suing Rules, NO (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39414111)

Unfortunately, an entity that brings suit against another entity is not required to bring suit against every other entity that does the same thing as the entity they actually sued.

And the "It's ok for me to do wrong because that other person/company/country is also doing wrong" argument doesn't work in either a legal or moral sense.

Re:Some people (1)

hawkinspeter (831501) | more than 2 years ago | (#39412171)

I don't see why Microsoft have to use the same licensing terms for different customers.

I'm prett sure that they charge OEMs a completely different price than retail customers. That doesn't mean that retail customers can demand that OEMs are shut down.

The only obligation Microsoft has to properly licensed customers is to allow them to use their products as defined by the license. What they do with/for other customers is entirely their business as long as they aren't breaking the law (e.g. abusing a monopoly).

Re:Some people (1)

julesh (229690) | more than 2 years ago | (#39413617)

I don't see why Microsoft have to use the same licensing terms for different customers.

Because they're a monopoly, and per-customer pricing is ripe for abuse. Basically, any license any MS customer gets, anybody else should be able to get on the same terms (which includes volume, so the OEM/consumer distinction will still work for them).

Re:Some people (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39413999)

>Because they're a monopoly

What do they have a monopoly on? ANYONE can buy a Mac or even a Linux box. The majority of computing devices nowadays don't run Windows - they run Android and iOS.

Stop living in the 90s.

The Windows OS. Idiot. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39414205)

Or can you run all your windows programs on Mac or Linux without having to buy a Windows license?

Come on, kiddies! You'#re always whining about how Linux or Mac is no good because it can't run "Windows Super Duper Program Application Z".

But, when it comes to control over who can use the OS, it's all "Well, isn't Linux good enough for you?!?!?!".

Re:Some people (1)

Kalriath (849904) | more than 2 years ago | (#39422779)

Haven't you ever heard the saying "no one pays list price" in relation to Microsoft licensing? We hear it all the time (as a public health department we actually get two levels of discount on our purchasing!)

TuCloud = idiots (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39411519)

Who are OnLive? Oh, that huge company with many many users.

Who are tuCloud? Never heard of them until today, and after this opportunistic publicity grab I probably never will again.

It is always easier to ask forgiveness than permission, but it's easier to find forgiveness when you have a sizeable number of users. Money talks. There's nothing special about OnLive. If any successful company with actual users did the same thing, Microsoft would see an income stream waiting for them, rather than an insect to crush.

DesktopsOnDemand will do fine assuming they follow the OnLive model - start by attracting users with an online gaming service; when you are an established player, start playing fast and loose with licensing, and see what happens. Sadly they screwed that already by announcing an intention to rip Microsoft off on purpose. Bad move.

Re:TuCloud = idiots (2)

Kagetsuki (1620613) | more than 2 years ago | (#39412103)

DesktopsOnDemand will be a different corporate entity. In otherwords MS can sue DesktopsOnDemand into the ground and tuCloud will be unscathed. The guy is setting up another company that CAN go down in flames and just be scrapped if needed. As someone who's been harrassed by MS in the past I have to say I love this idea and I find the whole thing intensely entertaining.

Re:TuCloud = idiots (1)

Kalriath (849904) | more than 2 years ago | (#39422793)

I would suspect the courts would frown on his intentions and likely sweep aside the corporate protections. I've never seen a court back a director who deliberately set up a company in order to break the law or defraud other individuals/companies.

Point of order (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39411555)

It's worth pointing out that OnLive's model requires a machine per user anyway. There's no practical way to put 4 GPUs in a 16-core machine and have them virtualized, one each, to 4 instances of Windows. It's bad enough that each machine has to do video compression as well as running the game. If this is one of tuCloud's issues they're not paying attention to the facts.

Re:Point of order (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39411599)

It's worth pointing out that OnLive's model requires a machine per user anyway.

One machine per concurrent user. That's how they make it viable.

Re:Point of order (1)

julesh (229690) | more than 2 years ago | (#39413827)

There's no practical way to put 4 GPUs in a 16-core machine and have them virtualized, one each, to 4 instances of Windows

Yes, there is, it just requires hardware that is not present in consumer-level machines (PCI-SIG IO Virtualization, example implementation [virtensys.com]). Or alternatively, you can use GPU-accelerated emulation of a virtual GPU as (e.g.) vmware is capable of... that doesn't even require 4 GPUs to be present, although you can only expect approximately 20% of the performance of the host GPU in the virtual machines (direct IO virtualization should be faster than this).

It's bad enough that each machine has to do video compression as well as running the game.

This can be trivially achieved either with an additional GPU or with custom video compression hardware.

Microsoft VDI Licensing Conundrum (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39411681)

There's a short blog posting and longer report extract on MS licensing for VDI for multi-tenant service providers over at 360.
It clarifies the position based on discussions with the major vendors involved (Microsoft, VMware, Citrix).
http://360is.blogspot.co.uk/2012/03/microsoft-virtual-desktop-licensing.html

Who knows what the situation will be next week/month, but it's a decent explanation on what the state of play is today.

AG

Dur (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39411719)

The CEO of onlive is a former Microsoft executive.

They'll make some sort of 'agreement' just for public show.

Breaking News (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39411729)

A Microsoft spokesperson has responded to Mr. Bule's comment with

"Okay".

Sound business strategy... (2)

enaso1970 (759924) | more than 2 years ago | (#39411739)

...rely on the good will of Microsoft's lawyers. That's about as smart as relying on the soundness of their testing. Legal bills will sink them no matter the right or wrong.

Sounds like a great investment opp (1)

caywen (942955) | more than 2 years ago | (#39412073)

Give it 50/50 odds they get sued out of existence. They certainly won't build a big user base given a dare like that.

MS rely on piracy (1)

History's Coming To (1059484) | more than 2 years ago | (#39412185)

If MS actually stopped all unlicenced use of Windows then they'd soon be a minority OS, they rely on piracy to give them the bulk of the desktop market share. How many people do you know who've actually bought a copy of Windows? It's mostly OEM installations, and when it stops working most people have it replaced by an unlicensed version by a "mate with a disc".

Re:MS rely on piracy (1)

ZiakII (829432) | more than 2 years ago | (#39412383)

If MS actually stopped all unlicenced use of Windows then they'd soon be a minority OS, they rely on piracy to give them the bulk of the desktop market share. How many people do you know who've actually bought a copy of Windows? It's mostly OEM installations,

OEM installations are not pirated copies they are completely legal and have been paid for and officially bought. Not to mention how many companies are out there running Microsoft Windows in business with Site licenses.

It's mostly OEM installations, and when it stops working most people have it replaced by an unlicensed version by a "mate with a disc".

Secondly that statement doesn't make sense either. When the average user computer breaks down they really do 2 options.

1. Go to a computer repair shop.
2. Get an IT/Computer person to fix it.

If either one them are compliment, the fastest and easiest way is ook at the license sticker on the computer and install that version of Windows using that key. Which is completely legal, and not a pirated copy. So where most of the installations are pirated copies does not make sense at all.

Re:MS rely on piracy (1)

ZiakII (829432) | more than 2 years ago | (#39412607)

Whoops....competent not compliment. I am not competent in using spell check. =(

Re:MS rely on piracy (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 2 years ago | (#39417253)

LOL, thanks, I was wondering what you meant. Dew knot truss yore spill chucker!

Who's sad? (1)

jduhls (1666325) | more than 2 years ago | (#39412199)

Who's angry that Microsoft is inhibiting it's own growth? Who cares. Funny to watch it happen, though.

Wait TuCloud! Before you do anything rash... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39412251)

... let me get some popcorn.

OnLive has been skirting licensing for a while (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39412539)

The complaints from tuCloud aren't new for those in this space of IT. Brian Madden and several other forums / experts in the field have commented on the issues with MS Licensing and OnLive going back at least a year.

Here is the latest I have seen on the issue:
http://www.brianmadden.com/blogs/gabeknuth/archive/2012/03/09/gasp-turns-out-onlive-really-isn-t-in-compliance-with-microsoft-licensing.aspx

The real issue isn't that tuCloud is small and complaining, but rather MS is vastly limiting the use of possible VDI-based solutions based on their "old" licensing model.

I never got per-user licensing (1)

morgauxo (974071) | more than 2 years ago | (#39412803)

I thought twice before writing this. I know 1000 Windows liking Slashdotters are going to mod this down and call me a Linux fanboi but really? This kind of courtroom arguing seems so petty when viewed from the outside when so many great OSs are free for as many users as the hardware can handle. I just don't get what there is to Windows that is worth licensing at all. Don't get me wrong, it is much more stable than it was 10 years ago but what is special about it? Nothing that I can see...

Re:I never got per-user licensing (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 2 years ago | (#39413249)

Don't get me wrong, it is much more stable than it was 10 years ago

[citation needed]

but what is special about it? Nothing that I can see...

It runs Windows software, notably games. They're notable because they are less likely to run under Wine than productivity software.

Re:I never got per-user licensing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39418227)

Well, you could always give Windows a try, see if there is anything there that's worth paying for.

I think if you have been using Linux for a decade or more, as I have, and then return to Windows with an open mind, as I did, you discover that actually there are quite a few good points about it. All of the objections turn out to be either ideological (Stallmanism) or just the usual complaints of a new user trying to learn an unfamiliar system, which soon go away unless the user is so totally incompetent he cannot even learn to use the same user interface as 90% of all computer users worldwide. You aren't going to see a blue screen unless you work hard to produce one; all of that nonsense went away in 1999 with Windows 2000.

I think one trouble we Linux people have with Windows is that we judge it with a harsher standard than we would ever apply to any Linux distribution. Windows has to be 100% perfect all the time to get our approval. Whereas Linux has to be 1% perfect, occasionally, to get our approval. It's like we'll put up with any shit from Linux, whether it's Pulseaudio, Unity or Ubuntu's wifi-breaking updates. But we have exactly zero tolerance for anything even approaching the same level of awfulness over on Windows, like that Metro UI for Windows 8.

Now I think this is an illogical thought pattern, because the point is just to have a usable computer that doesn't suck, and who cares about anything else? So, we should not be treating Linux like some special-needs child where even the worst behaviour is still praised because it's the thought that counts and the poor little thing is trying so hard. If Linux is grown-up, then it's strengths and weaknesses need to be compared on a level playing field, and if you can really do that, you might well think the Windows per-user licence is worth it. Or, as most people around here seem to have done, you might just buy a Mac.

Guise Bule stop whining! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39413031)

Guise Bule should stop whining!
If he don't like the license restrictions of Windows, then shut up and go elsewhere.
Instead of trying to force Microsoft into lifting restrictions on virtual desktop licensing he can go use Linux or BSD instead.

Or, you know... (1)

JustAnotherIdiot (1980292) | more than 2 years ago | (#39413079)

You could just buy a volume license. Oh, but no, that's just silly. Go yell at microsoft to sue you instead.

Re:Or, you know... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39413185)

You can't buy a volume license and provide a desktop to someone not in your company. The person you are providing a desktop to would have to buy the license (which is unrealistic). The problem is that MS does not offer a SPLA (Service Provider License Agreement) for VDI solutions. Thus, hosting a desktop and providing it as a DaaS (Desktop as a Service) is breach of licensing with Microsoft. Thus the brew-ha-ha over OnLive. According to MS's own licensing, what they are doing is breaching the licensing model.

Seems like a good move. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39413467)

Form a shell company to force a monopoly to take action against you and your competitor.

Action taken: you force monopolist to take similar action against your competitor and Shell company goes into bankruptcy.

No Action: Profit

This is going to blow up (1)

CAIMLAS (41445) | more than 2 years ago | (#39416397)

This is going to blow up big, for both MS and TuCloud, I think. Considering the obvious intent Microsoft has with pushing Windows 8 as a service instead of a product (as they're already doing with Office 365 and will be tying the next version of Exchange), they're probably going to try to lock any competition out.

I'd not be surprised if OnLive is a project planned internally to Microsoft, and they moved it "outside" to avoid scrutiny and/or Justice Dept. probes, or something like that. The "offer" they'll give OnLive is to become a part of Microsoft, or something like it - and it'll have been planned since before OnLive first broke soil.

License compliance? (1)

Bert64 (520050) | more than 2 years ago | (#39419513)

How do they know OnLive don't have a private agreement with MS for licensing? Just because MS make the terms extortionate to everyone else, doesn't mean they can't have a special agreement with OnLive that effectively forces any competitors out of the market. That's what happens when you build a business that depends on a single supplier, they can enter the market themselves or favour your competitor and your utterly screwed.

microsoft won't care (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39419727)

from tfa

DesktopsOnDemand will be able to serve up to 1,000 desktops. However, Bule said the company will have a limited amount of money, and once it runs out he will let it go bankrupt.

if that's the case, microsoft won't give a shit about them... maybe a threatening letter or two but no legal action -- in order to avoid the possibility, however remote, of a bad ruling in court that affects their licenses and built-in restrictions (and in turn, their own bottom line)

Re:microsoft won't care (1)

Kalriath (849904) | more than 2 years ago | (#39422835)

And with a business model like that, he's sure as hell not getting any customers either.

Will probably hurt his core business too. I know I've added tuCloud to my "not fucking likely" list of service providers.

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