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Windows 8 Gets Personal Use License For Homebuilt PCs

timothy posted about 2 years ago | from the putting-it-all-together dept.

Operating Systems 330

An anonymous reader writes with this excerpt from Geek.com: "Microsoft has never really acknowledged or supported those among us who choose to build their own PCs. Windows licensing is usually offered in three forms: full retail product license, retail upgrade license, and OEM license. If you want to build your own machine at the moment, Microsoft expects you to buy a full retail copy of Windows. With Windows 8 that all changes and Microsoft has decided to actively support individuals who want to build their own machines or run Windows 8 as a virtual machine. That support comes in the form of a new license option called the Personal Use License for System Builder (PULSB). With PULSB, Microsoft is dumping the full retail license used in previous versions. Instead it is offering a version of Windows 8 to be installed as the main operating system on a single system meant for personal use, or in a virtual machine running on an existing PC (running any legal OS such as Windows 7, Mac OS X, or your favorite flavor of Linux)."

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330 comments

first (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41066725)

first

Re:first (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41067063)

That's why the ladies don't call you back the next day.

Re:first (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41067093)

Best answer to a first I've seen in ages, no mod points, so +1 funny

thanks

Re:first (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41067353)

I don't get it. Can you explain?

Re:first (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41067399)

doesn't matter, had sex.

Is it just me (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41066739)

Or is Microsoft really desperate to get windows 8 to work?

Re:Is it just me (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41066831)

Or is Microsoft really desperate to get windows 8 to work?

Why does it have to be a desperation move? Maybe Microsoft is looking to try to capitalize on revenue opportunities from people who either wouldn't consider Windows because of the full retail price or people who don't purchase additional copies because of the price. Desperation move or not, it's a great benefit to people who still need Windows and don't buy OEM systems.

Priced to reduce piracy. (5, Insightful)

jellomizer (103300) | about 2 years ago | (#41066997)

The issue has always been with a lot of piracy. The fallacy is the company is competing with free, that isn't the case, the problem is the company is competing with easier to get. Microsoft with its different licenses where the rates that people are willing to pay they are technically not support to pay. Even the guys who do not want a pirated copy but an original would get the OEM off eBay (something we really shouldn't be doing)... However if we can get a good price for the OS a lot of us will be willing to get the fully legit version.

Wonderful? At What Cost? (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41066745)

I don;t know that this is as wonderful as the post would like to suggest. It's never been a problem to purchase and use the deeply discounted OEM versions for home-built PCs. SO, my first question is what does a PULSB license cost as compared to OEM. The second question is; will we still be able to purchase OEM?

Re:Wonderful? At What Cost? (2)

mwvdlee (775178) | about 2 years ago | (#41066773)

Since buying the OEM version without a complete PC was never 100% legal te begin with, I'm assuming you can still get the OEM as usual.

Re:Wonderful? At What Cost? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41066811)

Sure there were restrictions, but you didn't have to buy a complete PC, you just needed to by enough parts from a single shop (in a single purchase) to make a PC that would run ... MB, RAM, Processor, storage, PSU plus the OS. Everything else you could get from wherever you liked.

This is of benefit to people wanting to run it on VM though.

Re:Wonderful? At What Cost? (1)

damien_kane (519267) | about 2 years ago | (#41066935)

Sure there were restrictions, but you didn't have to buy a complete PC, you just needed to by enough parts from a single shop (in a single purchase) to make a PC that would run ... MB, RAM, Processor, storage, PSU plus the OS. Everything else you could get from wherever you liked.

This is of benefit to people wanting to run it on VM though.

That was technically the requirement, however most shops would sell you the OS for purchasing any 1 piece of equipment which goes inside your case.
I upgraded the RAM in my laptop (2 sticks) and with it bought 2 OEM licenses of Win7; one for my laptop and one for the media PC.

Retina MacBook Pro and other sealed computers (2, Insightful)

tepples (727027) | about 2 years ago | (#41067079)

most shops would sell you the OS for purchasing any 1 piece of equipment which goes inside your case. [...] I upgraded the RAM in my laptop

Which isn't so good for people who want to run Windows on a MacBook Pro with Retina Display, which has almost no socketed parts. See the recent story about sealed-box computers [slashdot.org]

"But why would anyone want to run Windows on a Mac?" Developers who already have a Mac for developing Mac or iOS apps might need to dual-boot to Windows to test a web site in IE, port a Mac application to Windows, port a Mac game to XNA for Xbox Live Indie Games on Xbox 360, or port an iOS application to Windows Phone 7.

Re:Retina MacBook Pro and other sealed computers (1)

Haawkeye (2680377) | about 2 years ago | (#41067137)

Or like me. I really like my Mac but I run boot camp to play Rift and some other mmos I like that don't have a Mac client. This is great news for me because I won't have to she'll out for the full version of windows.

Re:Retina MacBook Pro and other sealed computers (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41067257)

Isn't this use case basically what the retail license was intended for?

Re:Retina MacBook Pro and other sealed computers (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41067271)

The "any 1 piece of equipment which goes inside your case" doesn't actually have to go into your computer. Newegg will happily sell you an OEM copy with the purchase of a $2 internal power cable.

Re:Wonderful? At What Cost? (3, Informative)

arth1 (260657) | about 2 years ago | (#41067103)

That was technically the requirement, however most shops would sell you the OS for purchasing any 1 piece of equipment which goes inside your case.

That's because there's no requirement that you buy all the parts from a single vendor or as a single purchase.

Re:Wonderful? At What Cost? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41067009)

Complying with license terms or a contract, and being legal are two different things.

Those in the U.S. should be aware that F.C.C. rules allow building up to two machines per year for personal use. Machines made for sale must be certified as complying with FCC rules (relating to conducted or radiated electromagnetic interference). FCC rules apply to all equipment using radio frequency energy.
Violators may be subject to fines of $20,000 per day that non-certified hardware is offered for sale.

Re:Wonderful? At What Cost? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41067393)

Bullshit

Re:Wonderful? At What Cost? (1)

itsme1234 (199680) | about 2 years ago | (#41067385)

Not only it was buying OEM version (if you found a vendor) 100% legit all the time (even if presumably frown upon) but reselling+splitting the OEM license from the original hardware was uphold in courts already (look for OEM windows on German ebay for example).
It's not that bad (for M$) because they still have a Microsoft tax on most retail laptops and now they probably won't repeat the "long-lived XP mistake" but I'm sure they were for quite a few years scared shitless by the spectre of a sane 2nd hand market for "used OEM Windows" flooded with all the licenses coming from broken PCs 3-4-5 years old.

Re:Wonderful? At What Cost? (5, Informative)

cbope (130292) | about 2 years ago | (#41066805)

I hate responding to AC's, but purchase of the OEM license has always been tied to some piece(s) of hardware purchased at the same time. I know there are lots of "workarounds" and these have been pretty liberally sold to home builders even without hardware, but the fact is it was/is a requirement for OEM Windows licenses.

I could care less about being able to purchase OEM anymore. The real question: Is the PULSB license transferable to new hardware, unlike OEM? This is why I would buy the retail licenses, they can be transferred to a new PC... OEM cannot and MS can deny your activation on new hardware if they suspect you are copying it.

Re:Wonderful? At What Cost? (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41066879)

ACs hate responding to you too, jackass.

Re:Wonderful? At What Cost? (5, Informative)

bigstrat2003 (1058574) | about 2 years ago | (#41066965)

Legality of the license aside (never bothered to read it, honestly), Microsoft has always been really good about letting you activate an OEM license on new hardware. The internet activation will generally fail after the first time, but the phone system works well - and if they do wind up making you talk to a real person, I have never had one of those reps refuse to help.

Re:Wonderful? At What Cost? (4, Interesting)

rsmith-mac (639075) | about 2 years ago | (#41067167)

I have never had one of those reps refuse to help.

There is a blacklist, but it's very, very hard to get on. You basically have to be installing Windows onto different motherboards on a weekly basis. For that reason the only person I know to ever end up on that list did motherboard evaluations for a living.

Re:Wonderful? At What Cost? (1)

Cuddlah (2677847) | about 2 years ago | (#41067401)

My guess is that the PULSB will be equivalent to an OEM copy in terms of cost, it just won't have that pesky legalese in the EULA that says that it's only to be used on a system that is intended for resale.

What's the difference.. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41066751)

Between this and the full product license?

Re:What's the difference.. (5, Informative)

rsmith-mac (639075) | about 2 years ago | (#41067109)

Retail: This license is portable; users can upgrade/replace their hardware and take their copy of Windows with them. Furthermore Microsoft provides support, and you can even use a retail version to perform an upgrade (though MS sells cheaper upgrade editions for that). For those reasons however it's the most expensive (i.e. full price) version.

OEM/System Builder: The license is non-portable and becomes locked to the motherboard. Microsoft does not provide any support (that's the OEM's job), and OEM copies can only be used to do a fresh install. Because of this it's cheaper than retail.

Re:What's the difference.. (1)

NJRoadfan (1254248) | about 2 years ago | (#41067165)

Would be nice if the retail versions offered a way to deactivate the copy of Windows to make loading it onto a replacement machine painless.

"will probably be on par with OEM pricing" (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41066769)

so what's the difference then?

Re:"will probably be on par with OEM pricing" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41066789)

This license is if you want to build a PC and use it yourself. The OEM license is if you want to build a PC specifically to sell.

Re:"will probably be on par with OEM pricing" (2)

Tubal-Cain (1289912) | about 2 years ago | (#41066841)

And how is it different from "full retail"?

Re:"will probably be on par with OEM pricing" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41066939)

Price.

Re:"will probably be on par with OEM pricing" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41067077)

Probably limits your options for upgrading the system once installed as well, just like an OEM version might.

Re:"will probably be on par with OEM pricing" (3, Informative)

Black LED (1957016) | about 2 years ago | (#41067085)

I am not sure how it will turn out but my guess is that the PULSB license is for people who want to build a PC for personal use, the OEM license is for people who want to build a PC to sell and the full retail license is for people who want to build a PC for commercial use, perhaps in a small business environment where it is practical and cost effective to do so.

Re:"will probably be on par with OEM pricing" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41066849)

This license is if you want to build a PC and use it yourself. The OEM license is if you want to build a PC specifically to sell.

OK. And what the heck is the "full retail product license" for? And what's the difference between the full retail and the PULSB other than cost? Why the heck would anyone ever pay for the full retail product license?

Re:"will probably be on par with OEM pricing" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41066975)

From TFA:

With PULSB, Microsoft is dumping the full retail license used in previous versions.

It sounds like Microsoft is completely getting rid of the old full retail license.

Re:"will probably be on par with OEM pricing" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41067007)

So they can move the OS with upgrades to the equipment. Upgrade your MB or HDD with OEM and you have to buy the license all over again. With retail, the OS can be installed on the new equipment as long as you uninstall it off the old.

The difference is licensing.

Only way to upgrade the hardware and keep the OS is either pirate, software assurance (I believe there is a minimum qty to purchase), retail.

Re:"will probably be on par with OEM pricing" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41067355)

IIRC the full retail also included some end user support from Microsoft. The OEM license says it's your responsibility to provide the end user support.

Re:"will probably be on par with OEM pricing" (2)

Dr. Evil (3501) | about 2 years ago | (#41067143)

The old trick for DIY was to get the OEM license on the same receipt as the motherboard, CPU and HDD. Then it's a "system". This is a frustration for Linux builders because it means that if you don't buy the OEM license off the bat, you can't go back and add it later.... so some people (myself included) would get the OEM license, even if we don't use it.

This change means that there's one less reason to buy Windows. If you get stuck while using Linux, you can add it to Virtualbox later.

This also just made switching to a Mac about $200 easier, you can't get an OEM license for Windows with a Mac at the Apple store.

Ballmer is an idiot.

Re:"will probably be on par with OEM pricing" (3, Insightful)

ottothecow (600101) | about 2 years ago | (#41067363)

I don't think microsoft particularily minds people buying a mac and then running windows on apple hardware.

Sure, they may only be bootcamping or VMing it for specific situations, but it beats the alternative which is the customer learning to live completely without windows.

Re:"will probably be on par with OEM pricing" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41066793)

One is legal, the other is technically not unless you're a reseller (OEM).

In other words -- doesn't affect the average person who builds their own PCs as computer stores usually sell OEM copies to end users regardless (sometimes bundling it with a hard drive or other piece of hardware to make it 'legit').

Re:"will probably be on par with OEM pricing" (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41066825)

If they can funnel everyone who builds their own machines into buying this version, they can lock down the retail/OEM versions harder (which will appeal to manufacturers). Then, a few years down the lines, they can pull the PULSB version and voila - the walled garden they've always wanted!

Of course they won't *actually* do that, but can't help but think they're trying to create a distinction and secure boot probably plays into it a little bit.

Re:"will probably be on par with OEM pricing" (1)

pla (258480) | about 2 years ago | (#41067275)

they can lock down the retail/OEM versions harder

"Lock down"? You mean like Win7, where you don't ever actually need to enter a product key and/or activate it to have a fully functional system?

Microsoft has always gamed the thin line between market share and enforcement; but for the first time in its history, I think they've finally acknowledged that people really do have viable alternatives. And the best way to preserve their real cash-cow, the Enterprise market? Give the product away to home users, because if they use it at home, they'll want it at work. Since that would piss off the cheese-eaters at EU HQ, though, Microsoft has opted to do the next best thing - Make it trivial to semi-legally license for a pittance, or even to outright pirate it. They just don't care unless you have "inc" in your name.

Re:"will probably be on par with OEM pricing" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41066999)

Apparently "final pricing for Windows 8 hasn’t been announced yet", so who knows?

This article is missing some rather important information.

Microsoft finally gets it (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41066797)

Sort of. Almost.
Errrrm, not so much really. No.
If I choose to run Windows as my primary OS I want the full monty, not something stripped down, and you just know MS has stripped SOMETHING out. If I run Windows in a virtual machine I'm probably just doing it for one or two apps.

Hey! Here's an idea -- MS could bless WINE and sell each of the Linux users a license to run a full-on win32/64 library. Yeah!

What? Where'd everybody go? Balmer? Bill? Hellooo-oo.

Echo.

Re:Microsoft finally gets it (4, Funny)

fridaynightsmoke (1589903) | about 2 years ago | (#41066835)

Hey! Here's an idea -- MS could bless WINE and sell each of the Linux users a license to run a full-on win32/64 library. Yeah!

Silly AC, only a religious organisation could bless wine. It'd have to be Apple...

Re:Microsoft finally gets it (2)

AC-x (735297) | about 2 years ago | (#41067159)

If I choose to run Windows as my primary OS I want the full monty, not something stripped down, and you just know MS has stripped SOMETHING out

Like the box and manual? That was the difference between the retail and OEM versions of Windows, and from the article it seems like this new PULSB release is just the OEM release by another name, as most system builders (if not using their work's volume licence key anyway ;) probably bought the OEM version this makes a lot of sense.

Whats the point? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41066813)

This seems like a waste of time and as I expect marketing $ on Microsoft's part. They expect the cost to be on par with the OEM version. So folks running windows now don't have to buy that random sata cable with the OS? Doesn't seem like much of a difference. I seriously doubt if you are building your own computer that you were running out and buying the retail version of Windows, that would be a bit silly.

Re:Whats the point? (2)

AC-x (735297) | about 2 years ago | (#41067175)

The point is apparently using the OEM version on your own PC wasn't technically legal, now it is.

cheaper? from a company? sure... (1)

bcong (1125705) | about 2 years ago | (#41066817)

I read the article and it sounds to me like they are "dumping the full retail license" for the PULSB license and keeping the OEM one. It states that the PULSB "will definitely be cheaper than purchasing a full retail license and probably on a par with OEM pricing." So am I really to believe that a company, Microsoft, is really going to be lowering the overall gross profits? Where's the catch?

Re:cheaper? from a company? sure... (1)

bigstrat2003 (1058574) | about 2 years ago | (#41066937)

They're not. Everyone just buys the OEM license right now anyway, so this won't really affect profits.

Re:cheaper? from a company? sure... (1)

gstoddart (321705) | about 2 years ago | (#41067289)

I don't ever buy the OEM, because I believe (possibly mistakenly) that you can't re-install from it properly, and you didn't have the flexibility to upgrade some of the components (specifically the motherboard).

The last computer I bought, I insisted on getting the full boxed retail version. I've always seen the OEM license as being more restricted. Whether or not that's accurate, I'm not entirely sure.

Re:cheaper? from a company? sure... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41066977)

They expect to gain more from people who used to pirate it and will now buy this option than what they'll lose from people who buy this option instead of full retail.

Re:cheaper? from a company? sure... (1)

Kjella (173770) | about 2 years ago | (#41067211)

I'm guessing the catch is that since it's priced like the OEM version it's tied to the hardware you install it on, on the positive side it's a proper end user license, not a system builder's version. It means you don't have to sell it with hardware - not that anyone cared when I bought it alone - and you probably have a slightly better support - in the OEM agreement you essentially take over part of the support responsibility. I guess it doesn't matter much but if you're first doing the effort of making it legal you'd like it to be done properly with all the i's dotted and t's crossed, not just quasi-legally. The pricing on retail+upgrade was so that you'd have to be a bit stupid to buy it anyway - you can afford 3-4 OEM versions before the upgrade path becomes cheaper. If you then want to skip a few generations like Vista then it'll take 20+ years to break even.

Define "legal OS" (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41066819)

What do they mean by "legal OS", and how do they enforce that particular point ?

Yes!!!! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41066821)

Finally we don't have to jump through hoops any more to sell our soul. We just have to pay for the extraction.

Simply Amazing. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41066829)

This is just another attempt at Microsoft for eroding the userbase of it's primary competitor, Linux.

Re:Simply Amazing. (1)

jellomizer (103300) | about 2 years ago | (#41067265)

This is just another attempt at Microsoft for eroding the userbase of it's primary competitor, Apple.

FTFY

Unless you consider Android Linux. That is a complacently separate debate. But Microsoft vs. the normal GNU/Linux distributions Microsoft is still strong, and not loosing much ground to them (Sorry Linux for Desktop Fans). But Apple has been sucking up a lot of Microsoft Thunder.
Mac Sales are gaining market share (at the expense of Microsoft), iPod, then iPhone then iPad, sucked up Microsoft growth market.

Android has been successful in the phone market. It hasn't yet gain traction in the Tablet market. And still after over a decade, no one has made the iPod Killer... The only iPod killer is Apples others products.

The GNU/Linux (The Linux we tend to think of) Distributions. Are not really good for the Desktop (still) they are great for servers, appliances, behind the scenes type of stuff, Developers Work stations. Yes Grandma can use Linux to browse the web, you can use it to code. But what about average Joe who wants to import pictures, make home movies, play games (with all their hardware working). Still Windows is dominate, if not windows they will use Apple.

Free (as in beer)? (3, Insightful)

sqrt(2) (786011) | about 2 years ago | (#41066837)

If it's not free (beer) then it's not going to make much of a difference converting unlicensed copies into licensed ones. Home built PCs often use unlicensed copies of Windows, among people who are building PCs to run Windows and games at least. You're not going to convert those people to legitimate users unless you can meet the current price they are paying now--which is zero.

For personal use I don't know why anyone would pay for a copy of Windows, especially when it means taking money away from spending it on hardware. When faced with the choice of a "legitimate" copy of Windows or the next highest graphics card or CPU, people will always choose the hardware that provides tangible improvement. A licensed copy of windows is bit-for-bit identical to the unlicensed one and offers no improvement other than some vague (false) sense of moral correctness. And that's entirely based on the user's subjective opinions on software licensing and the morality of imaginary property.

So whom is this licensing option really going to be for? I don't see it going anywhere, unless the price is so low as to be negligible, but then they'd be undercutting their other more profitable licensing options.

Re:Free (as in beer)? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41066947)

... and offers no improvement other than some vague (false) sense of moral correctness. And that's entirely based on the user's subjective opinions on software licensing and the morality of imaginary property.

So anyone who writes software is not entitled to get paid for it? And beyond morality, it's about legality. If you steal a copy of Windows, a court isn't going to care about morals.

Re:Free (as in beer)? (2, Interesting)

sqrt(2) (786011) | about 2 years ago | (#41067035)

You can get paid for your labor if you can find someone willing to pay for it, that is, you can get paid for the act of creating the software. But you have no right or claim to compensation for every copy that gets made after the fact. And you're committing a logical fallacy there about legality. You're appealing to authority, which says nothing about the correctness of the process or outcome. Our legal system reflects our morality, more or less, but often times it is at odds with it.

Re:Free (as in beer)? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41067391)

In summary, you are killing software as a business model. If no one can claim compensation for every copy made, who would pay money after the first copy was sold. The first purchaser can turn around and sell 10 copies for less money for no work.

Your argument would also kill the book industry. Once an author sells one copy of something written, anyone is free to copy or publish it on their own.

Re:Free (as in beer)? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41067207)

Nobody cares when you steal a copy, only when you steal the original. In most, if not all, cases the original is not stolen, just copied...

Re:Free (as in beer)? (1)

darkstar019 (2320432) | about 2 years ago | (#41066967)

my thoughts, exactly

Re:What about UEFI (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41067013)

Unlicensed will not run.

Re:What about UEFI (1)

sqrt(2) (786011) | about 2 years ago | (#41067067)

I'll believe that when I see it. Or when I don't see it, I guess.

If you're betting on hackers not figuring out how to run the most popular OS on the hardware they own you're quite the risk taker. Either that, or you have an incredibly, and dare I say unjustified, faith in MS's ability to create secure software.

Re:Free (as in beer)? (2)

mvmortier (1464377) | about 2 years ago | (#41067047)

Well, I can tell you that I paid for Windows 7, Windows XP I got with the PC I bought before. I'd much rather know that I'm getting all the updates and I don't need to have 20 hacked files laying around and then I get my system bitching me. I'm very willing to spend 80 bucks or so every 3 years for that peace of mind. Plus XP lasted a lot longer than that, and I don't plan to upgrade to Windows 8 any time soon.

Re:Free (as in beer)? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41067053)

I strongly disagree. If Microsoft offered windows 8 PULSB licenses for $20, a lot of those folks would buy it to not have the hassle of worrying about updates / inconveniences related to using a pirated OS. If Microsoft lowers the price enough I'm sure they will see a lot mor e licensed copies out there.

Re:Free (as in beer)? (1)

sqrt(2) (786011) | about 2 years ago | (#41067095)

You've probably not dealt with unlicensed copies of Windows recently. There is no inconvenience. They install just like the real thing and run perfectly without issues. All the updates work, everything runs normally. Depending on what you got you might need to run a program one time to insert a license key but after that it's indistinguishable from the licensed copy.

Re:Free (as in beer)? (4, Interesting)

WARM3CH (662028) | about 2 years ago | (#41067125)

You are just making HUGE assumptions with no evidence to back them. "You're not going to convert those people to legitimate users", "why anyone would pay for a copy of Window", "people will always choose the hardware that provides tangible improvement".

Why do you think every single user out there is a pirate that would never convert? I for one used to pirate Windows, for my home machines. That included Win 3.1, 95, 98, NT 4.0, 2000 and XP. With Windows 7 I got myself a legitimate, but discounted, full version (I don't remember how much it was, $40 or something). If they offer Windows 8 for a low price, I'll buy it.

In 2010 I paid over $3000 to buy components to build my workstation/gaming machine. Paying an extra $40, i.e. round 1.3% more to get the right software added no significant burden to my budget. I have no problem to pay for a software that I use everyday single day for a couple of years as long as I don't feel it is a rip-off. Since this is ./, yes, I boot into Linux when I need to.

Re:Free (as in beer)? (1)

ceoyoyo (59147) | about 2 years ago | (#41067151)

If the price is a significant discount, they probably will convert some people. There are a lot of people who wouldn't pay $250 for a Windows license, particularly when they know that OEMs get them for more like $25. But if one were available for $50? Some would buy. Quite a few would pick one up if it were $25.

MS did something similar with Office. Normally it's some ridiculous price in the multiple hundreds, but for students they sometimes drop it down to $25. Most students will buy a copy for $25. Very few will pay $300.

Re:Free (as in beer)? (2)

AC-x (735297) | about 2 years ago | (#41067203)

A licensed copy of windows is bit-for-bit identical to the unlicensed one and offers no improvement other than some vague (false) sense of moral correctness.

Well, don't forget not having to faff around cracking Windows activation.

Re:Free (as in beer)? (1)

Krneki (1192201) | about 2 years ago | (#41067251)

Why would anyone knowledgeable enough to build his own PC install Windows 8 on it?

Re:Free (as in beer)? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41067269)

For personal use I don't know why anyone would pay for a copy of Windows

Here is a reason. It is the right thing to do.

I never understood guys like you. You drop 2-5k on a rig, lights, dual video cards, 500 dollar heat sinks that are 3db quieter, . Then cheap out on 50-100 bucks of software...

You know how many copies of XP I have ever bought? 1. I used it on 4 different computers. Currently it is in a VM (moved between 3 different VMs at different stages as I was picking one). It was a 1 time sunk cost that lasted me nearly 12+ years so far.

I havent bought win7 yet other than the OEM copies that came with my last 3 laptops.

Re:Free (as in beer)? (1)

Nimey (114278) | about 2 years ago | (#41067309)

Not really. They'd just need to drop the price to something like $30. That was cheap enough to convince me to buy a legit Win7 license back when they were doing that promotion for people with a .edu email address.

New? (2)

MonkeyOfRage (779297) | about 2 years ago | (#41066843)

Since when is the system builder's license new? Am I missing something, because I could swear I have two of these (XP and 7)? They're usually about half the price of the full retail.

Re:New? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41066987)

Since when is the system builder's license new? Am I missing something, because I could swear I have two of these (XP and 7)? They're usually about half the price of the full retail.

They weren't legal, they were quasi-legal sales or totally illegal sales depending on what the actual license was. Companies tending to at least require some subset of a full system for the sale tended to be tolerated, but lots of companies reselling OEM licenses on their own were shut down over the years.

Re:New? (2)

rsmith-mac (639075) | about 2 years ago | (#41067027)

It's not new; it's basically a pack of OEM licenses for small volume builders. The only real difference is that Microsoft is now technically allowing individuals to use System Builder packs for their own personal machines. I say "technically" because as you note we've been able to do this for years and years.

Microsoft has never given a hoot over this since there's always been a clear distinction between what can be done with OEM licenses (locked to the mobo) and what can be done with retail licenses (can be moved). This appears to just be Legal cleaning up the EULA since individual use of OEM licenses was ambiguous before.

Prices? (3, Insightful)

Alter_3d (948458) | about 2 years ago | (#41066853)

From TFA:

Although final pricing for Windows 8 hasn’t been announced yet, the PULSB license will definitely be cheaper than purchasing a full retail license and probably on a par with OEM pricing. It is also expected that pricing in general for the new OS will be lower than what we currently pay for copies of Windows 7.

Hmmm... "not announced yet", "probably", "it is also expected"
Sounds like a lot of maybes.... I'll wait for the real prices to see if Microsoft actually is on to something.

Re:Prices? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41067227)

From TFA:

Although final pricing for Windows 8 hasn’t been announced yet, the PULSB license will definitely be cheaper than purchasing a full retail license and probably on a par with OEM pricing. It is also expected that pricing in general for the new OS will be lower than what we currently pay for copies of Windows 7.

Hmmm... "not announced yet", "probably", "it is also expected"

Sounds like a lot of maybes.... I'll wait for the real prices to see if Microsoft actually is on to something.

Agreed. Although this does appear to be a bit more promising to those of us that don't buy into shelling out $400 for a fully-operational OS, compared to the $150 artificially disabled (read: Home) version.

What's "assembling"? (3, Interesting)

fph il quozientatore (971015) | about 2 years ago | (#41066917)

What is "assembling"? Instead of buying a shiny boxed retail/update version, I suppose I can unscrew a screw from my old pc, re-screw it on, and then get the reduced "self-assembler" price?

My guess pulled out of my ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41067107)

What is "assembling"? Instead of buying a shiny boxed retail/update version, I suppose I can unscrew a screw from my old pc, re-screw it on, and then get the reduced "self-assembler" price?

Maybe bundle it with a motherboard purchase? So if you go to your favorite hardware seller and buy a motherboard, then you'll get a coupon, code for download, or be able to purchase this license in a box.

Just a guess how they'll enforce it.

Re:What's "assembling"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41067287)

From my reading this would count. They're not going to lock you into the hardware (as with the OEM license) but you're probably ineligible for support.

More money to Microsoft (4, Interesting)

hsa (598343) | about 2 years ago | (#41066931)

Oh, I can see why Microsoft would offer a new license:

- Personal -> they tie that your Windows-account, so you can't never ever sell it
- Single System -> they tie that to your PC configuration, so you can't change your GPU without upgrading to full version

.. so they are just making another confusing license and hope to gain more users for their Anytime Upgrade. I mean, you do have to upgrade your PC if you are like selling your old PC with PULSB. This way Microsoft can charge for Windows 8 twice, yay!

but... why??? (3, Interesting)

green1 (322787) | about 2 years ago | (#41066945)

I thought one of the biggest advantages to building your own computer was the ability NOT to pay microsoft for the privelidge of owning a computer. Sure there are one or 2 small places that allow you to buy a windows free, pre-built system, but usually with fairly limited selection of specs, and often no cheaper than a PC with windows installed (which tells me the company is probably paying Microsoft for the license, even though you aren't getting one (likely a bulk agreement where they pay microsoft per system sold instead of per license installed))
Building your own computer has, for years, been the only way to ensure you got your ideal machine, without having to also buy a windows license to run an operating system you already own, or are allowed to get for free.
I've built my own computers exclusively for nearly 20 years... though I must admit that I've slipped a bit here, I'm starting to look to a new computer now, and I haven't kept up with the latest news on components, It's not as easy as it once was to figure out which part is better than which other one, and without having kept up it's a bit of a daunting task to select the right parts this time... I'm debating just buying a pre-built system, but I don't really want to go that route after nearly 20 years of doing it myself.

Re:but... why??? (3, Insightful)

Dog-Cow (21281) | about 2 years ago | (#41067031)

That's only a big advantage if you don't want to run Windows. The vast majority of computer users do, in fact, want to run Windows.

Re:but... why??? (1)

green1 (322787) | about 2 years ago | (#41067221)

The vast majority of computer users also buy their machines pre-built. so that doesn't negate the idea of building a machine to avoid windows

Laptop (3, Informative)

tepples (727027) | about 2 years ago | (#41067177)

Building your own computer has, for years, been the only way to ensure you got your ideal machine

Maybe your ideal machine. My ideal machine, on the other hand, can be used while I ride public transit. I don't see a lot of stores in my home town selling kits to build a laptop.

Re:but... why??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41067193)

Maybe you should try buying something else than the big brands?

Re:but... why??? (1)

green1 (322787) | about 2 years ago | (#41067235)

The small brands generally include windows too. and very few will remove it from the price if asked.
I did state that there are some places that sell windows free machines. But usually a very limited selection of specs, and often at higher prices (due to lack of volume)
building your own has usually been a way to keep prices down, while getting your ideal machine, and not paying for the windows license you don't want or need.

Re:but... why??? (1)

Haawkeye (2680377) | about 2 years ago | (#41067205)

While I really like the idea of Linux it just does not do what I want it to. I a, not technical enough to figure it out either so I run windows and OSx in my house because they work.

Re:but... why??? (2)

green1 (322787) | about 2 years ago | (#41067335)

Funny, my experience with modern linux distributions has been that they "just work" unlike windows. Every time I sit down in front of a new windows install I get frustrated by the lack of codec support, or the lack of included DVD software, or the fact that each individual piece of software has a completely seperate and unrelated updater cluttering up the system tray, or a myriad of other issues. In contrast, on linux, I boot up, and it just works, any file I throw at it it opens, all the software is kept up to date by one package management system, new software is easy to find and install, and it just runs smooth and fast.
OSX mostly seems to work too, though I do find my fiance's mac is much more tempermental on some things than my linux machine, it often looses track of our network storage device and needs a re-boot, it has frequent trouble with more obscure codecs and file formats, but it's certainly miles ahead of windows, even if it hasn't caught up to Ubuntu yet.

"The software is licensed, not sold." (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41066949)

FTFL.

MS isn't merely 'simplifying' their licence agreement, they're cementing the license aspect to avoid reasonably onerous obligations of being a normal contracting party.

In brief: a contract for sale implies goods and services. Goods are subject to the Sale of Goods Act which implies terms on quality and fitness for purpose. And would you have guess it: legislation that governing unfair contractual terms does't apply to licences.

Hurray - if you brought from via a party, you've gone from ownership with the rights of a consumer to no ownership with no reasonable rights and the right to fair terms.

Dumping retail licenses? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41066971)

With PULSB, Microsoft is dumping the full retail license used in previous versions.

So it is either subscription based licensing (software assurance), or use on one PC only licensing.

Genius. Pay forever to use the OS, or be stuck on current hardware forever. Hope you don't have to change out a HDD or MB because the license will not transfer. This will make them millions.

I'm going to skip it (1)

Thing I am (761900) | about 2 years ago | (#41067187)

I'll skip this version of Windows just like I did Vista and ME.

I don't understand this... (1)

MistrBlank (1183469) | about 2 years ago | (#41067201)

If you had an old windows system you were upgrading, you bought the upgrade version.
If you were cheap and didn't need microsoft support you bought the system builders/OEM version.
If you had a system without an OS (meaning you built it yourself) you bought the full retail version.

I can understand the potential of a VM'd license, I don't understand offering one for people that "build their own systems". They already have two versions that work for that.

Is cheap cheap? (0)

garyoa1 (2067072) | about 2 years ago | (#41067247)

They say the upgrade (D/L) to windows 8 pro will be $40 for 3 months or so after it's release. After that your guess is as good as mine. Also no hint of the price of a full version.

On the one hand, it's great that the price has fallen. But I'm hoping they don't pull an "apple" and treat a service pack as an upgrade and charge for it.

You always have been able to.... (1)

Lumpy (12016) | about 2 years ago | (#41067373)

Buy a mouse? now you can legitimately buy an OEM copy of windows XP/Vista/Windows7/etc....

all PC hobbits have known of this for a decade... Or is Microsoft going to stop selling OEM copies to places like NewEgg? That would be the real story.

UEFI (1)

AwesomeMcgee (2437070) | about 2 years ago | (#41067419)

Am I the only one who thinks this is Microsoft's attempt (pretty good one I think) at having an offering that appeases the tech crowd so we don't rattle our cages and scare the normals when all the non-home-made PC's start coming out with windows 8 locked down by the UEFI (If I'm remembering the right term for the new boot method).

If that is the case, seems like the right response. If all the hp/dell/lenovo/acer/what have you cannot have their OS's replaced, many more will be home building who wouldn't have otherwise, and this option gives a non-locked down windows for our dual boot so we're not all using *nix only as MS fears.
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