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Vista to Allow "One Significant" Hardware Upgrade

CmdrTaco posted more than 7 years ago | from the how-very-generous-of-you dept.

641

fiorenza writes "Ars Technica spoke with Microsoft concerning the controversial changes in Windows Vista's licensing, and they have learned that Vista will permit one 'significant' hardware change before requiring users to either appeal to Microsoft support or purchase another license. Automatic re-activation online will fail after one use. Microsoft is using a new algorithm to monitor hardware changes and enforce licensing compliance, and the company says that it is more forgiving now than it was with Windows XP."

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641 comments

New Hardware Found..... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16647499)

Windows has detected a new non-microsoft mouse and now your computer will self destruct in 5,4,3,2,1...

Re:New Hardware Found..... (4, Insightful)

hotrodman (472382) | more than 7 years ago | (#16647615)


    As a small-business owner who spends all day just configuring/fixing/testing/developing/working, I can tell you right now.....This would pound the last nail into the coffin for using MS products for me. MS obviously doesn't care about people that have to make things WORK and have little time to do so. After I have spend a few hundred hours tweaking a mail server that will have to deliver 100,000 messages per day, or a web farm that has to work FLAWLESSLY and serve hundreds of millions of hits per month, this one thing that I would not want to have to deal with, especially when I have to add/change a network interface to accomodate a SAN development or some other change where we don't have time to worry about such nonsensical shit as "Will the OS allow us to do this"

  Screw that. My shop will stay Linux anyway, but that is just BS!
  - Eric

This is a communist PLOY to fund terrorists (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16647945)

This is a communist PLOY to fund terrorist activities in France and Hamburg.

So basically (3, Insightful)

kennedy (18142) | more than 7 years ago | (#16647509)

MS is looking to hurt the pc enthusiasts who for all intensive purposes helped them create such a vast "empire"?

aside from the various "grey" hacks and cracks that *WILL* come out of this - this is a very poor choice for MS imo.

Re:So basically (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16647551)

"for all intents and purposes"

Re:So basically (1)

ScottSCY (798415) | more than 7 years ago | (#16647587)

I don't think they really care that much. This policy won't affect 95% of their customers so it's probably a win for them financially.

One significant change of hardware (1)

JonTurner (178845) | more than 7 years ago | (#16648077)

>>This policy won't affect 95% of their customers so it's probably a win for them financially.

Especially those who say "to hell with all this nonsense" and switch themselves, their parents, and their siblings to Macs as I did. 5 PCs have gone dark, 5 new Macs online in their place, and my "family tech support" time has gone from approx 10 hours a month (and some six-hour marathons rebuilding virus-laden machines) to ZERO in the past year. A "win-win" scenario.

Re:So basically (1)

walt-sjc (145127) | more than 7 years ago | (#16647599)

pc enthusiasts

I think you meant "PC Novice". The enthusiasts were the ones trying new and different technologies rather than the bland boring crap that came with the PC.

Re:So basically (1)

kennedy (18142) | more than 7 years ago | (#16647867)

This may be true *today*, but think back to the time before we had a decent flavor of unix to run on cheaper x86 hardware.

ps - to whom ever marked my OP as flame bait, you're sorely mistaken :P

If it looks like a sale, it is a sale, right? (4, Insightful)

ByTor-2112 (313205) | more than 7 years ago | (#16647539)

When, oh when, will we be able to use what we paid for for what we want, within the limits of the law, without asking permission. Sheesh.

i'll give you a hint (4, Funny)

User 956 (568564) | more than 7 years ago | (#16647757)

When, oh when, will we be able to use what we paid for for what we want, within the limits of the law, without asking permission.

the phrase "0-day" doesn't exist for nothing.

Re:If it looks like a sale, it is a sale, right? (3, Insightful)

loimprevisto (910035) | more than 7 years ago | (#16647759)

When, oh when, will we be able to use what we paid for for what we want, within the limits of the law, without asking permission. Sheesh.
When you switch to Linux, of course.

Re:If it looks like a sale, it is a sale, right? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16647805)

When we stop buying products that limit the ways in which we can use them.

Re:If it looks like a sale, it is a sale, right? (0)

Ucklak (755284) | more than 7 years ago | (#16647849)

When, oh when, will we be able to use what we paid for for what we want, within the limits of the law, without asking permission.

Well, if you paid for a license of Vista, then you agreed to the EULA even if you read it after you bought it so you paid for it and you wanted it.
The provisions laid forth in the EULA are within the limits of the law.

Use Linux of you want to put an OS on any piece of hardware or if you're not a hardware junkie, buy a Mac.

Re:If it looks like a sale, it is a sale, right? (1)

p0ppe (246551) | more than 7 years ago | (#16647983)

Show me a hardware junkie that wouldn't drool over a quad-core Mac Pro.

Re:If it looks like a sale, it is a sale, right? (2, Funny)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 7 years ago | (#16648121)

If you drool anywhere near my quad-core Mac Pro* then you will receive a zidane special.

*in the future

Re:If it looks like a sale, it is a sale, right? (1)

voice_of_all_reason (926702) | more than 7 years ago | (#16648011)

The provisions laid forth in the EULA are within the limits of the law.

Not really. Take a look at this little gem:

LIMITATION ON AND EXCLUSION OF DAMAGES. You can recover from Microsoft and its suppliers only direct damages up to the amount you paid for the software. You cannot recover any other damages, including consequential, lost profits, special, indirect or incidental damages.

That says that you're agreeing you cannot (not will not) sue Microsoft for damages. That you do not have a right to bring your greivances before a court of law. Is is incorrect, and the EULA even says "may not apply in your state" a few lines down, but the original text is there nonetheless.

Re:If it looks like a sale, it is a sale, right? (1, Insightful)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 7 years ago | (#16647931)

You can get what you paid for. You paid for a license.

I never understood the idea of selling software, until I realized that software is never sold. For Microsoft, selling software would make no sense, because they couldn't really tell you not to decompile it, as long as you weren't breaking patent or copyright laws. Naturally, Microsoft doesn't want this to happen, since it would allow people to figure out their various proprietary protocols and formats [and then write a description and have somebody else implement...], as well as turn a "home edition" into a thousand-user server.

Re:If it looks like a sale, it is a sale, right? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16647967)

When you switch to a Mac. No serial number, no activation, no WGA.

Re:If it looks like a sale, it is a sale, right? (2, Interesting)

moronoxyd (1000371) | more than 7 years ago | (#16648209)

So the use of Mac OS is not limited to Apple hardware? Since when? (No, don't tell me about hacks -- there will be hacks for Vista as well) The rights of users of Mac OS are just als limited as those of Vista users.

Re:If it looks like a sale, it is a sale, right? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16648139)

When? When you relinquish your commie, terrorist ideals. Who do you think places these restrictions upon your behavior? It is us, your benevolent caretakers, ensuring the proper distribution of power. And how can we ensure the proper distribution of power unless we are given the power to give and take power?

We have the wealth to attest to our correctness. Would you claim otherwise? I'll see you hang for it, ungrateful wretch.

The path to this "liberty" you seek is clear. If you want to do precisely what you're permitted to do, you'll be permitted to do whatever you want.

Re:If it looks like a sale, it is a sale, right? (1)

misleb (129952) | more than 7 years ago | (#16648191)

When, oh when, will we be able to use what we paid for for what we want, within the limits of the law, without asking permission. Sheesh.


In -6 years.

-matthew

Of course... (4, Insightful)

oberondarksoul (723118) | more than 7 years ago | (#16647553)

that all depends on how they choose to define 'significant'. Gamers who regularly upgrade their box are going to be unhappy at any rate; if a video card is considered 'significant', I can see storm clouds blowing. Of course, Microsoft won't care - they've got their money, and with the example of Halo 2, they can count on those purchases of Vista as given for the hardcore.

Re:Of course... (1)

advocate_one (662832) | more than 7 years ago | (#16647659)

they lost me 7 years ago. That was the last box I bought with windows on. Since then, I've dumped them and switched to Linux. Never regretted it.

Re:Of course... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16647761)

In Windows XP, "significant" essentially meant ripping the hard drive out of one computer and placing it in another. Possible to hit when upgrading a box if you're upgrading everything, I guess, but I never did and I've replaced every single part in the computer since the original install.

Since Vista is supposed to be even more forgiving, I can't imagine anyone accidentally hitting this without doing something like ghosting a hard drive and then copying that onto a brand new computer. Something that should be legal (assuming the original computer had the OS removed prior to the image being placed on the new one, of course), but extremely uncommon for most people who aren't a large IT department. And any competent IT department will be using versions of Vista that don't require the same activation, anyway.

The Windows XP activation system was a non-issue for very nearly all users, and apparently Microsoft is trying to make Vista even smoother. I except Vista's will be a complete non-issue as well.

Re:Of course... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16647897)

I've heard of everything including network cards tripping the Win XP one, it really depends on your luck I think. As for it being a non-issue? I've heard a lot of complaints.

Re:Of course... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16647923)

I agree with you. With my current system, I have added memory, upgraded hard drives (I keep a separate boot drive) changed video card, changed sound card, changed DVD writer, added a tablet, added 2 new printers, and a scanner and I have not been asked to re-activate. from what I have seen, very little short of putting your boot drive in a new machine, or swapping motherboards required re-activation.

Re:Of course... (1)

IflyRC (956454) | more than 7 years ago | (#16647819)

Running XP, I have had to call support once. I have upgraded video cards, ram, hard drives, sound cards...the ONLY thing that has set off activation via hardware install was upgrading the processor and motherboard (which required a re-install of Windows XP). The other times I had to reactivate included my own choices of reinstalling the OS.

Virtualization (1)

ichthus (72442) | more than 7 years ago | (#16647563)

Another great use case for virtualization.

Re:Virtualization (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16647691)

Which is why you are not allowed to virtualize Vista (see some /. story from 2 weeks ago)

Re:Virtualization (2, Informative)

brunascle (994197) | more than 7 years ago | (#16647779)

yeah, they thought of that too...

as it says in the EULA [theregister.co.uk] , you cant use the Home or Premium versions with virtualization. only the $400 Ultimate version. but, apparently, there's no technical restrictions keeping you from doing it, just legal.

Cars (2, Insightful)

nillawafer (1018564) | more than 7 years ago | (#16647571)

Anybody hear about the new cars? You buy them and you can only add one new component. After that, you've got to buy another one. Also, have you heard about the houses you can buy? You can only renovate them or add on to them one time. What?!? Doesn't make sense? That's because when you buy something you should be able to do what you want with it. The license is yours. When I buy a new car, I transfer my license the the new car. The license is mine.

Re:Cars (1)

rehtonAesoohC (954490) | more than 7 years ago | (#16647677)

Yeah go ahead and let your wife drive your car. Then at the same time, try to get in and take your car to work.

Let me know how that goes for you.

Re:Cars (1)

nillawafer (1018564) | more than 7 years ago | (#16647765)

I'm not talking about putting the same licenses on different cars. I'm talking about modifying cars. When I drive a car off of the lot, I can add as many components to that car as I wish (or upgrade, if you will).

Re:Cars (1)

MysticOne (142751) | more than 7 years ago | (#16647903)

The difference is that with cars, you're buying a specific, physical piece of equipment. It belongs to you, it's your property. You didn't purchase a license to use it. However, instead of buying the car, let's say you lease the car. There are many more restrictions on what you can do with the car, because it doesn't technically belong to you. This is much the same as purchasing a license for software, rather than actually purchasing and owning your copy of the software. Microsoft and other companies don't want to sell you software, they want to lease or rent it to you, so they get your money and retain control.

Re:Cars (1)

rehtonAesoohC (954490) | more than 7 years ago | (#16647915)

Well that is very true, but I think you're overlooking the main intent here.

Say someone is monitoring who is using the license to your car. There may be different drivers in the car (users on the PC), or there may be different components added to the car (upgrading per se) but there can only be ONE person driving the car at any given time. In a computer, if the components of the car change between two installations, then either someone upgraded their PC, or that license is being pirated to multiple PCs. No matter how hard you try, no one could drive your car at the same time as you (ie- having 2 copies of vista installed on multiple PCs), so the components of a car don't matter; however, in a PC, components do matter (to some extent- barring legitimacy) in determining piracy.

Make sense?

Re:Cars (1)

nillawafer (1018564) | more than 7 years ago | (#16647997)

Yes, I understand. It just sucks because Microsoft can bully us and we have no other option. (Read: viable option)

Re:Cars (1)

Bassman59 (519820) | more than 7 years ago | (#16647999)

Yeah go ahead and let your wife drive your car. Then at the same time, try to get in and take your car to work.

Excellent analogy.

Re:Cars (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16648225)

Actually that is a horrible analogy that has absolutely nothing to do with the topic at hand.

I actually feel dumber having read it and knowing that someone thinks it relates in ANY way.

Re:Cars (1)

3278 (1011735) | more than 7 years ago | (#16647845)

> Anybody hear about the new cars? You buy them and you can only add one new component. After that, you've got to buy another one.
It's not "one component." More details are available on other sites regarding the precise requirements.

> Also, have you heard about the houses you can buy? You can only renovate them or add on to them one time. What?!? Doesn't make sense? That's because when you buy something you should be able to do what you want with it. The license is yours. When I buy a new car, I transfer my license the the new car. The license is mine.
Ironically, you often can't do what you want when you buy a house, because when you "buy" a house, you often don't own it! [The bank does.] Even more frequently, you cannot make significant alterations to a new car without invalidating their "free support!" If you buy a brand new BMW and slap a supercharger on it, you no longer have an valid warranty. ["But why? I own it, right? I can do whatever I want to it!"] Except property just isn't that simple in the real world; sometimes, it's not as cut and dried as we'd like it to be. There are these contracts which cover fair use and acceptable use and support and thousands of other things. Don't like it? Pay cash for your house, screw your car warranty, and use Linux. You have that right.

The fact is, you're not buying a house or a car, you're buying a software license. It's an agreement between you and the software manufacturer regarding how you can and cannot use the software they have licensed to you. You are free, if you do not agree to the terms of the license, not to buy it. You weigh the pros and cons of the contract and make a free decision. So weigh the pros and cons, and make your decision. And by all means, if you don't like the terms of a contract, encourage the manufacturer to alter it; just don't be so naive as to ignore its existence and pretend that you own Windows Vista.

Errr... (1)

Otter (3800) | more than 7 years ago | (#16647575)

...before requiring users to either appeal to Microsoft support or purchase another license.

I suppose that's true, in the sense that I'm required to either "appeal" to the valet parking guy or purchase another car.

Shoot themselves in the foot. (4, Interesting)

d3am0n (664505) | more than 7 years ago | (#16647591)

So now the only reasonable option for the OS you purchased after you do something common like toss in a new video card, is to go out and get a pirate version? Well whatever, if MS wants to drive more people towards using superior pirated products, so be it. This seems to be part of a larger industry trend of artificially limiting products when there are uncrippled products out there if people look around, which just makes people want to look around. These sorts of tactics are going to bloat the pirate population, pass the rum me-hearty, y'aarrrrrrr.

I'm poor man (2, Insightful)

Joebert (946227) | more than 7 years ago | (#16647593)

So does this mean I can't buy a 5 gig stick of ram now & another one later instead of a single 10 gig stick ?

Man, it sucks being poor.

Re:I'm poor man (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16648013)

5G stick? No such thing. 10G either.

How is this more friendly than XP? (1)

JustNiz (692889) | more than 7 years ago | (#16647595)

>> Automatic re-activation online will fail after one use.

You get more than that with XP. How can Microsoft claim that this is more friendly?

Re:How is this more friendly than XP? (1)

Peter Mork (951443) | more than 7 years ago | (#16647885)

"Automatic re-activation online will fail after one use." You get more than that with XP. How can Microsoft claim that this is more friendly?

Because (they claim) fewer upgrades will require re-activation. They (claim to) have an improved algorithm that produces fewer false violations. That said, this sounds like the straw that breaks my proverbial camel's back.

Not exactly news (3, Informative)

Sassinak (150422) | more than 7 years ago | (#16647605)

This is really funny but not really news knowing MS.

See this: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2006/10/29/microsoft_ vista_eula_analysis/ [theregister.co.uk]

and this: http://www.gripe2ed.com/scoop/story/2006/10/24/045 6/5625 [gripe2ed.com]

and this: http://blogs.zdnet.com/Bott/?p=158 [zdnet.com]

MS is doing their best to kill Vista when/where they can. I wonder if they have OS/2'itis.

Re:Not exactly news (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16647881)

OS/2 had the workplace shell.. a TRUE object oriented graphical manager.. vista still doesn't even come close..

so..

no os/2itis..

more MS Bobish than anything

My Windows activation experience (5, Informative)

rehtonAesoohC (954490) | more than 7 years ago | (#16647623)

I purchased one copy of Windows XP Professional a long time ago, and since then I have installed it on at least 5 machines of mine or family.

I did upgrade my computer at one point, and the activation failed, so I called Windows support. I was quickly connected to some outsourced support technician who asked me the CD key of my XP CD, as well as the serial number and release (I think?) number. After giving him this info, he gave me a new CD key, which I assumed to be one shot only, like the previous one I had.

I have since learned that this is apparently a get-out-of-jail-free CD key, because I am able to install the same CD onto any machine with any hardware configuration and always pass Windows activation. And if Vista will be more lenient than XP was, then heck, I'm more than happy!

Re:My Windows activation experience (1)

foniksonik (573572) | more than 7 years ago | (#16647927)

Want to share your "Magic Skeleton Key" with the rest of us ;-p or just me at least? I promise I won't abuse it ;-p

Re:My Windows activation experience (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16647933)

i've used my (pirated) copy of XP a few different times. i was surprised after it worked on the 2nd computer, considering all that hype about WGA. i figured it was because i used the same default username on both machines. then when i built a new box for my media center, it wouldnt let me upgrade to SP2.

guess how i finally got it to work? i turned off the other machine. GG MS.

I need to be "forgiven" to upgrade? (5, Insightful)

Futurepower(R) (558542) | more than 7 years ago | (#16647629)

"... the company says that it is more forgiving now than it was with Windows XP."

It's uncomfortable to be in the situation that when I want to upgrade my computer, I need to be "forgiven".

--
The best of the Bush comedy videos [futurepower.org]

"More Forgiving" (1)

gentimjs (930934) | more than 7 years ago | (#16647633)

Yes, "More Forgiving" in that now they wont sue you into the abyss ... just offer to let you pay them more money willingly ...

"Nice computer you have there ... just make sure not to upgrade that same PC too far, since our platinum-level partners over at Dell and HP would be upset if anything were to 'happen' to your OS install ...."

no one really knows (1)

Nate Fox (1271) | more than 7 years ago | (#16647645)

http://techreport.com/onearticle.x/11109 [techreport.com]
"Furthermore, users who go through such upgrades will be allowed to re-active their copy of Vista up to 10 times."

I really dont think its as big of a deal as a lot of people are making it out to be. Here's an example of how it worked in XP:

"User swaps the motherboard and CPU chip for an upgraded one, swaps the video adapter, adds a second hard drive for additional storage, doubles the amount of RAM, and swaps the CD ROM drive for a faster one.

Result: Reactivation is NOT required."

http://www.microsoft.com/technet/prodtechnol/winxp pro/evaluate/xpactiv.mspx [microsoft.com]

Again you'd have to change so much hardware, it would be no different than installing on a new machine. And you can just call them and they give you a new key in just a few minutes... not a big deal.

Re:no one really knows (2, Informative)

LordKronos (470910) | more than 7 years ago | (#16647851)

Here's an example of how it worked in XP:

"User swaps the motherboard and CPU chip for an upgraded one, swaps the video adapter, adds a second hard drive for additional storage, doubles the amount of RAM, and swaps the CD ROM drive for a faster one.

Result: Reactivation is NOT required."


And here is another example of how it worked (or rather, didn't work) in XP:

Upgraded from a direct connected single hard drive to a RAID card and 2 drive mirrored array.

Result: had to waste time on the phone with Microsoft getting a new key to install again. The previous key had only ever been used 1 time.

What about non-upgrades..? (1)

joshetc (955226) | more than 7 years ago | (#16647647)

But simply re-installs. I hope it is safe to assume we'll be waiting ~5-6 years before the next Windows release. Suppose in 3 years I use my "one upgrade". Does this leave me room to reinstall Windows semi-annually or more frequent? I may not be the typical computer user but in the last 8 years or so I've sometimes gone as little as 2 weeks between formats.. this could be a serious issue for many people..

No virtualization either. (1)

draos (672972) | more than 7 years ago | (#16647661)

This article goes over some of the finer points of the Vista license: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2006/10/29/microsoft_ vista_eula_analysis/ [theregister.co.uk] Besides the "significant upgrade" crap they are also disallowing virtualization in the two cheapest licenses. It's going to get a lot more expensive to test web pages in IE if I have to either buy a premium license or a separate computer.

Re:No virtualization either. (1)

Tibby Lickle (1006519) | more than 7 years ago | (#16648105)

I found IEs 4 Linux [tatanka.com.br] to be really helpful for testing web pages on various versions of IE. They're hopefully bringing out support for IE7 soon too.

I suppose that it's only really helpful if you're running Linux though.

What? (1)

denmarkw00t (892627) | more than 7 years ago | (#16647679)

...and the company says that it is more forgiving now than it was with Windows XP
Um, thats about all I can say is "What?"

Re:What? (1)

Shados (741919) | more than 7 years ago | (#16647731)

It probably means that since you can only change your machine once, that they made the description of what is a change in machine a lot more flexible. Most likely as long as you don't change 90% of the hardware in ONE shot, it doesnt count... Aka: if you change the board, the video card, the sound card, the network card, the monitor (lol), etc in one shot, it will count as changing machine. But if one month you change the board, next month the video, next month the sound, etc, it won't use up your "one time chance", ever. Thats my guess anyway. I flipped my machine upside down, and WinXP didn't notice...so if Vista's is even MORE forgiving...you probably can install it on a Mac from a Pc and it wont realize it >.>

Re:What? (1)

egburr (141740) | more than 7 years ago | (#16648083)

Considering that on my computer (and probably most except serious gamers and artists) the video, sound, and ethernet are all built-in on the motherboard, if I should have to change the board, they all go at once. I'd get to keep the hard drive and cd/dvd drive. This should count as a new computer? Although I would hope that would never happen more than once on a given computer, why should that count as my one allowed change?

This really might not be THAT much of a problem... (2, Insightful)

Mikachu (972457) | more than 7 years ago | (#16647685)

...if it wasn't for the fact that WINDOWS MAKES IT IMPOSSIBLE TO INSTALL NEW HARDWARE IN ONE TRY.

The biggest benefit of a PC over buying something like a Mac was specifically upgrades. The ability to purchase a new video card for a relatively low price when games start requiring more than you can handle, etc. So effectively, this makes the PC lose its greatest benefit. That's absolutely ridiculous.

Fuck you, Microsoft. Some of the other stuff that was new in their license kinda bothered me a bit, but it didn't really affect me much. But I'm a casual gamer, and this makes it impossible.

Re:This really might not be THAT much of a problem (3, Insightful)

Shados (741919) | more than 7 years ago | (#16647827)

I didnt read the article, but the little bits above says that the algorythm is more forgiving than XP. in XP you can change almost everything and it doesn't notice... You think changing your videocard will trigger anything in Vista?

Re:This really might not be THAT much of a problem (0)

sqlrob (173498) | more than 7 years ago | (#16648079)

No, that MS *says* is more forgiving.

I'll believe that when I see it in production.

Re:This really might not be THAT much of a problem (1)

Wilson_6500 (896824) | more than 7 years ago | (#16648043)

WINDOWS MAKES IT IMPOSSIBLE TO INSTALL NEW HARDWARE IN ONE TRY

Is this still true? I haven't tried to upgrade a component for a while (without at the same time reinstalling the OS onto a new HDD and all)--the last upgrade I did was to slot in new memory, and that went off without a hitch. I can see something like a video card being much harder, but my last video card replacement was under W2k, if I remember correctly, and probably required just a few reboots with a minimal amount of time spent using software drivers--that switch will probably not "count," though.

And, off-topic, you can't really purchase new video cards for "relatively low" prices these days. Well, you can do it, but only if you're looking for a marginal upgrade. And I suppose it's still relatively low compared to buying an entire Mac, unless maybe you're going for top-of-the-line SLI/Crossfire.

"Bite Not The Hand That Feeds, Children." (2, Insightful)

CheeseburgerBrown (553703) | more than 7 years ago | (#16647687)

This is nail number 128 in the coffin lid of the Universal Computing Device. Welcome to the machine.

We will tell you when and where you may apply your licensed software. Do not try to trick us, because we will know. This hurts us more than it hurts you. It's for your own good. This is the only way we can protect our ability to deliver robust, secure software on-time and on-demand.

...Um. Scratch that.

Thank you Linus. I mean, seriously. Thank you. Whose chaps would we be sucking if it weren't for you?

Activation problems - what to do? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16647705)

I have problems activating Microsoft Office, they claim that the code printed on the envelope is not correct. I'm waiting for an answer for two weeks now. I sent them photos of the envelope, of the CD, removed and reinstalled Office, ...

Microsoft received my money, but they are refusing to activate their product.

Re:Activation problems - what to do? (1)

draos (672972) | more than 7 years ago | (#16647809)

I went through the same thing...bought a laptop with preinstalled XP, swapped out the hard drive, restored from the cd image it came from and then was unable to activate. Contacted MS...they, after several calls and several weeks, provided me with a download that would fix the situation...but it did not...I finally had to use a dubious third party solution to get around the activation problem.

I am altering the deal... (5, Funny)

Weaselmancer (533834) | more than 7 years ago | (#16647721)

...pray I don't alter it any further.

Proving once again... (2, Funny)

AltGrendel (175092) | more than 7 years ago | (#16647829)

...that a Smith and Wesson beats four aces any time.

It's not off topic, just think about it for a moment.

Godwin's Corollary (1)

Kelson (129150) | more than 7 years ago | (#16648193)

As a discussion involving Microsoft grows longer, the probability of the Galactic Empire or Sith being mentioned approaches one.

Time Machine - Remember Bob ? (1)

gx5000 (863863) | more than 7 years ago | (#16647737)

I just can't wait until this beast roars past us...
Oh yes, the ten best reasons to upgrade to Vista are/will be...

Gaming, directX and please, no one bought our new OS....
They should call it VistaBob....crash and burn....

Secutity enhancements ? Oh please...If you're relying on Microsoft
to protect your Microsoft OS you're already on a zombie PC.....

One can only hope that Vista will be replaced by a robust
and free XP SP3 though 5. (yeah like that'll ever happen ;-) )

Message ends

Not too bad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16647749)

This looks like a great feature, how long until Ubuntu will offer this functionality? Linux is lagging behind Microsoft due to the lack of this feature.

-evilghost

I hate when that happens... (1)

DaveM753 (844913) | more than 7 years ago | (#16647753)

I was really torked when I got a new motherboard and had to buy a whole new copy of Linux.

Oh, wait...

Re:I hate when that happens... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16648135)

that should be "torqued"...

That second upgrade (4, Funny)

bobdotorg (598873) | more than 7 years ago | (#16647785)

If it's true that you need to purchase a new license after one significant upgrade, I suspect that for many, something like this will be their
second upgrade. [apple.com]

My Monopoly (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 7 years ago | (#16647869)

Now the sense of "My Computer" is revealed for certain: it undeniably refers to "Microsoft's computer", that Microsoft forgives you for using.

Does anyone believe that Microsoft would sell any copies of an OS that forced you to pay for a new copy just because you upgrade to a better computer, without the force of its monopoly? Probably because all the MS bloatware makes your old one run too slow.

MS abused its monopoly by illegally bundling Internet Explorer. And by anticompetitively blackmailing HW vendors into bundling Windows with their PCs. The Federal government said it would take action to rein in the rampant monopoly. Of course that never happened, not with the Bush Department of Justice that prefers monopolies to competition. Now MS is dropping its mask, and forcing users to pay Microsoft whenever they upgrade their PC - even though we get no extra value from MS for our money. But we'll have to anyway, because Microsoft's market dominance is a monopoly.

windows activation (5, Insightful)

Pompatus (642396) | more than 7 years ago | (#16647955)

Windows activation is a joke anyway. You can keep using the same cdkey, you just have to call their 800 number. It's been awhile since I've done it, but they ask you a stupid question like "is this copy of windows installed on any other computers". I think once they asked me why I was reinstalling and I stated "reformat because of a virus". Let them argue that. If they complain you've called too much complain that their OS is too virus prone and keeps making you reformat. I don't know which is easier to do, get the anti-activation crack or call the 800 number.

Re:windows activation (1)

Shados (741919) | more than 7 years ago | (#16648053)

bingo. And it will be the same for Vista. It will just be a 5 minutes phone call away if you get activation issues, even if its not ligitimate.
All this is, is an annoying way to "educate" (i use this lightly) people who don't know about how microsoft junk is being licensed. Aside for the phone call, you'll be able to do whatever with your CD... this is just for show more than anything else.

Imagine the lawsuits.... (1)

GuyverDH (232921) | more than 7 years ago | (#16647961)

Windows Marketer...

Hmmm, how can we generate more revenue?

I know, we make it so that they can never re-install the OS on the same hardware without buying a new license.
Then we design in new security flaws (what? We don't need to design in new security flaws? They're already there? - cool - no extra work needed then) - wait for the operating system to fubar itself, and then collect another license fee when the user re-installs it.

Let's see - with a low estimate of 20 million users, at twice month re-install rates, that's 40 million licenses a month, at ~200 a pop, we collect 8 billion in revenue the first month alone... (cue the muahahahaha and mad scientist music)

meanwhile over at the Justice Department...

USAGboy - Holy rotten licensure Ratman, we've got to do something about this.
Ratman (aka GWB) - Don't worry USAGboy, we've already got it covered - we collect $20 out of every $200 renewal fee. We get our money, M$ gets theirs, and our constituants are screwed as usual...

Now imagine a GPL v2 OS imposes the same (1)

Andy Tai (1884) | more than 7 years ago | (#16647971)

upgrade restrictions....

With DRM, it is possible to do this...

Long Live Windows 2000, I guess (2, Insightful)

linguae (763922) | more than 7 years ago | (#16647973)

It looks like forced activation and DRM is the wave of the future. MS gained their monopoly by creating an operating system (DOS and Windows up and including 2000) that can be ran on any old PC. MS used to not care about charging you for another license of Windows when you upgraded your PC multiple times; they figured that it was great that you were using Windows instead of OS/2, NEXTSTEP, DR-DOS, or the other alternatives at the time. Since they gained 95% market share, they repay you by implementing restrictive activation schemes that get worse with each release of Windows.

I say, no thanks. Me and thousands of other people will still hold on to our Windows 2000 disks. Even though I don't use Windows anymore (too bad Boot Camp for Mac doesn't support Windows 2000), I know plenty of people who haven't gone to XP because of this. Activation negatively inconviences (and sometimes even locks out) those who legally buy their software (no activation scheme is perfect); those who illegally obtain their software can just download a cracked version or a corporate version of it. I don't want treated as a pirate as a customer. But that is how MS wants to treat us. Oh well. I'm not buying any new versions of Windows or Office for this Mac; I'm sticking to Windows 2000 and Office 2000.

Viva Windows 2000!

How many upgrades does it take.. (2, Insightful)

The Creator (4611) | more than 7 years ago | (#16647979)

Before Microsoft has spent more money supporting a licenced customer than thay gained from the sale?

New algorithm (3, Funny)

cbiltcliffe (186293) | more than 7 years ago | (#16648001)

Microsoft's new algorithm:

if ($windows_version = 'vista')
      {
      $pirated = true;
} else
      {
      $pirated = true;
}

Re:New algorithm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16648211)

apart from you being completely unable to use indentation in a meaningful manner your comment is just utterly meaningless.

Well, then a Mac becomes my change ... (1)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 7 years ago | (#16648007)

If M$ is going to even further ram this down our throats that if I add any hardware other than what they feel they've been paid for, they get paid again .... my first significant hardward upgrade will be the purchase of a Mac.

I've already seen Vista preview editions at work, and I'm underwhelmed by it. If they're gonna lock it down so that I can't legitimately replace borked hardware without them getting a cut, they'll get nothing out of me.

I'll run XP until they drop support for it, and I'll migrate to a Mac, simple as that.

Re:Well, then a Mac becomes my change ... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16648123)

If you're serious about changing, there's really little reason to wait that long. But I suspect you're like the posters who say "If the Republicans get voted in again, I'm moving to Canada... and this time I really will!"

I'm having a hard time giving a rats ass (1)

leereyno (32197) | more than 7 years ago | (#16648035)

I've heard a lot of stories about all the changes that Microsoft is making to vista that are designed to combat piracy and prevent competition from the likes of Symantec, McAfee, etc.

I for one am having in a hard time caring because I'm unlikely to run vista anytime soon, or have to support it. My primary environment is Linux, and while I do run Windows XP (at work), I do not depend on it. If they give me a new system at work with Vista on it, then I'll run it, but I won't spend my own money to buy a copy for home use. I simply don't need it.

Also I think that Microsoft is shooting itself in the foot, especially with the anti-piracy efforts. The dominant position that Windows has is in no small part due to piracy, especially in the 3rd world. The effects of piracy hurts Microsoft's bottom line, but it also maintains their market share.

In Hong Kong the price of Linux is greater than that of Windows right now. Why? Because Windows comes on one CD whereas Linux typically comes on two to three CD's. If the day comes when the price of windows is 100x the price of Linux, guess which OS people are going to start using?

This is the same mistake that Apple made back in the late 80's, maximizing profits at the expense of market share. Had they played their cards right they could have won the OS/platform wars instead of becoming the perennial also-ran that they've been for the past 20 years.

Microsoft has the dominant position in the desktop OS market, but that position is not guaranteed. In any measurable sense, Linux has technical parity if not superiority vis-a-vis windows. The only thing that Linux is lacking to be contender at this point are users, and Microsoft's anti-piracy strategy is an almost sure-fire way of creating them.

Lee

Thank you, oh glorious masters! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16648125)

But may I be the first to say:

"Please, sir, I want some more."

I wonder... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16648131)

I wonder what else they 'lerned.'

Last straw for me also. (1)

elgee (308600) | more than 7 years ago | (#16648199)

I will continue to use Win 2K and XP for as long as I can and when they are no longer usable, I will switch to Linux. Maybe even sooner.

I simply do not understand how MS can be so ignorant as to make what I think are dumb business decisions. Of course I could be totally wrong and perhaps the majority of individuals and businesses will just gripe about MS and swallow the poison anyway. I hope not....
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