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Surprises in Microsoft Vista's EULA

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the oh-look-a-sheep dept.

385

androthi writes "Scott Granneman takes a look at some surprises in Microsoft Vista's EULA that limit what security professionals and others can do with the new operating system. You want to post benchmarking results? Well, Microsoft may now have a say in it. Vista's EULA no longer shows up on Microsoft's software licensing page, but does still exist — also take note of Windows DRM deciding what you can and can not listen to, and Defender deciding and removing what it considers spyware automatically (by default)."

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385 comments

a way around? (3, Insightful)

ryanelm (787453) | more than 7 years ago | (#16692119)

I don't 'sign' the EULA when i use a public machine...

What an Awesome Idea! (3, Funny)

Mateo_LeFou (859634) | more than 7 years ago | (#16692355)

If we keep brainstorming great stuff like that, we will be able to do all kinds of awesome stuff, like:

study our own computers' performance.
tell people what we find
share ideas on how to improve them

Before you know it, we'l have "free speech" as I like to call it.

Re:What an Awesome Idea! (1)

ryanelm (787453) | more than 7 years ago | (#16692481)

Id like to see microsoft ban the use of machines with their software on them by anyone who hasn't approved the EULA. The more 1984 they get the less people will want to use them.

Re:What an Awesome Idea! (1)

Mateo_LeFou (859634) | more than 7 years ago | (#16692549)

Well since they'e not the government (officially), they can't actually ban such. They could impose a condition on whoever clicks through the EULA that heshe is responsible for EULA-violating behavior by anyone who ever uses the machine. In fact I wonder if there's such a condition floating around somewhere...

Re:What an Awesome Idea! (1)

RichMan (8097) | more than 7 years ago | (#16692739)

> Well since they'e not the government (officially), they can't actually ban such. They could impose a condition on whoever clicks through the EULA that heshe is responsible for EULA-violating behavior by anyone who ever uses the machine. In fact I wonder if there's such a condition floating around somewhere...

Just get some minor to click it. Or let your dog/cat play with the mouse.

In any case how can they prove "YOU" clicked it.

Re:What an Awesome Idea! (1)

MECC (8478) | more than 7 years ago | (#16692705)

"The more you tighten your grasp, the more star systems will slip through your fingers."

Re:a way around? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16692413)

Even better: most OEM installed versions of Windows give you a desktop directly on your first boot. No need to 'sign' anything either.

Re:a way around? (1)

Bill Grates (1012303) | more than 7 years ago | (#16692673)

There is serious confusion as to whether EULAs are even contractually
enforceable - given the obvious absense of general contractual elements
such as offer and agreement (you only get to read the eula after the
purchase is complete) and formalities (signatures). Additionally
acceptance is not necessarily in lieu of the offer. There is very little
case law on this subject or authorative statements or guidance from the
courts in any jurisdiction.

Millions of consumers deal with this issue perhaps daily - and companies
with their armies of lawyers create these huge documents. Maybe they
expect that one day if they are successfully challenged in court they
will have the power to lobby the politicians to provide enabling legislation
recognising EULAs bizare quasi contractual status much like the DRM criminal
statutes.

There is such a trade off of rights when a proprietry interest in something
is replaced with a contractual right and license in the use of property. I expect
one day courts will examine this issue very carefully taking into account
the unilateral nature of the contracts and consumer's barginning power
(contract law is premised on freedom to contract) against often semi
monopolistic entities.

sined, sealed and delivered (4, Interesting)

yagu (721525) | more than 7 years ago | (#16692123)

To quote the Buckaroo Bonzai [imdb.com] movie, Microsoft's locked in monopoly is sined, sealed and delivered. The EULA for Vista provides more evidence Microsoft is the 800 lb. guerilla that doesn't care about potential faceoffs on these issues any more. The article seems to think differently:

If you thought that the legal troubles the company faced in the late 90s would perhaps mellow it out, you were wrong. Far from it. The draconian limitations I've discussed could only be enacted by a monopoly unafraid of alienating its users, as it feels they have no other alternative. Microsoft may yet learn, however, that there are limits to what its users will bear. To paraphrase what my fifth-grade teacher often told his rambunctious class, "Beware the wrath of a patient user base." Security pros have already given Microsoft a deserved black eye over the never-ending string of gaffes and vulnerabilities streaming out of the company. It seems now as though another black eyes and a bloody nose may be coming, along with a final wave goodbye. There comes a point at which corporate hubris causes a fall, and we may be seeing the beginning of that collapse. If so, Microsoft will have no one but itself to blame.

I'm not sure how the article's author would see the user base reacting. Pick a different platform? How? At what expense? No, Microsoft has got this one in the bag.

I predicted in the late 90's if Microsoft didn't have to pay real consequences for their business practices, eventually they would be rolling out OSes at any price they wanted and noone would be able to do much about it. This was at a time where hardware dramatically was decreasing in price but Windows, all flavors, continued to sustain an amazingly different cost curve. I predicted eventually:

  • Microsoft would put out an OS at around $400
  • Their OS would eventually be the largest cost of a new machine

It looks like we're pretty close to both. I'll continue to do my development in my Linux world, but I'm guessing there will be a momentary raised eyebrow with Microsoft's Vista, Vista's EULA with it's almost amazing restrictions (especially compared with already draconian past EULAs) and then business as usual.

Re:sined, sealed and delivered (1)

Mateo_LeFou (859634) | more than 7 years ago | (#16692193)

The only surprise would be if this kind of shit werent in there.

Re:sined, sealed and delivered (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 7 years ago | (#16692223)

I really don't like the whole OEM licensing thing that MS does. IF you buy the $299 dell, then you're basically paying nothing for windows, because the parts cost that much. If MS was forced to set one price for their OS, and make everyone pay that price, then I think we'd see a lot fairer prices. It's not right that someone who buys a new computer from a specific reseller gets a free OS, while those of us who choose to build our own systems, or support smaller companies, or , heaven forbid, just install a new OS in our old computer, have to pay through the nose for a product that is basically being given away to others.

Re:sined, sealed and delivered (1)

hawkbug (94280) | more than 7 years ago | (#16692319)

Well, through sites like NewEgg you can get OEM copies of windows. Granted, they are still over $100, but it beats the crap out of paying $300 retail.

Re:sined, sealed and delivered (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 7 years ago | (#16692729)

This is my problem, because I chose to go to a small retailer to by my last computer, I had to pay $CDN 129 for my copy of windows. None of the big resellers (Dell,HP,Lenovo,etc.) offered a computer that had what I wanted, without a ton of extra stuff I didn't. So I ended up paying extra, just because MS decided it could have a better monopoly position by offering cheaper copies of windows to big resellers.

Re:sined, sealed and delivered (2, Insightful)

frosty_tsm (933163) | more than 7 years ago | (#16692337)

"Given away" might be a bit strong, but yes.

I wonder which happened:
1) OEM companies didn't like that a person could buy off-the-shelf components to make a cheaper, faster, and more reliable machine. They then asked MS to make this more expensive for the user.
2) MS realized that most of their OS sales was to OEM companies, and that they could rip off consumers buying the OS unbundled.

What are we paying for now that we weren't getting 10 years ago? Fancier versions of Media Player (which happen to get worse and worse with every iteration)?

Re:sined, sealed and delivered (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 7 years ago | (#16692619)

What are we paying for now that we weren't getting 10 years ago?


Spyware, DRM, an OS that requires 1GB of RAM and high-end accelerated 3D graphics, DRM, Trusted Computing, DRM, and plenty of 0-day exploits.

So, in summary, I'd say mostly DRM.

Re:sined, sealed and delivered (1)

R2.0 (532027) | more than 7 years ago | (#16692279)

"monopoly is sined"

I though all their math majors went to Google.

"800 lb. guerilla "

Che! Is that you? You've gained weight!

Re:sined, sealed and delivered (2)

x3nos (773066) | more than 7 years ago | (#16692403)

Ill probably get a downmodded as troll for this, but heh my Karma is good

Viva la Revolucion!

Re:sined, sealed and delivered (1)

hal2814 (725639) | more than 7 years ago | (#16692457)

No, Captain Ron, you said there were GORillas in the jungle, not GUErillas!

Re:sined, sealed and delivered (1)

rsborg (111459) | more than 7 years ago | (#16692471)

800 lb. guerilla
Wow, I'm getting images of a lardy Che Guevara eating peanut butter banana sandwiches [publicradio.org] :-)

They're Idiots (1)

Khammurabi (962376) | more than 7 years ago | (#16692535)

I'm not sure how the article's author would see the user base reacting. Pick a different platform? How? At what expense? No, Microsoft has got this one in the bag.
I know exactly how the user base will respond: They won't buy it.

Windows XP Professional works fine for me, and as such I've bought my last Microsoft operating system. I will never buy Vista. Microsoft has completely ignored the requests of it's customer pool on this one, and has instead opted for responding with "you'll lump it and like it."

I have no doubt that in a year's time they'll pull all support for non-Vista versions to improve sales. (I also wouldn't put it past them to release virus's that take advantage of XP weaknesses.)

The upside is that if any company out there EVER wanted to finish Microsoft once and for all, now's their chance. If I were Google, I'd announce a user-friendly Linux install, and provide tools to developers for easy driver and software support.

Really, the only way for Microsoft to survive the expected backlash that will be coming is to lock in exclusive software (MS Office is a gimme), and pull support for all non-Vista versions. Yes, Vista will sell. But not near expectations, and it will have a hell of a time trying to convince people to switch.

Bill Gates was smart to leave before this pile of [censored by Vista] hit the market.

Re:They're Idiots (1)

DrSkwid (118965) | more than 7 years ago | (#16692803)

Directx10 will probably drive the most sales

Re:They're Idiots (1)

Slithe (894946) | more than 7 years ago | (#16692821)

Really, the only way for Microsoft to survive the expected backlash that will be coming is to lock in exclusive software (MS Office is a gimme), and pull support for all non-Vista versions.


They also could just wait until the OEMs offer Vista with most of their systems. Most people have only a vague idea about what an operating system is anyway. Most people, nowadays, only buy a new computer when the older one breaks down (or becomes riddled with viruses/spyware/etc.), and most new computers will come with Vista. This same phenomenon has occured with every other Windows upgrade from 3.1 through XP.

sined, what and delivered? (1)

rah1420 (234198) | more than 7 years ago | (#16692547)

OK, mod me off topic.

The movie is Buckaroo Banzai, [imdb.com] not "Buckaroo Bonzai."

And the actual part of the movie that the OP is talking about (the initialization of the Oscillation Overthruster) is "Sined," "Seeled" and Delivered.

Geez. If you're going to quote a cult movie, at least be part of the cult.

John Bigboote? Is that you?

Re:sined, what and delivered? (1)

LunaticTippy (872397) | more than 7 years ago | (#16692701)

It's Bigbootay!

What a great film.

Re:sined, sealed and delivered (1)

gt_mattex (1016103) | more than 7 years ago | (#16692557)

I RTFA and quite frankly I'm amazed at the strong arm tactics MS is resorting to. (Yes I know, "How could you be amazed," I'm just now an anti MS zealot... at least I wasn't before I read the Vista EULA)

I'm guessing MS is trying to maintain their market share.

*Sigh* In the meantime I'll be installing Ubuntu. I held out on installing Linux as long as I could.

Re:sined, sealed and delivered (4, Funny)

ClamIAm (926466) | more than 7 years ago | (#16692663)

Yeah, tell me about it. Soon, MS's EULAs will require a paper contract, with a notary cosine. And with every little thing they get away with, they'll get more obtuse. Of course, I feel like I'm going off on a tangent, here...

Re:sined, sealed and delivered (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16692863)

Parent deserves a few funny mods...

Re:sined, sealed and delivered (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16692665)

Microsoft's locked in monopoly is sined

I think your hypotenuse is flawed. As a corporation, Microsoft can only cosine a monopoly.

Re:sined, sealed and delivered (1)

smilindog2000 (907665) | more than 7 years ago | (#16692717)

Sometimes it's easy to predict the future...

As you know, Linux is growing in leaps and bounds. The rate of improvement in both Fedora and Ubuntu (the only two I follow closely) is amazing. The rate of improvement is way beyond anything Microsoft has done in years... But you're still right about Windows dominating, and users forking over the $$ to help them.

There are basically three kinds of users: business users, professional home users, and gamers. The other sub-categories, like us hackers, are tiny in comparison.

Business users use Windows for Microsoft Office, which is the standard. Business users WANT to pay $$ for their OS... they don't trust what's free. The #1 Linux distro for them (by installed base) is RedHat Enterprise... total crap compared to the free distros. The best Linux distro for desktop use in business IMO is Ubuntu, but try selling something that means "Being human to eachother" at the office. Fedora for business use is actively discouraged by RedHat. It's lose-lose-lose in the business front for Linux.

Industry professionals usually buy the same OS at home that they use in the office. It let's them do work at home, something we Americans do a lot, for some reason. Again NOT Linux.

IMO, gamers are the most powerful force here. They are the true power users. Business users could get buy with a Win98 machine forever. Gamers are the ones pushing the real need for big iron. The Linux base is too small to market games to, and unless that changes, it wont change!

I love Linux, and I've got no Microsoft EULA here... Guess I gotta get use to being a minority.

Oh boy (3, Insightful)

DurendalMac (736637) | more than 7 years ago | (#16692147)

Defender automatically removing stuff without the user knowing. That's just asking for problems. How long before there's a widespread outbreak of Defender deleting perfectly legitimate software?

Re:Oh boy (1)

Dr Caleb (121505) | more than 7 years ago | (#16692399)

I run Distributed.net on all MY home PC's, and Symantec flagged that as malware years ago. I'll bet Defender flags things like Nero as malware, because they could be used for nefaroius purposes that conflict with Media Player 11.

Re:Oh boy (1)

kfg (145172) | more than 7 years ago | (#16692443)

How long before there's a widespread outbreak of Defender deleting perfectly legitimate software?

This is not possible, by definition.

KFG

Re:Oh boy (1)

FudRucker (866063) | more than 7 years ago | (#16692583)

horsesh!t...

Microsoft Window's track record of vulnerabilities going all the way back to their beginnings are a great resource for predicting the quality and poor security of Microsoft's next product release (Vista). and i agree with the grand-parent's post that it is plausible that this Defender could easily be corrupted or infected to do bad things (deleting system files, or any other data...

Re:Oh boy (1)

kfg (145172) | more than 7 years ago | (#16692751)

I suspect you did not understand the point of my post.

KFG

Re:Oh boy (2, Insightful)

CodeMasterPhilzar (978639) | more than 7 years ago | (#16692661)

It would seem to me that is a virus-writer's wet dream... All they need do now is trick Defender into identifying some other parts of your system as spyware... And the snake eats itself... Or some such...

Re:Oh boy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16692707)

If Defender deletes enough software, does the planet explode (at least until the next wave which is a multiple of 5)?

Must be a slow news day (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16692161)

...as this topic seems to come up whenever there's nothing else to bash on Microsoft over. Nice to see /.'s favorite dead horse to be dragged out again.

The only winning strategy (5, Funny)

j00r0m4nc3r (959816) | more than 7 years ago | (#16692167)

Is not to play

Moo (4, Funny)

Chacham (981) | more than 7 years ago | (#16692207)

I have the best comment *ever* about this story.

I'll post it as soon as Microsoft oks it.

No benchmarking? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16692225)

Ok, then in that case, I'll just assume that everyone else's product is better and I'll buy theirs.

There you go, problem solved.

At least the EULA's are still being read.. (1)

Crasty (1019258) | more than 7 years ago | (#16692231)

I've held the fear for years that Microsoft would release an OS with a nice little "All your base are belong to us" slipped in, and next thing you know, they have some rediculous claim over you and your stuff, and you agreed to it!

Re:At least the EULA's are still being read.. (0)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#16692393)

Microsoft cannot set up us the bomb in that way, because you cannot sign away your rights.

Not that i ever considered it.. (1)

Nemetroid (883968) | more than 7 years ago | (#16692247)

..but thank god i will never have to install Vista on a machine that i use.

surprises? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16692249)

The story should be how this differs from other EULAs out there...of course, that wouldnt be a story, because it doesn't. Lots of EULAs have restrictions on posting benchmarks, and drms by definition limit your use of something. But hey, don't let facts deter a good microsoft bashing.

So basically, there aren't "surprises," as the title infers, because
a) if you read other eulas you'll see the same things
b) if you choose to ignore them just to bash microsoft you'd probably expect stuff like this to be there anyway.

Re:surprises? (1)

truthsearch (249536) | more than 7 years ago | (#16692381)

In fact, if you read XP's, 2000's, and SQL Server's EULAs you'll find many of the same limitations. This isn't new for Microsoft. For at least the last 6 years it's been against the SQL Server EULA to publish benchmark's without Microsoft's approval.

People shouldn't just be getting disgusted today. They should have been reading these EULAs for years.

Re:surprises? (1)

Yetihehe (971185) | more than 7 years ago | (#16692517)

Nobody just RTFE anymore.

Defender (1)

prelelat (201821) | more than 7 years ago | (#16692267)

You can always turn off the defender in Vista, though they don't make it easy to find the off switch.

smart bomb (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16692383)

Also note that when running Defender,
If you hit space bar, This will trigger "smart bomb" which instantly kills all the bad things currently on the screen.

Also available is MS Missle-Command, though eventually the viruses break through and you need to do a system reset to restart the defense mechanisms.

Surprised? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16692285)

No, of course not... it's M$ afterall.

who cares (1)

tehwebguy (860335) | more than 7 years ago | (#16692339)

this is awful, but i'm sure few of the people reading this will become vista users anyway.

most of us have probably been bugging our families and friends to try ubuntu or buy a mac for the past few years. i switched to a mac this year and never looked back. there are people with MUCH higher application and compatibility requirements than myself who can switch to linux (or apple)

.net3 is more benchmark friendly then .net2 (1)

TheSunborn (68004) | more than 7 years ago | (#16692343)

Then betchmark clasue for .net is better then it is for .net2. For .net2 it says you are not allowed to post any benchmark at all, unless you have a written accept from Microsoft.

With .net3 you just have to give all sourcecode in your benchmark to microsoft.

Re:.net3 is more benchmark friendly then .net2 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16692601)

What's Microsoft going to do if you publish a benchmark? Call the police? LOL

Kiss of death for Enterprises (1)

TedTschopp (244839) | more than 7 years ago | (#16692349)

6. USE WITH VIRTUALIZATION TECHNOLOGIES. You may use the software installed on the licensed device within a virtual (or otherwise emulated) hardware system on the licensed device. If you do so, you may not play or access content or use applications protected by any Microsoft digital, information or enterprise rights management technology or other Microsoft rights management services or use BitLocker. We advise against playing or accessing content or using applications protected by other digital, information or enterprise rights management technology or other rights management services or using full volume disk drive encryption.


And in a large enterprise where we use VMware to run Windows servers on our big IBM boxes, how in the world will we be able to insall Vista.

This will mean that Large Enterprises who do hardware virtualization for security and performance uptime will be screwed.

Different EULA for enterprises? (1)

jhines (82154) | more than 7 years ago | (#16692499)

A different EULA for enterprises, with a higher cost. MS has the margins to cut better deals, and will do so.

Re:Different EULA for enterprises? (1)

TedTschopp (244839) | more than 7 years ago | (#16692565)

Well, not every large enterprises cuts deals with Microsoft. Some of these large enterprises tell Microsoft to shove it on the years they don't release products and buy from VARs

Re:Kiss of death for Enterprises (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16692567)

Exactly their intent. They want you to use MS Virtual Machine, which will not have this limitation.

Re:Kiss of death for Enterprises (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 7 years ago | (#16692849)

I can understand them not wanting you to use the DRM stuff under a VM, because then you could circumvent the DRM. However, I don't really get the bitlocker thing. Why not allow people to encrypt their files in a VM? Is there some sort of flaw or back door that they know of that they don't want people to find? There's no reason why I shouldn't be able to use bitlocker on my VM, it's my files, I should be able to know how they are being encrypted.

I say we encourage them as much as possible... (1)

cascadefx (174894) | more than 7 years ago | (#16692363)

The more I see Microsoft do this, the more I applaud them. I hope they continue to do more and more of this stuff. I mentioned some of these things in an earlier leaked EULA to my wife and she stated that she'd rather put Linux on our computers than be micro-managed by any software company.

Cool.

Steve, Bill. You and your engineers are doing a great job. Keep it up. Is there any way you could be more restrictive and sell it as consumer choice? If so, do it.

Re:I say we encourage them as much as possible... (1)

Albert Sandberg (315235) | more than 7 years ago | (#16692571)

Amen!

Message to OS X (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16692365)

I guess this is another message to OS X and Darwin people/developers. Just build a driver for every freakin' card out there, call the game developers to put their games on your OS, sell your OS on the shelf, next to all other software, make sure that you have all the big guys sell their laptops and desk tops with a choice of OS X or "otherwise", next thing we know, ALL users are dropping this weird thing called MS windows. It is just a matter of time, hardwork, and patience. After all, OS X is BSD, the ultimate nightmare of windowz people.

Re:Message to OS X (1)

creimer (824291) | more than 7 years ago | (#16692737)

Maybe you didn't see the message [engadget.com] at WWDC 2006:

"I have a personal message from Steve Jobs. Just relax that brain for a while. Let's let the Mac users experience compatibility problems. Tend to your compost pile, your poetry, your art. You can help out on Vista, we can use your help there. Whatever else you've been working on, you can stop now. We went to the Big Island together, lots of karaoke."

The Benchmarking is for .NET 3.0 only (FUD) (3, Insightful)

Trevahaha (874501) | more than 7 years ago | (#16692373)

There are only restrictions involved in posting benchmarks for .NET 3.0 [microsoft.com] . And these restrictions only require that you state what version you were using and the methodology you took. It doesn't have any restrictions on "bad" results or any attempt to stop people from reporting accurate results. They wrote these restrictions to prevent people from testing .NET on a 386 and then JAVA on a 3 GHZ and saying "See JAVA is faster!" and it's similar to the restrictions for .NET 1.1 and 2.0... it's just because it's bundled with Vista that it's now included with the Vista EULA.

Re:The Benchmarking is for .NET 3.0 only (FUD) (1)

Jonsey (593310) | more than 7 years ago | (#16692569)

He's correct, this is FUD only, it's just the late-week MS bash thread.

Re:The Benchmarking is for .NET 3.0 only (FUD) (1)

SpeedyGonz (771424) | more than 7 years ago | (#16692591)

... to prevent people from testing .NET on a 386 and then JAVA on a 3 GHZ and saying "See JAVA is faster!"...

* Troll mode On *
Similar to what M$ has done in the past when comparing Linux's TCO with theirs, i guess.
* Troll mode Off *

Re:The Benchmarking is for .NET 3.0 only (FUD) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16692615)

Yes.. I can see how enforcing basic journalistic honesty is the proper job of a FUCKING EULA.

Re:The Benchmarking is for .NET 3.0 only (FUD) (1)

qnetter (312322) | more than 7 years ago | (#16692847)

These restrictions are trivial compared to others in the area:
You may use the Software to conduct internal performance testing and benchmarking studies, the results of which you (and not unauthorized third parties) may publish or publicly disseminate; provided that VMware has reviewed and approved of the methodology, assumptions and other parameters of the study. Please contact VMware at benchmark@vmware.com to request such review.
..."You can publish it only if we give you permission after seeing your results."

Re:The Benchmarking is for .NET 3.0 only (FUD) (1)

Eco-Mono (978899) | more than 7 years ago | (#16692783)

I agree on the benchmark thing... it's just .NET's benchmark agreement and not a big deal. The other stuff (virtualization, Defender, DRM stuff) is serious, though, and doesn't deserve the FUD tag.

Haven't we forgotten something? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16692375)

It's *Microsoft's* operating system, you're just *renting* it.

The Last Straw.... (1)

Luscious868 (679143) | more than 7 years ago | (#16692407)

I've been a Microsoft slappy since I first got into computers when I was a kid back in the Windows 3.11 days and Vista will represent the first Microsoft OS that I will not ever, under any circumstances, run on any PC or laptop that I purchase or recommend to anyone else.

I'm sure I'll have to deal with Vista at work at some point, but for me it's Mac's (with Boot Camp and Windows XP for games) on systems I buy or recommend to others from now on. Vista is a joke. All of the coolest features have long since been stripped out and we're left with an insecure, DRM'd to the bone, joke of an OS with a UI ripped off from Apple. I honestly don't see one compelling reason to upgrade. More DRM, more WGA like "protection" that can totally lock down your system and make it useless at a moments notice. Microsoft seriously jumped the shark with this one.

Re:The Last Straw.... (1)

Carnildo (712617) | more than 7 years ago | (#16692627)

Microsoft seriously jumped the shark with this one.


I think the metaphor you want is "went off the deep end", or maybe "shot themselves in the foot".

I think I'll keep XP-Pro, thanks... (1)

Big Boss (7354) | more than 7 years ago | (#16692411)

I have legit XP-Pro for my Windows machines. I think I'll just keep that. Vista doesn't seem to offer me anything except idiotic restrictions and high costs. All the end-user features have been stripped out at this point and it's just a big DRM bomb as far as I can tell. No thanks, M$. Perhaps I'll try Linux on the desktop again, it's been working great on my servers.

Farist stop (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16692421)

The Vista That Broke The Geeks Resolve (1)

jo42 (227475) | more than 7 years ago | (#16692427)

Ok, that's it. I give up. I'm going to use some Linux distro for my desktop OS instead of a Microsoft by-product. Up to Windows XP, yeah, whatever. Post XP, Microsoft, "Eat my crusty shorts!!".

And yes, I've tried the Vista RC's. It performs slower than XP. By the time you turn off all that resource intensive eye candy, you end up with a GUI that looks just awful. I don't think they spent any time cleaning that up for obvious reasons.

Worst part is, most of the world has little choice but to accept this POS from MS. Bugger.

Re:The Vista That Broke The Geeks Resolve (1)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 7 years ago | (#16692709)

I said the exact same thing when XP came out.
I was happy with 2000.

You know, a few years down the line and I kinda like xp.

The iron is hot (1)

vga_init (589198) | more than 7 years ago | (#16692459)

This is Apple's one chance to release their operating system in a version that is licensed and designed for non Apple machines. Undercut the price of Vista and it's sold.

Re:The iron is hot (1)

FudRucker (866063) | more than 7 years ago | (#16692633)

if Apple does i would be glad to buy a copy if for no other reason than it is NOT microslop

Re:The iron is hot (1)

oh_my_080980980 (773867) | more than 7 years ago | (#16692643)

Hmmm....maybe....MacWorld is in January, that's when Vista is set to be released to the public....wonder if Steve has something up his sleeve.....

Re:The iron is hot (1)

no_pets (881013) | more than 7 years ago | (#16692837)

Most people aren't going to get Vista unless they get a new PC. At which point Apple really doesn't have to do anything more than it's already doing: elegant hardware, nice software and a real competitor to MS anything since most people just want web/email. Apple can already do everything else that most people need a PC for except play games. BTW I have never owned a Mac (yet!) so don't call me a fanboy.

What about a Dell? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16692475)

Suppose you buy yourself a Dell pre-loaded with Vista. Turn it on and it boots right in. You never agreed to that EULA then, so you're free to do with it as you will. For that matter, just claim you had someone else install it for you.

In other news, this just means that I have a couple more items on my to-do list for the eventual Vista migration:
  • Remove the restrictions on unsigned drivers
  • Remove EULA from install ISO
  • Remove Defender
  • Remove WGA
  • Remove WMP
  • Remove Windows Firewall
  • Remove Windows Antivirus
  • Remove Security Center
  • Set theme to Windows Classic - screw these happy rounded edges on everything, I want my cursor to BLEED on the sharp corners if I hit them wrong.
Hm, maybe I should just wait until a Vista Pro Lite ISO hits the Torrent networks?

Re:What about a Dell? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16692801)

Suppose you buy yourself a Dell pre-loaded with Vista. Turn it on and it boots right in.


Dell makes you accept the EULA before Windows starts for the first time.

I know why... (2, Funny)

Soapy One (969149) | more than 7 years ago | (#16692487)

Microsoft doesn't want us posting benchmarks proving that Vista is worthless...it might hurt their sales.

Might as well be hanged for a sheep as for a lamb (3, Interesting)

Carnildo (712617) | more than 7 years ago | (#16692523)

After reading the Vista EULA while installing a copy at work for compatibility testing, it became very obvious to me that the only way Vista would make it onto any computer I own is if I were to install a pirated copy of Vista Ultimate with all the anti-piracy features removed. I figure that since there's no way in hell I'm going to comply with the EULA, why follow copyright law, either?

Computers (1)

kitsunewarlock (971818) | more than 7 years ago | (#16692543)

Aren't computers great? They are placed alongside cigarettes, alcohol, cars and guns with "consumer products that you own, but can't choose how you use".
Only difference is in the four above examples, ITS THE GOVERNMENT RESTRICTING US, not some private company.
I'm tempted to just get it and ignore the EULA. If I get sued, ask the judge "why am I not allowed to use my product the way I want to?" Too bad that wouldn't work. *Sigh*
Maybe I can ask a Microsoft employee face-to-face. "Hey, can I own Window's Vista?" Note the lack of the word "a copy of...".

Stupid, tired arguments (3, Insightful)

thebdj (768618) | more than 7 years ago | (#16692563)

Where to start...
1. The benchmark testing and posting applies to .NET Framework components. I do not see this being some great ending of benchmarking the Windows OS. Also, the link for further information does not (currently?) work. So, this could just be an issue that isn't an issue at all.
2. This version argument is really tiring. In some ways I see their logic, in other ways I think the six version idea is stupid. Actually, there are more versions of XP then two. Technically, there are four. Windows Media Center Edition and Starter Edition. I imagine Starter Vista will be virtually unseen like XP SE. As for Win MCE, I suppose that would be Home Premium. XP Home = Vista Home, XP Pro = Vista Business. Guess this only leaves two extraneous versions...
3. The Virtualization argument is pointless. How many home users do virtualization? How many business (which do the most virtualization) actually use XP Home licenses? I really think this is a non-issue like #1.
4. The license transfer is more stringent version of the current license transfer. The example they give is a bit weak. At work, if you get a new workstation? I seriously think that corporate licensing will have provisions for this sort of thing. How many people buy their own work computer licenses? Unless you own your own business, not many. Most home users keep a machine for several years. If you assume a home user is on a 3-year replacement cycle (the most common business practice I have found), they will probably only need a single transfer before the new OS is out (though after this, you never know.) Also, how many new PC purchases do not come with a new license?

I by no means am a Microsoft supporter. I have said on multiple occassions that Windows XP would be the last Windows OS I would ever use. I intend on changing my mom to Linux when XP support disappears. I do think that some of these arguments are very bogus though. There are plenty of other reasons to hate Vista, including the evil DRM, more Microsoft monopoly violations, and stupid, half-assed "security" tools.

The Noose Is Tightening (1)

mpapet (761907) | more than 7 years ago | (#16692575)

Around end-user's necks.

The DRM noose around the average user's neck is being sold like a nice, new necktie. The 32-bit version of Vista will be dropped ASAP in favor of 64-bit locked-by-microsoft-only version. This in turn kills the 32-bit processor.

Then it is only a matter of tightening the noose.

So what? Well, there is no market mechanism for loosening the noose. Therefore, the price of loosening the noose around your neck is made by Microsoft. (A price maker: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monopoly#Coercive_mon opoly [wikipedia.org] )

If you value your personal freedom, you will switch to something freer, then you will tell your friends and help them to do the same. Perhaps a Linux or BSD desktop is a good start.

Sadly, the price will be right though, so most users won't know or care.

Today's lesson: Monopolies and Oligopolies are bad for consumers.

benchmarking (1)

ltwally (313043) | more than 7 years ago | (#16692577)

"...You want to post benchmarking results? Well, Microsoft may now have a say in it..."
You make it sound as if there is a blanket ban/clause against benchmarking.

FTA:
"MICROSOFT .NET BENCHMARK TESTING. The software includes one or more components of the .NET Framework 3.0 (".NET Components"). You may conduct internal benchmark testing of those components. You may disclose the results of any benchmark test of those components, provided that you comply with the conditions set forth at"
It is clearly stating that they're only concerned with benchmarks against .net 3.0.

This is the same type of inflamatory writing that gets reporters in hot water -- you could have easily said in the article description that the benchmarking clause was limited to .net 3.0, but instead you chose to go for something a little more sensational. Newb.

Re:benchmarking (1)

Unit3 (10444) | more than 7 years ago | (#16692799)

umm... and you don't see a problem with disallowing .NET benchmarking, given the existence of Mono to compare benchmarks to? Or do you think it's already to ban benchmarking as long as it's only for specific software components?

It looks like (1)

Z00L00K (682162) | more than 7 years ago | (#16692611)

M$ is creating a scheme so complicated that it's impossible to be able to follow. Next step is probably to include in the EULA that no other operating system may co-exist on the same machine since it *MAY* be used to circumvent the security schemes in Windows.

And even if I indicate that I accept the EULA, what proves that I have understood it?

Anyway - Windows Vista cracks will appear sooner or later. There are always those who see it as a challenge.

What Microsoft seems to forget is that all these copy-protection schemes that they are running will make life harder for the IT departments. The scale may well be on it's way to tip over in favor of open-source solutions.

Who is buying Vista anyway? (1)

exitstageleft (885603) | more than 7 years ago | (#16692625)

Something tells me that it's not going to sell very well. At least, I'm not going to upgrade to it. I honestly cannot think of a single reason why I should.

I could've done a better job writing MS EULA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16692689)

"You have no rights. We own everything."

Re:I could've done a better job writing MS EULA (1)

creimer (824291) | more than 7 years ago | (#16692839)

You shouldn't be ripping off Dick Cheney's line.

My favorite (1)

fiber_halo (307531) | more than 7 years ago | (#16692697)

My favorite quote from the Vista license is in section 8:

You may not: work around any technical limitations in the software

I guess they are talking about things like intentional limitations such as only installing on one PC. It just cracks me up though.

Re:My favorite (1)

akirchhoff (95640) | more than 7 years ago | (#16692795)

Does this include installing Linux on the box Vista came on?

No virtual DRM == Anti-Macintosh (1)

h2oliu (38090) | more than 7 years ago | (#16692731)

Ok, call me paranoid, but it seems that the no DRM in a virtual machine component is trying very hard to make it so that people can't use office on a Macintosh. Sure you can pay for Windows, but you can't use office, which is really the only reason to run office on a Mac.

I know there is a Mac version of office. But it doesn't have the VBA components that drive many corporations.

on DRM. (1)

Reidsb (944156) | more than 7 years ago | (#16692753)

The description is a bit misleading on the DRM, it seems to only apply to when Vista is being virtualized/emulated. Still annoying, but less onerous than implied. It's only a matter of time before it goes that far, however.

Torn as a gamer... (1)

William_Lee (834197) | more than 7 years ago | (#16692805)

As someone who does a lot of PC gaming, I find myself between a rock and a hard place on Vista. I have no interest in upgrading based on the feature set other than DirectX10, and have installed Ubuntu on a second machine. I have found Linux to be more than adequate for most applications, but severely lacking as a gaming platform. Even though I have a technical background, I also don't want to spend a lot of time tweaking to get games to work on an OS. I plan on sticking with XP for gaming for as long as humanly possible, but am disgusted by the future of the MS platform on so many levels including this EULA and the OS level DRM. I guess there's no easy answer here (other than to hope for a cracked/stripped version of Vista and violate copyright law), but I felt like venting.

Not unusual for MS (or others) (1)

xtheunknown (174416) | more than 7 years ago | (#16692811)

The prohibition on publishing benchmarks is not new. It has been there for virtually all database products (Oracle, Sybase, SQL Server) for a long time. I don't know if I've ever seen it for an OS, but it's not all that interesting.

Cost of using Visa - Per Day (1)

Pengo (28814) | more than 7 years ago | (#16692815)


I estimate that I'll be able to use a copy of Windows Vista and actually use the software for 2 years, before I either upgrade my machine and don't have any more installs left.

I compare it with other stuff I buy and use daily, and break things down to a per-day cost.

Per Day charge:

Vista (Pro equiv, $299 2 years) : $.41 per day
Tiger ($129, 2 years till next os upgrade) : $0.17 per day
XP Pro (Used 1 copy since launch - 5 years paid for OEM, apro $150): $.08 per day
Ubuntu : $0.0 per day , maybe a fraction of a penny considering the cost of media to burn the disk (though I use rewriteables for Linux)

Other things I pay for:

Cable TV: $1.00 per day
Verizon Service w/Blackberry: $8.30 Daily
World of Warcraft Account: $.49 per day

Basically, the cost of using Visa is pretty close to any MMO that charges $15 a month for usage.

If the re-install issues get sorted out and I can get 4 years of use out of the product (which is unlikely due to the frequency I replace my windows (gaming) machine hardware through upgrades, the cost per use is closer to what Tiger costs. Of course this doesn't take into account the costs of maintenance (headache medicine), etc. There is a strong premium for using Vista, and using XP Pro as long as I can only makes that investment better value. (Though, I have had to re-install Vista probably 10 times over the years due to various issues such as bit-rot, malware, virus, etc, major hardware upgrades)

Microsoft's Matt Evans Had This To Say: (1)

mpapet (761907) | more than 7 years ago | (#16692833)

In May of this year when I predicted Vista is going the way of the set top box Matt replied:

No rational person thinks this, but suppose anyway that that is our secret plan, and that we're going to come up with some scheme whereby apps can't run unless they're magically signed or some other scheme.

Guess what - we already have that, in a few forms even (i.e. SAFER, SRP, etc), and the majority of people don't use it, and don't want to, and even if we did have it, there will still need to be a box that says "run anyway".


The context in which that comment was made: ...You are teaching them (end users) to:
1. click okay and let the chips fall where they may.
2. turn the PC into a DRM'd set-top box.
We all know you can't teach users anything they don't -really- want to know, so I believe you are paving the way for option 2 with Longwait.

http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=186700&cid=154 07574 [slashdot.org]
Matt's snarky comments aside, the new EULA is yet another step forward with a 64-bit locked kernel coming in the set top box plan.

If you value your personal freedom, please consider an alternative OS. Perhaps Linux or BSD may work for you.

Suprises? (1)

daveewart (66895) | more than 7 years ago | (#16692835)

Surprises in Microsoft Vista's EULA? No-one's surprised about this sort of thing any more, surely?

The answer is simple: if you don't like it, don't install/buy/use it; and similarly, discourage others from installing/buying/using it.

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