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Upgrade Trick Still Present In Vista SP1

kdawson posted about 6 years ago | from the pricing-is-an-art dept.

Microsoft 373

Chris Blanc writes "The new Service Pack 1 version of Windows Vista allows end users to purchase the 'upgrade edition' and install it on any PC — with no need to purchase the more expensive 'full edition.' The same behavior was present when Vista was originally released, but the fact that the trick wasn't removed from SP1 suggests that Microsoft executives approved the back door as a way to make the price of Vista more appealing to sophisticated buyers."

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373 comments

Alternatively (4, Funny)

adpsimpson (956630) | about 6 years ago | (#22951860)

I hear Ubuntu allows the full installation on any machine too...

Yeah, ok, I'll accept my -1, Troll.

I'll accept it in your stead (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#22952312)

I hear Ubuntu allows the full installation on any machine

No, it doesn't. [slashdot.org]

Re:I'll accept it in your stead (5, Funny)

lattyware (934246) | about 6 years ago | (#22952442)

If you can't manage to install Ubuntu, you deserve to run Windows. Seriously, it's so easy these days. Yeah, Those -1 trolls coming my way, I guess. But someone had to say it.

Re:Alternatively (4, Funny)

Shakrai (717556) | about 6 years ago | (#22952870)

Yeah, ok, I'll accept my -1, Troll.

I wouldn't worry about that.

See, you've used the time honored Slashdot tradition of daring the moderators to mod you down. Such statements display a remarkable understanding of /. politics and show that you aren't afraid to go against the group. I'm hard pressed to think of a better way to ensure that your comment winds up with postive moderation -- short of a 4 digit UID, large cash contributions or being a former actor [slashdot.org] from Star Trek: The Next Generation ;)

Statements like "don't worry, I've got karma to burn" or "how long until I get modded down?" seem to be particularly effective ;)

Sophisticated Buyers (5, Funny)

Enderandrew (866215) | about 6 years ago | (#22951864)

You're suggesting that sophisticated buyers are buying Vista.

Re:Sophisticated Buyers (2, Insightful)

BSAtHome (455370) | about 6 years ago | (#22952010)

You must give them some slack for being optimistic. Sitting with a sour face does not help the bottom line, does it. Then again, a sophisticated /buyer/ is merely a consumer that has had its brain turned off by advertising spin.

Re:Sophisticated Buyers (2, Insightful)

dynamicdesign (776547) | about 6 years ago | (#22952534)

Why do people constantly bash on Vista. It runs great on my computer and I have no problems with it. They probably didn't fix the upgrade trick because if you're buying their product then they still hold onto that part of the market. If you bash vista it's because you haven't used it, you're a slow slow learner, or you've used it but hate microsoft so much that you didn't actually give it a chance. To many people bash vista and they've never owned a copy, used a copy, and just go off what other people say that meet the above statement. Ignorance and blatant disregard for how something works seems to be what the internet is for in todays society.

Re:Sophisticated Buyers (3, Insightful)

Enderandrew (866215) | about 6 years ago | (#22952606)

An honest question gets an honest answer.

Many tweaks to the UI cause you to jump through new hoops, slowing down productivity and causing me to get irate. An OS should enable me to use my computer, but slow me down.

Last week I was in a store purchasing a new computer for my step-dad, and all he needed was a web browser. I was damn tempted to give him a Linux box, and I'm not sure he'd notice. But we buy a new PC with Vista. He's used XP for years, but now he is totally lost. And the salesman was insisting 2 gigs of ram isn't enough for Vista, and that we needed a box with 4. Here is the crux of it. Vista offers no new features that will blow anyone away, yet the requirements are considerably higher.

Why slow down my machine with something that is going to cause nothing but trouble, when I get no benefit out of it?

There are people who cope reasonably well with Vista, but that isn't a reason to upgrade.

Re:Sophisticated Buyers (3, Interesting)

Shakrai (717556) | about 6 years ago | (#22952766)

Why do people constantly bash on Vista. It runs great on my computer and I have no problems with it

I have to say that I've gotten it here at the office and I haven't noticed any major problems with it. Take that with a grain of salt though because my environment doesn't involve any legacy software.

It's actually remarkably usable once you disable the Vista UI and return it to a Windows 2000 look (I never used the XP UI either), though it is a resource pig. I'm using over a gig of ram right now just for Outlook, a few putty sessions, Pidgin and Firefox. On XP I'd still be under 512.

All that said, after having used it for two months I really don't see any compelling new feature or reason to upgrade from XP -- particularly when Vista will require much more powerful iron to run as fast. Factor that in with all of the anti-consumer "features" (*cough* protected media path *cough*) added in by Microsoft and I'd still have a hard time recommending it to anybody and I doubt I'll be upgrading at home for the foreseeable future.

Ignorance and blatant disregard for how something works seems to be what the internet is for in todays society

You must be new here ;) (sorry, couldn't resist)

Re:Sophisticated Buyers (4, Informative)

k3vlar (979024) | about 6 years ago | (#22952842)

Ignorance and blatant disregard for how something works seems to be what the internet is for in todays society.
Yes, that is what the internet is for.

On a related note, I've used Vista, extensively, and don't like it. I don't bash it at every opportunity, but I do discourage its use for the following reasons
  • - UAC is still the most aggravating privilege prompt I've used
  • - Vista, compared with Ubuntu or OS X, runs extremely slowly
  • - Control Panel, and other OS dialogs have been obfuscated and made extremely convoluted for no apparent reason
  • - (Subjective) I dislike the Aero user interface
So there are three valid, and one personal reason that I prefer to use Ubuntu and OS X for my computing needs.

Re:Sophisticated Buyers (4, Insightful)

sumdumass (711423) | about 6 years ago | (#22952844)

People constantly bashed on the Yugo and Chevrolet's Vega. It wasn't that they didn't go down the road perfectly for some people. It wasn't that they suited some people's need just fine, it was that they were unsafe and got people killed. Ironically, a relatively small amount of people like that but it happened.

Hence you ask why do people dump on vista when it works just fine for what you do. And the answer is because it has metaphorically killed others in ways that it shouldn't have. Why? Because they used their computers in perfectly legit ways that you don't seem to do.

It might have something to do with the Vista capable logo too. Where a computer was presented as having the ability to sufficiently run vista but in reality lacks a lot of what is neccesary. However, the people I know, have systems that meet the Vista specs well above the minimum and still have issues.

Re:Sophisticated Buyers (4, Interesting)

pmbasehore (1198857) | about 6 years ago | (#22952860)

Actually, I have used Vista--I have Home Premium running on one of my desktops. Before I say I don't like it, allow me to explain how I am educated enough to give an opinion on the subject.

If you bash vista it's because you haven't used it,

I believe I have shown that I do, indeed, use an OEM Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium on my Acer Aspire T180.

you're a slow slow learner

What does this have to do with anything? If I was a slow learner, I would complain about many pieces of software, not just Vista/Microsoft products.

or you've used it but hate microsoft so much that you didn't actually give it a chance.

This is really the only bit of your argument that could theoretically apply to me--so allow me to refute that. I see many improvements in Vista over XP and 2000. I will never deny that Vista is an improvement in some areas. My problem lies in two places:
1) The OS has been out for a year now and there are still major driver and software compatibility issues. An example: My ATI HD2600 video card driver was technically "supported" by Vista, but I had so many problems with the driver (including BSODs, screen lockups, and framerates in the single-digits) that I had to get an nVidia card. And before you say the problem was with my hardware, the card worked perfectly on my Linux installation on the same box.
2) It took Microsoft engineers 5 years to develop Vista? That is around twice their normal average development time of 2-3 years! What major improvements have we seen? The start menu was redesigned, UAC (need I say more), the GUI takes up a lot more memory and hard drive space for not much return in looks, and the "Explorer" file manager has copied so much from Apple's "Finder" that I expect to have a mouse with only one button!

Vista has improved, yes...but the improvements are not complex enough or adequate enough to warrant twice the development cycle on the same product. I am a Linux user. I am a Windows user. I am also a Mac user. Just because I use a certain operating system or software doesn't mean I love it and hate all others. If you don't like what people say about Vista, get over it. Use what software you want to use and let us do the same.

In the meantime, how about we get back to some decent conversation about the upgrade trick!

Repackaged shit (1)

segin (883667) | about 6 years ago | (#22951868)

Seems like a way to repackage the same pile of shit for less.

Re:Repackaged shit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#22951956)

Kind of like how your posts automatically start at -1?

Ahhh upgrade... (4, Funny)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | about 6 years ago | (#22951920)

I have a full version of Windows 95 lying around, and it has saved me quite a penny over the years.

It's definitely a scam; there is no reason why the "upgrade" should cost less, since it is identical to the full version and you can "upgrade" using an original disk that wasn't used to install the OS that's currently on the machine.

Re:Ahhh upgrade... (3, Insightful)

headkase (533448) | about 6 years ago | (#22952382)

It's a loyalty ploy - agree or disagree. It's the same thing as one of those "free sub" Subway® cards. You walk in off the street and you pay full price but if you've been hanging around for a while you get a discount. All loyalty programs are like bribes too, "stick with us and you'll get a discount" instead of going over to the competition. Whether or not you should go to the competition is another discussion.

Re:Ahhh upgrade... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#22952632)

It's definitely a scam; there is no reason why the "upgrade" should cost less, since it is identical to the full version and you can "upgrade" using an original disk that wasn't used to install the OS that's currently on the machine.
No you can't.

FTA:

Ironically, the original release of Vista's upgrade edition was disappointing to many consumers. They'd been told by Microsoft that the Vista upgrade process would no longer accept the insertion of a disc containing an older version of Windows as proof that Vista was upgrading over a qualifying product.

Or (1, Insightful)

longacre (1090157) | about 6 years ago | (#22951926)

the fact that the trick wasn't removed from SP1 suggests that Microsoft executives approved the back door as a way to make the price of Vista more appealing to sophisticated buyers.
Or maybe they're just idiots.

Re:Or (4, Insightful)

moderatorrater (1095745) | about 6 years ago | (#22951958)

Or maybe they just don't think it's worth the time and effort to block the people who can exploit the hole. After all, if someone's willing to exploit this hole, they're probably willing to pirate it some other way, so why not get the lesser amount and not spend precious development and qa time on a fix that could easily introduce more bugs?

Re:Or (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#22952894)

The same logic could be applied to DRM

Even if the upgrade trick didn't work (1, Interesting)

anss123 (985305) | about 6 years ago | (#22951934)

Can't you just install a pirated version of Windows XP? Seems simpler than going through the rather long Vista install prosses twice over.

Re:Even if the upgrade trick didn't work (1)

balthan (130165) | about 6 years ago | (#22952592)

Seems simpler than going through the rather long Vista install prosses twice over.

In my experience, Vista installs considerably quicker than XP.

Re:Even if the upgrade trick didn't work (2, Informative)

The MAZZTer (911996) | about 6 years ago | (#22952638)

In the original article about the trick, the author noted that a Vista install is quicker than an XP one. Microsoft reworked the install process for Vista with their new WIM format which is sorta like a traditional archive but it stores FILE ATTRIBUTES and NTFS ONLY METADATA so we should be excited about it I guess... anyways I would hope it wouldn't be slower, but then again I hoped Vista wouldn't be slower either...

Re:Even if the upgrade trick didn't work (1)

uchian (454825) | about 6 years ago | (#22952750)

You'd rather go over the rather long windows XP install process instead?

Sophistication (4, Funny)

imstanny (722685) | about 6 years ago | (#22951962)

but the fact that the trick wasn't removed from SP1 suggests that Microsoft executives approved the back door as a way to make the price of Vista more appealing to sophisticated buyers
Dave: Excuse me, but the car you sold me is missing a gas tank. Salesman: Yes, we know. This is an upgradable model. We sell them to sophisticated buyers, hence the discount. Dave: So I can upgrade for free? Salesman: You're sophisticated, you'll figure it out. Dave: Well, what does it upgrade to? Salesman: All updated GPS maps can be downloaded directly from the dealer's website. Dave: Great! And what about the gas tank? Salesman: .................. Dave: Sir?!?!

Re:Sophistication (3, Informative)

Zakabog (603757) | about 6 years ago | (#22952390)

I don't think you get it, this is like a car dealer with two identical cars on the lot, one's an upgrade and costs half as much as the other but to legally buy it you need an older version of the same car. The thing is, the dealer isn't checking if you have the older car so you can buy the cheaper one and save on money.

Re:Sophistication (3, Funny)

imstanny (722685) | about 6 years ago | (#22952754)

I don't think you get it, this is like a car dealer with two identical cars on the lot, one's an upgrade and costs half as much as the other but to legally buy it you need an older version of the same car. The thing is, the dealer isn't checking if you have the older car so you can buy the cheaper one and save on money.
I DO get it. My point is, even with the 'free' upgrade, you're still getting Windows.

Re:Sophistication (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#22952480)

How is this funny or relevant in anyway? This is a retarded post. Then again, almost every post in a Slashdot Microsoft discussion is retarded.

Sophistication? (-1, Troll)

redelm (54142) | about 6 years ago | (#22951970)

This logic is sound and it reveals that MS execs thing sophisticated users can be attracted to MS-Windows-Vista.

I would contend the more sophisticated the user, the further they are from attractable to Vista: the most sophisticated users do not use MS products, preferring Linux or *BSD. Less sophisticated users who use MS-Windows (with greater reluctance at greater sophistication) prefer different versions of MS-Windows -- 3.51 revered by those who still run it, 2001 cherished in spite of few updates, and XP clung to as a lifesaver.

Only masochists and reviewers migrate to Vista. Many peole suffer with it bundled.

Re:Sophistication? (4, Insightful)

Pojut (1027544) | about 6 years ago | (#22952106)

the most sophisticated users do not use MS products, preferring Linux or *BSD


Fuck you. My dad started teaching me about computers when I was only 5, and I have been huge into them ever since. The biggest, most important thing he taught me was this:

"Some people look down on others because of the operating system, brand of computer, or programming language of your choice. Whenever this happens, I want you to say "Fuck you" to them. Why? Because it doesn't matter what operating system, brand of computer, or programming language you use. As long as it enables you to get done what you need and want to get done, then use it. Whenever someone looks down on your for your technology choices, just picture them as a grumpy old man at a rich country club telling you that you arent good enough for their tee times. That's ok; you don't want to be around those kinds of people. Stay away from them."

I personally use a Linux/Windows combination...Linux for when I feel like messing around, Windows because it has far reaching hardware support and doesn't require nearly as much tweaking to get it how I want. Forgive me for blaspheming by not using Linux exclusively; just don't look down on people like me because we CHOOSE to use what works for us.

Re:Sophistication? (3, Insightful)

redelm (54142) | about 6 years ago | (#22952330)

Why do you equate "less sophisticated" with any sort of depracation? It is a reflection of a state of knowledge, not any reflection of intelligence nor the propriety of that state of knowledge nor any moral failing. In general, less sophisticated is better because whatever task can be accomplished with less mental effort. MS-Windows certainly is appropriate for users with very simple requirements.

BTW, a "Fsck you" on any subject is functionally identical to a concession that you possess no further logical argument, and likely indicates you lack the grace or strength to stand by a personal perference and must instead verbally attack.

Re:Sophistication? (1)

3vi1 (544505) | about 6 years ago | (#22952466)

Posting this to remove accidental moderation caused by middle mouse wheel. Arghh.

Re:Sophistication? (0)

Pojut (1027544) | about 6 years ago | (#22952784)

Just following my dad's advice, nothing more.

To be fair, I agree with everything else that you said in your original post...that one line that I quoted really bothered me, so I decided to respond as such.

True, a fsck you prolly was unnecessary...but screw it, tomorrow is friday:-)

Re:Sophistication? (1)

introspekt.i (1233118) | about 6 years ago | (#22952830)

Why do you equate "less sophisticated" with any sort of depracation? It is a reflection of a state of knowledge, not any reflect....
Why do you equate pedantery with intelligence? Given the context, his assumption is entirely appropriate.

Re:Sophistication? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#22952876)

BTW, a "Fsck you" on any subject is functionally identical to a concession that you possess no further logical argument,...


It can be that. But it's also a way of saying "I've heard what you have to say a thousand times and in each of those thousand times that I engaged in debate it ended up with the other guy defaulting to "My OS is cooler than your OS." without ever [answering my points | acknowledging that it's a personal preference]. I no longer care to have the same argument over and over and over."

Re:Sophistication? (1)

berashith (222128) | about 6 years ago | (#22952704)

the most sophisticated users do not use MS products, preferring Linux or *BSD


Fuck you. My dad started teaching me about computers when I was only 5, and I have been huge into them ever since.
Both years?
I will give you credit for being a 7 year old with great grammar, but your vocabulary can be cleaned up a bit.

Re:Sophistication? (1)

Pojut (1027544) | about 6 years ago | (#22952890)

Actually no, it's been 19 years since he started teaching me...as to my choice of vocabulary...::shrug:: it's just a word.

Re:Sophistication? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#22952690)

I use plan9, you insensitive clod!

Re:Sophistication? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#22952768)

I would contend the more sophisticated the user, the further they are from attractable to Vista: the most sophisticated users do not use MS products, preferring Linux or *BSD.
When I was younger and more of a brat(err, "idealist") I might've agreed with you. But this is rubbish. I personally use all three of the systems you mention, though I use Linux and OpenBSD more frequently than Windows. The really advanced user (if he's not a zealot) will recognize that each one has merits apart from the others.

Re:Sophistication? (1)

b1ad3runn3r (896115) | about 6 years ago | (#22952854)

The great techno-unwashed masses, eh you fucking elitist? There are different strokes for different folks. Now get the hell off my lawn.

Gotta be true. Typical microsoft way after all : (-1, Troll)

unity100 (970058) | about 6 years ago | (#22951986)

Screwing other customers to make a product more appealing to some other group.

The wonders of rationalization (5, Insightful)

dlsmith (993896) | about 6 years ago | (#22952014)

the fact that the trick wasn't removed from SP1 suggests that Microsoft executives approved the back door as a way to make the price of Vista more appealing to sophisticated buyers
And I'm sure my neighbor leaves his front door unlocked because he wants me to come on in and make a sandwich.

Re:The wonders of rationalization (5, Funny)

Triv (181010) | about 6 years ago | (#22952234)

And I'm sure my neighbor leaves his front door unlocked because he wants me to come on in and make a sandwich.

That reminds me: You're outta mayo.

--Your Neighbor

Re:The wonders of rationalization (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#22952288)

Only if he says "sudo make me a sandwich"

Re:The wonders of rationalization (1)

diggum (769740) | about 6 years ago | (#22952376)

> And I'm sure my neighbor leaves his front door unlocked because he wants me to come on in and make a sandwich. Well, if six months ago it was published worldwide that he left his door wide open and anyone could go make a sandwich, and your neighbor was well aware of this, and after a large remodel of his house with press releases the front door was STILL unlocked, one may assume he hadn't had any troubles so far with the sandwich-making activities. This is what I would do: 1. Two slices of thick Texas Toast, lightly toasted. 2. Thick layer of peanut butter (crunchy) 3. A layer of 1/4" thick banana coins 4. A layer of bacon. 5. Deposit into mouth. sincerely, diggum

Re:The wonders of rationalization (1)

Hatta (162192) | about 6 years ago | (#22952568)

This is what I would do: 1. Two slices of thick Texas Toast, lightly toasted. 2. Thick layer of peanut butter (crunchy) 3. A layer of 1/4" thick banana coins 4. A layer of bacon. 5. Deposit into mouth. sincerely, diggum

You forgot to fry it in butter.

Re:The wonders of rationalization (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#22952760)

This is true. I don't find MS pricing practices appealing and I do not value their software in the same measure they do. Nevertheless, if you, reader, want less DRM and registration and restrictions on your software then it is contradictory to then say that when they don't completely lock down an upgrade version that they are "asking for it".

The fact is that you know that is not their intent and are willing to work around it. When your actions cause MS to designate the practice as a large enough sales loss then they will introduce further restrictions. Then you can complain about how much harder it is to activate and grow poetic about having to reach long strings of digits to a foreign representative. OR you can be responsible with your future and not "take advantage" of the situation. If you and enough of your friends can honor the implicit/explicit agreement then maybe we will all see less restrictive software. On the other hand, if you arbitrarily state you have "executive approval" whenever things are less restrictive... wait for it.... things will become MORE restrictive.

What strategy is it that you (Slashdot) wants to take?

What does the EULA permit? (2, Interesting)

PPH (736903) | about 6 years ago | (#22952022)

Perhaps Microsoft is "letting" people get away with this and counting on the BSA dropping by later to collect.

Re:What does the EULA permit? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#22952364)

The EULA permits YOU to take Microsoft to court if they try to enforce a NON legally binding illegal contractual agreement made by one party, themselves without your agreement.

Re:What does the EULA permit? (5, Informative)

mbge7psh (633184) | about 6 years ago | (#22952800)

From the EULA [microsoft.com]:

13. UPGRADES. To use upgrade software, you must first be licensed for the software that is eligible for the upgrade. Upon upgrade, this agreement takes the place of the agreement for the software you upgraded from. After you upgrade, you may no longer use the software you upgraded from.
Buying the upgrade version when your not entitled to it doesn't make you copy any more legal than a pirated copy.

Research shows... (5, Insightful)

Starturtle (1148659) | about 6 years ago | (#22952052)

...you're more inclined to buy something you don't want if you think you're getting a deal or getting away with something.

Re:Research shows... (1)

srussia (884021) | about 6 years ago | (#22952122)

...you're more inclined to buy something you don't want if you think you're getting a deal or getting away with something.
That's because what you really want is getting a deal or getting away with something and you're willing to pay the cost of "putting up with something you don't want" for the privilege.

Re:Research shows... (1)

techpawn (969834) | about 6 years ago | (#22952456)

like the problem that occurs when people focus too hard on the idea that economics is the study of resource allocation in the presence of scarcity [techdirt.com].

Or the researcher who did the work on people willing to waste time for a free ice cream cone over paying for one with no line? Seeing how much of a loss their willing to take (in time, because we know our worth in time thanks to hourly wages) for "free"?

Re:Research shows... (1)

AdamPee (1243018) | about 6 years ago | (#22952874)

There's something to this, Windows historically makes money by keeping a crippling stranglehold on the market, and if they can get people to think they're screwing them over by using their upgrade package, thus putting Vista into more people's hands, it is reasonable to expect that they won't mind less profit at this stage to try to exploit it later.

MS always fucks you at the drivethru (3, Interesting)

elrous0 (869638) | about 6 years ago | (#22952074)

I actually considered upgrading recently, just because I wanted to set up a remote connection server on my home PC. Then I found out that, as with XP, this doesn't come with the Home edition (even Home Premium) of Vista. So I'm going to get stuck buying the $200+ "Vista Ultimate" edition for one lousy crippled feature. Thanks, MS!

Re:MS always fucks you at the drivethru (1)

Kuxman (876286) | about 6 years ago | (#22952130)

You can always try RealVNC. It's what I use for both my windows and linux machines. There's a free version too that doesn't have encryption.

Re:MS always fucks you at the drivethru (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#22952548)

Have you ever tried comparing RealVNC to Microsoft's RDP over a low-bandwidth connection? RDP blows it away, easily. Not to mention that RDP supports changing resolution on the fly and serial/floppy/printer/sound redirection.

Re:MS always fucks you at the drivethru (3, Interesting)

Ark42 (522144) | about 6 years ago | (#22952802)

Have you ever tried comparing RealVNC to Microsoft's RDP over a low-bandwidth connection? RDP blows it away, easily. Not to mention that RDP supports changing resolution on the fly and serial/floppy/printer/sound redirection.
TightVNC, at least, supports screen resolution changes, and with the Mirror Driver option, is much faster than regular VNCs. I couldn't really care about serial/floppy/printer/sound at all though.

The big reason to use VNC is it is cross-platform. I have 1 Linux, 1 Vista, 2 OS X, and 3 XP computers in my house, and regularly VNC from one OS to another.

SSH? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#22952434)

Forgive me for suggesting the obvious, but isn't the functionality you described completely covered by SSH? It comes free with virtually all Linux distributions, and I hear you can even get it running on Windows.

Re:MS always fucks you at the drivethru (1)

canistel (1103079) | about 6 years ago | (#22952540)

No, with the right google search to help you, vista home will do remote desktop serving as well.

I guess it's better than a money-back rebate (4, Funny)

davidwr (791652) | about 6 years ago | (#22952094)

They could do what Symantec, McAfee, and a lot of other vendors do:

Antivirus: $50 - $30 rebate - $20 upgrade rebate

Only it would be

Vista Home Basic: $399 - $100 rebate - $100 upgrade rebate = your price $99

Dear Sucker, we mean Customer:
To get the upgrade rebate, fill in the form with the version and registration keys or "Registered to:" number for both the old and new copies of Windows. Limit one upgrade rebate per new copy. Limit one upgrade credit per old copy. Violators will be persecuted, we mean prosecuted, to the full extent of the law.
Sincerely,
Microsoft Customer Relations

That word does not mean what you think it does (5, Funny)

victim (30647) | about 6 years ago | (#22952098)

sophisticated adj - aware of or able to interpret complex issues

But you've used it in a sentence where you meant "willing to commit fraud to steal a license, but not willing to outright steal the license in its entirety". We don't have an english word that completely covers that, but "criminal" would do. I'd rewrite the last line to end...

"the back door as a way to make Vista more appealing to criminals."

Still Illegal (4, Insightful)

MoToMo (17253) | about 6 years ago | (#22952136)

I'm sure that the upgrade license agreement does not allow this, even if it is technically possible, so why would i spend money and still have an illegal copy of windows? If you're going to use an illegal copy, use one, if you're going to do the right thing and purchase a license, you might as well buy the right one.

Re:Still Illegal (1)

iainl (136759) | about 6 years ago | (#22952204)

You're right it's still illegal to use the upgrade without owning a legitimate XP disc.

However, I suspect the real reason that they left it in is that it's also legal to use the 'trick' to perform a clean install of Vista, when you have an XP disc sitting around, but don't want to fill your drive with cruft before you start.

Re:Still Illegal (3, Interesting)

Sancho (17056) | about 6 years ago | (#22952584)

Never upgraded Windows before, eh?

Since at least Windows 2000, you've been able to just pop out the disc, put in the older version to prove that you own it, then switch back and continue with the install. This gets you a clean install of the new OS while still verifying access to the older media. It takes less time, too (don't have to install the new OS twice in order to get a valid activation.)

too bad... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#22952166)

I feel sorry for the guy who had to figure out that this was possible in the first loser. Poor guy, using vista experiencing problems on so many levels.

Not just Vista (4, Insightful)

Deadstick (535032) | about 6 years ago | (#22952232)

...the same capability exists in the upgrade versions of WinXP. If no Windows version is present on the hard disk, it asks you to briefly insert a disk of a qualifying version, including 95/98/Me, and it activates on the new disk's product key.

rj

Re:Not just Vista (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#22952352)

I think the point is that vista doesent even ask for previous media, it just installs no questions asked

Re:Not just Vista (4, Informative)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | about 6 years ago | (#22952446)

I think the point is that vista doesent even ask for previous media, it just installs no questions asked

That's nice of them, because I do have a fully licensed version of XP MCE that came with a machine I bought a few years ago. However, it was an HP, so I only have the crappy "Restore" discs that it let me make, which includes all the crapware they were paid to include. I'm fairly certain a Windows upgrade disc wouldn't accept these as "genuine" media that's eligible for upgrade, even though they should be. It's nice to know that I can install Vista onto a fresh HD without having to deal with first installing XP and all the extra crap, only to blow it away with the upgrade.

Re:Not just Vista (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#22952522)

Did you even read the article? Vista upgrades can only be applied to an already-installed Windows 2000, XP, or Vista (not simply by validating against one of their installation disks). The trick is that you can do a clean install using the Vista upgrade disk, then do an upgrade install over the clean install. The upgrade install will recognize the clean install as a legitimate qualifying version to which the upgrade can be applied.

Re:Not just Vista (1)

mauthbaux (652274) | about 6 years ago | (#22952814)

...a qualifying version, including 95/98/Me...

Interestingly enough, even the first gen "XP Pro Corporate" disc qualifies as valid media. At least it does when installing XP home SP2 upgrade.

i'll pass (-1, Troll)

Dan667 (564390) | about 6 years ago | (#22952242)

The more I hear about Vista the less I want it. In fact, I think I will just skip it all together.

Re:i'll pass (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#22952520)

The more I hear about Vista the less I want it. In fact, I think I will just skip it all together.
Methinks we have found the true "sophisticated buyer".

Trick (1)

weicco (645927) | about 6 years ago | (#22952246)

For some reason this came to my mind instantly when I read the summary (in the sound of Hubert J. Farnsworth) "Yes, yes, let's all break the law and buy upgrade versions and use it against the license."

What a stupid story (1)

enosys (705759) | about 6 years ago | (#22952266)

You can an unlicensed copy of Vista for free. So what do you get by doing this? I guess the only benefit is that it can appear genuine without cracks on any computer (including ones without keys in the BIOS).

In Canada, Vista Ultimate OEM seems cheaper than Vista Ultimate upgrade. I guess installing that might even be legal.

Is Microsoft getting desperate? (3, Insightful)

Toe, The (545098) | about 6 years ago | (#22952280)

I can't imagine that MS is completely unaware of this workaround. After all, they have a licensing department that is larger than many (most?) corporations.

That inclines one to suspect that this hack was left in intentionally.

Now why would Microsoft let people steal from them so easily? That seems diametrically opposed to most of their past behavior. However, if their brand is indeed on a "sharp decline [infoworld.com]," then this action would suddenly make sense.

But it is still amazing to see Microsoft to be (seemingly) actually encouraging theft of their product. What will they think of next? Voluntarily coding to standards?

Occam's Razor (1)

pshumate (1004477) | about 6 years ago | (#22952300)

Isn't it much more likely that they never got around to/didn't care to fix the hole, instead of putting the thought into leaving it there for "sophisticated" users? No profitable business should knowingly allow a method that costs them a larger potential sale, let alone encourage it.

Granted, I suppose there is some merit to having more people buy a cheaper version, but I don't really buy it.

mo3 down (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#22952310)

sling, re'turn it to

I doubt this is a backdoor. (0, Redundant)

Vellmont (569020) | about 6 years ago | (#22952342)

The likely scenario is MS decided that anyone re-installing the OS from scratch shouldn't have to first install the old OS, or produce installation CDs for the old OS. Sure, a few people might violate the EULA and buy upgrade instead of the full version.. but at least you're getting their market share and their money. In the end it's probably better to not piss off the legit upgraders than it is to squeeze everyone with ridiculous procedures.

So to call this an intentional backdoor is misleading IMO. It might just be Microsoft admitting that their licensing procedures have been detrimental to business in the past. (I assume previous "upgrade" versions have looked for an old OS before installing?)

Fago8z (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#22952508)

of a solid dose I thought it 3as my

Trust ?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#22952524)

I personally think it fits what I now believe is their 2 part marketing model:
Part 1. Sell Windows / Office as a contagious disease. Example: Small business needs a new note book computer, owner runs down to Fry's, Microcenter or whatever comes back with something with Vista and the Latest Office on it and guess what. In no time every thing is so screwed up, that he/she winds up buying news copies of Office and Vista and or all new computers ...

Part 2 Addiction. This applies to those who don't want to out right pirate it. Finds a installation 'oversight' (Like in this case) by M$ and is able to install a upgrade vs. buying the full product. Gets it to work. Wow even lasts through a service pack. Then stupidly trusts it. (What is a little bit of Smack, I can handle it. I am smart and tough ..). Buys some new App that needs Vista. Becomes dependent on the new App. Then guess what ..Tries to get the latest patch of the week to keep out the 'worms' and M$ update loads a new version of Windows Genuine Validation ...and then it chokes.

Does anyone else wonder when the Windows Activation Codes become VISA/MASTER CARD numbers ??

Upgrade (1)

Programmerman (1166739) | about 6 years ago | (#22952610)

And here I thought they put in this "trick" so that people who want to reinstall don't have to go find their old media, install the old OS, THEN reinstall Vista.

Ep!!*W!! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#22952660)

These early you join today! As fiitingly BUWLA, or BSD

I am a genius then (1)

ameboy (1211832) | about 6 years ago | (#22952676)

Paying a buttload of money and not having any right to use the product is sophisticated. Then what do you call downloading a pirated version and having the same without paying, genial?

Re:I am a genius then (1)

pandrijeczko (588093) | about 6 years ago | (#22952810)

Then what do you call downloading a pirated version and having the same without paying, genial?

Actually, I'd call it "I find it far easier to brag about being some l33t pirate than having the guts to use an alternative free operating system that I don't have to steal from somebody else."

Sophisticated buyers? (1)

dr00g911 (531736) | about 6 years ago | (#22952726)

Methinks sophisticated buyers will simply continue buying a $5 mouse from their favorite online retailer, thus fulfilling the vendor's "must be bundled with hardware" requirement for a $169 OEM Vista Ultimate full version instead of a $199 boxed upgrade in which you have to jump through hoops for a clean install.

I posit that there's one market for those boxed upgrades on the shelf at BestBuy, Target Etc... and "sophisticated" they ain't.

The Second Microsoft-orientated oxymoron. (1)

pandrijeczko (588093) | about 6 years ago | (#22952738)

"Microsoft Works" being the first and now "sophisticated users buying Vista" is the second.
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