The EULA for Vista takes away some more of your rights. [link|http://www.theregister.co.uk/2006/10/29/microsoft_vista_eula_analysis/|Surprises inside Microsoft Vista's EULA] goes through what the EULA prohibits. Here are some highlights:
Buried deep in the back of the EULA, in the sections titled "MICROSOFT WINDOWS VISTA HOME BASIC" and "MICROSOFT WINDOWS VISTA HOME PREMIUM," are two identical clauses:
4. USE WITH VIRTUALIZATION TECHNOLOGIES. You may not use the software installed on the licensed device within a virtual (or otherwise emulated) hardware system.
So you can't create a virtual image using Home Basic ($199) or Home Premium ($239). However, the EULA does allow you to use Vista Business ($299) or Vista Ultimate ($399). Hmmm... I wonder why? It couldn't possibly be because those editions cost more, could it?
It gets better, however. If you comply with Microsoft's licensing and use Ultimate within a virtualized environment, you still have to comply with section 6 of the "MICROSOFT WINDOWS VISTA ULTIMATE" appendix to the Vista EULA:
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.
IANAL (I am not a lawyer), but it sure seems to me that this clause goes way beyond listening to DRM-protected Windows Audio files (and why anyone would even buy that garbage in the first place is beyond me). Section 6 also appears to block the opening and reading of documents "protected" with Microsoft's "Rights Management Services," which I covered a couple of years ago. Basically, this means that if you want to run a Windows version of Office inside Parallels or VMWare so you can create, read, and work on documents that have DRM'd, you're out of luck. Want to test Windows and DRM (those two great tastes that taste great together)? You gotta buy a new PC!
But clause 15 of the new Vista EULA - "REASSIGN TO ANOTHER DEVICE" - goes way beyond that.
a. Software Other than Windows Anytime Upgrade. The first user of the software may reassign the license to another device one time. If you reassign the license, that other device becomes the "licensed device."
b. Windows Anytime Upgrade Software. The first user of the software may reassign the license to another device one time, but only if the license terms of the software you upgraded from allows reassignment.
As I read this, you go to the store and buy a copy of Vista, which you install on a PC you had in your office. A year later, another PC becomes available that's a bit more up to date, so you decide to transfer your Vista license to that machine.
You're now finished with that Vista license. Done. Game over, man. Whether you shelled out $199 for Home Basic or broke the bank with the $399 Ultimate makes no difference. You've reassigned the license twice, and that's all that Microsoft allows.
Do you think anyone is going to care? Is anyone not going to buy Vista because of this?