foobar on computers, software and the rest of the world


New licensing from Microsoft: Now you are only half shafted!

, posted: 20-Aug-2008 07:45

Microsoft treats us today to some new and improved (TM) licensing: Apparently, it is now allowed to move some server installations around a data center. Mind you, it was also technically possible before (because that's what you can do with collections of bits), except that the license terms didn't allow it. Or they made you wait an arbitrary amount (90 days) between moving a server instance. Or something similarly insane.

And now, due to Microsoft's blessing which rains down on us unworthy masses like Manna from the Heavens, we can all rejoice and actually are allowed to do what is already in the fundamental nature of software anyway. In fact, Microsoft is so proud of itself, they claim this to be an 'innovation'! Unbelievable? Well, take their word for it (emphasis is mine):
Microsoft ... is innovating its licensing policies, product support and a wide range of IT solutions to help customers get virtual now.
Excuse me for a second... Hahahahahahahahaha!

Ok, now let me collect myself again.

So, what exactly was innovated here? An utterly crappy and artificial limitation was somewhat lessened? We are to celebrate that? Be greatful for it? Sure, extended tech support in various environments is nice, but this license madness is overshadowing that.

This kind of complete and total insanity is what should drive the point home about the advantages of free software. If you have to constantly be on the lookout for rediculous license stipulations then the risk of even an inadvertant license violation is just too big. Running proprietary software like this is an actual business risk to any organisation. In fact, one could argue that by deciding to run such proprietary and license-crippled software you are irresponsibly exposing your business to unnecessary risk!

Fortunately, there is an easy remidy. Use free software and never ever again pay or worry about licenses. Install it, try it, move it around to your heart's content. No artificial restrictions. No anti-features. No crap to put up with.

Other related posts:
Half of Australians think it's OK to pirate Microsoft software
Windows 7 Starter: The anti-feature edition
Vista: Microsoft's biggest failure yet?








Comment by Regs, on 21-Aug-2008 13:41

i think you're being overly optimistic to say that free software is an easy remedy.  there is some good free software out there but not necessarily for everything you may want/need to do.  There is also some utter crap free software out there that will cost you more $$ in support and configuration than what the licensing of some of the commercial software costs.

and as far as announcing new licensing goes - it was something that had to be done in the new age of virtualization and hot backup images etc.  It doesnt matter what you "think makes sense" with regards to shifing apps around servers and virtual servers - the plain fact is that license terms have traditionally limited user/corporations to installing the licensed software on a single platform only.  While it might seem reasonable to assume that having it installed in several places but using it in only one at a time shouldnt break a licensing agreement there are a lot of companies that wouldnt dare attempt something unless it was explicitly stated and these new terms go a long way to helping clear up some of these issues


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New Zealand


  • Who I am: Software developer and consultant.
  • What I do: System level programming, Linux/Unix. C, C++, Java, Python, and a long time ago even Assembler.
  • What I like: I'm a big fan of free and open source software. I'm Windows-free, running Ubuntu on my laptop. To a somewhat lesser degree, I also follow the SaaS industry.
  • Where I have been: Here and there, all over the place.




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