Windows Vista: Restrictive EULA?

The Windows Vista EULA has been in the news a bit today. It contains several worrying features.

Other sites were complaining about how it allowed just one re-install on different hardware; that is now fixed. So you can upgrade more than once and transfer it. There has also been some complaint about the clause that effectively censors benchmarking of .NET 3.0. And the prohibition of running the Home editions in a virtual/emulated environment is a real blow to web developers. Of course, there are all sorts of DRM restrictions, and it has mandatory activation (WGA) too – this is also shortly on the way for MS Office in the form of Office Genuine Advantage.

So, there are all sorts of bad things there. But the one that caught my eye I have not seen mentioned on any other site. It says: You may install one copy of the software on the licensed device. You may use the software on up to two processors on that device at one time.

That’s it. Maximum of 2 processors. Just when Intel and AMD are ramping up their processor count. Now there is a question in my mind whether this means physical chips or just cores on the same die. And can Windows tell the difference? It doesn’t seem to distinguish right now. This is a concern because it might really fragment the games market. What will happen if one tries to run a game on Windows Vista on a quad-core machine next year? Will Vista allow creation of 4 hardware threads? What about an 8-core machine or a 16-core machine in 2008 and beyond?

1 comment

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.