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Microsoft overhauls Windows 8 licences

by on21 August 2012

Makes them easier to understand

After years of providing end user license agreements which you need to be a lawyer to understand, Microsoft is writing one which uses that quaint backward dialect “American English.” According to ZDNet, Vole has completely overhauled the license agreements on Windows 8.

There are three different Windows 8 EULAs. There is the retail upgrade, the OEM agreement and a new license type called a Personal Use License for System Builder which replaces the full package product. The EULAs are organised into two parts. The first part explains introductory terms phrased in a question and answer format. The licence says things like:

“Are there things I’m not allowed to do with the software?” and then you get the answer: “You may not install the software as an operating system on any computer except one that you are building for your own use or as an operating system running on a local virtual machine or a separate partition. You may not install the software on a computer that is running a non-genuine Windows operating system."

The new EULA should be an ideal solution for anyone using Windows 8 in a virtual machine on a PC or a Mac. The language about "non-genuine Windows" is designed to prevent the use of a System Builder license on a system running a counterfeit copy of Windows; for those customers, Microsoft has a separate Get Genuine product.”

What the licence does is kill off a lot of the anti-Microsoft stories which should be showing up in the silly season before a major product launch. The old licences were so verbose that it was possible to interpret them say they meant that Vole could take your children and sell them for scientific experiments. Around now we could be expected to be writing a story which said that the license agreement block Linux or Mac users from running Windows in a VM. Because in legalese the licence could be read that way.

However this one makes it clear that you are allowed you to run Windows in a virtual machine, regardless of the platform. You just can't run a pirated version of Windows alongside a real one.

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