back to article Microsoft counters Windows 7 upgrade hack advice

Microsoft has wagged its finger at users to dissuade them from hacking upgrade versions of Windows 7 to get a full copy of the new operating system on their PC. Reacting to tips being served up online, Microsoft has warned that while it's technically possible to perform what's known as a "clean" install of Windows 7 on a PC, you …

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Gates Horns

There is a Microsoft tax but knowledgeable people know how to dodge it...

So ... MS has state-enforced power to force you to buy their stuff over and over and over again at elevated pricing? Patrolled and enforced by the BSA vigilantes and teams of plods that have nothing better to do? All in the name of saving the loss of "billions" of children, I mean GBP?

Well, it's good to be officially reminded that you are the object of a shakedown and protection racket.

Even if you can't do much about it except vote with your feet.

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Licensing is not the same thing as validation or the technically possible

Technically the guy is right about OEM copies, but there's an interesting loophole. Remember the definitions (see below) of oem/upgrade/full products and ponder the following scenario :

What is interesting is the list of qualifying upgrade products. I can't immediately find this - it appears to be an earlier release of Windows. However, if OEM copies are included technically it is permissible - even under the EULA rules to :

1) in place upgrade the OEM version to Windows 7. This destroys your OEM license forever.

2) Congratulations - you now have a full retail version of Windows 7 on your old system.

3) Deactivate on old system. Transfer to new system.

The disadvantage of this is that you now have an old unlicensed and unusable system, but seeing as some people are trying to transfer OEM licenses that would be the end result anyway.

Different versions :

Upgrade : May require a qualifying piece of software. Once upgraded you can't use the old piece of software and the licensing terms remain the same as the full product.

Retail (full) product : Looks like it can be transferred serially to any number of computers you wish, provided it is deactivated on each old one. Can be sold to one other person, who cannot then sell it on.

OEM : tied to the motherboard. Can never be transferred. Should, to follow the letter of the license, be installed using the OEM preinstallation kit (yes, I know few people actually do). The fact it may ask you to reactivate if several hardware components are replaced does not modify the fact it's still tied to the motherboard. The motherboard must be replaced with an identical one if it fails, or at most one of comparable functionality - it is not a loophole to buy something new and fancy. Microsoft will need to re-enable such a new motherboard by phone, and they are known to refuse people selecting a dissimilar motherboard.

Also, the OEM copies do not need to be sold with hardware. They can be sold to anyone and installed on anything. The *only* differences are being tied to a motherboard and having no support calls from Microsoft.

You can argue about whether the conditions are legal or what you think is right but those are the conditions. Be pragmatic - do you want to be legal? Then buy the appropriate version. If you just want cheap software and rankle at the pricing then pirate the software - paying money for something you know may not be legit anyway is a bit bloody stupid.

Besides, Windows 7's pricing is currently such that Home Premium is pretty reasonable especially compared to older versions. If you want it, buy it now.

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Pirate

@RegisterFail

I just didn't put it in and clicked next. I believe there was a screen for Microsoft's EULA, which I did agree to but I have yet to enter my CD-key.

I also either declined to check (or perhaps unchecked) the option to Activate Windows when I connected. That was one of the prompts during the install. I checked the taskbar and there was no indicator like the little yellow shield from XP/Vista telling me how many days I had left to activate my copy. At this point I assume it will hit some pre-programmed time limit and eventually prompt me.

I know the CD-key is on the inside flap of my box and expect to have to use it, just not sure if/when it will force the issue, or if the fact that something went wrong....I will not be prompted for the info, and will have to re-install.

The biggest question for me is:why it didn't even prompt for an old XP/Vista CD. This was not what I expected. It would be nice to go ahead and update my wife's PC also, but I want to keep the key available just in case.

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Badgers

Companion Of Honour

I'm fairly sure that the "qualifying product" doesn't actually have to exist on the hard drive... I'm fairly sure that the last time I upgrade... (win98 FWIW) as long as I could show it the qualifying products installation disk the upgrafe was legal and happy.

Is this no longer the case? I don't know cos I always rebuild my machines from scratch when upgrading the OS

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Pint

Poor M$ buggers

why bother, Apple with Mac OS X does not give a flying crapware so why should M$. Even if M$ were to set the retail tag price to $29 for Win 7 I would not buy it. XP is good enough for the 3 tiny apps I need to M$ run.

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Alert

So wait, if MSFT are selling these...

Does that mean you can get the kit, declare you refuse the terms of the EULA and will use your own (BSD/Linux) OS, and MSFT, by being the vendor, must offer the refund?

Aha. And now they can't do the 'contact the vendor'/'contact the OS maker' BS. They probably will, but hrm...

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Anonymous Coward

FUD

Wow, I haven't seen that much FUD in ages!

No, I'm not talking about the guy from Microsoft, I'm talking about the commentators! Jeez, OEM licenses are "tied" to the box they came with, and this is news to you people? If you didn't like that restriction, why didn't you buy a retail copy to install over the OEM copy?

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Happy

Not compatible with MY EULA....

... which says once I have bought something it is mine to do whatever I want with. By accepting my money you agree that this supersedes any other terms and conditions you would like to impose.

Simples.

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@Nimrod

For "!=" read "not equal to".

Mod(s): Feel free to nuke this if 500 other people have already helpfully pointed out the obvious.

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Linux

Quelle Surprise

And Microsoft wonders why people are so frustrated with them.

I finally moved away from Windows in 2003, and haven't looked back. Linux is Teh Awesome!

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Dell and EULAs...

"This agreement covers all software that is distributed with the dell product, *for which there is no separate licence agreement* between you and the manufacturer or owner of the software."

[my added *emphasis*.]

I strongly suspect your Microsoft software came via Dell with a separate license agreement.

(and, if EULAs - license agreements which define the extra terms under which you get to use their copyrighted software - are a problem then so is the GPL, no?)

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FAIL

@abigsmurf

¨If you actually read the EULA, you would know that if you do not agree to the terms, you are entitled to a full refund. It is not post purchase because in any real sense, it isn't purchased until you you agree to the EULA.¨

Ok kid. As anyone over 12 years old would know, legally it is purchased as soon as the seller gets the money. Anything else is snake oil and/or utter stupidity. I read the EULAs, and I very much disagree with them, but in no way have they the power to redefine the law. And the law says that a sale occurs when money changes hands. MS and co managed to bribe themselves get-out solutions (the infamous ¨film yourself refusing the EULA and you might be entitled for a refund. Just send us 3 e-mails a day for 5 years, and we´ll give you 50 pounds¨ thing). But post-sale EULAs are still illegal in most civilized countries. That´s actually the only way you can realistically get a refund under the ¨Refuse the EULA" rule: They will just ignore your request until you threaten to challenge the post-sale EULA thing. Suddently they will give you your 50 bucks...

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Black Helicopters

EULA? If MS doesn't honour it, so why should I?

My paper EULA says if I don't accept the terms I could return the licence and delete the software and ask my vendor - Acer - for a refund.

Acer hasn't given me a refund so as far as I am concerned the EULA is ineffective and I am free to do whatever I want with my copies of Vista.

Going free ... copies of Vista )I am in VietNam)

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Silver badge

More crapware please

Like some of the other commentards here, I upgrade my PC's a few components at a time rather than buy complete new systems. I would love to add some crapware to my next purchase to reduce the costs. Anyone seen a distributor offering crapware as a separate component?

I support Microsoft's right to rent out third rate software at exorbitant prices. If you do not like Microsoft's license, don't use their software and get your money back from the distributor.

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WTF?

EULA licenses not enforcable

'Eric Ligman, global partner experience leading in Microsoft Worldwide partner group has blogged bluntly: "Bottom line is, no, OEM Microsoft Windows licenses do not have any transfer rights and live and die on the original computer they are shipped with and installed on, period.'

This has no basis in law, either in the US or Internationally ...

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"Transfer rights..."

...are not something you can just decide take away from your customers. Unless you're an airline, I suppose.

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Full Version was cheaper than Upgrade

The full version of Win7 Pro was 3p cheaper than the upgrade version in my local PC World :)

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