OS Licenses

Discussion in 'Virtual PC' started by Carlo Paccanoni, Oct 8, 2004.

  1. if I install an XP OS in a virtual machine,assuming that the computer already
    have a licensed XP Pro OS, do I have to buy a second license? and if yes,
    could this license be an OEM license?
     
    Carlo Paccanoni, Oct 8, 2004
    #1
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  2. Carlo Paccanoni

    Scott Baker Guest

    Read the _many_ postings already in the newsgroup on this
    exact subject.

    Short answer: Yes. No.

    Scott
     
    Scott Baker, Oct 8, 2004
    #2
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  3. Hi,

    Yes, you need a separate license. This license can be OEM as long as it
    isn't the same license as the host computer. Also, an OEM license can't be
    transferred, so you can't delete the first machine and use the OEM install
    on a second virtual machine, as per the license

    --
    --Jonathan Maltz [Microsoft MVP - Windows Server - IIS, Virtual PC]
    http://www.visualwin.com - A Windows Server 2003 visual, step-by-step
    tutorial site :)
    http://vpc.visualwin.com - Does <insert OS name> work on VPC 2004? Find out
    here
    Only reply by newsgroup. I do not do technical support via email. Any
    emails I have not authorized are deleted before I see them.
     
    Jonathan Maltz [MS-MVP], Oct 8, 2004
    #3
  4. -----Original Message-----
    Actuallly Scott - yes and yes.

    The poster does require a valid license for each VM they build. So would
    require the second Windows XP license assuming they are not a volume
    licensed customer; If they can use an OEM license for this - They would be
    subject to the one time use license in that if that eve deleted the VM the
    OEM license is gone forever.

    --

    Regards,

    Mike
    --
    Mike Brannigan [Microsoft]

    This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no
    rights

    Please note I cannot respond to e-mailed questions, please use these
    newsgroups
     
    Mike Brannigan [MSFT], Oct 9, 2004
    #4
  5. Carlo Paccanoni

    DevilsPGD Guest

    I disagree -- An OEM license allows you to format the machine and
    reinstall, or to replace the hard drive at your discretion.
     
    DevilsPGD, Oct 9, 2004
    #5
  6. Yes - but it is tied to the original machine you installed it on, by
    motherboard. Once you delete a virtual machine, you're throwing the machine
    away, and when you create a new one, you have a brand new computer. It's
    not really a question on whether you agree or not, it's simply the way the
    license works ;)

    See Mike's post to confirm my original fear.

    --
    --Jonathan Maltz [Microsoft MVP - Windows Server - IIS, Virtual PC]
    http://www.visualwin.com - A Windows Server 2003 visual, step-by-step
    tutorial site :)
    http://vpc.visualwin.com - Does <insert OS name> work on VPC 2004? Find out
    here
    Only reply by newsgroup. I do not do technical support via email. Any
    emails I have not authorized are deleted before I see them.
     
    Jonathan Maltz [MS-MVP], Oct 9, 2004
    #6
  7. Carlo Paccanoni

    Mr. Slippery Guest


    ?????

    So, in your opinion, if I have an OEM Windows license on a physical
    computer, and I wipe the hard disk, I must then acquire a new OEM license if
    I want to re-install the OS onto the wiped drive? (Wiping the hard disk is
    equivalent to throwing away or reformatting the .vhd file) It is not a new
    computer; it is a new copy of the data on the same storage media.

    I'm sorry, but if I've understood your position correctly, I think it is
    seriously over aggressive, and will essentially prove to be indefensible.
    Any yes, it is a matter of whether we agree or not; courts decide
    discrepancies in such issues, not Microsoft unilaterally.
     
    Mr. Slippery, Oct 9, 2004
    #7
  8. Carlo Paccanoni

    Robert Moir Guest

    No, deleting the virtual machine is the same as throwing away a machine.
    Creating a virtual machine is building a brand new computer. Not the same as
    replacing a hard drive in a real physical machine, hence it doesn't play out
    the way you think.

    In either case, the OEM licence restrictions are no help for virtual
    machines, indeed for virtual machines they are a bit silly and over
    restrictive, regardless of how they work on "real" machines its clear that
    OEM licences are not terribly well suited for virtual machines.

    --
    --
    Rob Moir, Microsoft MVP for servers & security
    Website - http://www.robertmoir.co.uk
    Virtual PC 2004 FAQ - http://www.robertmoir.co.uk/win/VirtualPC2004FAQ.html

    Kazaa - Software update services for your Viruses and Spyware.
     
    Robert Moir, Oct 9, 2004
    #8
  9. Carlo Paccanoni

    Mr. Slippery Guest


    With all due respect, it think your position is still quite extreme. Again,
    using the analogy of a physical machine (which at one time Microsoft
    supported as the natural method to think about licensing issues on virtual
    as opposed to hardware machines), removing a once functional virtual machine
    from an active list is no different from taking a physical machine out of a
    currently functional status/inventory list after removing a power supply,
    disk drive, or the video card from a physical machine, rendering it
    inoperable and temporarily unfunctional.

    If at some later point that machine is revived (new power supply, drive, or
    replace the video card) I can still use the original OEM license on that
    machine. (We're talking like about those same licenses that come now come
    glued to the very case's box, right?) The newly revived virtual machine has
    precisely the same hardware authorized on that original OEM list.

    Alternately, by what you are suggesting, there would be different licensing
    implications for not deleting the virtual machine from the list, but instead
    just using a utility to reformat the .vhd!? What else, for just renaming
    the virtual machine!?

    Perhaps a user forum is not the place in which to discuss personal
    interpretation of licensing issues -- I just cannot believe at this point
    that your perspective accurately reflects Microsoft's legal licensing
    opinions.
     
    Mr. Slippery, Oct 9, 2004
    #9
  10. Carlo Paccanoni

    Robert Moir Guest

    Mike Brannigan's post most accurately reflects the MS licence position, but
    I'm sure he'll rush to point out that he's not (well as far as I know) a
    lawyer. It's not my personal interpretation of the licence laws that matters
    at all, Its Microsoft's position that matters, and should a dispute arise it
    could be ultimately a judge's too. I don't enter into it. Its my opinion
    that OEM licences are unsuitable for work with VMs because of this
    confusion - in other words, whoever turns out to be right my recommendation
    is to avoid the confusion in the first place.

    I've certainly always considered separate virtual machines to be 2 different
    computers for technical reasons, (e.g. the network card MAC address has to
    change for a start), so if I've already accepted that two virtual machine
    instances are two completely different machines for technical reasons then I
    have no problem with seeing that apply consistently for all other issues
    that arise.

    If you stop using a virtual machine and put the files for it into "cold
    storage" somewhere then you have not destroyed the "virtual machine", simply
    done the electronic equivilant of putting a item of hardware into a storage
    room. You haven't destroyed the virtual machine and hence haven't lost the
    licence.

    If you destroy the .vmc and .vhd file and set up a new machine, then as far
    as i'm concerned that is technically a new machine. My own personal
    interpretation is again a complete legal layperson's opinion and thus
    useless but I'd say that its down to intent - are you intending to run one
    copy of Windows on two virtual machines, or are you just rebuilding an image
    over and over as part of a testing cycle? In my book the last option is fine
    but the first is not.

    As for "The newly revived virtual machine has precisely the same hardware
    authorized on that original OEM list.", then the obvious answer would be
    what if you phoned Dell and ordered 2 machines exactly the same from them.
    Is that one computer or two? How many of those machines does the OEM licence
    "allow" you to install one copy of Windows onto?

    Maybe my position is too extreme but I'm not a lawyer settling a legal issue
    of what you can and cannot do, I'm a techie trying to find a decent solution
    to a problem... so we're back to my earlier comment about avoiding the
    problem by not using OEM licences being the easiest thing to do. It might be
    extreme, but its simple.

    --
    --
    Rob Moir, Microsoft MVP for servers & security
    Website - http://www.robertmoir.co.uk
    Virtual PC 2004 FAQ - http://www.robertmoir.co.uk/win/VirtualPC2004FAQ.html

    Kazaa - Software update services for your Viruses and Spyware.
     
    Robert Moir, Oct 9, 2004
    #10
  11. This is an issue you should address directly to Microsoft's legal
    department. I doubt that any opinion expressed here that did not reinforce
    your own would be acceptible to you. Please get it from good authority.
     
    Colin Barnhorst, Oct 9, 2004
    #11
  12. Carlo Paccanoni

    DevilsPGD Guest

    Fair enough -- How about if I maintain the VMC file, and just delete or
    reformat the VHD as required?

    Of course, if we accept that definition (That the VMC file is "the
    computer"), then if I mirror my VMC+VHD files to two or more physical
    machines, do I now need two OEM licenses? If we accept that the "VMC"
    file is the machine, then I would suggest not even though common sense
    says that you would need another OEM license.

    Another consideration, I purchased WinXP Pro with my laptop. I've had
    the laptop swapped four times due to hardware defects, and am still
    using my original OEM license. The instructions tell me to move my hard
    drive to the new machine so that I don't have to reinstall my operating
    system (Since the defects were not drive related)

    Either this is legal, in which case it stands that an OEM license should
    be reusable if you delete a VPC and start over (as long as the previous
    VPC is no longer functional), or I have been advised to violate the
    license terms by my laptop supplier, in which case I should notify
    Microsoft that I was sold a pirated license and I should pursue a civil
    lawsuit against my laptop supplier immediately for fraudulently selling
    me an unlicensed copy of Windows XP.

    The biggest reason I see this as being worthwhile discussing is that an
    OEM license is the cheapest single license you can buy, so if it's
    legitimate for use in a VPC, it's potentially a significant cost savings
    for a single VPC user -- I know my dad is considering using VPC for
    internet surfing to keep his PC clean (He still uses IE some of the
    time, and doesn't always patch because he doesn't trust Microsoft)
     
    DevilsPGD, Oct 9, 2004
    #12
  13. Each instance of the OS, running or not, requires a separate license.
     
    Colin Barnhorst, Oct 9, 2004
    #13
  14. Hi,

    Reformat, fine, delete, fine too.
    Yep, if you have a retail license and copy the VM you need a second retail
    license too. It's like buying 2 of the same HP model computers. Still need
    2 licenses to have Windows on both.
    Technically your distributor made a wrong decision. OEM installs are tied
    to their original motherboards, so technically if you switched your laptop
    (and hence your motherboard), you needed a different license
    I'm not a lawyer and I'm definitely not a lawyer who works for Microsoft, so
    I really can't say what should be.
    Spending close to $200 to browse safe seems like a bit of a waste (~$130 for
    VPC, ~$70 for the Windows license) when you can get free programs to keep
    machines clean of spyware

    --
    --Jonathan Maltz [Microsoft MVP - Windows Server - IIS, Virtual PC]
    http://www.visualwin.com - A Windows Server 2003 visual, step-by-step
    tutorial site :)
    http://vpc.visualwin.com - Does <insert OS name> work on VPC 2004? Find out
    here
    Only reply by newsgroup. I do not do technical support via email. Any
    emails I have not authorized are deleted before I see them.
     
    Jonathan Maltz [MS-MVP], Oct 9, 2004
    #14
  15. Carlo Paccanoni

    DevilsPGD Guest

    Actually that is not correct. You can freely create backups of the
    original media, and/or an installed system.

    Since you top posted and didn't trim it's not really clear which part of
    my message you're responding to though...
     
    DevilsPGD, Oct 10, 2004
    #15
  16. Carlo Paccanoni

    DevilsPGD Guest

    Makes sense -- You're just swapping the hard drive, which doesn't cause
    you to throw out the OEM license.
    I would agree -- Common sense dictates that if you have a second
    instance (and especially one on a second set of physical hardware), you
    need a second license -- But I'm not convinced that deleting and
    recreating a VMC would constitute a new machine.

    If we accept that the "machine" is the VMC file, then regardless of
    where that VMC file is located it's still valid to use it with a given
    OEM license, isn't it?

    If we don't accept that definition, then deleting and recreating the VMC
    shouldn't invalidate an OEM license, it's no more then a reinstall.

    My feeling is that the VMC is not what defines the specific machine (to
    tie the OEM license to a set of hardware/specific machine)

    I would suggest that the VMC file is not the determining factor, but
    rather, that OEM licenses used for VPCs would be assigned to the
    physical machine regardless of whether you delete the VMC+VHD and start
    over. In other words, you would be within the license to stick
    additional OEM stickers on the case beside the host's OEM sticker, and
    use those OEM stickers as guests on that physical host reinstalling as
    many times as you want, as long as you never have more VPCs then you
    have stickers on the machine.

    Am I making sense, or am I missing something obvious here?
    So Microsoft requires you format and reinstall your OS because your
    motherboard is defective? -- I would be very interested in seeing them
    try to enforce that aspect of the license, especially since OEM licenses
    can be sold with a hard drive or other system component without a
    motherboard.

    As far as I'm aware, Microsoft's only official position on changing OEM
    keys is to reinstall, although I might be wrong about that.

    It seems to be common place too, since I wrote my last post I emailed a
    couple friends (One with a Dell laptop, one with a Gateway desktop),
    both of whom confirmed they have had motherboards replaced without an
    OEM license being reissued and without being instructed to reinstall.

    I'm also curious -- If I build my own machine and the motherboard dies,
    am I expected to purchase an additional OEM license to go with the
    replacement (RMA'd) motherboard?
    Unfortunately, I don't know of any alternatives (free or paid) which can
    "guarantee" safety (plus a reasonable level of functionality),
    especially if you choose (as my dad does) to not patch immediately.

    I'm writing this post from ThunderBird and I've used
    FireFox/Bird/Phoenix since the day it came out, and before that I ran
    Mozilla nightlies, but I can think of more then one security-critical
    patch within the last few months -- While I haven't personally had any
    virus or piece of spyware sneak into any system under my control since
    before Jan-2000, I am very conscious of the potential risks.

    While I disagree with his choice to not patch, I've spent more then one
    overnighter rebuilding a critical server or VP's workstation because a
    patch broke some critical functionality (although admittedly not in over
    a year, and mostly with NT4), so I can understand his reluctance to patch.

    One thing my dad and I have in common: I don't believe in backing up a
    computer. I backup my data, I backup my original install media, but I
    don't generally backup an installed system -- It's usually more trouble
    then it's worth to try to restore vs the time to rebuild the system.
    The exception is mission critical servers, but even then, I'd rather
    have a fallover system in place and rebuild properly.
     
    DevilsPGD, Oct 10, 2004
    #16
  17. Carlo Paccanoni

    Mr. Slippery Guest

    Absolutely. We are thinking alike here.
    I agree. Absolutely.
    This is the crux of my point. It seems crystal clear to me that if the old
    ..vhd is discarded or reformatted, there is absolutely no reasonable
    interpretation that justifies the newly attached/reformatted .vhd as now
    requiring a new OS license. If whole machine is discarded (which of course
    much include the deletion of the original .vhd and backups) and then a new
    v-machine is generated, the end result is essentially identical -- you end
    up in either case with a single, clean functional install of the original OS
    license.

    If it is Microsoft's position that deletion of a VM corresponds with the
    total destruction of a physical machine, and is going to now require a
    consumer end user to purchase a new Windows OS license to create a VM
    because the old license is no longer valid for use (we're talking over $200
    here), there is going to have to be a _much_, MUCH more significant warning
    and safety sequence, with numerous warning dialog and confirm boxes to allow
    removal of a VM, re-iterating that any Microsoft licensed OS software on the
    virtual machine will no longer be valid for installation on any other
    virtual machine, and the user will have to legally acquire a new OS license
    for any replacement VMs. Not only would such warnings have to go into
    Virtual PC and Virtual Server, but into all of VMware's solutions as well --
    OS licensing requirements are of course no different for Microsoft's VMs
    than others'.

    Simply, this just makes no sense, when the end result is indistinguishable
    from reformatting the .vhd, and deleting a VM is so trivially achieved.
    On only one, of course. (And of course each machine purchased from Dell
    would naturally already come with its own OEM licensed copy, but thats kind
    of beside the point.) I'm not trying to say you can manage to somehow
    create multiple-use licenses here, getting 2- or n-for-one. We are talking
    about using a single valid license on a single (virtual) machine. We need
    an independent license for each stored or active VM. Yes.
    Sorry, but if this applies to an OEM license, I don't see why from precisely
    the same perspective it wouldn't apply to a full license I would purchase as
    an end user in order to run an extra virtual machine session on my personal
    machine. Not everyone owns corporate licenses or MDSN subscriptions, and
    not everyone uses their licensed VMs only in a testing/non-production
    environment which is all that many Microsoft licenses explicitly allow.
     
    Mr. Slippery, Oct 10, 2004
    #17
  18. That's true, but only if you're not running the backed up machine. As a
    matter of fact, if you own one Windows XP license, and want to install it on
    2 partitions/drives on the same machine, you will need a second license.

    This is from the Server 2003 license, but applies to XP as well:
    " a. Installation, Server Software. You may install only one
    copy of Server Software on a single Server"..."An
    additional license is required if you install another copy
    of the Server Software on the same Server (whether in a
    separate partition, by using server emulation software, or
    otherwise) or to install or run a copy of the Server
    Software on a different Server (for example, a Server
    employed for backup or fail-over support)."

    --
    --Jonathan Maltz [Microsoft MVP - Windows Server - IIS, Virtual PC]
    http://www.visualwin.com - A Windows Server 2003 visual, step-by-step
    tutorial site :)
    http://vpc.visualwin.com - Does <insert OS name> work on VPC 2004? Find out
    here
    Only reply by newsgroup. I do not do technical support via email. Any
    emails I have not authorized are deleted before I see them.
     
    Jonathan Maltz [MS-MVP], Oct 10, 2004
    #18
  19. Hi,

    And we agree that a virtual machine = physical machine, yes?
    Whether or not it's the VMC itself, I believe it is the principal that the
    VMC stands for. In this case, the registered VMC counts as a machine. You
    can run it. Without registering the VMC it, the machine won't run.
    You're trashing the machine and creating a new one. Notice it's the "Create
    a new virtual machine" wizard and not "Use the existing machine as a
    platform to run other machine" wizard
    The VMC does define it though. If you set a MAC address in your VMC, then
    you "on-board" NIC gets that MAC. Same with any other computer settings set
    in the VMC
    Whoa - why's that? The hardware inside your VPC machine where you are and
    mine where I am is exactly the same (well, if our host CPUs were the same),
    so it's not fair to tie it to the originally installed host, especially
    since I'm planning to upgrade my host soon.

    That's correct.
    There's always the much-underrated inplace upgrade
    According to the license, I would guess so
    VM browsing doesn't guaruntee safety either. If your dad gets Blaster in a
    VM and isn't patched on the host, it's only a matter of seconds.
    Every piece of software has its vulnerabilities.
    Well, critical servers deserve testing of patches before applied in
    production
    Same here, but server deserve backing up. There are things deeper in
    Windows than just files, the registry and other settings are important too

    --
    --Jonathan Maltz [Microsoft MVP - Windows Server - IIS, Virtual PC]
    http://www.visualwin.com - A Windows Server 2003 visual, step-by-step
    tutorial site :)
    http://vpc.visualwin.com - Does <insert OS name> work on VPC 2004? Find out
    here
    Only reply by newsgroup. I do not do technical support via email. Any
    emails I have not authorized are deleted before I see them.
     
    Jonathan Maltz [MS-MVP], Oct 10, 2004
    #19
  20. Carlo Paccanoni

    Mr. Slippery Guest

    While I would normally be loath to reply to my own post, after further
    cogitation, I can at last at least begin to see your point of view,
    particularly relating to the OEM version of the OS license.

    From your perspective, once an OEM license is installed on a particular
    serial number of platform, it cannot be moved, period. This is what keeps
    the cost of an OEM license so low, and yes, it is more inconvenient than
    many other license forms.

    If you delete a VM, and then create a new one, the "serial number" of the
    newly generated VM is different than the original, thus requiring a new
    license iff an OEM license was used.

    Even understanding this position, I would point out that in fact it is
    entirely under Microsoft's control what "virtual serial number" is generated
    for the replacement of a deleted virtual machine with Virtual PC or Virtual
    Server, and that an equally valid choice would be to regenerate the
    previously used and now eliminated serial number. Arbitrary selection of a
    "different" machine would appear to be audaciously self-serving when the
    result is to generate a license violation requiring further direct or
    indirect payment to Microsoft.

    But now that I better understand Microsoft's viewpoint, I'm glad to say that
    the differences between us fall below my personal noise threshold. I'll
    just be sure to only replace VHDs, and not to delete and regenerate VMs, or
    I'll keep a copy of the VMC file around even if I delete it from the current
    VM list, so I can legitimately reinstall my licensed OSes on the original
    "serial number".
     
    Mr. Slippery, Oct 10, 2004
    #20
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