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by Mike Zazaian October 14, 2006 - 3:46pm, 5 Comments

 Vista's Single License Transfer Could Hinder Sales

Whereas a single license code for Windows XP could be transferred through generations of PCs, Microsoft will allow product licenses for Windows Vista to be transferred one time and one time only.

As announced on the Windows Vista Team Blog, copies of Windows Vista will only be transferable to a single computer before the license becomes invalid for future installations. The following passage was taken directly from the End-User License for Vista Home Basic, Vista Home Premium, and Vista Ultimate as posted on Microsoft’s website:

The first user of the software may reassign the license to another device one time. If you reassign the license, that other device becomes the ‘licensed device’.

The policy differs entirely from the end-user license for Home and Professional versions of Windows XP, which allowed users to transfer the same license to an unlimited number of computers. To ensure that the same license wouldn’t be used on multiple machines, the license stipulated that the operating system was removed from the initial computer from which the license was transferred.

Vista’s new, uptight product license and anti-piracy measures are beginning to cast a black cloud over the launch of Windows Vista, which ships to businesses in November of 2006, and goes out for retail in January 2007. In addition to the new single-transfer rule, unvalidated versions of Vista will run in a new Reduced Functionality Mode, which severely cripples the use of the operating system until the product is officially activated.

Microsoft seems completely unaware that these new security additions may well go further to hinder potential buyers than to slow down piracy. In fact, the new transference rule seems to be even more of a money grab than a security measures, as users who want to make a second transfer of Vista will instead have to buy a whole new license for the OS. Microsoft has gotten all to comfy atop its Windows throne, and seems to think that it can add features that hurt the end-user experience and see no repercussion for it.

What they fail to remember, however, is that with Vista pretty much locked in as the Microsoft’s flagship OS for the next half decade or so, Apple would be in a prime position to release its OS to all x86 and x64 computers. The tight, user-unfriendly restrictions that Vista now features might boost sales of an x86-compatible OS X enough that Apple could finally hurdle the hardware-oriented hindrance of their business model and focus primarily on software as Microsoft has.

[via TechWeb]