UPDATE (Oct 17):
Ed Bott – the so-called pundit referred to by Thurrott comes back with pen drawn and ready to defend his original statements and basically tell Thurrott that he’s been drining too much kool-aid. You can read Ed’s response here.
UPDATE (Oct 16):
Paul Thurrott has just posted what is suppose to be the last word clarification of the whole EULA matter. You can read it here
The word is starting to getting out about the changes coming with the EULA (End Users License Agreement) that will be a part of your Vista purchase; and the reaction is not a good one and bound to get worse.
From Ed Bott’s blog at ZDNet:
But I have yet to see anyone point out one significant change in retail licensing terms. Think you can transfer that retail license to any machine you want? Think again
With a retail version of Windows XP, there are no restrictions on the number of times you can transfer the software from one computer to another in your household or office. That’s about to change for the worse in Vista, with only one lifetime transfer allowed. It makes the outrageous price difference between retail and OEM copies even more difficult to justify.
Then over at the Houston Chronicle TechBlog Dwight Silverman has this to say:
Boettcher was very aware of the concerns over the licensing terms, and said Microsoft is listening closely to them, but at this point the company doesn’t plan to back away. He said the issue will affect only a small group of people — the average Windows user doesn’t routinely swap hardware or rebuild his/her own system.
However, the people who do are influencers — they’re the gurus others turn to for computing help and advice. When a non-techie asks one of these folks about the wisdom of upgrading to Windows Vista, don’t you think Microsoft would want them to have as many good things to say as possible?
After reading through those two articles and trying to wade through the legalize bull of the actual EULA all I can say is that Microsoft is more than deserving of the harsh words that are going to be headed its way. In one fell swoop they could ruin all the good work that Robert Scoble had done as their blogging messiah.
While there is more than enough furor being raised over the Vista pricing scheme it will pass without more than a grumble; but that is another story another day. However the Vista EULA is worth raising a big stink over (we’re already talking about it) and could turn out to be one of the biggest mistakes Microsoft could be making in the upcoming release.
Microsoft may believe that only a very small number of potential Vista users will be affected by the new restrictions contained in the EULA and that the defection of them to another operating system is something that they could take in stride. This screw ‘em attitude could potentially have some very wide and far reaching side effects. After all if the dissatisfied head to another operating system they won’t be purchasing any of the often needed Windows applications that are also sold by Microsoft. So Microsoft will not only loose out on OS income they will also loose related monies as well.
Then there is the trickle down effect that will happen as more and more people move to competing operating systems; and the software that runs on them. They tell their friends – they tell their co-workers. The word spreads and as more and more mainstream tech oriented folks find happiness in a non-Microsoft world their friends will slowly begin trying it themselves now that they have contacts who can help when needed.
If Microsoft goes ahead with this EULA you can be assured that almost over night you will see an increase in downloads of Linux distros and the purchase of Mac OSX compliant hardware. The grumbling that we saw with the XP EULA is nothing to the roar that is gaining momentum in regards to the Vista EULA and the side effects are going to far worse.
I know myself as much as I like Vista; and in all likelihood will run for good, I won’t be recommending it to any of my tech oriented friends and contacts as long as the EULA goes ahead as is.
I also know that if they go ahead with this new EULA Microsoft will exist to regret it.