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barryware

Vista - Licensing

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Microsoft to simplify downgrades from Vista to XP

 

Microsoft will implement the first of the policy changes for its Gold Certified (top-tier) OEM partners within the next couple of weeks. The company will streamline downgrade-rights policies and procedures for the broader channel somewhat later, said John Ball, general manager of Microsoft’s U.S. Systems Group.

 

Under current licensing terms, Microsoft allows customers buying PCs preloaded with Windows Vista Ultimate and Vista Business to roll back to Windows XP until they are ready to make the move to Vista. For OEMs, the process via which these rights can be activated has been quite cumbersome, Ball acknowledged.

 

Under the current rules, OEMs must call about and file for each and every machine the license keys required to downgrade from Vista to XP. But Microsoft is planning to move to a new policy which will allow its top 170 OEM partners to submit these keys online for groups of machines, which will save them time and reduce complexity, Ball said.

 

Microsoft is working on ways to allow the rest of the channel to take advantage of these simplified downgrade procedures, but is still in the midst of hashing out the details, Ball said. He didn’t have a timetable for when Microsoft will make its more liberal downgrade-rights policies available to the rest of its PC partners.

 

Microsoft doesn’t view the popularity of user requests to downgrade from Vista to XP as a ding against Vista, Ball emphasized. In fact, at Microsoft’s Worldwide Partner Conference in Denver in July, Microsoft plans to evanglize Vista to its OEM and system-builder partners, and play up Vista’s momentum as proof that system vendors should get on the Vista bandwagon, Ball said.

 

Ball said Microsoft officials will highlight data meant to counteract the impression by some that Vista isn’t doing well in the marketplace. Among the datapoints Microsoft will emphasize, according to Ball:

 

1.Ninety-nine percent of all Windows PCs sold at retail are being sold with Vista preloaded

 

2. Seventy-eight percent of PCs preloaded with Vista are shipping with “premium” SKUs (like Vista Ultimate and Vista Home Premium)

 

3.Microsoft is experiencing 21 percent fewer support calls with Vista than it did with Windows XP

 

4.Fewer security issues that need patching with Vista than XP (five Vista issues in the first 90 days vs. 18 with XP in the first 90 days)

 

5. Device compatibility is high and getting higher daily

 

Microsoft has made it difficult for new PC buyers and channel partners to use Windows XP downgrade rights, system builders say.

At the Redmond, Wash., software giant's system builder summit last week in Phoenix, several channel executives criticized Microsoft's activation requirements, which force partners and customers to call the company to obtain a special override key to activate Windows XP on new PCs with Windows Vista pre-installed.

 

The intent of activation is to reduce piracy, but requiring customers and partners to call Microsoft and get a unique key to reactivate XP on every new Vista PC purchase frustrates new PC sales and hinders customer migrations to Vista, according to system builders.

 

Vista's general release came in late January, and the operating system now comes pre-installed on all new Windows PCs. Users can activate the new OS electronically. Typically, though, small and midsize businesses and enterprises wait several months before considering an upgrade to a new OS and tend to use the old platform until all the kinks are worked out and applications are tested.

 

Microsoft executives said the company is aware of the issue and is working on a solution.

 

Still, system builders said they're feeling the impact of the problem in the field today, and they gave Microsoft a lot of grief over the downgrade program at the summit.

 

"There remain more problems with the execution of Vista rather than the quality of the operating system. For instance, the Vista downgrade to XP is pretty much a joke," said one system builder, who requested anonymity. "You cannot market it with an XP system and the activation has to be done manually. What if you are a customer with a 100 desktops? You'll have to manually key something on each system."

 

Another system builder said the issue is a problem for Microsoft as well.

 

"Downgrade rights from Windows 98 or 2000 were much easier because you could install the older operating systems with any valid COA, and it would work. Obviously, this isn't the case from XP to Vista," said Todd Swank, vice president of marketing at Nor-Tech, Burnsville, Minn.

 

"It's a real dilemma for Microsoft. We've heard of some customers getting a new Windows XP COA number when they call the activation line, which creates problems because then customers are basically getting two licenses for the price of one," Swank said.

 

There is a workaround: Technicians can install XP without a new Certificate of Authenticity using a Volume License CD. Yet system builders are concerned that such a method would look shady to customers, Swank said.

 

Microsoft is working to resolve the complexities involved in using XP downgrade rights, said John Ball, general manager of U.S. system builders for Microsoft.

 

"It will be sooner rather than later," Ball said, promising a solution well before the end of the year. "Senior [Microsoft] executives have heard the feedback, and there is a lot of focus on getting this right. It's an issue globally, and we're focused on it."

 

One system builder in the managed services space views the situation as an opportunity to pitch services to customers. "I do handle [downgrades] for them, but I don't think it's hard. I guess system builders tend to whine a lot," said David Stinner, president of US itek Group, Buffalo, N.Y. "You can turn it around into an opportunity. We can do downgrade rights for customers, put Vista Business on it and install Windows XP Pro so they have 50 machines. And when they are ready to go to Vista, we'll upgrade them because we have the Vista keys already on it. "

 

Industry observers said at least some of the difficulties are getting ironed out. For example, some employees in Microsoft's global technical support team told some customers initially after Vista's release that they were not allowed to use downgrade rights to XP at all. But that was incorrect.

 

"Downgrade has always been a bit of a pain, especially for an operating system. You always had to have a valid CD," said Jeffrey Sherman, president of Warever Computing, Los Angeles. "However, the problem is that XP requires activation, and they won't reactivate a product key that's already been activated. However, the staff in India doesn't seem to have gotten that information, so they simply tell you that they won't activate XP."

 

 

Read it here: http://www.crn.com/software/199701468

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For those who are interested (I was). The date on that article is May. 23, 2007. Always good to include the date of the source. ;)

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For those who are interested (I was). The date on that article is May. 23, 2007. Always good to include the date of the source. ;)

So when it says: ""It will be sooner rather than later," Ball said, promising a solution well before the end of the year."

 

That means then end of this year (2007)?

Edited by barryware

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Sorry sisterscape, ill date it next time, this was info sent though our company off the public postings, as we are one of these OEM whom face this issue every day...

 

I still can obtain XP OEM packs from our supplyer , and untill the day i cannot get them , im pushing users to keep with XP, or untill the later part of this year untill the Service pack 1 for vista has been publicly tested and working, that solves the 200 plus bugs in Vista,

Or untill the XP OEM packs dry up... :P

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200 plus bugs, and waiting for the update . . . ??

 

 

Sounds familiar :ninja:

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I just read the Vista licensing agreement, and saw no such clause preventing a downgrade (for home users anyways). Even if such a clause did exist, it cannot POSSIBLY be legally binding for 2 reasons:

 

1- You own the hardware. Period. MS has NO legal authority over the device itself to tell you what you can and cannot do with such a device.

2- If you own a prior legal version of Windows, such as XP, and meet it's licensing terms, then you can legally install it. I haven't seen any language in the XP agreement that claims I will be unable to reinstall it if I upgrade to a future version...

 

I have seen and heard all kinds of posts all over the web about this, with some people even believing it will ruin their computer warranty. To date I haven't seen any such language in a warranty, etc. Ignore the rumors.

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It doesn't matter to me what their "License" states because I'm done with Mi¢ro$oft I will never buy another version of window$.

the next machine I get will either be a Linux Box or a Mac we'll see who matures better after all of the Vista and beyond trash O$'s really show up to be what they are.

 

I'm forced to use XP now but nothing beyond,

 

when 95, 95a, 95b, 95c, came out I didn't buy any of them,

when 98, 98se, 98gold came out I didn't buy any on them,

when me(multiple errors) came out I didn't buy it,

when 2k came out I didn't buy it.

 

I only recently got an XP box for my business (doing audio work).

I found a w95a machine and set it up @ home to play with it

I was given a w98se retail cd so I installed it onto a p4 2.0GHz for fun to play around with it.

 

but all my other day to day tasks are done with (Brace yourselves)

a 486DX 33MHz DOS 6.22/ w3.1 machine

> I do all of my accounting on it .

> I do all of my invoicing on it.

> I do all of my word processing on it.

etc.

> never lost a file to hard disk crash (never had a hard disk crash)

> never had a virus

> never had a hacker attempt to gain "Access"

> never had adware

> never had a BSOD

> never had spyware

> never had to purchace any "Anti-younameit" programs

 

I also have a pair of 486 DX4 100MHz machines (1 is an overdrive)

both are file and print servers for the 33MHz machine

 

so I don't see any time in the near future that I will ever get another M$ O$

because they keep strangling people with their wierd EULA's

and tightening the strings, cords, ropes, and chains

 

soon it won't even be installed on your machine except for a boot BIOS from

which you will automatically be logged onto redmond and run the O$ from

their servers for a "Monthy or Anual fee" and if you don't pay or your payment

is declined, you will be cut off.

 

Cheers

RfD

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soon it won't even be installed on your machine except for a boot BIOS from

which you will automatically be logged onto redmond and run the O$ from

their servers for a "Monthy or Anual fee" and if you don't pay or your payment

is declined, you will be cut off.

 

Cheers

RfD

Ya wanna know what??? I don't think you are too far off. If they didn't think of that before, they have now! :o

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Actually according to a report on the BBC several weeks ago, that is EXACTLY what they're thinking - mark you it's all dressed up with the notion that it's 'energy saving' and 'contributing to a green environment'

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you know what other dress they will put on it?

how about "tired of re-formatting and re-installing, and re-activation headaches?"

plus "tired of having to redo all of your settings?"

 

Cheers

RfD

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Actually I know a guy here that's been building "PC's" since the XT/AT days

and it's been known amongst those in the industry for many years now that

M$ has been wanting to go this route. (and they're just waiting for the

"Oportunity" to "Pull it Over" on people).

 

Cheers

RfD

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