Clearing up the confusion on Vista licensing, key management

Jonathan Hassell clears the air on Microsoft licensing agreements and key management

You're limited in what you can legally use and do when it comes to deploying some Windows Vista editions virtually

Per the Windows Vista end-user license agreement, you aren't permitted to install the Home Basic or Home Premium editions of Windows Vista as the "guest" operating system in a virtual machine (VM). You may host other virtual machines on any edition of Windows Vista.

Additionally, one license of Windows Vista is exactly that -- one license. You can install a valid edition of Vista into a VM as a guest, but that counts as the installed machine; you can't later install Vista onto a physical machine, at least without first completely destroying the virtual instance. For the sake of completeness, I'll note that there is no technical restriction that enforces the kybosh on Home Basic and Home Premium as a guest VM operating system.

Windows Vista Enterprise has some tangible licensing advantages if virtualization is part of your strategy

This edition is only available to volume-licensing customers, and I'm sure this exception in its license is meant to be the carrot to the above point's stick.

According to Microsoft, you may install Windows Vista Enterprise in a virtual machine as the guest operating system. Not only that, but you can install -- under a single license -- one copy of Enterprise on a physical machine, and then up to four other copies of Enterprise running as guest operating systems within virtual machines that are hosted on that one physical machine. They all must be used by the same person, however. This exception only applies to the Enterprise edition, however, and the physical PC and all four (or less) virtual machines all must be running the Enterprise edition to stay in compliance with the license.

Jonathan Hassell is an author, consultant and speaker on a variety of IT topics. His published works include RADIUS, Hardening Windows, Using Windows Small Business Server 2003 and Learning Windows Server 2003. His work appears regularly in such periodicals as Windows IT Pro magazine, PC Pro and TechNet Magazine. He also speaks worldwide on topics ranging from networking and security to Windows administration. He is currently an editor at Apress, a publishing company specializing in books for programmers and IT professionals.

  • Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

    Jonathan Hassell

    Computerworld
    Comments are now closed.

    Latest News Articles

    Most Popular Articles

    Follow Us

    GGG Evaluation Team

    Kathy Cassidy

    STYLISTIC Q702

    First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

    Anthony Grifoni

    STYLISTIC Q572

    For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

    Steph Mundell

    LIFEBOOK UH574

    The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

    Andrew Mitsi

    STYLISTIC Q702

    The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

    Simon Harriott

    STYLISTIC Q702

    My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

    Resources

    Best Deals on GoodGearGuide

    Latest Jobs

    Don’t have an account? Sign up here

    Don't have an account? Sign up now

    Forgot password?