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MS climbs down over Vista licensing

Just in time for 30 November release

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Microsoft has backed down to fierce criticism over proposed licensing terms for Windows Vista to allow users to uninstall the forthcoming operating system and install it on another PC.

Previously the software giant was only going to permit one re-install before obliging users to re-purchase the operating system, if they wanted it to function properly.

Terms regarding the license-to-device assignment of the retail versions of the OS (including Home Basic, Home Premium, Business and Ultimate) have been revised to state: "You may uninstall the software and install it on another device for your use. You may not do so to share this license between devices."

News of the rethink came in a posting on the Windows Vista blog by product manager Nick White who explains that the software giant has come to realise that the original terms, geared to fighting piracy, were restrictive to the point that they might alienate hardware enthusiasts.

"Our intention behind the original terms was genuinely geared toward combating piracy; however, it’s become clear to us that those original terms were perceived as adversely affecting an important group of customers: PC and hardware enthusiasts," White writes. "You who comprise the enthusiast market are vital to us for several reasons, not least of all because of the support you’ve provided us throughout the development of Windows Vista. We respect the time and expense you go to in customizing, building and rebuilding your hardware and we heard you that the previous terms were seen as an impediment to that - it’s for that reason we’ve made this change."

In other Vista-related news, Microsoft has set 30 November as the release date for Vista (and Office 2007) to business users. The OS is due to become available to consumers on 30 January 2007. ®

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