About four years ago this month my hard drive crashed. At that time I was running Windows 98 and decided since I was going to have to start from scratch anyway why not get Windows XP. After I brought the computer back home from the shop, I discovered the current system hardware could not handle Windows XP. So I ended up returning to the shop and getting a whole new motherboard, AMD processor, Video Card and a lot more RAM to go along with the new hard drive that they had installed (with Windows XP) a couple days earlier.
Got the computer home and booted it up and was prompted by Windows XP there had been major hardware changes since the last time Windows was run. I would need to ‘transfer’ my licensed copy of Windows XP to this machine. After a phone call to Microsoft to get some type of a validation code I was able to start using my Windows XP and my machine again.
Now with Windows XP you have unlimited lifetime transfers between your own computers, as long as you have removed Windows XP from the other computer. Well last night on Todd Bishop’s Blog I come across the article, Windows Vista licenses bring new limits. It seems now you will be allowed ONE lifetime license transfer with Windows Vista.
This may not be that big of deal for folks who buy their systems off the retail shelf, but for those of us go the custom built route this could become a nightmare. Especially if you are one who frequently is upgrading your system. Now, I am not sure what Windows Vista is going to look at to determine that the licensed copy you are running is being used on another machine. I would guess a change in motherboard would be the trigger. I cain’t see a change in processor doing this as it is fairly common for people to upgrade to a faster processor.
But what if your motherboard croaks and you end up replacing it with a newer board and processor? If you are using Windows Vista, you just used up your ONE lifetime transfer. If the motherboard goes out again (happened to me on my office PC about a week or so after they had gone through and swapped out all the motherboards Dell had recalled), you will be forced to run Windows in “reduced functionality mode” which basically allows you access to the Internet and get a genuine copy (not assistance, but to pay Microsoft for a new copy of Windows Vista).
If that weren’t enough to make you NOT want to get Windows Vista, check this article from Robert McLaws, he found additional restrictions depending on which version of Vista you purchase. The more and more I read about Windows Vista, the more I really don’t want anything to do with it. I thought Windows XP with SP2 was bad enough, but this sounds even more complicated and troublesome. I’ll stick with my Windows XP with SP1, may be I’ll even consider going to Linux at some point. Right now Windows XP is the only Microsoft product (besides Internet Exploiter) I have on my machine.