Desmond File

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Virtual Reversal

Late last night, I got an IM from frequent RDN contributor Mary Jo Foley informing me that Microsoft had suddenly and unexpectedly reversed course on its virtualization licensing policies.

According to Foley's blog post, Microsoft was set to announce today more relaxed virtualization policies, which would "allow users to run all versions of Windows Vista in a virtualized environment." The previous policy (which will remain in effect for the foreseeable future) only allows the more expensive Business and Ultimate versions of Vista to run in virtual machines.

The change is a setback for development organizations that looked forward to using virtualized Vista environments for software development, testing, QA and prototyping. It could also scramble the channel, as VARs and resellers poised to configure and sell virtualized workstation environments must scramble to stay legal under the current EULA. You can read more about this issue here.

Of course, Microsoft has struggled with licensing around virtualized environments for years, so I suppose this kind of 11th hour change shouldn't be a total shock. What do you think? Does this change impact your plans? E-mail me at

Posted by Michael Desmond on 06/20/2007 at 1:15 PM

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