Want Vista On A Mac? Pay Up

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The less-expensive versions of Microsoft’s latest operating system will not be eligible to run on a Mac using virtualization software like the popular Parallels suite.

Ben Rudolph of Parallels recently blogged about some licensing terms in Vista that may make Mac fans who prefer to run Mister Bill’s operating system on a piece of Apple’s hardware with OS X dig a little deeper into their credit limits.

Terms in Vista’s End User License Agreements limit which versions may be run legally in a virtual environment, such as that provided by Parallels. Rudolph covered the essential points:

Microsoft has released a new EULA (End User License Agreement) that states that only certain versions of Vista – Business and Ultimate (and Enterprise for corporate customers) are eligible to be run in a virtual machine.

The EULA says that Home Basic and Home Premium CANNOT be run in a virtual machine. Here’s the tecnical legalese from the EULAs: For Vista Home Basic and Home Premium Editions: “USE WITH VIRTUALIZATION TECHNOLOGIES. You may not use the software installed on the licensed device within a virtual (or otherwise emulated) hardware system.”

The EULA for the other versions of Vista permits its use in virtual environments.

Customers will have to pay a little more for a higher-end version of the operating system.

Vista Business costs $100 more than Vista Home Basic, $60 more than Home Premium.

Virtualization is not limited to the Mac platform running Parallels. Enterprises running other hardware and OSes may prefer to virtualize for stability or security reasons.

Making it more expensive for those customers to get Vista won’t help Microsoft if it means losing some of those sales.

But it seems that people who really want Vista running in a VM will pay Microsoft’s price. —


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