Microsoft U-turn on Vista virtualisation

Microsoft has backtracked on a decision to allow the virtualisation of Vista Home Basic and Home Premium.

Microsoft U-turn on Vista virtualisation

The company reportedly briefed US journalists that it would allow the two cheapest versions of Vista to be used for virtualisation, having previously restricted it to Vista Ultimate and Business.

However, the software giant appears to have had a last-minute change of heart. In an email sent to the US press, it claims: “Microsoft has reassessed the Windows virtualisation policy and decided that we will maintain the original policy announced last fall.” Microsoft declined to give any further reasons for the about-face.

The move follows months of pressure for Microsoft to change its End User License Agreement (EULA) to permit virtualisation on the Home versions of Vista. Mac owners, in particular, are increasingly running Windows alongside Mac OS X thanks to software such as Boot Camp and Parallels.

However, consumer users have to run the full retail version of Ultimate for virtualisation, which comes at a considerable price premium over the Home editions. currently lists Ultimate at £295, while Home Premium costs £180 and Home Basic just £158.

Microsoft has cited potential security flaws as one reason for banning virtualisation of the Home products in the past, although sceptical users have questioned whether it’s simply an attempt to push customers towards the higher-price product.

Should Microsoft make Home Basic and Home Premium available for virtualisation? Tell us what you think on Comments below.

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