Vista Home virtualisation is ‘technology tax’ – Parallels

Microsoft’s prohibition on the running of Windows Vista Home editions in virtual systems is a ‘technology tax’, according to Ben Rudolph, marketing manager for Parallels, which makes the leading virtualisation software for Macs and PCs.

Vista Home virtualisation is 'technology tax' - Parallels

The end-user licensing agreement (EULA) for Vista Home Basic and Home Premium explicitly forbids using either version of the new operating system ‘within a virtual (or otherwise emulated) hardware system’.

Rudolph said that this helps no-one.

‘The current licensing structure is basically a “technology tax” that punishes those users and companies that embrace cutting-edge technologies like virtualization,’ he told us in an email. ‘Vista is undeniably cool, so why make it harder for users – be it Windows, Linux, or Mac users – to get it?’

While Rudolph thinks that the EULA will have little or no impact on Parallel’s business, since its customers can easily run XP or any other Windows OS, he believes it will prevent potential sales of Vista.

‘The real impact here is on Microsoft, who is freezing out the Mac and Linux market from embracing Vista, therefore making it harder for them to touch the remaining non-Windows market, and on consumers and small/medium businesses, who now are hindered from using the latest Microsoft technology,’ he said.

Rudolph said that Parallels is discussing the issue with Microsoft, but has yet to receive clarification or commentary from it.

Although the EULA restricts virtualisation deployments to the Business and Ultimate edition of Vista, it has not implemented any technological restrictions on the Home editions. But Rudolph urged Parallels users to abide by Microsoft’s terms, saying it does not advocate illegal behaviour. Nor does it want to put users in a position ‘where their Windows installation is compromised’.

Microsoft did not respond to a request for comment.

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