back to article Microsoft may lift VM licensing restrictions next week

It may have finally dawned on Microsoft that its current software licensing restrictions kill one of the major benefits of virtualization — the ability to move a virtual machine freely about physical servers. According to InfoWorld,, Microsoft may change its licensing policy from one where virtual machines are tied to hardware …


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  1. Anonymous Coward

    Not a moment too late

    The secret of great comedy, is timing.

    I was at a VMWare/IBM presentation yesterday and this was my first observation to them- given how fluid the model is, why not have fluid licensing as well. I'd like to be able to buy 5/10/100 server licenses for testing, for 3 months, (pro rata of course) that then revoke unless extended. Until I go Datacentre, I've got a problem??

    If it's not bad comedy, then Microsoft is playing a tragedy, or a farce.

  2. Thaddeus Quay
    Gates Halo

    On More Than One Level

    "Microsoft currently lacks management software of its own for VM transfer magic — but says it's working on it."

    Does this mean that Bill Gates' departure was actually the transfer of virtual management software to a new physical machine, the one known as "Steve Ballmer"? I wanted to choose the Paris Hilton icon, but my British cat, Mr. Fluffer Wickbidget, III, meowed insistently that there was no such angle here. So, I instead chose the halo version of the Gates icon, because it looks like he is wearing a mind transfer device. I note that something so slim and futuristic must be run by the real, working, usable Vista, the fabulously capable internal version that Microsoft is hiding from the rest of us.

  3. Zmodem

    Id move it anyway

    deep in the bowels of hell im ghetto

  4. Bob Bobson

    It's rather academic at this stage

    It's not as if anyone's actually been paying any attention to this rule anyway.


    90 days..!?

    Since Microsoft had ever released its server licensing policies on virtual machine. It is obvious that the move doesn't sound logic or reasonable at all.

    In common, corporate implement virtualization to ease their IS/IT management time, cost, space and provide high server availability. But with this 90 days rule, one who will like to migrate their new server from one physical server to another will have to suffer. What does this scenario means? I've a server still just broke-down due to hardware failure. Well I'm lucky, the hard disks still work. At the mean time while I'm claiming the hardware warranty or getting a new replacement, I'll have to transfer all the VHD files to another physical server and boot them up to resume the server service. But as what Microsoft had told in the 90 days rule, I can't transfer the virtual server until the 90 days go-off. Then, does it mean that I'll need to have extra licenses spare in case of emergency. And that will let Microsoft squeezes another few more hundred or even thousand out from my company budget.

    So, does this rule sound logic at all??

  6. amanfromMars Silver badge

    MS Bullies Routed....and Billy Boys get their Man.

    "This policy has drawn its fair share of critics, including whitepaper grieving from VMware,..."

    Surely VMware do not realistically expect Microsoft to grandfather their Service/Product if it has Failed to Deliver and Microsoft have finally got their Act together and See a Novel Way forward under their Own Steam, even should that Driver be Virtual and Open Sourced in Cloud Technology/NEUKlearer Methodology?

    That would be a Naked Short Sell Disaster in the Making and Totally Illogical for any Healthy Market Place. And Clarification for that comment can be easily Accessed/Provided in the News of Future dDevelopments, should it be necessary and/or requested..... but do not expect IT to jump through prepared hoops to please. ITs Pleasures are for All Prepared.

  7. Kobayashi Gimp

    The the biggest unanswered question is...

    Why did it take Microsoft to release a hyper-visor before they realised that their licensing model was restrictive? Would they be reviewing their licensing terms if they had not shipped hyper-v?

  8. N

    should read...

    "its current software licensing restrictions kill" much competition & innovation as they can possibly get away with...

    "Microsoft currently lacks management software of its own for VM transfer magic — but says it's working on it"

    ...Loosely translates to "were lining up to buy out VMWare"

    Please dont bollox them up as well

  9. Paddy Newman
    Thumb Down

    WTF ^^^

    Dude, learn to spell, use the caps lock button (it turns caps off too)

    I *cheat* microsoft cos im running my OEM XP pro as a VM as well as having as my base machine, technically its one they can shove their multi licence...

    but tbh, this is why linux wins on all forms, im no linux fan boy...but i think with the release off eee pcs and such, linux will prevail in the next 15-20 years..and Bellend Gates will be stuffed!

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Cruel and Unusual

    This is one aspect of Microsoft Licensing that I've always considered to be cruel and unusual, as well as entirely unenforceable. For that reason, I have completely ignored it and shuffled my VMs around willy-nilly.

    Paris, because she can shuffle my willy-nilly around any time she wants to.

    AC so Microshaft doesn't come and get me.

  11. David Cornes
    Gates Horns

    @ Paddy Newman

    "Bellend Gates will be stuffed".

    Let's see, the guy's worth some 50 billion, has built a worldwide empire/corporation, is now in his fifties and retired from active working, owns lots of property, has a charitable foundation to run... how will he EVER be "stuffed" again??

  12. Anonymous Coward

    Chill, Paddy!

    LOL, "JIM THE BOSS" was obviously only a parody. The author must have worked at my last employer...

  13. Zmodem


    if you in charge of rack servers and your SMART drives are warning of read errors etc or any other technical problem, only a nerd would wait 90 days to move the code

  14. Anonymous Coward


    Are you bucking for your own wackypedia entry? If so, go for it.

    @amanfromMars - Glad to see the docs have got your meds sorted, and you're

    feeling better now. You had us all worried for a while - some of your recent

    postimgs have been downright coherent. Keep up the good work.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up


    Great parody there, man. Now, how do you *really* feel about all this?

  16. Svein Skogen

    Re: Zmodem

    "if you in charge of rack servers and your SMART drives are warning of read errors etc or any other technical problem, only a nerd would wait 90 days to move the code."

    No, neither a nerd, nor a geek, would wait out the 90 days. A management tie-choked zombie would. You know, the kind with a wall full of corporate (un)ethics and economic diplomas, and less knowledge of computers than my cat's food. Any operations engineer worth more than 1% of their salary would do whatever it takes to keep their network running. Even if that included moving awfully close to the edge of violating the license text.


  17. Walter Brown
    Jobs Horns

    I love how microsoft operates...

    This little maneuver has little to do with competition, or what VMware or Citrix is doing, or any whining by the aforementioned. This is a result of Microstupid realizing that they are losing potentially billions of dollars in sales because smart corporations avoid their server software like the plague due to its illegal and unenforceable software licensing model.

    Microstupid, being a large machine / animal, is a little slow on the uptake, and thus moves even slower.

    What this little maneuver signals is a realization by Microstupid that software is sold, not licensed, and this is an attempt to save face without admitting any wrong doing. There will be many more similar "licensing" changes to come in the not so distant future.

    For reference see Verner vs Autodesk

  18. robin penny

    Shucks, I hoped it might be the crazy Vista VM restictions being lifted

    The other VM licensing issue is that MS don't allow you to use the basic versions of Vista in A VM.

    As VM's are usually single purpose, obviously you want the smallest most nimble image that supports that purpose. You don't want to be forced to use an all singing & dancing version... Just another reason to stick with XP I guess.

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