Linked by David Adams on Wed 15th Jul 2015 17:57 UTC
Windows For one year, Microsoft is allowing consumers and some businesses with systems running Genuine Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 a free upgrade to Windows 10. But when we asked: Once you upgrade for free to Windows 10, is it possible to downgrade back to Windows 8 or 7 without having to buy a new OS license? Microsoft said those who upgrade to Windows 10 for free will have one month to revert back to the old OS on their device.
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arcane licensing
by project_2501 on Wed 15th Jul 2015 18:35 UTC
project_2501
Member since:
2006-03-20

If I was a decision maker in Microsoft I'd be thinking .... Its 2015. The era of arcane licensing is 20 years past.

They're a reflection of a companies internal revenue objectives - inside out. They didn't show care for users and what experience is best for them - outside in. They're so complex they sometimes need consultants to do it.

If I was that exec I'd be thinking .. companies that do this in 2015 won't have long to live.

Reply Score: 5

RE: arcane licensing
by andrewclunn on Wed 15th Jul 2015 18:48 UTC in reply to "arcane licensing"
andrewclunn Member since:
2012-11-05

It's a transition. They're giving free upgrades, so basically now Windows comes with the PC, and then you'll freely upgrade to the newest version (much like OS X). This is a step in the right direction, so let's not complain that the end result isn't perfect yet.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: arcane licensing
by Pro-Competition on Wed 15th Jul 2015 19:24 UTC in reply to "RE: arcane licensing"
Pro-Competition Member since:
2007-08-20

It's a transition. They're giving free upgrades, so basically now Windows comes with the PC, and then you'll freely upgrade to the newest version (much like OS X).


There's no guarantee of that. You might be right, but I'm not betting the farm on MS being benevolent. They have a history of luring users with free/cheap licenses, then turning the screws once they're locked in.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: arcane licensing
by WorknMan on Wed 15th Jul 2015 19:34 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: arcane licensing"
WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

There's no guarantee of that. You might be right, but I'm not betting the farm on MS being benevolent. They have a history of luring users with free/cheap licenses, then turning the screws once they're locked in.


You're right that they're still the same greedy assholes they've always been. But honestly, with people flocking to Chromebooks and mobile devices, I don't think they have a choice to be dicks anymore like they used to.

Reply Score: 5

RE[4]: arcane licensing
by Delgarde on Wed 15th Jul 2015 22:59 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: arcane licensing"
Delgarde Member since:
2008-08-19

You're right that they're still the same greedy assholes they've always been. But honestly, with people flocking to Chromebooks and mobile devices, I don't think they have a choice to be dicks anymore like they used to.


Yeah, that's my view too. They're not nice - but they're not stupid either. The market has changed, their leadership has changed, and their position is weaker than it once was. Accordingly, they *are* changing their tactics, because they're not going to get far by abusing their monopoly power when they don't really have a monopoly anymore.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: arcane licensing
by bnolsen on Fri 17th Jul 2015 22:13 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: arcane licensing"
bnolsen Member since:
2006-01-06

With a small amount competition they just have to hide it better.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: arcane licensing
by bassbeast on Thu 16th Jul 2015 08:28 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: arcane licensing"
bassbeast Member since:
2007-11-11

Sigh..are the geeks here REALLY this paranoid? Well I hate to break the news to everybody but the CEO himself has said flat footed why they are giving Windows 10 for free and its....Windows Phone.

That's it folks, that is all. MSFT needs devs to develop apps for Windows Phone and Windows 10 supports universal binaries so any program you write for Windows 10 works for Windows Phone, its really just THAT simple folks. Link so you can read it yourself is below..

http://betanews.com/2015/07/14/windows-10-is-free-because-windows-p...

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: arcane licensing
by Brendan on Thu 16th Jul 2015 09:32 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: arcane licensing"
Brendan Member since:
2005-11-16

Hi,

Sigh..are the geeks here REALLY this paranoid? Well I hate to break the news to everybody but the CEO himself has said flat footed why they are giving Windows 10 for free and its....Windows Phone.


Let's split it into 3 groups. The first group are suspicious because they don't know why Microsoft is doing this. This group (I assume) is a small minority.

The second group know why Microsoft are doing it to encourage mobile phone apps. They think it's going to be wonderful. This group (I assume) is also a small minority.

The third group know why Microsoft are doing it, but also know that it's going to fail because apps developed for mobile devices (with tiny screens, weak/low power CPUs, touch screens, etc; that people carry around with them everywhere) need to be completely different to apps developed for laptop/desktop/server (with one or more large screens, relatively powerful CPUs, keyboard and mouse, etc; that people don't carry around with them everywhere and are used for completely different things like desktop publishing, 3D gaming, large spreadsheets, etc).

The people in this third group are suspicious. Microsoft will realise their mistake after their "combine apps for extremely different hardware and extremely different use cases" idiocy fails. It will be too late. They will have already destroyed their profits from OS sales; and they're going to be looking for a way to make the most of a bad situation. This is when they'll force a subscription model onto desktop users and everyone will be screwed.

- Brendan

Reply Score: 5

RE[5]: arcane licensing
by Dirge on Thu 16th Jul 2015 21:23 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: arcane licensing"
Dirge Member since:
2005-07-14

I think the subscription model is already a given and ya know what... stuff that.

I feel like the herd has left me behind on this one.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: arcane licensing
by spiderman on Thu 16th Jul 2015 06:50 UTC in reply to "RE: arcane licensing"
spiderman Member since:
2008-10-23

I don't think he was complaining. He made a good point indeed. MacOS X is not Windows' main competitor. It's GNU: http://www.osnews.com/story/21035/Ballmer_Linux_Bigger_Competitor_t...
The pressure from GNU is particularly intense on the server side of things, but it's also coming to the desktop. Many business and people choose GNU because they just don't want to deal with complex licensing. Microsoft would be wise to make licensing as simple as possible to compete with GNU.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: arcane licensing
by arpan on Thu 16th Jul 2015 09:13 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: arcane licensing"
arpan Member since:
2006-07-30

According to the slide you posted, it's not GNU, it's not Linux. It's piracy.

Also, there is a reason Ballmer isn't the CEO anymore. I'd be more interested in seeing what Nadella thinks about the competition.

Edited 2015-07-16 09:14 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: arcane licensing
by spiderman on Thu 16th Jul 2015 10:25 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: arcane licensing"
spiderman Member since:
2008-10-23

It's notre dependent on what they think. It's not Balmer, it's the numbers. Anyway, be it Linux, GNU or piracy, the point is the same. The simple licensing is the key. They would be wise to simplify licensing if they want to compete.

Reply Score: 3

RE: arcane licensing
by ilovebeer on Wed 15th Jul 2015 18:53 UTC in reply to "arcane licensing"
ilovebeer Member since:
2011-08-08

.

Edited 2015-07-15 18:54 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE: arcane licensing
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Thu 16th Jul 2015 05:07 UTC in reply to "arcane licensing"
Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

If I was a decision maker in Microsoft I'd be thinking .... Its 2015. The era of arcane licensing is 20 years past.

They're a reflection of a companies internal revenue objectives - inside out. They didn't show care for users and what experience is best for them - outside in. They're so complex they sometimes need consultants to do it.


Absolutely agree 5000%

If I was that exec I'd be thinking .. companies that do this in 2015 won't have long to live.


Oooh... really short sided thinking. Completely missing other important factors like... cost of changing to an alternative. As another reader here so recently schooled me on autocad licensing, when you have a killer app that isn't replaceable you can do what ever crazy messed up thing you want and never apologize for it. As long as its not replaceable. I think the easing in licensing is a reflection of how easy it is becoming to replace windows.

Reply Score: 2

RE: arcane licensing
by shotsman on Thu 16th Jul 2015 05:19 UTC in reply to "arcane licensing"
shotsman Member since:
2005-07-22

If I was a decision maker in Microsoft I'd be thinking .... Its 2015. The era of arcane licensing is 20 years past.


Which probably means something like this.

The sooner that they can get everyone onto a 'never-never' license then the better.

By 'never-never' I mean one where you never stop paying MS a monthly tithe (aka subscription) for your license otherwise you lose all access to your data.

Reply Score: 3

Messed up
by darknexus on Wed 15th Jul 2015 19:26 UTC
darknexus
Member since:
2008-07-15

Consider: Your existing Windows license either came with the PC or was purchased by you. You upgrade... so, what? They take away the very license that is legally yours to use? Am I reading this right that if you've purchased Windows, and you upgrade and find a problem in two months, they have removed the ability to downgrade to a licence that you have purchased?

Reply Score: 5

RE: Messed up
by heho on Wed 15th Jul 2015 19:59 UTC in reply to "Messed up"
heho Member since:
2015-07-15

You purchased a license, you never purchased the software.

Section 8 states: SCOPE OF LICENSE. The software is licensed, not sold. This agreement only gives you some rights to use the features included in the software edition you licensed...

Section 15 states: UPGRADES. To use upgrade software, you must first be licensed for the software that is eligible for the upgrade. Upon upgrade, this agreement takes the place of the agreement for the software you upgraded from. After you upgrade, you may no longer use the software you upgraded from.

So by upgrading, you are updating your license to a new version of the license.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Messed up
by vault on Wed 15th Jul 2015 20:21 UTC in reply to "Messed up"
vault Member since:
2005-09-15

Not only that. As I understand it - those of us with BOX licences will trade them for what is effectively an OEM licence - supported for the lifetime of the device, with no ability to move it to a new one.

Not much of an upgrade if you ask me.

Reply Score: 6

RE[2]: Messed up
by darknexus on Wed 15th Jul 2015 21:00 UTC in reply to "RE: Messed up"
darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

Not only that. As I understand it - those of us with BOX licences will trade them for what is effectively an OEM licence - supported for the lifetime of the device, with no ability to move it to a new one.

Not much of an upgrade if you ask me.

Ouch. I hadn't even thought of that. What a rip-off.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Messed up
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Thu 16th Jul 2015 05:10 UTC in reply to "RE: Messed up"
Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

Wow, thats a good point. Ah hell. I had to buy a win 8 license for a gig, I've had it installed on three different physical machines now ( never concurrently, I don't pirate these a days), not being able to do that would suck.

Reply Score: 2

The Nasty Side Of Nice
by Pro-Competition on Wed 15th Jul 2015 19:37 UTC
Pro-Competition
Member since:
2007-08-20

With one hand, they're being nice - by giving a free upgrade. With the other hand, they're being greedy - by taking away your right to use a version you paid for.

I hadn't thought of this downgrade question before. Frankly, the more I think about it, the more it makes me angry.

It may seem minor, and I understand their desire to keep the user base on newer versions (which is a legitimate problem for security reasons, API progress, etc.). But it's just another step in the erosion of the rights of software purchasers.

Reply Score: 2

Mandatory downgrade rights
by Temcat on Wed 15th Jul 2015 20:10 UTC
Temcat
Member since:
2005-10-18

I think that downgrade rights should be mandatory. That is, one should have the right to use an earlier equivalent version of the software he/she has paid for (not simultaneously). Without support obligations, of course. That would put one useful limit to the overreaching copyright.

Edited 2015-07-15 20:11 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE: Mandatory downgrade rights
by zlynx on Wed 15th Jul 2015 20:33 UTC in reply to "Mandatory downgrade rights"
zlynx Member since:
2005-07-20

I'm pretty sure (would have to check) that any of the Professional levels allow you to run a limited number of virtual machines of any older Microsoft operating system.

That started with the XP Mode feature.

Pretty sure it isn't limited to just XP.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Mandatory downgrade rights
by Temcat on Wed 15th Jul 2015 21:20 UTC in reply to "RE: Mandatory downgrade rights"
Temcat Member since:
2005-10-18

My point is that these rights should be universal, not limited to particular software.

Reply Score: 2

ilovebeer Member since:
2011-08-08

Why should it? That's not how it works with anything else. Allowing unlimited downgrading is a bad business model.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Mandatory downgrade rights
by Temcat on Thu 16th Jul 2015 06:14 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Mandatory downgrade rights"
Temcat Member since:
2005-10-18

No, it's not - currently. But I think it should be. Why exactly do you think this is a bad business model? After all, the rights holders still get as much money as they would without downgrade rights and probably even more, if we account for people that wouldn't buy the new version if it weren't for downgrade rights. (If the new version costs less, it can be stipulated that the price must be the larger of the two, fine with me.)

Edited 2015-07-16 06:16 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Overblown
by salgau_catalin on Thu 16th Jul 2015 07:26 UTC
salgau_catalin
Member since:
2006-01-08

The source article does a poor job of sourcing that statement. The OEM controls the preload, so you're free to access that at any time and restore to factory state. As far as I can tell, that one month period is actually the length of time Windows will keep a backup image of your old windows version around, in case you decide to downgrade. They've always kept that around for a while, anyway. The statement is about downgrade itself, and not about downgrade rights.

While heho points out above that the licence says that a new agreement should block you from downgrading, it's unlikely that Microsoft would enforce that, as that would leave a very large number of OEM customers in a very bad spot with invalidly licensed preload images and awkward issues following transfer of ownership. There might also be issues with older volume OEM licensing methods that might effectively invalidate keys for users who declined to upgrade.

Edited 2015-07-16 07:29 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE: Overblown
by salgau_catalin on Thu 16th Jul 2015 08:22 UTC in reply to "Overblown"
salgau_catalin Member since:
2006-01-08

Apparently nobody read the new EULA.
C:\Windows\System32\Licenses\neutral\_Default\Professional\lice nse.rtf

Last updated July 2015
MICROSOFT SOFTWARE LICENSE TERMS
WINDOWS OPERATING SYSTEM

There is no longer an upgrade provision, and section 7 provides downgrade rights.
If you acquired a device from a manufacturer or installer with a Professional version of Windows preinstalled on it, you may use either a Windows 8.1 Pro or Windows 7 Professional version, but only for so long as Microsoft provides support for that earlier version as set forth in (aka.ms/windowslifecycle). This agreement applies to your use of the earlier versions. If the earlier version includes different components, any terms for those components in the agreement that comes with the earlier version apply to your use of such components. Neither the manufacturer or installer, nor Microsoft, is obligated to supply earlier versions to you. You must obtain the earlier version separately, for which you may be charged a fee. At any time, you may replace an earlier version with the version you originally acquired.

Reply Score: 4

That's Odd
by organgtool on Thu 16th Jul 2015 12:39 UTC
organgtool
Member since:
2010-02-25

I can downgrade all I want on my Mac and Linux machines. And as a bonus, there is no equivalent of Windows Activation on those platforms either.

I really should keep an actual list of all of the reasons I left Microsoft products. Every now and then I'm curious about what I'm missing in the Windows world and contemplate giving it another chance but then I'll read an article like this and begin to remember why I left it in the first place. In many ways, Microsoft is its own worst enemy.

Reply Score: 6

Makes sense.
by cjcox on Thu 16th Jul 2015 15:23 UTC
cjcox
Member since:
2006-12-21

Windows 7 is dead... dead... dead. Might not like that.... but it's dead. And who really wants/prefers Windows 8 or it's many manifestations? With the "Lemon OS" the only choice I can't imagine anyone wanting to go back even at the expense of some incompatibility. The only people I've heard complains are Windows Media Center users.... oh well... they need to talk to Microsoft about resurrecting it for their machines....

There really isn't a "choice" option here. Move to Windows 10 because Windows 8 stinks (like really bad stink). Windows 7 users are similar to Windows XP users.... they have found a great OS that Microsoft has deprecated.... too bad.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Makes sense.
by grat on Thu 16th Jul 2015 15:28 UTC in reply to "Makes sense."
grat Member since:
2006-02-02

8.1 with a few tweaks is good enough to be considered an upgrade to Windows 7. It's not a huge upgrade, unless you're running SSD (better, but not perfect, TRIM support).

I think the interface on Windows 7 is slightly cleaner, and more coherent-- but 8.1 has some very nice functionality. Underneath the UI, 8.1 is probably a better OS.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Makes sense.
by Bobthearch on Thu 16th Jul 2015 22:37 UTC in reply to "Makes sense."
Bobthearch Member since:
2006-01-27

LOL, Windows XP isn't even 'dead' yet.

Reply Score: 2

Its a trap
by Dirge on Thu 16th Jul 2015 21:17 UTC
Dirge
Member since:
2005-07-14

MS wants to break people from the habbit of holding onto a perfectly good OS (WinXP/7) for 5 - 10 years. Now loosen your purse strings as those forever updates will come with a subscription.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Its a trap
by shotsman on Fri 17th Jul 2015 05:03 UTC in reply to "Its a trap"
shotsman Member since:
2005-07-22

I think you are correct about the subscription.
I have one already with MS called MSDN.
I have it because my customers user Server 2008/2012.

When I retire (and W10/Server-Next is certainly bringing that day closer) I will be able to put the whole world of Microsoft and their crazy EULA's and even wierder SKU's behind me for good.

I too will be able to become an MS free zone. Linux/Android and OSX are more then viable alternatives for what I want.

Reply Score: 3