Remember all the hullaballoo when XP came out in regards to having to re-activate when a major hardware change was made? Remember that it all turned out to be a relative non-issue?

Not anymore. It sounds as though we get to activate Vista once. Right now anyway.

I sincerely hope that we can change our hardware without having to re-license the OS.

WWW Link
on Oct 12, 2006
This sounds very familiar to the current method used by Adobe, where you use the "Transfer Activation" function to allow the installation on a new machine.

(Note - Adobe allows installation on one main machine and on a second machine such as a notebook where the person licensed is the primary user).

If this is the case, then it would be a simple matter of making sure to use the "Transfer" function (however it is implemented) before attempting to install and activate on the new machine (or upgraded machine which is considered a new machine - new CPU, MoBo, or whatever the guidelines dictate).

I have a hard time believing that Microsoft would set-up an 'OEM' style agreement with the retail versions.
on Oct 12, 2006
It wouldn't surprise me one bit.
on Oct 13, 2006
god I hate this kinda crap. It makes me look at Linux more and more whenever I have to deal with it...
on Oct 13, 2006
This seems to be the part of the agreement that would apply to this discussion:


a. Software Other than Windows Anytime Upgrade. The first user of the software may
reassign the license to another device one time. If you reassign the license, that other device becomes the “licensed device.”

b. Windows Anytime Upgrade Software. The first user of the software may reassign the
license to another device one time, but only if the license terms of the software you upgraded from allows reassignment.


a. Software Other Than Windows Anytime Upgrade. The first user of the software may make a one time transfer of the software, and this agreement, directly to a third party. The first user must uninstall the software before transferring it separately from the device. The first user may not retain any copies.

b. Windows Anytime Upgrade Software. You may transfer the software directly to a third party only with the licensed device. You may not keep any copies of the software or any earlier version.

c. Other Requirements. Before any permitted transfer, the other party must agree that this agreement applies to the transfer and use of the software. The transfer must include the proof of license.

Note - I believe this would apply if you upgraded your CPU, motherboard, and perhaps your video card (although this last item may not apply). There is a reference to adding additional hardware which may require 'reactivation' that might apply to installing a new hard drive.
on Oct 13, 2006
Frankly, it sounds more like the kind of setup AutoCAD uses.

I have to install the software on the new machine PRIOR to uninstalling on the old machine and then use a utility to generate a coded "machine ID" I go back to the first computer and enter that code and choose to export my license to that machine. It then creates a file that is my "portable" license which will ONLY install on the machine with the proper ID. The first machine is now set to self destruct in 24 hours. For those who take work home you have to constantly transfer the license back and forth (without buying 2 copies at about $3000 each)

While it's a pain in the @ss to do it, it does allow you to continue to upgrade hardware. The only drawback is when a computer croaks.....your license is gone. Autodesk then requires 3 forms of ID, a blood test, first born, right arm and sworn affidavit to give you a new activation license.
on Oct 14, 2006
Don't bother. "vista" is just another Me solution to the need for capial. Just get a legitimate version of Windows XP 64-bit and GO!!

on Oct 15, 2006
Lantec: That's FOUR forms.

It sucks. It really sucks. I have to buy vista to keep my knowledge current. Linux is NOT used in typical corporate workstations yet.
on Oct 15, 2006
not even that! what would it happen when my system crash? like a hard disk crash??? Windows Vista will be expensive and if they dont get out an OEM vertion i wont buy anyithing (even if someone give it to me., i just wont use it!)...
on Oct 15, 2006
One time. And then a new computer is the main machine and you may transfer it one time from that as well.

on Oct 15, 2006
Instant, you are correct. More information is coming out about this and it seems that you have a total of 3 installs available (including a transfer to a third party.)

From what I have been reading though, MS is really going to lock down activation.

Let's say you buy a low end-ish computer, one you think will be able to handle the "Vista experience" and you later decide you really need to upgrade, you will be able to install vista again after you have upgraded, but you are stuck with that upgraded computer forever, unless you buy a new license.

From the MS pov, this is a great thing and a bad thing. There are those who will just go ahead and keep buying the new licenses and MS makes tons-o-bucks. However, this could push folks over to the alternative OS that they have, to this point, just been playing with.

I personally think this is a really bad idea and I hope MS changes their tactics. It's not a good PR move on their part.

I have to scrimp and save to upgrade my computer. I really can't afford to repurchase licensing also, specially at those prices.

Seems as though the only options here are to stick with XP as long as possible and let Stardock handle the innovation (suckup/ as they do so well /suckup ; buy the most computer you can afford, get Vista and ride that out for 5 or 6 years; or go with Apple or Linux or some such OS.

To MS: Good luck with that. To all the users: May Bill have mercy on your souls.

on Oct 18, 2006
but you are stuck with that upgraded computer forever, unless you buy a new license.

Not true. From what I've read on various sites the media is having a great time blowing this all out of proportion just like they did before XP came out.

With the retail version you can transfer it to a new device once. The definition of new device is still relatively blurry but it is essentially a whole new system. Supposedly MS is trying to ensure users don't have to re-activate when making simple system changes. If you are forced to re-activate after the transfer you'll basically have to call just like you do on XP. Yes it's annoying, but I guess it's the price we pay for constantly tinkering with our systems. There was a time when I re-activated my XP license 3 times in one week, I never had a problem just had to take 10 minutes to call MS and tell them what I changed in the system and they would say ok and read me the verification number. Annoying, but not overly so.

Ipswitch makes it much harder with newer versions of WS-FTP which is why I've stopped using their products. If MS goes down that road I'll have to get busy figuring out how to get Ubuntu to recognize my video card.
on Oct 18, 2006
Kevin_C I hope you are right. I've upgraded my XP machine and I don't care about activation, but I would care about re-buying a license
on Oct 19, 2006
but I would care about re-buying a license

Absolutely!! If that is the case I would have to buy a copy a week at times and that ain't happening! Here's hoping all of this turns out to be nothing more than the same old players trying to create a problem where one doesn't exist..
on Oct 19, 2006
Here's hoping all of this turns out to be nothing more than the same old players trying to create a problem where one doesn't exist.

I hope so as well! However, I read on C-Net, MajorGeeks or Neowin that Vista would be like XP and require only activation if reinstalled on the same machine. As I understood it, users would need to call MS to do a phone activation if online activations for the originally licensed PC had been exceeded/didn't work.

Hopefully I haven't misunderstood, but I don't recall seeing anything about having to re-license Vista on an upgraded machine, one that required hardware replacements, etc.