Microsoft reverses decision to allow Vista virtualization

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Earlier this week Microsoft had planned to allow owners of Vista Home and Home Premium to use the operating system under virtualization on the Mac platform. However, before the announcement was even made, the company reversed the decision and said the planned change would not happen after all.

“Microsoft has reassessed the Windows virtualization policy and decided that we will maintain the original policy announced last Fall,” a Microsoft spokesperson said in a statement provided to Macworld .

However, Microsoft’s position earlier this week was decidedly different. In a meeting with Macworld the company said that due to customer feedback on virtualization, they would be changing the EULA (End User Licensing Agreement) to allow virtualization of the low-end Vista products.

“We are always listening to the community with regards to licensing,” Scott Woodgate, director of the Windows Vista team, told Macworld. “Security is still a concern, but we are enabling the customer to make that choice.”

Since Microsoft will not allow Vista Home to be run under virtualization, users are back where they started — running Vista Business, Ultimate or Enterprise in order to comply with the licensing agreement.

Virtualization specialist Parallels said that they welcomed the decision to allow virtualization across the Vista product line and they will continue to work with Microsoft on virtualization.

“We were obviously disappointed,” said Ben Rudolph, Parallels director of corporate communications. “Any annoucement from any OS vendor that makes it easier to use their technology with virtualization is a welcome one.”

Rudolph said that most Parallels users are running their virtual machines with Windows XP, not Vista at this point.

“Of course, the decision to license or not license Vista for use in a virtual machine is up to Microsoft, and we will certainly respect their decision, but we will continue to advocate on behalf of our users and we’ll continue to work with Microsoft on the issue,” said Rudolph.

This story, "Microsoft reverses decision to allow Vista virtualization" was originally published by PCWorld.

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