Microsoft are talking to us

  Forum Editor 18:54 13 Jun 2003

Or rather they're talking to me - on Monday.

I'll be in Reading to meet Microsoft licencing experts with a view to getting a definitive, once and for all, detailed explanation of the terms of the Microsoft End User Licence Agreement.

In addition I'll be talking to the head of OEM for Microsoft UK, so I can find out precisely how the OEM licencing system works, and what it means to you, the end users.

I've got an agenda, but you must have questions of your own - now's your chance to let me know. It's not often that we get an opportunity to speak to Microsoft at a senior level, and I want to make the most of it.

  Jester2K II 19:09 13 Jun 2003

Why can't there be a technical EULA and a simple easy to understand version??

  Bandy 19:29 13 Jun 2003

I seem to recall that you tried this once before and, if correct, I hope this meeting is successful.

Personally I would like to be able to read the conditions either before purchase, or at least prior to opening the packet containing the disc.

I would also like to see a simplified version for the non legal eagles amongst us. The campaign for plain english has a long way to go in this connection although I appreciate the problems.

  powerless 19:54 13 Jun 2003

What interests me with the licensing from Microsoft is that are you really not going to accept it's terms?

You go to install Windows XP and you start reading the EULA and you do not agree to what you have to agree to, [to use XP]. Are you really going to cancel the installation and then try getting your money back?

Are you going to try an alternative - Linux?

I think Microsft have a win win sitaution because of their dominance in the market.

Powerless makes his point, not a question but i look forward to seeing MS's reply to some Q's from FE and us lot.

  microswift 20:03 13 Jun 2003

I know you are looking for positive responses to this thread, but I suspect that like me, most people have never read the EULA for any software product.

  -pops- 20:13 13 Jun 2003

I wonder if this is a sign that PC World may re-instigate their offer of meeting with PCA which, if you recall was cancelled with many most incredible excuses last year.


  -pops- 20:17 13 Jun 2003

From my thread on the current poll:

"Microsoft seem to specialise in licence agreements approaching infinite length and of infinite boredom factor such that if anyone except a specialist in these matters could ever be bothered to read and understand the writings, they would probably have given up all interest and desire to use the software anyway."

Perhaps they could do something about the points raised in the above.


  Forum Editor 21:04 13 Jun 2003

I offered to rewrite the Microsoft EULA in terms that most people might find a little easier to understand.

The response from Microsoft was a deafening silence - I didn't even receive an acknowledgement from them. Maybe I'll try again on Monday.

Does anyone have anything to say/ask about the OEM licence terms?

  Jomi 21:04 13 Jun 2003

Perhaps they could print a basic outline version on the cd case or box for people like me, then a more detailed version for the lawyers in the software.
Having already understood the bits that we need, (on the box) we could install the software and could accept the lawyers version without having to read it and giving up the will to live.

  spuds 21:07 13 Jun 2003

FE.Can you add on your list,how the Educational/Student Licencing procedures work and the criterias required for purchase of these programmes.Different views have been aired within the forum, regarding procedures. Best from the 'horses mouth'. Thanks.

I agree with powerless on the "Win Win" situation, but would only add the folowing -

For the average "Home User" (I am not talking a Business here) Surely there are only three conditions that matter -

1) That you will use it only on one machine.

2) That you will not copy the software (Save for personal backup purposes).


3) That you will not "Dismantle" the software and reverse engineer it.

If I am right and there are no other "nasties" in there, (I admit to not having read such a EULA for a long time, but would do so if necessary) it hardly matters that the thing is fifty pages long and totally indecipherable, the "Conditions" simply do not apply to the average home user and he would never contemplate breaching them to warrant his reading the whole agreement!

Microsoft could easily get round this problem by having a simple agreement that starts with "Home users Click Here" and Corporate / Business Users Click Here" each would take you to a respective agreement (Simple for the home user and compleat for the business) when you finally click on "I Agree" you are also confirming that you are either a home or business user. Breach of this (A Business stating they are a home user) would be an automatic breach of the agreement.

Its hot and I am tired but I hope you can follow what I am trying to suggest. "KISS" comes to mind - (Keep It Simple Stupid) and the easier it is to understand the more likely people would abide by the terms and it would also leave little or no margin of error in so far as "I did not understand that bit" would go.

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