Windows Licensing Put to the Test - The UpStream

Windows Licensing Put to the Test

posted Sunday Apr 1, 2012 by Scott Ertz

Windows Licensing Put to the Test

With piracy in the news constantly right now because of the recent takedown of Megaupload and the future of piracy in the sky, now is possibly the worst time for a new company to try and make a name for itself in the piracy game. Desktops on Demand, however, is trying to do just that.

If you have ever wanted to have a Windows computer without the hassle of speed or dealing with the peskiness of having a legal copy, then this service is for you. Through the service you can host virtual desktops that allow you to do normal computer functions remotely, through any Windows, Mac, iOS or Android device. They describe themselves as,

Desktops on Demand is a hosted virtual desktop service providing disposable desktops which allow you to protect yourself against malware and cyber attacks. Most malware and cyber attacks occur simply because you use the internet and increasingly sophisticated malware can easily infect your computer and give cyber-criminals access to your personal and financial data.

While their beta will start in less than a month, there is a lot of trouble ahead. Hit the break to find out why.

Desktops on Demand has said that it will not be following Microsoft's licensing rules, using illegal copies of Windows to power its service. They are following in the footsteps of OnLive, who recently started offering virtual desktop services for free, or $5 for an upgraded account. At those prices, it is impossible to offer service without violating Microsoft's ToS. Even Microsoft has confirmed that OnLive has violated licensing policy, but has not fought to shut the service down.

That is where this service comes into play. Guise Bule, the founder of Desktops on Demand, is protesting what he believes to be Microsoft's unfair licensing policy for virtual instances, as well as the lack of fairness in Microsoft not going after OnLive.

In addition to Desktops on Demand, he is also the CEO of tuCloud, another virtual desktop company which uses only legit Windows installs. He seems to believe that Microsoft is creating an unfair market by having a policy that his company follows but leaves a company like OnLive alone, despite knowing they are breaking rules. He has even dared Microsoft to sue him over Desktops on Demand.

What do you think will be the end game of this move? Will Microsoft issue takedown notices for OnLive and Desktops on Demand, or will Desktops on Demand cut into tuCloud's profit margins?


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