Microsoft Senior Sales Excellence Manager - Eric Ligman

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An upgrade is an upgrade. Apparently some people are easily confused.

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An upgrade is an upgrade. Apparently some people are easily confused.

  • Comments 71

Below is the first post.  You can find the follow-up here: An upgrade is an upgrade. Apparently some people are easily confused – Part 2.

It seems that there are some people out there who don’t quite get the concept of an upgrade.  These people are even writing articles fully articulating how little they know (and unfortunately, confusing many customers with these non-factual writings).  Because of this, I am going to explain it again and even use pictures to try to make this very simple…

You can buy a software full license that gets you the rights to install and run the software. You can buy a software upgrade license that allows you to upgrade from the full license you have to the upgraded product you purchased the upgrade for.

For instance:

General Example Example with Product Names
image image

To qualify for an upgrade license, you MUST have a full license to upgrade from first. Without the full license, you have nothing to upgrade from and an upgrade from nothing gets you nothing:

General Example Example with Product Names
image image

So if you see any of these people writing that buying an upgrade by itself (Windows Vista Upgrade for instance) without having a full license first gets you the rights to run the software, just realize that what the person is actually stating is, “I clearly have no clue what I am talking about and so I am writing a bunch of gibberish that proves this hoping people will think I have a clue, even though I obviously don’t.”

If they continue to tell you that, “But I can get it to physically install, so it must be legal,” this further shows their complete lack of comprehension. Just because something will install does not make it legal. For example, a pirated piece of software will (usually) physically install; however, running pirated software is 100% illegal (and who knows what else it will install on or do to your computer). If you don’t believe me, try calling 888-NO-PIRACY and letting them know that you are running pirated software throughout your company. Explain to them that you feel it is legal to do so because you got it to physically install, so it must be legal and ask if they would mind auditing your company to verify the legality of this. Let me know how that turns out for you.

NOTE: For anyone who missed my complete tone of sarcasm there, I am in no way condoning the installation or use of pirated software. As mentioned above (in red), it is 100% illegal to do so, and if you choose to really be foolish enough to try the above actions, you and you alone are fully responsible for any and all legal actions taken against you.  So I would advise you to use your one phone call to contact your legal counsel instead of telling me how this turned out, as I already have a pretty good idea of what the results will be for you.

While I really can’t believe I have to put that ridiculous note on my post, just the fact that there are people writing articles advising people to illegally install software that they are not licensed for “because they can get it to physically install” just shows how clueless some people are and how willing they are to try to confuse other with their articles. And just in case one of these writers happens to read this, I want to make sure they are not confused by the paragraph above. If you are one of those people, let me put it this way, “It is not ok to do so. It is BAD to do so.” There, no words bigger than three letters, so that should hopefully be easy enough to follow.

To answer some follow-up questions I have received since posting this:  Yes, please feel free to forward the link to this post directly to the authors of those articles who are stating that the upgrade alone is legal to use without owning a full license first.  Make sure to have them read the sentence with small words too so they don't give excuses like, "It's too hard to understand the legalese," etc.

FOOTNOTE:  There have been questions as to who this post is targeted at and the concept of the "loophole" seems to be in question as well.  I did address these in the comments below through my reply to one reader; however, I thought I would append it here to the post as well to avoid any ambiguity.  Here is what I posted in the comments below, "Thank you for the feedback.  My intention is not to be condescending to my readers.  To be very clear, my comments above about the "clueless people" are not directed at the customers or my readers.  They are directed at those trying to confuse the customers by telling them that it is OK to do this "just because it physically installs."  (Which is why I went back and added the footer to please forward my post to the authors of those articles)  As an example, I even conducted an interview early last year with one of the online publications writing about this now and explained in plain English that the physical ability to do this is not a "loophole," it provides a way for technology Partners to help clients who are legally licensed for Windows Vista (meaning they have the qualifying full license first) to perform a clean install vs. doing an in place upgrade.  Yet here we are, over a year later, and the same "It's a loophole and must be legal to not own the full license," gibberish is being published by that same publication that only confuses customers with non-factual information.  Considering I explained it very directly before and they still don't seem to get it, I thought I would publish it in REALLY simple terms this time for all to view.  Yes, I agree whole heartedly that customers of all sizes should engage with their technology Partners for how to buy information vs. relying on publications, like the ones referred to above, that seem to rely on sensationalism and speculation."

You can find the follow-up here: An upgrade is an upgrade. Apparently some people are easily confused – Part 2.

Thank you and have a wonderful day,

Eric Ligman
Microsoft US Senior Manager
Small Business Community Engagement
This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights

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  • PingBack from http://pirating.us/microsoft/an-upgrade-is-an-upgrade-apparently-some-people-are-easily-confused/

  • I think that the above needs some clarification.

    Consider: two years ago you bought a new Dell with Windows XP Pro preinstalled.  Yesterday, you bought a Vista Business upgrade for the same system.  But: you would prefer to do a fresh install rather than upgrade.  This is both 1) legitimate, and 2) permitted, isn't it?  You did, after all, buy XP Pro and then the Vista Business upgrade, the latter giving you the right to run Vista Business on the system you previously ran XP Pro on, yes?  

  • Great Post Eric!

    Now if I can just explain Open Value 3 year, Open Business 2 year, Open Volume with the Professional, Enterprise and Workgroup edition twist as well :) (all relating to the purchasing of Dynamics CRM)

    Cheers

    The CRM Lady

    Anne Stanton

  • PingBack from http://blog.sbs-rocks.com/2008/04/11/a-class-in-de-confusion/

  • @ Fredrik - Yes, if you have the full Windows XP Pro license and then purchase the Windows Vista Business Upgrade for that PC, you can choose to do a full install from the Vista disk vs. performing an in-place upgrade install.  This is why we have this on the disk.

  • One problem is, that many people I talk to are thinking, that when a Microsoft product pass it's genuine test, it's legal.

    Correct me, but the Upgrade way, which is indeed not correctly licensed, will pass it's genuine check - so here we have a big problem:

    Think about the pc stores in your street. What's when you buy new pc running Vista, which will pass it's genuine test, but the seller used an upgrade?

    You need to do something, or the genuine program will lose something, you just started to create...

    Note: It isn't a problem with the Genuine program itself, but the effect the genuine program has, created that problem.

    You understand what I tried to tell you?

  • PingBack from http://mintywhite.com/tech/news/microsoft-exec-rages-against-vista-upgrade-hack/

  • I think the real issue is why bother installing Vista at all? What does it give me over XP? You stripped most of the features out that we were looking forward to before RTM, so this isn't much more than a slower, prettier XP. Meh. I'll be waiting for Windows 7. Hopefully Microsoft gets that right. It appears that they are headed in the right direction. However, we saw what happened to Vista and how it started losing features to meet a deadline. If 7 gets the same treatment, by then Linux should be a viable alternative to Windows from a non technical user standpoint...

  • PingBack from http://www.thexblog.de/?p=3311

  • What an amazingly condescending post from a "Senior Manager" of "Community Engagement."

    Eric, as part of your solution, why didn't you encourage Microsoft customers to "engage" the LAR "community" that works every day to support the accurate licensing of your company's products?

    We'd be happy to help any and all customers find the correct licensing solution - and we'd do it without condescension or sarcasm!

    What a concept!

    Thank you and have a wonderful day!

  • @ Ed - Thank you for the feedback.  My intention is not to be condescending to my readers.  To be very clear, my comments above about the "clueless people" are not directed at the customers or my readers.  They are directed at those trying to confuse the customers by telling them that it is OK to do this "just because it physically installs."  (Which is why I went back and added the footer to please forward my post to the authors of those articles)  As an example, I even conducted an interview early last year with one of the online publications writing about this now and explained in plain english that the physical ability to do this is not a "loophole," it provides a way for technology Partners to help clients who are legally licensed for Windows Vista (meaning they have the qualifying full license first) to perform a clean install vs. doing an in place upgrade.  Yet here we are, over a year later, and the same "It's a loophole and must be legal to not own the full license," gibberish is being published by that same publication that only confuses customers with non-factual information.  Considering I explained it very directly before and they still don't seem to get it, I thought I would publish it in REALLY simple terms this time for all to view.  Yes, I agree whole heartedly that customers of all sizes should engage with their technology Parnters for how to buy information vs. relying on publications, like the ones referred to above, that seem to rely on sensationalism and speculation.

  • Can something really be less than 100 % illegal, say, 90 % illegal, and if so, would this reflect on any prospective punishment? Would it not in that case be fair to say that; if you are 80 % illegal that you are also 20 % legal?

  • Call me crazy, but I would think that you should be satisfied that there are people who choose to plunk down money on Vista at all considering its shortcomings and Microsoft's less than noble reputation.

    Furthermore, I really fail to see the point of your rant aside from basically saying, "You're not paying us enough money! Give us more! MORE!"  Not a very good PR move.

  • Bigger than the upgrade loophole is the activation cracking methods. If you're a pirate it would be easier to crack the RTM straight away as using the upgrade trick is also illegal and wastes time. If anything Eric, people who use the upgrade improperly are not your biggest problems in Vista-land....

    Piracy is impossible to stop when installations exist on local computers. Once companies are able to offer all their products in an "online only" format will they have any control.

  • The problem is Microsft's ridiculous variety of different packages and licensing for Vista, not the customers.  This is clear to anyone and everyone in the world that doesn't work at Microsoft so wake up and get a clue.

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