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CEO of TuCloud Dares Microsoft To Sue His New Company 109

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the conversation-via-lawyer dept.
Fluffeh writes "Word from Ars Technica is that OnLive, a service provider that seems to totally flout Microsoft licensing and offers iPad users a Microsoft Desktop for free (or a beefier one for $5) isn't being sued by Microsoft, as this blog quotes: 'We are actively engaged with OnLive with the hope of bringing them into a properly licensed scenario.' The people who are angry include Guise Bule, CEO of tuCloud. He accuses Microsoft of playing favorites with OnLive — whose CEO is a former Microsoft executive — while regularly auditing license compliance for companies like tuCloud that provide legitimate virtual desktop services. Bule is so mad that he says he is forming an entirely new company called DesktopsOnDemand to provide a service identical to OnLive's, complete with licensing violations, and dare Microsoft to take him to court. Bule hopes to force Microsoft into lifting restrictions on virtual desktop licensing that he says inhibit growth in the virtual desktop industry, and seem to apply to everyone except OnLive." One of the restrictions applied to licensed remote desktop providers is that each user must have his own dedicated machine (pretty onerous in the days of 16+ core servers costing a mere grand or two).
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CEO of TuCloud Dares Microsoft To Sue His New Company

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 20, 2012 @05:46AM (#39411675)

    RTFM, this guy is following the rules, to the letter. That means he can only offer the service to people that already pay monster money to Microsoft (and THEN they have to pay him too)

    in short his company is ALREADY a customer playing by the established rules (and being audited) trying to ask permission to add more features. While the OnLive people should be raided by the BSA marshals by now... they're getting "talked to" about licensing violations that would get a proper business' doors locked because they've already whipped up huge business in the press.

    When Microsoft trots out "piracy" numbers, licensing technicalities like this are EXACTLY what they are going after nowdays. If their "war on piracy" was REAL they'd be sending the BSA with Federal Marshals to lock up OnLive. If there is some new rule that OnLive is getting, why shouldn't the people that ALREADY PAY to have the same feature get the new rules too? Microsoft is still a monopoly and giving new terms to somebody that's not properly paying shouldn't be allowed... as they are interfering with their PAYING customer's business by allowing this.

  • by tgd (2822) on Tuesday March 20, 2012 @07:13AM (#39412003)

    while regularly auditing license compliance for companies like tuCloud that provide legitimate virtual desktop services.

    If you own a volume license, yes, they can do that, and there's not a damn thing you can do about it.

    There is no such thing as a volume license for Windows -- there's enterprise agreements, and you get a volume license key, but that key is only valid if used to replace the OEM key that comes with new hardware. (I.E., its provided to EA customers so you can push out desktop images to your hardware, but you can only do so to hardware that *came* with an OEM license. There's no concept of a "new" VLK license.)

    The *only* legal option companies like this have are getting an OEM distribution license (which Microsoft doesn't do for non-hardware vendors), or use full retail copies. There's nothing MS can do to prevent OnLive from using full retail copies, but at $200ish a VM, the cost to the end user goes up. And what you can't do is use guest accounts and published applications from the cloud, because you don't have CALs for those users.

    There are routes that companies can do to make it work, but not routes that somehow magically bypass the cost of buying Windows.

    (And, FWIW, I am completely informed here -- I've gone through this process for similar services before.)

  • by CastrTroy (595695) on Tuesday March 20, 2012 @07:55AM (#39412255) Homepage
    The fact that there would be need for a "licensing specialist" speaks volumes about the complexity of navigating the Microsoft licensing system. I think the major problem that MS is trying to stop is from somebody offering the same functionality to desktop users. Imagine a system where Mac and Linux users wouldn't have to buy a Windows license to access a full windows desktop. This could make switching to Mac (or Linux) a lot easier for most people. MS would sell a lot less licenses if a single license could be time-shared between 20 or 30 users
  • by quacking duck (607555) on Tuesday March 20, 2012 @08:15AM (#39412421)

    The fact that there would be need for a "licensing specialist" speaks volumes about the complexity of navigating the Microsoft licensing system.

    I was researching Sharepoint a couple years ago. In Microsoft's FAQ for it, where I thought I'd find lots of technical Q&As, the section on licensing was longer than all other sections combined.

    A software product/service that requires a lawyer more than a technical person to evaluate? Screw it.

  • Gifts above a certain value are taxable. I'm not sure if that counts for gifts between companies. The story about Inida taxing "angel funding" is similar to this, and if one company is creating an uneven playing field by giving gifts to another company then that is not desirable in a free market. It could even come under antitrust, if they are doing this to increase Windows' market share in the mobile virtual desktop space.

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