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Mac users pay more, MS blames security

updated 05:40 pm EST, Fri February 23, 2007

Virtual Vista costs more

Microsoft has ensured that Mac owners will pay a premium for using its Vista operating system in a virtualized environment -- such as Parallels Desktop -- due to a portion of the Redmond-based company's license agreement forbidding such action. Microsoft cites security worries for its inclusion of the ban on running Vista inside virtual machines on all platforms, saying that malicious software can run undetected alongside an operating system. The move could further confuse consumers beyond the already blurry series of various Vista versions in circulation, according to the Associated Press, because Microsoft is allowing some of its higher-priced Vista versions to run in virtual environments. Even then, however, the software giant restricts the system's functionality by preventing users from accessing Vista's BitLocker data-encryption service and playing music or video carrying Microsoft's anti-piracy technology.

Microsoft reportedly considered banning virtualizing all versions of Vista, but eventually settled on allowing the higher-priced versions to run virtually inside another OS. The software maker said most technically savvy users or people in companies with technical support could likely handle Vista in virtualization programs, and elected to drive 'home users' away from such dangers while allowing the more advanced versions of Vista to run in virtual environments.

Apple's Boot Camp software is legal to use with Vista, however, because it uses an Intel-based Mac to actually boot windows on the hardware itself, rather than creating a walled-off 'virtual' machine that runs the software inside another operating system.

by MacNN Staff





  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969



    How can they tell if its running in a Virtualized environment?

  1. Hobeaux

    Joined: Dec 1969



    how? by how much you pay.

    currently there is nothing (that i'm aware of) that prevents you from running any copy of Vista in a virtualized environment other than the EULA document stating not to.

  1. fds

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Apple isn't better here

    Apple is also actively discouraging anyone to try and run any version of Mac OS X in a virtualized environment. Microsoft isn't the only bad guy in town on this.

  1. Guest

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Vista sucks anyway

    I have been using it off and on for two years now and got a hold of the RTM disc with all of the final versions on it. It was on my PC for all of two days before I went back to a sweetly tweaked and fine running version of XP Pro.

    I have always been a closet Mac fan and am a recent convert with a MacBook Pro that I bought for a new venture that I am starting and love OSX way better than ANY MS OS, but I have made peace with XP on the PCs that I am forced to use otherwise.

    I have no plans to use Vista ever again.

  1. dashiel

    Joined: Dec 1969



    install boot camp, that's when you sign/accept the EULA. then install parallels and point it to your boot camp partition.

  1. ClockNova

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Oh, no! The EULA says I can't do something! Better not do it.

    (loads Vista basic in Parallels)

  1. e:leaf

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Agreed. Our Mac-centric sites are all to eager to point out MS as the bad guy whenever possible, but fail to address Apple when it engages in the same behavior.

  1. wingdo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Big difference

    Apple is a hardware company which makes its own OS for its hardware.

    Microsoft is a SOFTWARE company which sells its OS to run on anyone's hardware.

  1. jasong

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Wow, this is some late breaking stuff. I can't believe no one heard about this before today.

  1. horvatic

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Microsoft is confused too

    Microsoft is confused too. They're just killing there sales of Vista by doing stupid things like this. But hey, that's Microsoft now isn't it. For them to be concerned about security is laughable especially when they try and pin it on Mac users running the safest operating system in the world.

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