Vista upgrade/downgrade - will it be licensed?

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I bought a Sony Vaio laptop with Vista Business on it. In a fit of
stupidity I paid for an upgrade to Ultimate. The upgrade took ages
(several hours) and caused me a few problems (drivers not working in
Ultimate). But I finally got there and had Ultimate installed and working.

I've since decided Vista is not for me. I replaced the original 120 GB
disk with a 300 GB disk, used the recovery disks to recover Vista
Business. I now use Solaris x86 99% of the time, and virtually never use
Vista. However, I do want to keep Vista there, just in case I need it.

I can't really be bothered to go though the procedure to upgrade to
Ultimate again - it took too long and gained me nothing really. I still
have the key to perform the upgrade if I want.

So I'd rather stick with Vista Business. But is my Business version
still licensed? Will I be able to get patches, or will it appear as an
illegal OS, since it has been upgraded to Ultimate?

If necessary I will perform the upgrade to Ultimate, but if its not
necessary I cant be bothered to waste several hours on the process.

Re: Vista upgrade/downgrade - will it be licensed?

Dave wrote:

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What I failed to mention is the machine is now dual-booting either Vista
Business or Solaris x86. But since 99% of the time it is used on Solaris
x86, I'm reluctant to spend a lot of time/effort to upgrade the Vista
partition to Vista Ultimate.

Re: Vista upgrade/downgrade - will it be licensed?

Dave wrote:
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No problem, just leave Business as is and keep the Ultimate in the
drawer. There's no way the OS knows about the upgrade.

Re: Vista upgrade/downgrade - will it be licensed?

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I'm guessing Dave is referring to the fact that he activated the Vista
Ultimate OS after the upgrade, and is wondering if that invalidated his
license for the Business edition. The way it should work in my opinion is
that he should now have a license for both. After all, he paid for Business
and then paid for the upgrade. However, Microsoft isn't know for necessarily
following my particular line of reasoning, so I can't say for sure if the
Business license is still valid after it's been officially upgraded (through
activation) to Ultimate.

Dave, on a side note, I'm always curious to hear from people who use
alternate OS's (for lack of a better term - some people view Windows as the
alternate OS, I suppose) - what are the tasks you typically perform on your
laptop with the Solaris OS? General productivity apps, internet and email?
Programming? Engineering apps?

Richard Carpenter

Re: Vista upgrade/downgrade - will it be licensed?

Richard Carpenter wrote:

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Yes, that was my concern. I guess I will try to download some patches
and see what happens. I have some recollection of reading it was not
licensed, since I have only one license for Vista. I've not licensed two
copies of Vista.

I'm not too bothered about the legal aspects of it (somehow, I can't see
M$ wanting to try to prosecute me for this), but I might want to get
patches for example.

That said, Vista gets very little use now. The only thing I use it for
is to play chess on the internet, on the Internet Chess Club. The
software I use for that is Windows based.

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I do several things. The first list uses software which is is part of
the default installation

* Post to newsgroups - I'm sending this from the laptop.
* Web browsing (Firefox)
* email (Thunderbird)
* Word processing (StarOffice)
* Software development in C (Sun Studio 12)
* Connecting to other Unix systems via SSH over WiFi. (I will for
example edit web pages on other unix systems, but I do not use the web
server on this laptop).
* The odd few games (Minesweeper for example occasionally)
* Read PDF pages (evince)
* Write the occasional DVD (cdrecord)
* Printing (I have a printer attached to a Unix server and I print to
the printer on that. I do not attach a printer directly to the laptop. )
* When away from home, I need to read email, but my ISP only allows me
to do this from my ADSL connection, not from any old wireless hotspot.
So I have to tunnel the email and newsgroups via a machine at home over

Other things I do, which need additional software are

* I'm developing an open-source chess database so sometimes I change the code (uses
Tcl/Tk) The database runs on Windows/Unix/Linux/Mac OX X etc.
* Sometimes I play chess (using the database above and a chess engine).
* Analyse chess games
* Mathematica is installed (commercial application). I had to hack this
to run on an Intel CPU, as by default it only runs on AMD CPUs. See
That gets used for engineering applications (I'm an engineer), so I
might analyse data, plot graphs, produce reports etc.

I expect I might soon try to get SAGE (an open-source maths package) to
compile on it. Currently, there is no working version for Solaris (a
port is in progress), but I'll join that effort again (I was involved
once before on Solaris on Sun's SPARC processor, rather than x86).

So Solaris x86 gets used for a mix of things really. No one application.
There is nothing I do on here which I could not do under Windows,
although I find development of software under Windows a lot harder than
on Unix. Hence I tend to develop on Solaris and compile for Windows if
need be, once it is debugged on Solaris.

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