The debate about using a Vista upgrade as a full version continues. Over at the Microsoft SMB Community Blog one writer by the name of Eric Ligman who is the Microsoft US Senior Manager, Small Business Community Engagement, spells out what is and what isn’t legal. In his opinion using an upgrade DVD for a full install, without having a previous licensed version is a no-no. He states:

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.

What he states is true. But there is one thing that is hard to understand. Why didn’t Microsoft just incorporate a upgrade provision in the Vista upgrade itself? I don’t recall any previous versions of Windows in which the Windows Upgrade disk didn’t ask for proof of a previous version. This would have solved the entire mess to begin with. Even SP1 doesn’t include this provision, which could have been added for future Vista releases.

So what do you think? Will you use the upgrade for a complete install rather than buying the full version?

Comments welcome.

Complete article is here.