Microsoft wanders on Vista virtualisation

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Microsoft wanders on Vista virtualisation

No virtual Vista Basic or Premium after all.

Microsoft has abandoned a plan to ease the virtualisation restrictions of its Windows Vista operating system.

The company currently allows users of Windows Vista Ultimate and Windows Vista Business to run the software in a virtual compartment, for instance on VM Ware, Parallels or Microsoft's Virtual PC. Consumers who purchase Windows Vista Home Basic (US$199) or Windows Vista Home Premium (US$249) don't have that option.

The software developer had originally planned to expand the virtualization offering on Wednesday. It didn't explain the reason for its change of mind, other than claiming that it was based on a "reassessment" of its policies.

The licensing terms were intended to discourage less-educated users from running the software in a virtual system. Microsoft argues that virtualisation presents the user with security risks and is trying to limit the technology to educated users and businesses.

But it also forced Mac users to purchase Vista Ultimate at US$399 or Vista Business at US$299 if they wanted to run Windows virtually. Such a strategy is especially useful for users who require access to a single application that is available exclusively available on Windows, or to users who are switching to operating systems.
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