To lawyers -- serious question - NOT related to TPB

Hi all
I've a serious question here to any Laywers who might be reading these posts.
We know this is an RC so it's not officially in production yet.

What is the view / legal position you think Microsoft would take on Testing the RC in a "Productive" environment, or even in the "development" section of the company.

We are definitely going to plan a company wide XP ==>W7 upgrade (although of course not all in one go). To do this in a timely manner decent testing needs to be done. We also want to do some robust testing on the "XP compatability mode" too.

What is the feeling about doing limited tests in a company workplace - for example say 3 or 4 machines (or even 1 or 2).
Upgrading an OS in a company environment is much more complex than doing it in a "Real" environment.

Since the load on our systems is much less during the summer months this is the ideal time for testing. We don't want to be doing this at "Year end" anyway. With the RC this seems just about the perfect time for limited testing.



New Member
I'm not a lawyer but I thought that was one of the main reasons to have the RC out there, so businesses could test it to get ready for a migration when the RTM is done. As long as you're not putting everyone on the RC I don't see why M$ would have any issue with you testing W7 in your environment. It benefits them since you'll be buying the OS when it's released.

I'm technically running W7 on a production machine (my work laptop) and so are several other engineers here. I can't see why M$ would have an issue, as I'm showing it to clients and basically getting the word out about it. I'm marketing for them for free! :) Plus I'm doing testing of our internal applications to make sure everything will work on it. I'd be very surprised if they had an issue with that.


Essential Member
It benefits them since you'll be buying the OS when it's released
that's not a given fact for all average home Users in a corporate, government, even small businesses. that will depend on their testing of the product.

although I understand jimbo's point about moving from XP to Windows 7

I'm not a lawyer either (I'm human:D), but what limits you from testing the RC in a "Productive" environment, or even in the "development" section of the company.

Could you provide m,e with a link where that information is located?



New Member
I'm sure it's in a EULA somewhere, but it basically states that Microsoft does not allow beta software to be run in a production environment. The reason is Microsoft doesn't want companies making money off of free software. But I guess it really depends on the term "production". As if they're still testing the OS, even if they are doing production work, I'd still consider it a "test" environment.

But seriously, no one from M$ is going to come to your business and try to prove that your "testing" of the beta OS is being used for profit. It's just there for legal reasons and is not going to cause anyone a problem unless they convert their entire organization over to the beta/RC. You'd have to be pretty stupid to do that anyway as you'd either have to reload everyone's OS when it timebombs (huge undertaking if it's more than a handful of users) or hack it somehow. And if you work anywhere that ever has an audit you know that the latter will definitely never fly.

In this case I believe it's more of the "spirit" of the wording that applies more than the actual lettering.


Essential Member
But seriously, no one from M$ is going to come to your business and try to prove that your "testing" of the beta OS is being used for profit.
my point exactly.


Honorable Member
I don't think they care how you use it but they don't want your bright lawyers suing them so they want to be able to say, "We told you not to do that."

I'm no lawyer either but all I can say about this is if Microsoft really had a problem with it then why would they release the RC to ANYONE who wanted it.. ;)

Thanks guys
I was a bit worried about the EULA --
Making a "Profit" is a bit of a red herring --unless you work in say a Government agency why should a business NOT try and make a profit.

However we are just using Windows as a TOOL to access other software such as E-commerce, CRM etc which is the "business side" where the money is made of course.

The issue is still a bit "fuzzy" since say your main business was developing new Games -- would it mean that you couldn't develop new games for the market using the W7 platform until the RC came out.

In our business we could probably "get away with it" since we aren't actually developing any new CRM type of stuff - merely running and adapting existing business models to fit the future business requirements - but developing new software to run specifically on the W7 platform is another ball game -- However MS will surely want this stuff to be tested anyway.

I suppose like always the Law is never clear until tested in court and unless you were obviously "misusing" the system say like installing 400 copies of W7 on 400 desktops to avoid paying licenses for 1 year MS will just turn a blind eye to you using a small number of computers for "Testing" in a commercial environment.


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