I am currently installing Visual Studio 2005 (VS), which I won in a raffle in last night’s BSDG meeting. I actually took the time to read through most of the End User License Agreement (EULA); don’t ask me why, I guess I’m a masochist! :)My conclusion is that I would probably avoid voluntarily using VS to create programs (personally), because Microsoft has way too much control over how I use VS, and what I can do with the software I would create with VS.Here are the interesting tidbits (My comments are in green, EULA text is quoted):Dumb things:
- “You must obtain Microsoft’s prior written approval to disclose to a third party the results of any benchmark test of the SQL Server software that accompanies this software.” Elsewhere in the EULA you find that benchmarking of the .Net framework is allowed, and you can share the information, but they list a bunch of restrictions on how you can do it. What are they afraid of? And by the way, they don’t give you any contact information for getting their permission to publish benchmark results (it’s probably on microsoft.com somewhere though).
- You cannot perform “…staging on a server in a production environment, such as loading content prior to production use.” That’s Ok Microsoft, I didn’t really want to test my software anyway. Thank you for giving me a legal reason not to.
- You cannot “modify or distribute the source code of any Distributable Code so that any part of it becomes subject to an Excluded License.” This is to defend against VS developers employing software governed by licenses like the GPL (Linux, Firefox).
- You cannot “distribute Distributable Code, other than code listed in OTHER-DIST.TXT files, to run on a platform other than the Windows platform”. What is distributable code? “The software contains code that you are permitted to distribute in programs you develop if you comply with the terms below.” My software can only run on Windows, even if I use .Net? Now, where did I put that GPL software…?
- “LIMITATION ON AND EXCLUSION OF DAMAGES. YOU CAN RECOVER FROM MICROSOFT AND ITS SUPPLIERS ONLY DIRECT DAMAGES UP TO THE AMOUNT YOU PAID FOR THE SOFTWARE. YOU CANNOT RECOVER ANY OTHER DAMAGES, INCLUDING CONSEQUENTIAL, LOST PROFITS, SPECIAL, INDIRECT OR INCIDENTAL DAMAGES.” So if Visual Studio crashes my computer, and I lose a bunch of sensitive data that costs my company a load of money, Microsoft is only liable for the price of VS. Nice.
- “USING SOME FEATURES ALSO OPERATES AS YOUR CONSENT TO THE TRANSMISSION OF CERTAIN STANDARD COMPUTER INFORMATION FOR INTERNET-BASED SERVICES.”
- “APPLICATIONS AND SERVICES BUILT WITH MICROSOFT VISUAL J# 2005 WILL RUN ONLY IN THE MICROSOFT .NET FRAMEWORK.” Makes sense though, because J# is a direct competitor of Sun’s Java.
- “User Testing. Your end users may access the software to perform acceptance tests on your programs.”
- I guess I wasn’t looking for good things when I read it, because I didn’t find anything else. 😉
Non EULA dumb things:
- While reading the EULA, if you switch to another program, the installer scrolls the EULA back to the top. This was VERY annoying when I was trying to copy/paste sections of the EULA for this blog entry. (I finally put whole EULA in my text editor as a work around)
- “If Microsoft Internet Information Services (IIS) is installed on this computer, setup automatically registered ASP.NET” Nice. Didn’t they learn their lesson from the “Windows 2000, IIS installed and running by default” debacle, and the subsequent worms/viruses that nailed the entire IIS world? I guess not…