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Low-cost Windows Licenses for VM Use?

I'm getting more interested in the advantages of testing within a VM but I haven't quite figured out the licensing.

So far I've been muddling along using a 240-day trial Win2K I have on the shelf.  Of course after 240 days it'll go "poof" on me and I'd have to rebuild everything.

Beyond that XP and Vista are desireable test targets as well.

When it comes right down to it, is the real answer to just fork over the $$ for 3 or so retail licenses of say, XP?  Of course it gets more complex if you want to test in several different OSs.

All of the various developer assistance programs from Microsoft seem to have a lot of strings attached.  I guess I've been wondering if they've offered anything else that fits here.  All I really need is 2 or 3 extra licenses, and even for one OS would be better than none.

I really want a baseline image to run and test against, one that doesn't have development bits installed.  Preferably usable for an indefinate period of time.
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
Look at the empower progam
It gives you (IIRC) 10 licenses for each OS
Martin Send private email
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
Thanks, I'm aware of but I don't think It'll fit the profile for this pupose.  That's an ISV program and the activity I'm looking at is closer to... well maybe more like a book author or a trainer.  There won't necessarily be a software product at the end of this rainbow.
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
I use the Action Pack. It gives you 10 licenses of Vista Business and a few licenses of Win2003 Server (various flavors). It must be renewed each year. The Vista licenses used to be just upgrade licenses but are being changed soon to full licenses when SP1 is released. You don't get XP licenses anymore though. I already have enough licenses for XP so this wasn't an issue for me. You also get 10 licenses for Office 2007 Enterprise Edition. One more note, these licenses can be used for production use unlike MSDN which is only for development purposes.
dood mcdoogle
Tuesday, February 12, 2008

"Starting in November 2007, all Action Pack subscribers will be required to take a course from the Partner Learning Center and pass the associated assessment. Learn about the requirements, and look for new, special-edition toolkits specifically tailored for Microsoft Small Business Specialists and Web solutions providers. Note: Also starting November 30, 2007, Registered Partners may either subscribe to the Action Pack or to Empower for ISVs. The Microsoft Action Pack Subscription is designed for IT professionals and includes internal-use licenses for many of the latest Microsoft software offerings. Empower for ISVs is specifically for software developers creating their first solutions on the Microsoft platform."


"Any software licenses you receive as a subscription are valid for only one year, and require that you follow the terms of the Microsoft Action Pack Initiative Addendum."
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
You can get a MSDN Operating Systems Subscription for about $700

This gives you
- Windows Vista
- Windows XP
- Windows Server 2003 R2

Plus a bunch of other stuff

This basically lets you install an unlimited amount of OSes for testing purposes only.
DJ Send private email
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
""Starting in November 2007, all Action Pack subscribers will be required to take a course from the Partner Learning Center and pass the associated assessment."

Yeah, you watch a 15 minute demo and then answer somewhere around 15 questions. It was pretty painless. Also, when I took it they had a deal where you got the web developer toolkit which gave me VS 2008 Standard and Expressions Studio (about $900 worth combined) for free. I don't know if they still have that deal going on but I couldn't pass it up.

As I've said before in other posts, the Action Pack isn't for everyone. But for me its been a good option.
dood mcdoogle
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
Thanks, these are all good options for those who qualify.  There seems to be a decent range of possibilities.
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
Note about MSDN license: That $700 is a one developer license (possibly just what you need), and let's that one developer have as many test systems as they want FOR THEIR USE. Other developers aren't supposed to use those systems, nor may the primary developer use them as anything other than test/debug platforms.

One nice plus of the MSDN license is that you get the checked builds of the various Windows versions as well as the standard builds. Checked builds run slower, but they validate their interactions with drivers and other kernel mode code. Necessary for driver development, but also handy for tracking down mis-behaving drivers that vendors send you.
Michael Kohne Send private email
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
Why stop at testing?  Have you considered the possible use of VMs for software delivery?  Run it on the server via terminal server and you have a thin client without having to limit yourself to a web browser.  Deploy the VM to the client and you are freed of having to worry so much about machine configurations. 

And since, you can run LINIX within a Windows virtual PC, you can build your application running on LINUX, but deploy it to a Windows box.

Another very powerful concept is that the VM itself can be hosted over the Internet.  Only the pixels, key presses, and mouse clicks have to be transmitted to/from the client hardware.  Much better HTML + AJAX.

Monday, March 10, 2008

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