Can you help me with my software licensing question?
In the Windows 7 RC EULA, what is meant by "use ... in a live operating environment"?
I don't know if I am "in a live operating environment" or not. Has anyone encountered this question before?
In response to fretje, what would a "live environment" for a student at university be? Then, I probably shouldn't install it, "test" whether or not Office 2007 Home and Student installs ok, and then start blogging with it, posting to SO, and watching streaming anime pretty much daily? Should I not write emails to professors and type my term papers from within Windows 7?
Response: Thank you all for your wonderful responses so far. Many of you are hitting on the exact gem of why I ask this question: I hadn't tried Windows 7 yet, but it seemed like everyone was doing it, so I might as well, too. Hey, a new OS that's good 'til March, free? OK! But then I read the EULA, and it forbids running in a live operating environment. Where were all these success stories, and raves and reviews coming from? Most that I read seemed not to be coming from "solely for testing compatibility for upgrade path" machines. Sure, NVIDIA is testing rolling out their drivers, but this seems like a big gray area. If I make business contacts through email while utilizing the Windows 7 UI to organize my contacts, am I using Windows for business? I don't think anyone really knows.
It seems that there are plenty of scenarios which definitely fall off of the "not live environment end", and into the "definitely live environment" description:
Running a Web server such as IIS or others, especially if including Web applications, as an always-on, public, consumer-serving full-fledged server.
Deploying Windows 7 across the office onto X number of workstations to go about serious business.
Likewise, there are many innocent, harmless scenarios that seem pretty safely covered by the terms of the EULA:
Installing Windows 7. Period. Do the drivers work? Can I install my hardware? What is the install process like? etc. etc.
Developing software on a licensed Windows (not 7), and testing the installers on Windows 7.
Developing software on Windows 7. And not distributing it.
And, um... well, I'm not sure anymore...
I review my own experiences of Windows 7 "cool UI", and I post screenshots to a blog. And/or I happen to generate traffic revenue from the blog.
I evaluate how my work flow will be compared to "normal". I install Office, and I talk to my friends, family, and hey, maybe job interviews with VoIP. It shuts down next year by itself anyway. No matter what I do, that's got to be covered under evaluation use, right?
See? See the gray area? See how big it can get? Whew..