Here is another link from the past:
2 Why can't I get a decent answer from you ?
3 You're welcome.
Here is another link from the past:
2 Why can't I get a decent answer from you ?
3 You're welcome.
I am a little confused by your posts. I get the feeling you are a rep for BeTwin. If you do work for them please say so and we can have an open and honest debate.
I get the impression you are trying to discredit SoftXpand. But surely in doing so, as with you last link from the past:
You will also discredit your beloved BeTwin system.1 Glad to see I'm not the only one who thought you are misleading...
Here is another link from the past:
Can I ask we take this debate in a new direction? Can we forget software specifics. It doesn't matter if we are talking about nComputing, SoftXPand or BeTwin. Lets start by agreeing that all three systems are very very similar and are fundamentally a good idea.
Regardless of which of the three systems we individually choose to use (if any) the question we should concentrating on is same for each - Windows Licensing and EULA's. To be fair it's not up to SoftXpand, nComputing or BeTwin to answer this question. This is a question for us the end user and Microsoft.
I've clearly stated my position and have provided documented evidence from M$'s EULA's to support my arguments.
My contention remains that the fairest method of licensing this software for schools is 1xOEM + 1xEnterprise Edition Select/Open license per 4 workstation.
I would welcome some official clarification from Microsoft themselves. Until then this si how I choose to interpret the EULA and how I will be licensing such systems I purchase.
Last edited by tmcd35; 3rd July 2009 at 10:50 PM.
verygreenpc (6th July 2009)
I'm only a costumer who bought 20 licenses of BeTwin (10 XP & 10 Vista) and also made all the
check ups you are trying to do, and the result was buying a license per user.
Unless you have academic degree in laws, I think it's wrong that you give MS's EULA as an example
and from there conclude your arguments.
I agree with you that MS should give us the answers, but they'll never do so - why should they ?
So to go on the safe side, I urge you to buy those licenses. There are many more good sides to
those products that on the long run will save you much more money than the cost of another
OS license : TCO, maintanance, network infrastructure, and ofcourse - electricity and electronic waste.
I'm a true believer of those multi-seats systems and got a little irritated by miniframeUK stating they are the first, the best and the only software product in the market. It's simply not true and I had to put an end to it.
Okay, sorry if I jumped off the deep end a little - but I was getting a little annoyed at the x product is better than y product arguments, and which came first. Really it doesn't matter. MiniframeUK (Colin) is plugging his product, it's only to be expected and I take it with a pinch of salt.
You say you licensed each seat - 20 seats. I agree this is the way forward. The question is how did you purchase those licenses? 20 FPP licenses, thats £4000+. 20 OEM licenses, thats £2000+. Or 20 select/open licenses - about £600. And then there are questions with OEM and select/open licenses on their validity in this case. Thus the confusion and arguments here in.
FPP licenses mean this technology is too expensive and a waste of time. OEM licenses is very border line in cost and the other benefits of this tech may sway it. Select/Open licensing makes this tech a complete no brainer!
You don't need a Law Degree to read a EULA and draw conclusions from it. And the MS EULA, if legally binding (and there are some good arguments why it may not be), is the only source to draw from on this topic. It's the EULA that tells us if we are allowed to do this or not. Therefor reading and drawing conclusions from the EULA is the only way to get to the bottom of this without either
a) a definitive statement from Microsoft
b) a civil case being brought to test either the validity or meaning of the EULA
Quite frankly I have more chance of winning the lottery than either of those happening and so I am left with EULA and my interpretation of it. If my interpretation is wrong Microsoft are free to sue me and a civil court will make a ruling.
I also believe that the only 'safe' way of licensing is to air on the side of caution... you cannot assume that these softwares get around the 'device issue'. If you turned around to MS and told them you were running multiple instances of XP in VMs on a single physical host so that multiple users could connect, they wwould simply tell you to buy the correct number of licenses. IMHO this is the same situation to what is being discussed.
I think that the only way to resolve this grey area is for Softxpand (or a similar company) to follow the same path as Citrix and become a MS partner. Paying MS for the right to alter their software in this way is the only way to get a definitive answer. I'm not a fan of MS licensing but I do believe that a company building it's product around the MS operating systems should pay for the right.
verygreenpc (7th July 2009)
Now since it's an End User agreement, it's up to us the End User to make sure we keep within the terms and conditions of the agreement we've accepted. It's not up to any third party to do that for us. If Microsoft do not like our interpretation of the agreement then they have a legal remedy to take against us.
As NM's it's up to us to interpret the EULA and not blindly trust the advice of the third party software companies. It may be they are giving correct advice, but we have to make sure for ourselves. This includes Citrix. Citrix advice me on how meny CALs they believe I need to use their product, It's up to me to make sure and buy the correct number of CALs. If I don't Micrsofts problem is with me not Citrix.
For Windows XP this is the entire debate. nComputing clearly use a hardware device to communicate with extra RDP session. SoftXPand and BeTwin on the other hand don't. I have 1 computer with 1 extended display and 5 usb keyboards plugged in.I also believe that the only 'safe' way of licensing is to air on the side of caution... you cannot assume that these softwares get around the 'device issue'. If you turned around to MS and told them you were running multiple instances of XP in VMs on a single physical host so that multiple users could connect, they wwould simply tell you to buy the correct number of licenses. IMHO this is the same situation to what is being discussed.
SoftXpand would argue, and I am beginning to agree, that no additional device are being connected. In my mind SoftXpand/BeTwin have more in common with a split screen multiplayer game than multiple RDP sessions.
The question here is the definition of the word "device". I could find nothing clear in the EULA for XP. And so unless Microsoft make this definition clear, only a court can answer the question.
This ambiguity only exits in the XP EULA. The Vista EULA clearly states 'One User' at a time - clause 2b. So without additional licenses using SoftXpand on VISTA is against the terms of the EULA.
I like this idea. It's certainly one way to start putting this to bed. So Miniframe, you want to lead the way? Go on, apply to become an MS partner and tell us how you get on.I think that the only way to resolve this grey area is for Softxpand (or a similar company) to follow the same path as Citrix and become a MS partner. Paying MS for the right to alter their software in this way is the only way to get a definitive answer. I'm not a fan of MS licensing but I do believe that a company building it's product around the MS operating systems should pay for the right.
Last edited by tmcd35; 4th July 2009 at 07:34 AM.
Hey Terry, you are the voice of reason, thanks for your understanding of the solution. I'll update everyone as to what is happening as soon as I can. I'll try and coincide it with the launch of SoftXpand 3 and our rebrand. Anyone on EduGeek who has SoftXpand already will be able to upgrade to the latest version for free.
I recall the promises of dear Miniframe from three month ago, and wanted to know if they were fulfilled.
Checking on MiniFrame's web site, they don't support Windows 7 nor Server 2008 with their new SoftXpand 3. The only OS they do support it's Windows XP Pro 32 bit.
On the other hand, Thinsoft supports now fully Windows 7 and Server 2008 (32 & 64 bit) with
their BeTwin and WinConnect products.
Colin, What kind of excuse would you give now ?
Sorry for the lack of response. We had a bout of the pig flu, and also launched SoftXpand in Scotland at the Scottish Learning Festival, and to the Contact Centre Market at the Call Centre Expo. We recently won the Dell Technology Innovation of the Year Award too, and have had to present to the UK Government CIO.
Remember SoftXpand is a classic desktop virtualisation solution, often referred to us as Ultra thin, not a server based Thin client computing solution. I regret that the Windows 7 version is in beta and I don't expect a release of this in 2009.
As previously stated we posted Microsofts official response that 1 copy of the Operating System was all that was required. However, with many schools, they've been sending accross their volume license codes and activation CDs for licensing which we've been using to build their multiseat computers. This seems to have circumvented the operating system licensing issue to a large extent.
Most software products will allow all users to open and edit different documents at the same time, using the same program. Users who intend to run the software products concurrently are advised to review the Software Products' End User License Agreement.
We've been checking out the BeTwin products and had them in the office. We are impressed by the product range, just not the performance.
Apart from the licensing issue, is anyone using Softxpand? If so have you experienced any problems with it running our wonderful education software, do you need to buy a super expensive pc to run it? With a small budget we can't afford to buy anything that may end up not the value for money and the environment that we thought it was.
This is a request for honest feedback as I'm pretty sure I'll be asked about it soon at school
chrbb (11th November 2009)
We've had a few teething problems due to incompatibilities with out student GPO's. But since sorting that out it's been fine. The teacher and students in that room don't realise it's one PC - they think there are four seperate stations - which I class as a success. So far no issues with software.
I have two minor reservations. There's a 10 second timer that can be disturbed during PC boot up, this gives you a chance as an admin to boot the PC normally instead of running the SoftXpans system. Or gives students a chance of stopping the boot process, grrr. The previous version booted to a normal logon screen and autostarted SoftXpand if you didn't logon from there within 5-10sec. Which was better.
The other question is licensing. Especially with my reading of the Windows 7 EULA. Although I personally feel Enterprise Edition should cover for 4 licenses inc virtualisation, the EULA does seem to suggest only one user at a time.
We are seeing how this test PC in SEN works over the next term. We'll see how the land lays come Easter when we are due to do the next suite upgrade.
Edit: We are also testing nComputing in our Library. So far nComputing, with it's hardware solution, does seem the easier and better to set up. However SoftXpands upgrades, roadmap and generally very good support trump nComputing everytime. nComputing's hardware solution with SoftXpands development and support teams would be ideal!
Last edited by tmcd35; 10th November 2009 at 10:26 PM.
For the hardware solution, a SoftXpand ecoware inside 6 user PC with Windows XP should be around the £1,200 SRP from the VAR network.
Terry (aside from Oriel) is the only end user in the world currently running SoftXpand 3.0 RC in a live environment. This was a slip on my part I'm afraid so I'll take the slapped wrists. Terry the full version will be with you next week I'm told by the development team.
Liked your comment about the hardware solution, it's something we're examining in real detail (although next week's SoftXpand 3.0 should be plug and play) and hope to make some announcements early Q1 next year.
In fact let's put it out there. How would you guys prefer it? An integrated proprietary access device, monitor or complete workstation (monitor, keyboard, mouse) or software only using off the shelf usb hub and components? Or a choice of both?
If anyone needs to find a school near them with SoftXpand let me know and I'll see if I can put you in touch.
Sorry same question again a few months on and post Bett trip
Is anyone using this successfully in a primary school in the ICT suite? We have a suite of 23 computers that will need replacing this year and next, going to have to replace half this year and remaining half next year. The thought of needing 4 new and softxpand or a similar software setup is making me wonder if my plan of replacing current desktops with like is the right idea. However with a very limited budget if I make the wrong choice we have to live with for 4 years
Please can any schools (or any that you know of) that are using the system please give me honest opinions, I've had the sales talk now need the feedback
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