Admins: I've just noticed that miniframeuk has been banned! It's gonna make it difficult for them to address my licensing concerns in the above post. Are you able to divulge the basic reason - is it because they are selling a product?
More importantly (as I do need answers to my licensing questions) does the 'send member an e-mail' option still work to banned users?
For any substantial piece of video being edited I should have thought disk performance would be the main problem as four video editing applications all trying to access the same harddrive is going to cause problems. I'm guessing you could probably keep a bunch of YouTube-style video in memory if you had enough RAM (8GB+), and with your system the multiple graphics cards should handle most of the processing load involved in decoding video.Video Editing is not a problem. However... I say that but I do know if you have 6 users editing at the same time, the system will slow down, and the CPU usage will reach a maximum level.
Okay, so what is it, how does it work, then? I assume your system waits until Windows is loaded into RAM then clones it (or parts of it) in some fashion?You'll discover that SoftXpand is not a classic desktop 'virtualisation' product, not a PC, and not a thin client.
There is only ever 1 copy of Windows actually physically running. The system exploits the ability to have multiple USB input devices and extended desktop displays. You install Windows as normal and extend the display across all screens. The software then 'cuts' the extended display into individual workstations and maps the input devices accordingly.Okay, so what is it, how does it work, then? I assume your system waits until Windows is loaded into RAM then clones it (or parts of it) in some fashion?
dhicks (20th May 2009)
UPDATE: (for anyone viewing this thread in the future)
Vista Enterprise License cost approx £37. So if you're a building one of these systems for 6-8 users then you should add £100 for the OEM OS + 2x £37 for the Virtual instances + £15 for the media (if you don't have it already). Total £190 on top of the base hardware costs to (in theory) be OS License complient.
I like those figures. On that bases it is a cheaper solution than 30 individual PC's. And I'm happy to go ahead with my tests.
Does anyone from Microsoft read these forums? I'd be interested in hearing M$'s official words on the subject. Are we limited to how we use the four VM licenses in the Enterprise Edition that would disallow this use?
Hi Terry, Hey Dave,
I hope you guys are well. I got unbanned last week by the owner of EduGeek, a proper class act of a man who appreciated where we were coming from. The banning process is an anonymous one, and the reasons given were that I had made a sales attempt. It's true I did. Linkazoid is investing in 200 small form factor HPs and I asked if I could quote, he said yes, asked for some pricing, I did, and then woosh IP address banned!
I'm catching up with the questions raised and although I'm not sure how to "quote" which you guys do really well, I'll try and organise the answers in chronological order:
Windows Vista Licensing
The Sheffield University Law department commented that the Vista EULA was deliberately contradictory and as such unenforceable. This won't give you much of a comfort factor but, SoftXpand is not compatible with Windows Vista. However for the most part we agree with the majority of your comments. The focus rested on "Multiplexing". We do not consider SoftXpand to be a Multiplexer. In fact we believe this definition to relate to competitors of the Multipoint software from M$. Also no access devices are used to share the operating system session. The OS is unlocked to allow sharing to take place on the same system independent of one another.
Windows Operating System
My question to anyone on this board is, could you get M$ to publically state that a Multiseat Computer requires multiple operating system licenses? One of our M$ Gold partners had the response below from Jackie Elleker, Licensing Specialist at M$:
"Jackie: We have a product that allows a normal PC to present multiple (up to 6) desktops via multiple mice, keyboards and screens. It means that the operating system (e.g. windows) is installed only once on that PC device. If the licence is purchased in per device mode does this mean that the PC is licenced correctly with one licence? Best regards, Mike"
"Hi Mike, Apologies for the delay – I hope these answers help you. Desktop Operating Systems – per copy per device license. You must acquire a license for each device on or from which you access or use the software (locally and remotely). You may install only one copy on the device. You may install that copy on the host operating system or in a virtual (or otherwise emulated) hardware system." Which means that 1 copy of the OS is all that's required. Best regards, Jackie.
And in response to an article by Tim Anderson entitled "It’s cheap, it’s green, but is it legal?":
Microsoft comment on Miniframe licensing:
"According to Microsoft's license agreement, each added work station represents a new way of interacting with the software. As such, using hardware and software to effectively extend a single license to cover multiple users is a clear violation of this agreement. We urge customers to stay clear of this as they run the risk of non-compliance.
We have informed SoftXpand that this is the case and are currently working with them to rectify the situation"
Michala Wardell, head of licensing and anti-piracy, Microsoft UK
Response from MiniFrame.
"For good order sake and clarity, MiniFrame has not been approached by either Michala Wardell or by any other Microsoft representative. We are therefore obviously not working with them on any licensing issues, as being claimed by Michala Wardell.
MiniFrame has a very clear third party licensing policy: each EULA (End User Licensing Agreement) of any third party software provider should be respected by users, and with no exception to Microsoft.
Virtualization has become mainstream, and I'm sure that licensing issues are being considered by all industry players, as well as by Microsoft, trying to shape a new model of licensing (EULA). The true challenge, in my opinion, is to bring a win-win situation for all players, i.e. software providers and customers.
Furthermore, as leaders of multi user software only solutions, we are fully aware of the new questions that are arising due to the development of virtualization solutions.
Therefore, as MiniFrame’s CEO, I’d be pleased to discuss new licensing models with Microsoft that would benefit both MiniFrame and Microsoft customers."
Eli Segal, CEO, MiniFrame.
This was prior to entering into a dialogue ourselves with M$. Unfortunately I am simply unable to provide further details from M$ at this stage, but as soon as we can we shall. In the end, the case can be argued either way and regularly is. We appreciate this, and whilst we have the above information from Jackie at M$ we shall continue to suggest 1 copy of the OS. The discussions being held are between M$ Head Office & MiniFrame Head Office, so I'm not taking much of an active role in this.
I accept your argument for Windows Server 2008, and it works, however it's unnecessary. Over 1,000 new MCs are deployed each month in the UK, all with M$ Windows XP.
Dave commented that you'd need Windows Vista Enterprise with software assurance to allow for additional copies of the OS to be used. We have had this response from M$ too which would mean 1 copy of the OS still.
So..... I will try and push the mother ship to get another comment in writing from M$, & anyone here can do likewise too. In the UK, no M$ employees have ever actually come to see the product despite numerous attempts to invite them. Also not one sale worldwide has been made whereby multiple copies of the OS were sold, Windows Server was used instead, or CALs were purchased.
Terry is doing his best to clarify the situation, & so are we. With SoftXpand only 1 copy of the OS is required per Multiseat Computer.
I am convinced that M$ use these forums. I extend you an invitation right now to put clients at ease on the licensing of the OS with Multiseat Computing.
Dave, I noticed you posted some more great questions. After the Channel Expo, we've been hammered with interest in the product, as Ncomputing advertised there last year. As such benchmark testing is happening as I write. It appeared that alot of businesses invested in Ncomputing last year only to find that the solution wasn't what it had been sold to them as. This doesn't mean I'm binning you off with your like for like tests as you appear to be like the voice of the forum and are trusted by the guys and gals on here. The truth is I was trying to fit your suggestion into our current ways of working. Typically we loan a pre specced unit to a keen prospect for 30 days - we know the solution outperforms similar products so would be willing to lend one of ours against one of "theirs" etc. This means we have quite a few units out there, which is why we sell via resellers, as they know their local markets better than we here in the Derbyshire Dales ever will! So I think I'll need to go back to the drawing board for your testing. I can guarantee you a 6 user MC from us to test side by side agaiunst Userful & Ncomputing though, and we do offer a free download for you to use against your current set ups? The link for you guys is here Download SoftXpand This is typically enough to provide you with all you need to know.
To members of the forum who are reading this to gain closure on the licensing, 1 copy of Windows is required per Multiseat Computer and I'll do my best to get M$ to re-confirm this again.
Last edited by verygreenpc; 27th May 2009 at 05:42 PM.
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