The first paragraph notes the products whose EULAs this affects. It only
appears to affect some .NET products.
It affects all variants of Visual Studio.NET. Microsoft's Visual Studio
are used by almost everybody writing software on the Windows platform for a
Microsoft's "redistributables" are certain parts of .NET, such as the
that it makes redistributable, albeit under restrictive terms. This is in
same manner that the JDK allows you to redistribute the Java runtime with
program, to ensure that only one version is used to run the program.
This is not all. When you program in the Windows world, you almost always
the MFC library (comparable to Qt in the Linux World) instead of the bare
Win32 API (comparable to XLIB or even the X-Windows protocol). These
are not part of the Windows operating system, so each application has to be
shipped with its own copy of the MFC library. So whenever you install a GUI
program on a Windows machine, the setup has to install a copy of the MFC -
the program will simply not run. Take my word for it. In my daytime job I am
a C++ / Windows programmer.
With VS.NET, Microsoft ships a C++ compiler that is able to generate either
x86 code or IL code, by just setting the /CLR option. MS claim that you
have to recompile your MFC base C++ code, and your application will run
CLR. So this is the migration path that most ISVs with C++ code bases will
They will buy VS.NET, recompile their Windows programs with /CLR and ship
the result as IL code - including the MFC redistributable.
So in a nutshell, VS.NET's license conditions regarding redistributables
the MFC infect every ISV's license conditions. In a few months, all new
that is released by major ISVs has to have a line in its license that the
software is only allowed to run under a Windows operating system - regardles
if it is a native or a CLR application. This makes it illegal for Linux, BSD
or Lindows users to run these applications under Wine, Mono, or DotGNU.
I suppose that they could eventually impose those restrictions on software
developed with the VisualStudio.NET software, and this is a major problem.
That's exactly what they did.
However, I for one am not developing with VS.NET, and I hope that you are
either; quite frankly, giving in to those restrictions is voluntary, and I
no sympathy for those who do, but know better. Also, it is not the job of
to check the license of a program to make sure that it is legal to run.
I wasn't born with a silver spoon in my mouth. I have a wife and a child
to feed and rent to pay. That's why I have to work as a Windows programmer.
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