Virtualization Preference
I read Paul Thurrott's article, "What You Need to Know About Hyper-V 2.0," (November 2009, InstantDoc ID 102764), in which he maintains that Hyper-V 2.0 offers "an environment that’s nearly as mature and full-featured as anything offered by VMware." Has Paul ever looked at VMware's offerings? Where are Hyper-V's distributed switches? How about fault-tolerant virtual machines (VMs)? Can Hyper-V support the installation of the Cisco Nexus 1000V to provide port-to-port management of virtual traffic? Does Hyper-V offer the advanced resource scheduling and pooling that vSphere does?

Both products are worthy of consideration, but to say that they're nearly the same is bewildering. Just because both products have a live VM migration option and can cluster doesn't make them nearly equivalent. That would be like saying a Kia is nearly the same as a Lexus because they both have engines and four tires. I've been a loyal Windows IT Pro subscriber since the late 1990s. This article and the shrinking size of the magazine will be contributing factors in my decision to renew the subscription.
—Brad Kulick

I've looked at VMware's offerings, and you're right: They're more full-featured and mature than Microsoft's. But that doesn't mean they're always the better choice. One obvious advantage of Microsoft's approach is that Hyper-V is provided for free as part of the base OS, thus democratizing the functionality and opening it up to a much wider audience than the high-end enterprises that will benefit from the features you mention. As long as you don't mind paying to play in its sandbox—paying a lot, in many cases—VMware does offer more. These days, of course, that's not always an easy sell. And for the growing upswell of small-to-midsized businesses (SMBs) that will soon mark the mainstream server virtualization market, that's arguably a more important consideration.
—Paul Thurrott

Regarding the size of the magazine, I have good news for readers. We're committed to delivering a robust print magazine and have made a commitment to add more editorial pages to
Windows IT Pro in 2010. The December 2009 issue reflected our increased folio, and you’ll see a fatter magazine in your mailbox from this point forward.
—Amy Eisenberg


Preview PDFs in Outlook
I subscribe to the Tips & Tricks UPDATE newsletter, and just want to thank John Savill for a killer tip ("My PDF files don't preview correctly under 64-bit versions of Windows. How do I fix this?" Instant Doc ID 103038) I was frustrated that when running Windows 7 64-bit—or even Windows Vista 64-bit before that—I couldn't preview PDFs in Outlook 2007 as I could with 32-bit versions of the OS. John’s tip saved the day. I can now preview PDFs in Outlook 2007 without opening them! Now, if John can just tell me how to make the PDF preview work for Windows Explorer, I’ll be set!
—Jim Madaffer

The Virtues of R2
I read John Savill’s article "New Active Directory Features in Windows Server 2008 R2" (November 2009, InstantDoc ID 102483). It couldn’t have come at a better time: I'm preparing to test R2. This excellent article helped me decide to migrate from Windows Server 2003 R2 SP2 to Server 2008 R2 instead of just Server 2008, which I have been contemplating for some time. Thank you!
—Jeff C. Watts

Legal Windows 7 Upgrades
In response to Paul Thurrott’s commentary, “Microsoft: If You Use Windows 7 Upgrade Media to Do a Clean Install, You Could Be Breaking the Law” (WinInfo Short Takes, November 2, 2009, InstantDoc ID 103057), I thought I would share my experience. I installed Windows 7 Professional clean on two computers by using the RTM Ultimate download from Windows Connect with the "delete ei.cfg" hack. I then re-armed twice until I received the two copies of Windows 7 Professional Upgrade I ordered during the half-price sale.

Now for the surprising part: Before messing around with installing over an existing installation, I tried something I didn’t think would work—I went to Control Panel, System, Change Product Key and entered the keys from the upgrades. Lo and behold, both computers churned away for about a minute and successfully activated. Go figure.
—Bob Benedetti

Paul Thurrott states that "virtually every single PC user owns a previous version of Windows (Vista or XP) and thus qualifies for any upgrade version of Windows 7 and can install it any way they want, as long as they do so on the PC on which the previous version of Windows was installed and activated." I believe that statement is incorrect. The Windows 7 Upgrade EULA doesn't require that the upgrade be performed on the same PC that contained the previous version of Windows. In fact, paragraph 17 of the Upgrade EULA explicitly states that "you may transfer the software and install it on another computer for your use."

But what if the previous version was an OEM version? Doesn't the OEM EULA prohibit transfer to another PC? Paragraph 15 of the Windows 7 EULA explicitly states that "upon upgrade, this agreement takes the place of the agreement for the software you upgraded from." In other words, the Windows 7 EULA now overrides the OEM EULA. And, as we noted before, the Windows 7 EULA explicitly allows transfer to another PC.

So, to legally upgrade to Windows 7, all you have to do is own some old PC with Windows XP legally installed on it (it doesn't even have to work). You can then upgrade and transfer Windows 7 to any other PC. In fact, even if you had an old XP PC and threw out the hardware because it stopped working, you could use your old XP license to upgrade as long as you kept proof that you own a legal license. Nothing in the Windows 7 EULA requires that you own any hardware. All that's required is that "you must first be licensed for the software that is eligible for the upgrade."

I completely agree with Paul when he says, "I don't need Microsoft's approval, because the details are spelled out quite nicely in the Windows 7 EULA." It doesn't matter what Microsoft says. Windows 7 upgraders have rights under the EULA, including some rights they might not even know about. There is a lot of misinformation around. Please help publicize these rights.
—Alan Leow