[Distutils] Call for information - What assumptions can I make about Unix users' access to Windows?

Steve Dower Steve.Dower at microsoft.com
Fri Nov 7 18:05:47 CET 2014

Ben Finney wrote:
> Paul Moore <p.f.moore at gmail.com> writes:
>> To that end, I'd like to get an idea of what sort of access to Windows
>> a typical Unix developer would have. […] Ideally, a clean Windows 7 or
>> later virtual machine is the best environment, but I don't know if
>> it's reasonable to assume that.
> It's difficult to say what “a typical Unix developer” is. But a significant use
> case is going to be “no legal access to any MS Windows instance”.
> The restrictions of the license terms make MS Windows an unacceptable risk on
> any machine I'm responsible for.

Just out of interest, which restrictions would those be? I may be able to raise them with one of our lawyers and get some clarification.

> It has been many years since I've even had a colleague who has a MS Windows
> instance, and I am not sure where I'd go for one if the need arose.
> If I was required to provide packages for MS Windows, the only viable solutions
> would be those that don't involve me obtaining an MS Windows instance myself.

Does this prevent you from creating a VM on a cloud provider on your own account? As far as Microsoft Azure is concerned, this is well within the license restrictions (at least for Windows Server right now), and all providers giving you access to Windows should be bundling in a license fee, which makes it about as legit as possible. Simply giving you "share time" on someone else's copy of Windows is much more of a grey area as far as licensing is concerned.

If the licensing is a real issue, I'm in a position where I can have a positive impact on fixing it, so any info you can provide me (on- or off-list) about your concerns is valuable.


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