You Can Not View The Windows License Until After You Buy the Software
January 26, 1999
Spurred on by all of the hoopla surrounding New York City's Windows Refund Day [ http://www.netmonger.net/~onr/ny/welcome.html ] and holding my unopened Win 98 cd that came with my ThinkPad, I called up the main Microsoft headquarters in New York (tel 212-245-2100, 825 8th Ave. between 49th and 50th Streets, Manhattan) and asked for a copy of the Microsoft Windows 98 license agreement.
To make a long story short, they did not have it. But I did learn that the office will be open on President's Day, February 15th, 1999.
I looked on the Microsoft Web site and yes they have a huge section about licensing, http://www.microsoft.com/licensing, * BUT * no actual license agreement can be found. It's amusing to see how many pages describe Microsoft licenses, yet the text of the license is unavailable.
I called Microsoft, 800-426-9400, and spoke with a customer service rep who worked very hard to help me find the license on the Web. He could not. I was put on hold and ironically listened to a looping message about white collar crime and software piracy.
While I waited, I checked out the Microsoft online catalog [ http://www.microsoft.com/isapi/referral/results_online.asp?q01=3&r01=354&country=223 ] to buy Windows 98 figuring they would display the license prior to downloading it. But there is no e-commerce catalog. You do click a "shop" [ http://www.microsoft.com/library/images/gifs/toolbar/shop.gif ] button to get there, but it's just a list of online software re-sellers such as PC Zone. I was really surpised to learn that you can not buy software directly from Microsoft.
The rep came back on the phone...
THE REP SAID THAT ACCORDING TO HIS SUPERVISOR (A MICROSOFT EMPLOYEE AT A CALL CENTER IN BELLEVUE, WASHINGTON) THAT "THE USER LICENSE IS A TWO PAGE DOCUMENT THAT THEY ARE NOT ALLOWED TO GIVE OUT UNTIL AFTER THE SOFTWARE IS BOUGHT."
The only place I could find a Microsoft Windows 1998 end-user license [ http://www.linuxmall.com/refund/eula/online032698.html ] was at The Linux Mall [ http://www.linuxmall.com/ ]. Here's the beginning of the first sentence...
END-USER LICENSE AGREEMENT FOR MICROSOFT DESKTOP OPERATING SYSTEMS IMPORTANT-READ CAREFULLY: This End-User License Agreement ("EULA") is a legal agreement between you (either an individual
or a single entity) and the manufacturer
Electric Lichen L.L.C. [ http://www.nylug.org/ ]
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