With the advent of Windows Vista, Microsoft also addressed the issue of the integration of its latest Windows client with virtualization solutions. But from the get-go, the Redmond company took the decision to impose restrictions on the utilization of Vista with emulated hardware systems. In this context, while users were free to implement virtualization technologies in and with the Business, Enterprise and Ultimate editions of
Windows Vista, the same was not the case with Home Basic and Home Premium SKUs. The restrictions were only in terms of the End User License Agreement, without any other limitations, still deploying Vista Home Basic and Home Premium in a virtual machine was equivalent with breaking the license agreement's terms.
Back in 2007, Microsoft justified the move due to the security concerns related with running Vista inside virtualized environments. This is no longer the case. The Vista virtualization doors are now wide opened. At the Microsoft Virtualization Deployment Summit, the Redmond company announced that it was altering the license agreements for Vista Home Basic and Home Premium. As a result of Microsoft's new vision of accelerating the adoption of virtualization technology, the EULA for the Home Basic and Home Premium editions will no longer read: "You may not use the software installed on the licensed device within a virtual (or otherwise emulated) hardware system."
"For businesses, Windows Vista Enterprise Centralized Desktop provides unique licensing and flexibility to run Windows in virtual machines on servers and access them from either PCs or thin clients. The annual subscription to Windows Vista Enterprise Centralized Desktop is now an estimated retail price of $23 per desktop for rich clients covered by Software Assurance for Windows Client. For consumers, Windows Vista Home Basic and Windows Vista Home Premium are now licensed for use in a virtual machine environment".