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Old 18. Aug 2013, 03:33 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: New Zealand
Posts: 1,741

It's a difficult situation. Even if you buy a second-hand disk the seller is likely to be breaking their EULA so you may not get a legitimate disk that way either.

Legally it is clear that consumer end-users don't have many options once Microsoft and vendors no longer provide install disks. This leaves you in a kind of black hole where you may not be able to comply with the EULA to get a legitimate Windows install disk. This happens because Microsoft's Support Lifecycle Policy makes it clear that support for consumer versions Windows (e.g. XP Home) only runs for 5 years or 2 years after the next major product release. Windows 7, rather than Windows Vista, is taken to be the replacement for Windows XP. That's why Windows XP Home mainstream support ended on 14 April 2009.

The problem is that most of us rely on extended support which is explicitly stated is for users of business and developer products. That's why the consumer install CDs stop being available well before extended support ends, which for Windows XP is on 8 April 2014.

In practice, many people resolve the problem by taking a moral position that Microsoft has failed to provide adequate support so they are morally entitled to do it themselves and create or use any install disk they want. Most people wouldn't do it if they thought Microsoft would pursue legal remedies.

The most legitimate solution to the problem is to upgrade to a fully supported version of Windows such as 7 or 8.
Better to light a candle ... than to curse the darkness.

Last edited by Remah; 18. Aug 2013 at 03:39 AM. Reason: Add last paragraph
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