Tone Southerland

I am interested in the Action Pack. I understand that it comes with the Vista upgrade, not the full edition. I do not have 10 licensed copies of XP Pro to upgrade from. So does that mean I will need to purchase a licensed copy of XP Pro for each machine that I want to put the Action Pack upgrade version of Vista on

Re: Action Pack Question

Tone Southerland

I received an answer from Microsoft via email and it stated that I will receive the full Version of Vista Business.

Re: Action Pack Question

Anthony Brown

Here in the UK we got the upgrade version, it doesn't even ask for an XP CD to verify, IT INSISTS ON BEING INSTALLED FROM AN INSTALL OF XP !!!

Needless to say we're pissed off, having already paid for the action pack subscription I have to go out tomorrow and buy licences for XP (for laptops and pc's which can't run Vista) and Vista (to save the grief of installing and patching XP just to install Vista, for new pc's)

That's a great way for Microsoft to treat their partners.

Re: Action Pack Question


Needless to say, almost 6 years in the making, and when Vista does release, we get upgrades only


As an oem system builder, how are we to prepare, test, evaluate, etc

Given the fact that MS raised its action pack prices by 50% two years ago, we¡¯re seriously wondering if it¡¯s worth the price. I haven¡¯t looked yet, but if Office 2007 is an upgrade only, then this 2007 action pack release was a complete waste of money. $400.00 a year, waiting 6 years, and all we get are upgrades Really, there hasn¡¯t been anything new since 2003 anyway. I have to ask myself, were these upgrades, and the six year wait worth $2400.00

MS really dropped the ball here, and angered/ offended all of us on this one. Even if they correct this, it¡¯ll be months before we see it. You have to ask, who's making these kinds of decisions I hope it wasn't the guy who came up with the name "Zune"

All of us here are Microsoft people; we love this company, if not, we'd be Mac users. We're saddened to see the direction its headed. But you have to wonder, does Microsoft love us Hardly.

I can't tell you how many people a day are asking about Apple computers since i-Pod came out. Just wait, I keep telling them, Vista's coming. Well, I hope its not too late. Doubtful anyone under 30 wants a PC now-a-days.

I fear Microsoft is looking more and more like IBM did a decade ago, just before they faded into the background, then sold the PC division to China. Geez, between Google and Apple, the pressure on us is enormous; and now this.

Re: Action Pack Question


The idea of providing upgrades in the Action Pack is ridiculous, the ammount of time it takes to install XP just to meet this requirement shows what Microsoft really thinks about it's partner's and how it values our time. For most Action Pack users I imagine that they will be buying or building new PCs due to the beefier requirements of Vista. I only hope it doesn't require SP2. (I am doing an XP build on a new PC as I type this).

Well this was well thought out, my renewal isn't for a few months, I guess I'll see what they do to fix this idiocy.

Re: Action Pack Question


Don't even think about NOT renewing!

Like Tony Soprano said, "Once you're in this family, there's no gettin' out".

Be prepared for all kinds of nasty, threatening letters from the Microsoft legal team. Think they¡¯re not tough Heck, they regularly beat the US, as well as other governments with ease.

According to the agreement, if you do not renew, you¡¯re obligated to un-install any of the licenses used by the action pack. Sounds fair enough right Only catch is, they will threaten to show up at your door, unannounced; home, office, wherever, and audit any and all computers for ¡°unlicensed software use.¡± I heard its worse than an IRS audit.

By the same token, anyone can go ahead and buy oem software, legally, all over the Internet. Oh, it will have to come with a ¡°qualifying piece of hardware¡±, so they¡¯ll send you a CD ROM audio cable.

It¡¯s a shame, those that play by the rules, like us who pay year in and year out, are always the ones most exploited.

Re: Action Pack Question



Although the DVD says "upgrade" you can boot from the DVD and do a clean install of Vista Business, which I've done on 3 different PCs so far (new ASUS P5B, 3 yr old ECS 741GX which is a very wimpy machine in general, and 1 new Dell Latitude D620 laptop).

It has recognized all hardware, SATA RAID, etc, without incident. It has been very good about sensing the availability of updated drivers via WindowsUpdate.

My hope is that we'll be able to get some of the Home versions through Action Pack because the Parental Controls in those versions (absent in Business) are very nice for home use (aka "research").

Chris Kyhl

Re: Action Pack Question


Many of the issues you raise about action pack have been answered on my blog at

Upgrades - yes to the OS (as you should have an OEM or FPP OS for any machine that is running Windows) and way too many people were selling or mis-buying Action Pack. Office - no, not an upgrade although due to an error the Project disk is, but providing older media should fix that.

Other questions, such as how to do a clean install with upgrade media and not break the license agreement etc are all covered on the blog.



Re: Action Pack Question


Hello again JF,

yes the agreement does say you need to uninstall the Action Pack software if you let the agreement lapse. That has always been the joys of subscription services and this is no different to any other ones. As for the legal letters etc... I've not heard of anyone getting any form of theatening letters for leaving the Action Pack community.

Many of the audits you describe, which can be thorough are not in any way carried out or requested by Microsoft. For example, FAST carries out its own audits (in the USA, look at BSA or SIIA). While Microsoft is a sponsor (SIIA membership is listed at and included both commercial and open source companies), so is almost every other software house in the industry because no software house want piracy. I remember a statistic that something like 70-80% of all FAST audits were started by an employee who "shopped" their (sometimes former) employer.

On the qualifying piece of hardware, we have changed the rules - a cable or mouse no longer qualify. I will get the legal definition back to scratch (I have not actively worked in the system builders community in Microsoft for 9 months now), however OEM is tied to the CPU and Motherboard. Microsoft wants System Builders to not have to deal with illegal copies of our OS - one such example was the illegal purchase and use of Action Packs to reduce the need for legal OEM licenses.

This has been fixed, much to the upset of many partners, by replacing the OEM DVD with Upgrade media. You can still achieve a clean install, build demo systems, practise OEM installs with this media, you just can't activate it as a finished system without having started the solution with a qualifying previous OS.

Finally, as you say, those of you who play by the rules do suffer, but not in just the way you have stated. Having a competitor of yours who sells PCs with an OS on that they have only paid for the Action Pack on (so 80% discount) is not fair to you either as it makes it much hard to compete with them(and yes we have LOTS of incidents of that happening). This means that while the Action Pack changes will mean that your inhouse PCs might take a little longer to build, your business should not face competition from the cheats that used to use the Action Pack to undercut you.

In the short and long run this should make things better for you, not worse.

As always, if you disagree, you have to contact your regional support center to log a complaint - that way Microsoft can register the dis-satisfaction and consider further options.



Re: Action Pack Question


You certainly present an ardent defense of your employer David; you are an attorney right At least that¡¯s the way it seems by your comments. I thought this forum was intended to be an open and honest discussion of the issues and challenges that face us on a daily basis

When you say ¡°On the qualifying piece of hardware, we have changed the rules - a cable or mouse no longer qualify¡± you¡¯ve pretty much lost your integrity. We have customers walk in the door frequently with oem and academic software purchased over the Internet. To deny that is easily and openly available is just plain dishonest, and something we've been complaining about for more than a few years. That too has fallen on deaf ears.

I¡¯m sorry David, but if I had thought we¡¯d be getting corporate responses, I wouldn¡¯t have wasted my time. It seems as if the term ¡°partner¡± when it comes to MS has as much value as does calling a cashier with Wal-Mart an ¡°associate¡±. What a shame. We were the ones, the ground troops if you will, who in the nineties converted tens of millions of small and medium sized business; law firms, accounting firms, insurance companies, etc. from Novel networks - at no small expense I might add, to Microsoft networks and software.

Bottom line here is I fear our comments, our requests; our needs are nothing more than an exercise in complete futility. Sad.

Thanks anyway.

Re: Action Pack Question


I'm going to reply to my own reply because my previous post was incomplete...

As most everyone knows by now, you can do a clean install with the upgrade disk, but it requires installing the O/S twice (once without a key and a second time with the key). However, this is a violation of the software license.

Sorry for the confustion.


Re: Action Pack Question


So... if I understand these posts the DVD that was sent through the Action Pack is ONLY Vista 32bit

Re: Action Pack Question


Sounds fair enough right Only catch is, they will threaten to show up at your door, unannounced; home, office, wherever, and audit any and all computers for ¡°unlicensed software use.¡± I heard its worse than an IRS audit.

Funny thing about America. Noone has the right to enter your property without your permission or a court order.

Otherwise, you can shoot them.

I highly doubt MS is auditing anyone.

Furthermore, it is action pack. Therefore you arent supposed to use these for any type of real work. So why would you need to install 10 of them 2 should suffice for any kind of "back and forth" you would need to handle.

Furthermore, If you install a "development only edition" ontop of a paid for subscription I think you are asking for trouble.

It is possible that they grab the key from the version you upgraded from and nullify it. I am unsure how else you would use this.

It seems to me that people are using it like it is "real purchased and owned software" that is not the intent. While I agree that the upgrade is a poor idea. I dont see how MS could every audit anyone, minus disgruntled employees leaving the company and reporting that company.

I also agree that there need to be more to these kits, and that upgrades are in poor taste.

Is it possible they have both versions on 1 disk like the original XP beta

1 Upgrade and 1 Install.