Windows ThinPC Licensing improvements

Simon Bramfitt found out that the licensing terms for Windows ThinPC have been loosened up a little.

In May when Microsoft offered up the release candidate for Windows Thin PC (TPC), I summarized my impressions by suggesting that while WinTPC

could be the preferred Windows platform for a significant number of enterprises … [it] has been encumbered with a licensing agreement that is absolutely hostile to adoption by anyone.

According to the WinTPC FAQ that was published along with the release candidate, you could only run applications that fell into the following categories:

  • Remote desktop clients
  • Management
  • Security
  • Media Players

Which meant that with the exception of Internet Explorer, which Microsoft would have us believe is not an application but a part of the operating system, all browsers are excluded from the list of permitted applications. At the same time, users of document readers such as Adobe’s Acrobat Reader as well as users of the Adobe Flash platform were also going to be out of luck. Which I think I justified calling it out as being hostile to adoption.

Well, good news! It looks like somewhat at Microsoft thought so too. The new edition of the Microsoft Product Use Rights (July 2011) has updated its terms to allow the following types of applications to be used:

  • Security
  • Management
  • Terminal emulation
  • Remote Desktop clients and similar technologies
  • Web browsers
  • Media players
  • Instant messaging clients
  • Document viewers
  • NET Framework and the Java Virtual Machine


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