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Monday,  July 28 12:01 AM EDT

New EULA Program from Microsoft

By Kristian Werner

Redmond, WA - Microsoft announced today the availability of a several services and products relating to their various End User License Agreements or EULA, including monthly subscriptions on DVD.

Microsoft's Herman Warren, Chief EULA Officer, called the DVD subscriptions "the legal equivalent of the MSDN."

"Developers usually have all the resources they require ," said Warren, "but the legal department has so far had a very hard time getting the facts they need. This program will change that."

EULAThe goal of the Microsoft EULA Services Program (MSESP) is to help users better know what they may and may not do with the software, with special emphasis on number of licenses and intended use.

Also announced was two new MCPs, EULA Implementor and EULA Administrator. The "E-Implementor" MCP covers such activities as pre-installation employee background checks, setting up biometric facilities, and linking existing closed-circuit cameras to the Microsoft License Link Network, using .NET technology. The "E-Administrator" MCP covers day-to-day tasks such as drug testing, regular keyboard fingerprinting, and water cooler bug maintenance.

"The interests of your company and the interests of Microsoft are the same," said Warren. "Does a person have a record of substance abuse, CD burning, or flippant remarks? Is he or she likely to leave a computer logged in so other people can use his or her installed applications? Will he or she make copies of anything? Joke about your company or, worse, about Microsoft?"

Subscribers to the MSESP will have access to a special database where they can find whether prospective employees are flagged as Green, Amber, or Red. A Green rating means the user is considered a "low risk" when it comes to casual copying, divulging secrets and "disrespectful behavior." Each confirmed or suspected transgression moves the user towards an Amber or even a Red rating.

Warren described the checks as "very thorough," adding "We are serious about intellectual property rights." Stella Kozlovsky of Kansas City, MO, agreed. "Back in fifth grade I told Mel [Brown] that Jen [Thonklin] had a crush on Brad [Aaronsen]," said Kozlovsky. "Well, apparently Jen now works for Microsoft, because I have an Amber rating, and I've never so much as touched a CD-R."

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Using new AppESP.NET technology, applications will automatically adapt to the security level of the user. A Green user will be able to use all the features, whereas Amber and Red users will have access to a limited subset thereof, and may face additional restrictions. For example, Amber level users will not be able to use macros, and Red level users may only access Microsoft applications if they are using "thin clients," with no floppy drives, CD/DVD writers or external ports.

MSESP requires digital rights management, and will only run on Windows XP. The EULA for the MSESP is available as an interactive DVD or a set of 5 CDs, and can be ordered from your authorized reseller or directly from Microsoft.

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