Some things you just don’t expect when you take on editorship of a leading Apple Mac magazine… like Microsoft popping round to show you the latest build of Windows Vista.

Boot Camp has a lot to answer for…

Windows Vista

For the record I think Vista is a perfectly acceptable operating system that will make the legions of XP users who’ve never used a Mac very happy. Mac users, on the other hand, will find it offers little, if nothing, they haven’t seen before.

But – and like Michelle Mcmanus’ rear-end it’s a big, big but – for something called Windows Geniune Advantage. For readers unfamiliar with my regular ranting this is the system where Vista phones Microsoft and asks for its permission to install…

I pushed Microsoft for some more details on this? The basic premise is “one copy of Vista for one machine”. Every time you buy a new Mac; you buy a new copy of Vista. If your Mac dies and you get a replacement; you buy a new copy of Vista; Got a second Mac? Get another copy of Vista. In fact: just keep buying it again and again…

It gets better…

If you upgrade your computer; Vista considers it a new computer. I’ve heard on the grapevine that this will be after three component upgrades. So, consider this scenario:

• Oh no! My hard drive’s looking a bit full… perhaps I’ll get a new one.
• Wow! That new game looks amazing. I think I’ll get a new graphics card to run it
• Hey! Somebody just invented 9:1 three-dimensional sound that beams directly to the inner ear… time for a new sound card.

Message: “your copy of Vista is not genuine – please buy a new one”

Surely that’s not legal. You’ve paid for it; you have a right to keep using it regardless of whether you’ve bought some new computer kit; or even a whole new computer for that matter.

I sense another European court case looming.

Sometimes I thank the stars I'm a Mac user who has OS X to work with. My PC friends are praying for Linux to become popular and bail them out of this mess… sadly I think they're going to be forced into paying Microsoft over and over again