My Windows world is totally virtual. My company Eigenworks runs mostly Macs, but we have VMWare Fusion Virtual Machines for various purposes. Just the other day, for instance, I needed to do some detailed pipeline analysis for a Win/Loss client, and needed to fire up a Windows-only app.
I now keep a few VMs on my machine for different purposes. I have one small, bare-bones VM, one VM with essential apps installed, and one huge VM that has a lot of stuff installed … I don’t restrict what I install there. Then I keep “virgin” copies of the VMs on a backup drive, and if something goes wrong, I simply blow away the wonky VM and restore it to its virgin state.
Something about having Windows run in a “window” is very satisfying. I sometimes wish I could virtualize other things in my life, like some of the people. But I digress.
What about licensing? Vendors who write software that is commonly run in virtual machines have a tough challenge, and there are various solutions for that. (A decent article about the issue is here.)
But my question is more about trialware for single end-users. Once upon a time I managed a product line (which we created here, then rebranded here, until it was acquired), that ran mostly on developer workstations on Windows. We had 30-day trial licenses, which could be managed easily because we were able to place a marker on the computer to disallow a user from reinstalling a trial.
That was in the days of physical machines running Windows. What happens now when anyone can simply clone a VM and start again?
Are you dealing with this problem? What do you do about it? Does it really matter, since most individual users don’t know what a VM is yet? Share your experience in the comments below.