Miniframe SoftXpand

It’s cheap, it’s green, but is it legal? Miniframe's unique approach to thin clients lets multiple users access a single Windows PC, but check your licences before you drive. (UPDATE! Yes, it's legal.)

Microsoft comment on Miniframe licensing:

"According to Microsoft's license agreement, each added work station represents a new way of interacting with the software. As such, using hardware and software to effectively extend a single license to cover multiple users is a clear violation of this agreement. We urge customers to stay clear of this as they run the risk of non-compliance.

We have informed SoftXpand that this is the case and are currently working with them to rectify the situation"

Michala Wardell, head of licensing and anti-piracy, Microsoft UK

Response from Miniframe.

"For good order sake and clarity, MiniFrame has not been approached by either Michala Wardell or by any other Microsoft representative. We are therefore obviously not working with them on any licensing issues, as being claimed by Michala Wardell.

MiniFrame has a very clear third party licensing policy: each EULA (End User Licensing Agreement) of any third party software provider should be respected by users, and with no exception to Microsoft.

Virtualization has become mainstream, and I'm sure that licensing issues are being considered by all industry players, as well as by Microsoft, trying to shape a new model of licensing (EULA). The true challenge, in my opinion, is to bring a win-win situation for all players, i.e. software providers and customers.

Furthermore, as leaders of multi user software only solutions, we are fully aware of the new questions that are arising due to the development of virtualization solutions.

Therefore, as MiniFrame's CEO, I'd be pleased to discuss new licensing models with Microsoft that would benefit both MiniFrame and Microsoft customers."

Eli Segal, CEO, MiniFrame.

Verdict

SoftXpand cleverly exploits the fact that today’s PCs are over-specified for the tasks on which they spend most of their time, and demonstrates it by showing that a single PC is actually capable of supporting as many as eight concurrent users with acceptable performance. MiniFrame and software vendors need to clarify licensing issues but the system works well and offers real savings, though it is designed for budget-conscious users in a limited range of scenarios.

OS: Window XP SP2 or higher

Featured Resources

The ultimate law enforcement agency guide to going mobile

Best practices for implementing a mobile device program

Free download

The business value of Red Hat OpenShift

Platform cost savings, ROI, and the challenges and opportunities of Red Hat OpenShift

Free download

Managing security and risk across the IT supply chain: A practical approach

Best practices for IT supply chain security

Free download

Digital remote monitoring and dispatch services’ impact on edge computing and data centres

Seven trends redefining remote monitoring and field service dispatch service requirements

Free download

Recommended

IBM launches Environmental Intelligence Suite
artificial intelligence (AI)

IBM launches Environmental Intelligence Suite

13 Oct 2021
How the cloud is helping Currensea create a more sustainable future
startups

How the cloud is helping Currensea create a more sustainable future

6 Sep 2021
Microsoft helps protect Amazon rainforest with AI project
Microsoft Azure

Microsoft helps protect Amazon rainforest with AI project

2 Sep 2021
What is green cloud?
Cloud

What is green cloud?

1 Sep 2021

Most Popular

Best Linux distros 2021
operating systems

Best Linux distros 2021

11 Oct 2021
Apple MacBook Pro 15in vs Dell XPS 15: Clash of the titans
Laptops

Apple MacBook Pro 15in vs Dell XPS 15: Clash of the titans

11 Oct 2021
Windows 11 has problems with Oracle VirtualBox
Microsoft Windows

Windows 11 has problems with Oracle VirtualBox

5 Oct 2021