"By using the software, you accept these terms. If you do not accept them, do not use the software. Instead, contact the manufacturer or installer to determine its return policy. You must comply with that policy, which might limit your rights or require you to return the entire system on which the software is installed [...].
You may use the software as expressly permitted in this agreement. In doing so, you must comply with any technical limitations in the software that only allow you to use it in certain ways. You may not
- work around any technical limitations in the software;
- customize the desktop background
- reverse engineer, decompile [...]
I doubt that Microsoft lawyers seriously expect users to comply with those ridiculous terms and conditions. First, an interesting tautological falsehood is created if you must accept the software (Windows 7 Starter) with all its flaws and the license forbids you from "working around technical limitations". If you accept the conditions of this EULA and take Windows vulnerability to malware as one of the implicit "technical limitations in the software", the logical implication is that the EULA itself forbids you to install an antivirus solution to protect your Windows system. Of course, lawyers will claim that the clause refers to improving the OS itself, not "helping it" with additional software. However, the contradiction lies on the fact that the EULA makes the OS and the system an indivisible unit (remember: you must return the computer if you do not accept the license). Therefore, if hardware (tangible, made by an OEM) is ridiculously bundled with software (intangible, made by Microsoft), why would they claim that other software running on the OS to protect it is not an indispensable part of the system? Because it is third-party software, not Microsoft's, they will probably say. Well, how about the hardware the OS is running on? Is not that third-party, too? Why is it that I must return the hardware if I reject the software (Windows), then? After all, the hardware was not made by Microsoft. I suppose that Microsoft representatives would say that it is because the OEM agreed to install Windows. If that is the case, then the OEM should be required to agree to the EULA, not the computer buyer.
The situation, however, becomes even more ridiculous with the second clause. The statement is categorical; there is not any ambivalence to it. I guess you can even rephrase it as a biblical commandment: "Thou shall not customize the desktop background".
Basically, dissatisfied people who found third-party programs to change the hideous Windows 7 Starter background are against the law. Yes, they are violating the Second Law of Microsoftics. Period. There is no argument about it. Nevertheless, I do not see Microsoft's legal war machinery aiming its weapons at them. Why not? Well, because the progenitors of the unpopular 7 Starter knew from the beginning that sober people would never comply with such buffoonery and that other software companies would palliate the situation which, in the end, saved Microsoft's face (yes, Starter seems to be a rival for Clippit's unpopularity). That is why the Redmond bully never filed a lawsuit against Oceanis, for example, even though the latter company produced a program designed exclusively to make users break the "unalterable background" law.
Interestingly, Microsoft's failure to launch an attack to force users respect the content of the Windows 7 Starter EULA spawns yet another contradiction: Can this permissiveness be taken as a signal of amnesty toward infringement? If so, then the whole content of the EULA goes void, which means that I can pirate Windows 7 without any concern. But you know how this would end: Microsoft lawyers would not hesitate to take me to court if I do.
I wonder what would happen if people realized how anti-democratic these EULAs are. Not only do these irrational licenses cut your freedom, but they also establish discriminatory policies against users who "rebel" against them. This looks more like fascism than anything else to me. (The image was censored because it depicted inappropriate content for Microsoft, I suppose. After all, any visual connection that you make between this company and fascism is perceived as such regardless of the clearly anti-democratic practices the company promotes. What attribution does this company have to "limit my rights" as an individual and transfer the execution of this violation to OEMs?)