Microsoft FoxPro 8.0 EULA forbids earlier versions?

Craig Bentson reports on a fatal phrase in the EULA for the upgrade version of Visual FoxPro 8.0, which requires the uninstallation of previous versions of the software. I am supporting clients in Visual FoxPro 6.0 and 7.0, and have no intention of removing my ability to support my clients and make a living.

Garrett has the section of the EULA on his web page as well. I would never have considered that getting an upgrade discount from a vendor disqualified me from using an earlier version. With other software, such as an office package or photo editing software, I suppose I wouldn’t need to. But a development system is different. You develop and compile and distribute your applications on different versions to your customers, and you have to continue to use that version to support the customer until it is feasible to update all customers to the most recent version. In some cases, like one former client of mine with a VFP 5.0 application on 28,000 desktops, there has to be a pretty strong reason to do that, as the cost of deploying a new application and new runtimes is not small.

Where’s the sense in this? The upgrade discount is supposed to be a “reward for loyalty,” a motivator to get existing customers (the vast majority of VFP purchasers, I expect) to purchase the upgrade, and quickly, as the discount is often available only for a limited time. Anyone who has developed in previous versions is likely to need to maintain them for some time, in order to support deployed applications. The only people who could qualify for the upgrade price savings are either those who have never deployed an application, or those who choose to ignore the EULA.


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This work by Ted Roche is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 United States.