James Selvakumar’s Blog

April 19, 2009

Why there is no official Live CD for Microsoft Windows?

Filed under: general — James @ 2:14 pm
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The first time I ever knew about a “Live CD” is when a friend gave me a “Ubuntu Live CD”. That was three years back and since then I’ve tried many versions of linux. Thanks to this concept, I was able to try and see how the operating system will look like, before rushing to install it on my hard disk. Sad that Microsoft never gives us this option “Try before you install”.

The Live CD’s helped me to evaluate various features offered by many linux distros. And there are some linux distros like “GParted Live”, “Knoppix” etc which are made specifically to run as Live CD.

So I wondered, “Is there a official Live CD for Windows?”. By seeing from what many linux distros have achieved, making a “Live CD” need not be rocket science. Even the smallest of linux distros provide “Live CD” option. Why not Microsoft, which has billions of dollars in it’s pocket?

As I was looking around in the web to find out more details, I found this interesting post from an Ubuntu forum:

“I rarely use the word “never”, because such statements are so often proven wrong. However, I think I’m fairly safe in saying that Windows will never have a LiveCD, because that would mean that any person could run Windows on any machine that can boot from the disc. And all someone would have to do is essentially copy the cd to a partition and make it bootable, and they have an installation of Windows. Microsoft would never allow that as long as Windows is a commercial product.

They don’t even like you to transfer your own paid-for copy of Windows to another computer you own. In what world would they ever produce a LiveCD???”

What do you think? Will Microsoft ever release a Live CD for Windows?

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8 Comments »

  1. [...] s Blog added an interesting post on Why there is no official Live CD for Microsoft Windows?Here’s a small excerptThe first time I ever knew about a “Live CD” is because a friend gave me a “Ubuntu Live CD”. Since then I’ve tried many versions of linux. Thanks to this concept, I was able to try and see how the operating system will look like, before rushing to install it on my hard disk. The live cd’s helped me to evaluate various features offered by many linux distros. And there are some linux distros like “GParted Live”, “Knoppix” etc which are made to run as either “Live CD” or “Live USB”. So I wonder [...]

    Pingback by Topics about Microsoft » Why there is no official Live CD for Microsoft Windows? — April 19, 2009 @ 3:25 pm | Reply

  2. That’s a very solid argument. I also agree that is true. It just doesn’t make sense for them.
    However, that made me wonder if the ReactOS project ever gets usable, having the ability to have a live cd can be an excellent boost to them.

    Comment by Carlos — April 22, 2009 @ 4:41 pm | Reply

  3. try “infra cd” :)

    Comment by Anonymous — April 23, 2009 @ 7:19 pm | Reply

  4. Hi Carlos, I’ve heard about ReactOS quite some time back and completely forgot about that. They provide an live cd version now and I wasted no time downloading that. But the live cd as such was not quite usable as the linux live cds. The ReactOS live cd did not contain any programs inside it as of now. But it’s good to see some progress there.

    I’m planning to try ReactOS by installing it and hope I’ll come back with something interesting. Thank you anyway for mentioning about ReactOS.

    Comment by James — April 26, 2009 @ 2:14 pm | Reply

  5. If M$ does a live CD of Windows, people will try it before purchase it and will discover that is really a bad product to pay for, so people will never purchase it.

    Comment by Rafa — May 2, 2009 @ 5:40 am | Reply

  6. +1

    Comment by chantix — May 18, 2009 @ 3:23 am | Reply

  7. And all someone would have to do is essentially copy the cd to a partition and make it bootable, and they have an installation of Windows. Microsoft would never allow that as long as Windows is a commercial product.

    I don’t think this would be a problem. It’s not difficult to make a version of Windows that can only boot from a CD, not from a hard disk. In fact it’s much easier to create a “trusted environment” than on a hard disk installation, so it’s possible to sign everything and refuse to run if the signatures don’t verify.

    If the live CD didn’t allow changes to be saved to a hard disk (e.g. applications installed) then it would be of very little use for real work. E.g. you’d have to reinstall Office into your ramdisk every time you reboot (and with Windows that’s quite often). That would make it suitable for tryout but not as a replacement for buying a license, unless your time is extremely cheap, in which case you’re not going to buy Windows anyway.

    So this would displace a few pirate copies, nothing more.

    Comment by chrisw — April 21, 2010 @ 8:33 am | Reply

  8. While a live CD typically does not alter any operating system or files already installed on a computer’s secondary storage (such as hard disk drives), many live CDs include optional software mechanisms and utilities for altering the host computer’s data stores, including installation of an operating system. android app developers

    Comment by Medell Frost — April 17, 2012 @ 4:26 pm | Reply


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