You know, I call out ChannelWeb's Kevin McLaughlin when he invents news stories (which has done several times recently, as documented here, here, here and here), so I should at least give him a bit of credit when he comes up with something legitimate. OK, maybe he's just copying the story ZD's Ed Bott wrote the other day. But in this one case, I'm OK with it. This one bears repeating:

Microsoft is denying a recent report that suggests it deliberately included a technical loophole in Windows Vista that lets users install the OS without paying for the full priced version.

In an article that appeared earlier this week in the Windows Secrets newsletter, Scott Dunn noted that the Service Pack 1 version of Windows Vista gives users the option of buying the 'upgrade edition' and installing it on any PC, which enables them to avoid paying for the more expensive 'full' edition.

In the U.S., the list price of the upgrade edition is more than $100 cheaper than the full edition, according to Dunn.

A Microsoft spokesperson disputed the notion that the vendor supports users taking advantage of the technical loophole in Vista.

"Just because a piece of software installs on a PC, doesn't mean that it is properly licensed. The licensing states that upgrades require a fully licensed version of Windows to be eligible to use an Upgrade license," the spokesperson said in an email to ChannelWeb.

I'd like to think I inspired Mr. McLaughlin to do the ten seconds of research that email reply required. But whatever: That's what a responsible reporter does. And now we have Microsoft's official response to this issue.