Vista lets you move just once

It appears that Microsoft wants to make sure that its customers feel as if they are being treated with contempt – just in case they didn’t already feel that way. Customers who pay up to US$400 for a copy of Vista Ultimate will for their investment be able to transfer their software to another machine just once instead of as many times as they like as is the case with XP.

Thus, if your machine packs it in, Microsoft in its benevolence will allow you to transfer the software to another machine. However, if after a year or so you decide to upgrade and pass your old machine on to another family member who only needs a copy of Vista Home Edition, it’s just too bad because you’ll have to fork out another US$400 because your license is no longer transferrable.

Make no mistake. This is not piracy prevention. This is pure greed.

Microsoft claims that it is has a huge piracy problem. It has to tighten its rules with measures such as the Software Protection Program that has the power to disable computers deemed to house pirated software. It has to restrict users to the number of times they can re-install their software.

However, one has to ask then how was Microsoft able to build a global monopoly where Windows is installed on 90% or more of desktops despite this so-called piracy?

In spite of piracy, how was Microsoft able to achieve revenues of nearly US$25 billion and a profit of almost US$18.5 billion on its Windows and Office products alone in the fiscal year ended 2006?

In spite of piracy, how was Microsoft able to increase its Windows XP revenues and earnings by between 8% and 9% in the past year, even though it has not had a major product upgrade in five years?

Obviously Microsoft would prefer double digit growth on sales of Windows, However, rather than face the fact that an operating system, like office productivity software, is now a commodity item for which users would rather not pay exhorbitant amounts of money, Microsoft is trying to wring every last dollar that it can out of a user base that has been backed into a corner.

A problem for Microsoft is that this strategy could easily backfire. Users are already balking at the high prices Microsoft is asking for Vista. Talk of even more exhorbitant prices for Office 2007 is circulating. Being asked to pay more for basic software than for the cost of a computer is causing resentment. Being told that you can’t freely move that software off one machine and on to another may cause outrage.

Already forums are abuzz with outraged users advising each other to pay their local geek a couple of hundred bucks to install one of the popular free Linux distributions on their computers. users are advising each other to buy Macs – anything to get away from the restrictions Microsoft intends to impose on the use of its software.

Why Microsoft feels the need to pursue its draconian path is not entirely clear. However, the company has shown until that it is not able to make money from anything other than its operating systems, office productivity software and database products. Everything else makes a loss and growth in both Windows and Office is slowing dramatically.

The fact that Microsoft feels the need to impose severe restrictions on users of its new generation software products may well indicate that the software company does not have confidence that the new products will reinvigorate the growth that has been lacking recent years. If so, it is doubtful that the strategy will work. You can only push users so far before they start to look for alternatives where they will not be accused of being software pirates.


story from – http://www.itwire.com.au/content/view/6325/983/

1 Response to “Vista lets you move just once”

  1. 1 lia
    October 17, 2006 at 12:08 pm

    hi Gold Coaster (Andreas, is it?)
    I write for the Sydney Morning Herald and am looking for an audio-book listener in Australia for a story. I’ve seen your posts in the ipod lounge and wondered if you’d like to be itnerviewed for the story. Please contact me off blog.

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