06.27.09

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Vista 7: Disablement as a Business Model

Posted in GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Vista 7, Windows at 4:25 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“[Vista DRM] seems a bit like breaking the legs of Olympic athletes and then rating them based on how fast they can hobble on crutches.“

Peter Gutmann

Old man with hat

Summary: Microsoft makes money from artificial limitations embedded in its software

“WHAT’s the difference between a full install CD and an upgrade,” asks a reader regarding Vista 7. The answer he believes to be true is that “Microsoft changes a number in an INF file.”

“I don’t buy Windows,” he added. “All these different versions are, take a base system, disable some core functionality and then rename it and charge people more money. The price difference for Microsoft is about one penny. This is just another example of Ballmer’s obsession with productization. Remember ‘snapins’. That is where you get a GUI that does nothing and then pay more for the actual functions.” Here is an example of “snap”:

Many corporations implement business applications like Microsoft Dynamics to automate their business processes. However, usually only about 15% of information workers are licensed to use these systems and only a fraction of those actually do.

Our reader interprets it as: “we’ve disabled your software, pay us more money and we’ll re-enable it.”

“This kind of thing would be trivial to implement on a real system, it a simple scripting problem,” he adds. Here is another example:

The following MMC snap-ins are available by default in the Business Edition, Enterprise Edition, and Ultimate Edition of this version of Windows…

[...]

The specific additional MMC snap-ins that are available as part of Windows Features may vary depending on the edition of this version of Windows that you are using.

“It’s a perversion of the technology,” remarks our reader. “Produce mindless MSCP ‘professionals’, that can’t script and are reduced to clicking on ‘snapins’. There are people out there who actually think ‘snapins’ is computer technology. Reminds me of that story ‘the little black bag’ about a doctor’s toolkit from the future that could diagnose patents using colour-coded chips. The doctor was reduced to selecting from colored vials.”

Here’s some pricing information for Vista 7:

Windows 7 Home Premium $199, Windows 7 Home Premium upgrade $119,
Windows 7 Professional $299, Windows 7 Professional upgrades $199,
Windows 7 Ultimate upgrade $219, Windows 7 Ultimate $319

Even Microsoft's friends at NPD suddenly claim that it is far too expensive.

A RETAIL ANALYST with NPD Group, Stephen Baker, has said that Microsoft’s pricing for Windows 7 is “way too much for the software.”

Anything less than “Ultimate” is simply crippled by design, so the entry-level prices are intended to deceive. GNU/Linux has no such restrictions. Vista 7 is yet another good reason to abandon Windows for modern operating systems.

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3 Comments

  1. James Jesse Emery St. Louis said,

    June 27, 2009 at 9:59 am

    Gravatar

    microsoft lobby’s congress. they spend more on that than advertising, development or production.and that’s because they know, that they can manipulate LAW to serve Their interest, for PROFIT. MONETARY GAIN. bills quietly pushed through congress legislate microsoft’s domination of an entire new and emerging industry of intellectuals and innovators, they cripple progress in the interest of a few and ideas are stomped out by a ruthless gigantic corporation with it’s beginnings rooted deeply in fraud, subversion and the consolidation of a society’s work in progress to a few men who reap the benefits, all the work of a half a century of innovators, techies and engineers goes to profit GATES.

  2. The Mad Hatter said,

    June 28, 2009 at 3:10 pm

    Gravatar

    Steve Jobs commented on this once.

    We have an Enterprise version of OSX, an Ultimate version of OSX, and a Basic version of OSX. They all sell for the same price, all have the same capabilities, and all look the same. It makes more sense for us to do this, then to deliberately cripple some versions of OSX just to make a bit more money.

    The same is true about Gnu/Linux, Gnu/BSD, and Gnu/Solaris as well.

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    Software does not cost money to be more capable once it’s developed (just once). It’s not a car being assembled repeatedly on the production line.

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