Bonum Certa Men Certa

Why Does Microsoft Treat Vendors and Customers Like 'Thieves'?

"It's easier for our software to compete with Linux when there's piracy than when there's not."

--Bill Gates



Summary: The experience of vending or using Windows is still marginalising and demeaning

SEVERAL days ago we gave an example of a seller who was tricked by Microsoft to offer copies of its software under conditions which were not legal. As we pointed out at the time, this is part of a trend [1, 2, 3, 4, 5] because Microsoft is feeling the pinch. Here in the United Kingdom Microsoft is getting busy as well. From the news:



Microsoft catches 11 UK pirate retailers



[...]

Computer Clinic, Bolton ; Computer Port, Walsall; Eazy PC, Redcar; Goldcast Computers, Stockton-on-Tees; Matrix Computers, Stockton-on-Tees; PC Assist, Oldham; Personal Touch Computers Ltd, Portsmouth; Platinum Computers, Hartlepool; Spacebar Computers, Litherland, Liverpool, and The Little Computer Shop, Griffithstown, Pontypool.


Those retailers will not be huge fans of Microsoft after the crackdown, so GNU/Linux and Free software might be offered as an option on their PCs in the future. There is no revenge sweeter than this and as the quote at the top ought to remind people, for many years Microsoft has permitted shops to distribute Windows and Office against the rules. As long as Microsoft benefited from freely spreading its software and making it a de facto standard, it was all fine.

Another area where Microsoft is criminalising not retailers but actual customers is Vista and Vista 7. For those who remember what a DRM mess Vista was, it is worth reminding that Vista 7 is just the same.

Microsoft, Windows 7, cable television, and the so-called “PlayReady” DRM scam



[...]

What I’m about to show is Windows 7 artificially crippling an otherwise normal, uncrippled cable television channel. PlayReady DRM hooks into Windows Media Center and artificially degrades your standard cable TV service provided that the channel involved has paid Microsoft a lot of money.


Vista 7: limiting one's experience artificially because everyone (including paying customers) is assumed to be a "criminal". Very poor diplomatic skills from Microsoft and yet another reason to find permanent comfort in GNU/Linux.

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