01.04.10

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Latest Vista 7 Failures, Xbox 360 Failures, and Microsoft Cartel

Posted in DRM, Hardware, Microsoft, Vista 7, Windows at 8:29 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Xbox

Summary: It’s “Game Over” for some key Microsoft products; Microsoft is gaming the market with DRM (lock-in and artificially-imposed expiry)

THIS POST continues an accumulation of realities behind Vista 7. We begin with the following new article which speaks about compatibility problems in the operating system.

We are currently in one of the best situations ever to think about moving to Linux on the desktop. With Windows XP’s end of life, many companies are already considering upgrading to Windows Vista or 7. The user interface has changed, and many existing applications aren’t compatible. I am currently reviewing a list of hundreds of applications for compatibility with Windows 7 to decide what will have to be upgraded or replaced.

Compatibility issues in Vista 7 are not exactly news. We gave examples of them in:

Then there is the issue of price. IDG has written this article about it:

Microsoft’s pricing strategy often has me scratching my head. I am befuddled by Microsoft’s ability to give away tremendous amounts of software in some of the partner programs like the Action Pack subscription, yet individual users are still paying through the nose for Windows and Office. It amazes me that a full version of Windows 7 Ultimate is $319 retail while a 10-user CAL version of Server 2008 Standard retails for $1,209 (or $120.09 per user). Wouldn’t it be better if Microsoft wooed the consumer market with more competitive pricing?

Our reader Ryan has just sold his Xbox 360, which failed on him 8 times (that’s right, eight) and needed to be repaired. Here is what he wrote:

Microsoft’s XBOX 360 is a lemon. Just about everyone who has owned one can tell you all about the Red Ring of Death. By some accounts they have a 54% failure rate.

By my count, they have had an 87.5% rate of failure, that is, of the total 8 consoles (yes, EIGHT) I’ve had, only the one they just sent back from refurbishing works.

If you divide 8 consoles by 49 months (November 2005 – December 2009), a 360 has a life expectancy of just over 6 months, if you use it a few hours a day like I tended to.

It is rather amusing that some people still argue that Microsoft makes good products. Microsoft seems a lot more capable when it comes to customer-hostile technology like DRM, but that too eventually fails (MSN Music for example, right after PlaysForSure). Here is Microsoft working to advance DRM again:

Five of the six major Hollywood studios (Warner Brothers, NBC Universal, Sony, Paramount and Fox, but not Walt Disney) are involved, with Microsoft, Cisco Systems, Comcast, Intel and Best Buy.

They are all close to Microsoft for different reasons. The above looks almost like a conspiracy of studios and technology companies looking to increase their wealth at the expense of the public. Aren’t cartels illegal?

“DRM is nearly always the result of a conspiracy of companies to restrict the technology available to the public. Such conspiracy should be a crime, and the executives responsible for it should be sentenced to prison.”

Richard Stallman

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