Most households in America are now starting to see more than one computer in them. Today my kids share a single PC, and as they get older I am sure each will have to have their own. My wife and I each have laptops. Not to mention the desktop machine I use for show production. A road trip earlier in the year caused me to have an extra laptop that the wife uses, but before she went house mobile she had her own desktop machine.
This makes for a grand total 5 computers in my household all running Windows XP, of those machines 4 of them will be able to upgrade to Windows Vista and all five to Office 2007. When I start putting the calculator to this I realize that probably I can only afford to upgrade two of them with the respective versions I will want to run.
Here is where I get into the crux of the issue. I am a loyal Microsoft user and have a number of computers in my household that I will want to upgrade and because consumers are not afforded volume discounts I will be unable to upgrade them all.
Granted Microsoft usually deals with companies that buy bulk license but how come a consumer who needs to upgrade lets say more than 3 computers cannot be cut a break on the software cost. This reduces the chances that a consumer will try and apply a hack to save some money.
How about it should loyal customers be given discounts on volume purchases?
A revelation at a recent Electronics House Expo is making my blood boil. Apparently Microsoft has decided to once again to kick consumers to the curb in restricting your ability to use and distribute content you are paying for.
This issues revolves around the ability of being able to use a CableCard with Vista for those of you that were looking forward to pushing recorded TV content to other PC’s within your homes will not be able to. In an even more shocking development even though Microsoft bowed to the cable industry on this and threw consumers under a bus. They were able to make provisions to be able to send recorded data to a Xbox 360.
It is rumored that those devices that are aka certified as media extenders by Microsoft will be able to be granted download rights as the Xbox 360 does but for now if you want to push videos to other computers in your home you will be restricted from doing this.
This also means pushing that recorded content to a portable media player will be restricted as well. There is no doubt in my mind that Microsoft and all the other big players are so deep in the media industries pockets that consumer rights will continue to be eroded to the point where we will have to ask permission someday to turn a TV on.
With the restrictions CableLabs has placed on vendors, and the cable companies demanding control not to mention how the DMCA has been abused to the loss of consumers it’s surprising that anything even works. [ArsTechnica]
Wendy Seltzer has some very strong words for Microsoft over the Vista Licensing model that has gotten some very bad press as of late. She commends them for putting the license into plain English but then goes on to discuss why the license is so very bad for consumers. I talked about some of these issues during my last podcast but she breaks the details down into 7 very salient points as listed below.
- Self-limiting software
- Vanishing functionality through invalidation
- Removal of media capabilities
- Problem-solving prohibited
- Limited mobility
- One transfer only and a bonus,
- Restrictions on your rights to use MPEG-4 video
Read the full summaries of her 7 points over on her Blog, if you were not concerned about the license structure before you will be after you finish reading her commentary. [Wendy Seltzer]
In case you missed it Microsoft has opened up the availability for anyone to download Vista for testing. [Scoble]
You want to see a terrific product review? The linked Vista review is awesome, and I think anyone that develops software wish they could get about a hundred reviews as complete as this one. [chris.pirillo.com]
First of all I am going to say when pigs fly, CNET is reporting that a new report out by the Yankee Group says that they expect Vista to significantly shrink the antispyware and firewall market. I about fell out of my chair. Do they realize how simply amazing those statements are. I for one highly doubt that Microsoft can pull it off.
Did I not read that most of the firewall functions are not even going to be enabled? I for one know how big of a target Microsoft is and the monetary gains by all of these data thieves is a powerful motivator to breach Vista, so that they can keep their cash cow rolling in. [CNET]
I am not sure who is in charge of Vista development, but based on conversations I have had in the past 3-4 months with the different teams at Microsoft,it is very apparent to me that most have no idea what the other one is doing. It is obvious that serious compartmentalization is taking place.
I am imagine much of there issues revolve around security and by minimizing the amount of information this insures security of product details but it also only allows top managers to know what is going on in other divisions, and if you have a bad manager who does not know how to integrate that information to make sure his divisions goals are meeting the overall strategy that disaster can strike.
It is obvious to me at least that organization is not very good at Microsoft, in that if you have to delay the release of the most anticipated software update in a good number of years again, that they have some very serious organizational problems. Either that or the leaders are to busy playing golf and slapping each other on the back to notice whats cooking in the kitchen.
As a user, consumer and technologist I am highly disappointed with the Vista release announcement, and with the ever growing security threat to the information on our computers it is highly obvious that it is time for some major house cleaning.
Bill Gates promised us that security and this rising threat to malware and spyware would be their top priority several years ago and today we are no closer to getting a handle on it then they where then. Maybe it is time to start seriously looking at Mac