Note: This column represents the opinions
of the writer and as such, is not represented as fact|
Does anyone remember the good old days when buying a piece of Microsoft
software meant that you could use that software on a single PC without
the need to fill out a lame registration form and without regard to the
exact configuration of that PC?
the contents of Aardvark's "million-dollar ideas" notebook
are revealed for all to see!
You could see what you were getting for the money you plonked down on a copy
of Office 97 or Windows 98 -- there were no catches or strings. And that's
the way buying software ought to be.
We trusted Microsoft to provide us with the best software they could produce
and they trusted us to use it fairly.
Need Cutting-Edge Copy?|
As NZ's longest-running online commentator, I'm looking for
extra syndication opportunities for this daily publication -- or I'm happy
to write casual or regular material specifically to order for print or
Net-based publications. If you're
interested, drop me a line
Well it seems that this relationship of trust has been well and truly broken.
Was it those who freely pirated copies of Microsoft's software who are to blame?
Or was it Microsoft's awareness that the market is maturing and
that people will no longer continue to spend good money on buggy and insecure
Whatever the cause, we're now all branded as pirates whenever we buy a copy
of Microsoft Office or the upcoming Windows XP.
There can be no other reason why Microsoft would make us register our hardware
configuration against each and every copy of the software we purchase.
Well Microsoft claim that it's an anti-piracy measure -- but I'm not so sure.
It strikes me that the reason for this new anti-trust (in more ways than one)
forced registration system may lie more in the fact that Microsoft realises
it's reaching the end of its gravy train.
When Windows 3 was launched it was a runaway success and sold like hotcakes.
After a while, people got really pissed off with its propensity to crash and
trash your data on a pretty regular basis -- so when Windows 95 promised
a new level of performance and reliability we all ran out and plonked down
our cash in a flash.
Then came Windows 98 and, just like before, we were lured by the prospect
of fewer crashes and better stability so we forked over more cash.
By the time Windows ME came around, the market had grown rather wary of
Microsoft's claims and, as far as I can establish, people no longer ran out
like sheep to swap their old lamps for new.
And now we have Windows XP which, according to reports, is a great step forward
Odds are that Microsoft knows this is the last chance they're going to get
to milk the cash-cow of the upgrade ladder. After all, if XP is as good as
they claim, why would anyone need to upgrade again for a very long time?
If it's more performance they're after then increasing hardware speeds will
take care of that. More reliability -- hey, XP is already rock-solid right?
Faced with such a dilemma it's only natural that Microsoft has had its gurus
huddled over the midnight pizza working out ways to generate new revenues.
Hey, here's one!
Wait a year or so until people have upgraded to XP en-masse and then start
charging a hefty fee each time they need to obtain a new unlock number
because they've made more than a minor change to their hardware.
Now, whenever they upgrade their PC hardware, Microsoft will be able to rake
in a whole lot more cash.
This is even better than the software upgrade game because they don't actually
have to pay expensive programmers to write new code -- they just have an
automated online system and a bunch of helpdesk people standing by to take your
If you don't believe me -- bookmark
today's column and re-read it on the day
that this little move is announced.
Tell Me What You Want
It's the time of year when I have to ask Aardvark readers to send me their
ideas and suggestions on ways in which I can improve the content or presentation
of that content on this website.
Here's your chance to tell me what I'm doing wrong and what I should be
doing to make this site better.
Come on now, don't be shy -- let me have it -- both barrels.
One thing I've learnt over the years is that, as the industry, the market,
the technology and people's expectations change, you've got to be prepared
to adapt or die.
Just drop me a line with your comments and suggestions.
Save The Aardvark Fund
Yes, I have had several donations to the Aardvark fund and I thank those
who put their money where their mouse is :-)
If guilt is gnawing away inside you then there's still time to donate.
Just drop by and
hand over your loot.
Add Aardvark To Your Own Website!
Got a moment? Want a little extra fresh content for your own website or
Just add a
to your pages and you can get
a free summary of Aardvark's daily commentary -- automatically updated
each and every week-day.
Aardvark also makes a summary of this daily column available via XML using
the RSS format. More details can be found
Contact me if you decide to use either of these feeds and
have any problems.
Did you tell someone else about Aardvark today? If not then do it
There is/are 0 Vacancies Last added 2 July In The Job Centre
There are 14 Domain Names for sale