Unable to simply double the price of Windows with the DOJ watching, Microsoft
has once again "updated" license terms to milk more revenue from its customers.
Most larger companies, hard hit by the high cost of supporting Windows, have resorted to "imaging" hard disks. A standard image is created that works well for a particular model of computer and includes all the company's approved applications. When a new computer is purchased, it's hard disk is wiped clean and the image is applied so it is exactly the same as other computers known to work properly. When Windows takes a crap, it is just re-imaged.
To use images, Microsoft requires purchase of the "Select" program, which includes a Windows CD-ROM that supports imaging. Since each computer purchased comes with a Windows license, and the image included the exact same version of Windows, companies considered themselves properly licensed.
Now, Microsoft says NO! The licenses that come with the computer are OEM Windows licenses, and Select is a Microsoft license. If you image a machine, you are pirating Windows because you don't have a Microsoft licnese for that machine, and you are imaging it with a Microsoft Select Windows.
Now, to be legal, you must also buy Upgrade Advantage (about $150 per computer). Of course, you have voided the OEM license, so you can't get tech support from the OEM - nor does support come with Select or UA. To get support you must purchase it at the special corporate rate of $375 per incident.
More information can be found at Gartner Group.
Previous moves to milk more from each Windows purchase without increasing the price of Microsoft products include:
Isn't dealing with a monopoly wonderful?
Will businesses start looking at the many non-Microsoft options available? No. Most will pay any price to be able to say "We have no choice". Primarily new businesses will use other options. Lower costs and more efficient software will allow them to displace the old businesses. It's called "evolution".
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