ZDNet Commentator: Microsoft leaves customers with ‘foul taste in their mouth and an empty feeling i

“As if the torrents of Windows-related security flaws were not enough, Microsoft has found another way to leave customers with a foul taste in their mouth and an empty feeling in their pocket,” Ian Altman writes for ZDNet. “The problem this time centers on Microsoft’s Software Assurance program, a for-purchase piece of Windows Licensing 6.0 that the company says offers users ‘automatic access to new technology and provides productivity benefits, support, tools and training to help deploy and use software efficiently.'”

“Microsoft says this will simplify the purchasing process for customers, many of whom are drawn to shorter upgrade cycles. The program also complements Microsoft’s strategy to sell software by subscription–a good theory,” Altman writes. “In reality, it’s a software maintenance and upgrade program that puts even greater pressure on customers to renew existing Windows software. And time is running out: One-third of eligible contracts with Microsoft’s biggest customers will be up for renewal by July 2004.”

Altman writes, “Microsoft’s next-generation operating system–code-named Longhorn–won’t be available until 2006, according to the company’s most recent announcement. That means customers will have to wait at least two years for a dramatically improved version of Windows. That also means customers have two years to dip their toe in the water with alternative platforms, or maybe even take the plunge and replace Windows. That’s bad news for a plan that may deliver little software and even less assurance to customers supporting the Microsoft monopoly… Now customers have the choice to press for lower licensing fees, or abandon Windows altogether.”

Full article here.


  1. M$ is like the little kid with his finger in the dyke but more holes are opening up than he has fingers. They will try and slap some concrete over some of the holes with XP SP2 but it remains to be seen whether this will help overall much. And with their record so far I am sceptical.

    My Mom in Law is a new switcher and is loving a virus free world on her G4 iBook. A lot of her friends are starting to wonder why they keep on putting up with the windows headaches too.

  2. It’s going to be fun when XP SP2 arrives. It’s going to break almost all the software you own. As for being more secure, at least the barn door will be finally closed. However, I’m afraid the cow is long gone. Moooo.

  3. Joe, I think – unfortunately – alongside with you. IBM has a G5 which generates less heat and consume less that a G4. Perfect for a laptop.

    Either they have to clear the stocks – Xserve is using G5 now 0 contribution there, or they will come out with new products altogether (like the new iMac replacing the original iMac) and drop prices enourmously on the existing stock.

    For myself, I need a Powerbook replacement and am wayting for the G5 to come out.

  4. IBM better start ramping up production, Apple probably dosnt have enough to meet the XServe and PowerMac demand, if they anounce either the G5 PowerBook or iMac at WWDC, itll make iPod sales look small.

  5. This article didn’t need any MDN commentary. This is certainly a time of great opportunity for Apple – the convergence of the G5 PowerMac/Xserve with MacOS X 10.3 and iPod/iTMS along with a floundering M$ (viruses and slow OS development) and a relative lull in progress for Intel CPU development. If Apple doesn’t get a lift out of that scenario then I might start listening to Enderle (not really).

  6. It is amazing how much crap the average user is willing to put up with.

    If I were foolish enough to use Windows in the first place, it would have taken only one virus infection to leave me running for the exit.

    I guess this helps to further demonstrate how little value most people place on their personal time and piece of mind.

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