Recently I read an article in one of those oldskool dead-tree blogs (you know, newspapers or something they call them) on how Microsoft was not going to pursue illegal copies of Windows in Eastern countries like China and India. You see, the Redmond folks are more interested in getting a good piece of market share in those regions, than in making some cash on their Vista licenses. A free IE 7 version is now also available so they stand a chance against Firefox.
This makes sense of course, if you consider that Linux is starting to become quite popular over there, simply because it’s cheap. That is why they are pirating Windows in the first place. Because it costs too damn much if they wouldn’t go all “Arrrr matey” on it.
Now if Redmond would put its foot down, they would not just dish out the cash for a legitimate license would they? It would simply mean that a lot of people would be reinstalling their system with Ubuntu.
With Linux rising and getting closer to a fully functional and usable desktop OS, ready to be ordered by anyone when he buying a shiny new Dell laptop online, Balmer is starting to feel the heat. But I’m sure they aren’t that worried about it at all.
My guess is that they are simply waiting until Linux becomes a true threat to Vista. Right now it’s not there yet. Well, Vista isn’t there yet either for that matter, but that’s a different story. But when the time comes MS will do the same thing as they did with WePos, the embedded XP version for retail machines.
Retailers are always trying to cut costs wherever possible, and when it comes to the OS running on the checkouts (which are basically running on PC hard- and software) Windows was becoming pretty damn expensive to run on all your checkouts. I say “becoming” because the last few years Linux was starting to become a serious competitor in that field. So Bill decided to drop the WePos licenses to a level where they could compete with a Redhat or Suse support license. So now the retailer has a choice again, and people always like to choose for the familiar…
In see the same thing happening with the desktop operating system. As soon as Linux becomes an OS that mom, pop and granny can download off the internet and install on their PC without a glitch, they will drop the licenses to a level where they can compete again with the open source operating systems out there.
Which means Windows will become free, or as good as. Matt claims they will even go as far as making the whole bloody thing Open Source. I have my doubts about that, not counting one of those crippled M$ “shared source licenses” as a valid OSI OSS license.
However it turns out, it sounds sweet to me.