Windows ME 2007 watching and BSA Baddies

Another installment of Windows ME 2007 watching; while Vista SP1 apparently won’t make much difference in its speed, XP SP3 will: faster by ~10% in a test case. That on top of its far-better-than-Vista metrics already. Just… ouch. And with ‘Windows 7’ promised ~2010 and XP still for sale until mid-2008, Vista is looking more and more like a version to avoid as badly as ME was. If you must still use Windows, hang onto XP!

And if you didn’t need another reason to jump ship from Windows, consider that the BSA (often regarded primarily as a front for Microsoft’s anti-piracy initiative) is targeting small businesses to the tune of 90% of their settlements. Some quotes:

“the industry has saddled its customers with complex licensing agreements that are hard to master. In that view, the BSA amasses most of its bounties from small businesses because they have fewer technological, organizational and legal resources to avoid a run-in.”

The BSA considers software pirated if a company can’t produce a receipt for it, no matter how long ago it was purchased. Software boxes or certificates of authenticity are no help, because the BSA argues the software could have been obtained from an illegitimate source.”

“BSA targets commonly say they wish they didn’t have to buy anything again from the companies that unleashed the alliance on them. […] For many businesses, open-source has seemed technically daunting or unable to match the proprietary programs seen as essential in some industries. These days, however, the march of technology might be changing that. That’s one hope of Michael Gaertner, the architect who worried his BSA encounter would crush his business. Now he wants to rid himself of the Autodesk, Microsoft and Adobe software involved in the case. “It’s not like they have really good software. It’s just that it’s widespread and it’s commonly used,” Gaertner said. “It’s going to be a while, but eventually, we plan to get completely disengaged from those software vendors that participate in the BSA.“”

See also the tale of Ernie Ball. “one day I got a call that there were armed marshals at my door talking about software license compliance” The lack of BSA thugs is yet another reason why Linux is better.

Update: Here’s another article to read as a ‘case study’ as M$ likes to call these things…

“Because they don’t need many applications, essentially we’re able to use fairly low-end and affordable hardware for our booking system,” he says. The use of more affordable machines promotes hardware longevity and that is the key, he says. “You’re talking significant savings here because you have to replace or buy new hardware then licence new versions of Windows if you follow that upgrade path,” he says. If it upgraded to Microsoft Vista, Allen says: “We’d then be upgrading our desktop and laptop fleet left right and centre. “We were actually trying to go the other way as much as possible to contain costs.” The result has been savings to the tune of 60 per cent to 70 per cent, or hundreds of thousands of dollars, Allen says, without revealing specifics. “There has been no functional impact on our business as a result of dropping Windows,” he says.

And your company is still primarily using Windows why?

Here’s a good rule to follow: Treat all proprietary software as legacy software, regardless of its age. Going forward you can find ways to phase it out and switch to libre solutions.

Update Jan,. 13, 2009: An article describing how “Organisations are being put under increasing pressure from software licence audits, with some vendors exploiting technicalities and loopholes in order to meet revenue targets” which links to this one which says “Microsoft puts “gotchas” in the fine print of its licences to get money out of users – and there are no plans to make those licences any simpler, Steve Ballmer told customers in London today. […] Users wanting simplification are actually asking for price cuts, while Microsoft  shareholders would prefer that any simplification kept prices higher, he said (especially as Microsoft revenues have declined of late).”

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