Monday, 22 February 2010

Windows licensing

Being reassimilated by the borg has led me back to the question of windows licensing, especially as Microsoft now installs a little bit of DRM software to report back to galactic central if you have any incorrectly licensed Microsoft software.

Well I don't have any incorrectly licensed microsoft software, so I don't care if it does so or not. Now to do this the application probably queries the registry, so it could conceivably record and tell the borg I've got OpenOffice installed. So what? It's not illegal to install Open Office and if the fact I've got it installed ends up being used for marketing purposes it's no big deal. After all I've just posted on my blog that I've uninstalled the evaluation version of Office that came with my machine and installed Open Office in preference.

In fact I'll make my position on Windows licensing clear - it will come as no surprise to Microsoft - I've been saying this in various fora for 15 years or so
  • For server based applications an average concurrent use model is fairer than one based on absolute seats
  • Microsoft has acquired a quasi monopoly in a range of application spaces. This is not healthy as it inhibits competition and thus development. It also allows the vendor to charge more than the market valuse of the applications as there is in effect, no market
  • Microsoft Exchange is overcomplicated, resource hungry and does not scale well
  • Microsoft is the dominant operating system provider and as such is in a position to inhibit third party software development
  • I have nothing against Microsoft Office, I just find that in Open Office and AbiWord in combination give me a better set of tools for text conversion, recovery and manipulation.
  • Archival document formats should be publicly described and it should be readily demonstrable that third party applications that can read these formats can be developed using the public description.
  • Microsoft .doc is a defacto document interchange format. Applications such as WordPerfect 8 or 9 which did not handle .doc well should be deprecated
  • Microsoft is a reality which is unlikely to go away. It is better to try and work with them than to grow a beard and snipe from the sidelines

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