Screwing The Little Guy
Posted on: 02/28/2000 03:03 PM

I just read Micah's post about MS not wanting OEM's to ship Win2k CD's, and quite frankly, I'm sickened.

It's extremely disturbing to me that many companies are more concerned about preventing their products from being stolen than about improving and innovating their products. Sonic Foundry is horrible with this, and now MS is starting it too. Draconian copy-protection schemes are not the way to win customers and influence purchasing decisions.

What further saddens me is that it's no big secret that MS and other companies want to stop selling us software, and start renting it to us. If you haven't heard the acronym ASP (not Active Server Pages) it stands for Application Service Provider.

Pretty soon, your applications will reside on the web, and you'll pay either a monthly fee, or a per-use charge.

Schemes like this are what happen when companies start giving too much power to "the suits". Remember DIVX? Thankfully it's just about done with its death throes, but I fear that the ASP trend won't die quite as easily. And I'm puzzled as to why.

Companies like MS turn record profits year after year, yet it is never enough. The thought that someone, somewhere might be pirating their product seems to paralyze these companies with fear. It seems like the more they have, the more important what they don't have becomes.

Much as I (a true-blue MS fan) hate to admit it, it's ridiculous schemes like this that are going to really help Linux and other open-source products gain marketshare. The day I can't go to a store and buy a shrinkwrapped product from Microsoft for a one-time fee is the day I format my hard drive, install Linux, and use Star Office.

Lack of vision is what toppled IBM but I fear that current industry giants will be toppled by greed.

I would really like to see some discussion about this, so please post some comments, talk about it in our forum, or just e-mail me. If I'm completely wrong about this, tell me why. If I'm right on the money, let me know.

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