Microsoft has not only renewed the death certificate on Windows XP, and promised a Service Pack 3, it is going all “Bush 41″ on us (kinder and gentler), allowing pirates of XP to replace their unlicensed copies with legitimate ones, without penalty, other than payment, a stern lecture, and a forced promise to be ” taking the straight and narrow path” from then on.
Even as the BSA’s “report a pirate” reward program increased the bounty to $1 million this summer, Microsoft has decided to show a kinder, gentler side. This is especially good news for those enterprise companies who are unwittingly violating software licenses – rather than buying the stuff on purpose. Users of illegitimate XP software can now upgrade the OS to fully legit copies, Information Week reports. The plan, called Get Genuine Windows Agreement, lets software resellers offer a volume license contract that will allow them to replace pirated or “mislicensed” copies of XP with the real shebang.
The hitch, if you can call it that, is that users must promise that they have forever seen the light and will use only legit software going forward. Resellers will get a cut of the new license fees they generate.
The article seems to think that this is another indication of Microsoft’s commitment to its yester-year OS, XP. It comes on the heels of Microsoft’ announcement that it will extend the period of time that resellers be allowed to resell XP for another five months.
However, there is another way to look this. XP is like a Broadway show that is still selling tickets. Microsoft loses nothing by continuing to support it for a while. (True, they released a new service patch for XP, which required some investment). But for the most part, if people still want it and are willing to pay for it, why not? Even if it restricts the sales of Vista for the moment, that’s not much of problem. In short order, people are not going to want to run their latest, greatest desktop hardware with an “ancient’operating system.
The other motive for this has to do with market saturation of desktop operating systems. When you are a monopoly, you can’t grow by stealing market share from competitors. Yeah, yeah – there’s Linux desktop which may eventually make inroads – but it isn’t do much so far. So, you are left with two choices. Creating new customers for your OS from untapped markets like developing countries with up-and-coming middle classes with disposable income. Beyond that, grabbing share from pirates is about the only thing left.
What do you think? I smell a new bit of ‘Genuine-ness’ coming out in Service Pack 3, along the lines of no install if the patch thinks you’re a swashbuckler!( or possibly it will install, and then shut your machine down a la Vista )
[tags] Microsoft, Service Pack 3, Windows Genuine Advantage, BSA, mislicensed software, Windows XP [/tags]