Problem was, this ZDNet correspondent was over 2000 miles away from where his installation discs, and was now trapped with a broken version of Office that would not let him edit existing documents of create any new ones.
Serves him right!
But then I digress, it's not really that simple, that Micro$oft is producing overprized crapware, that strangle you into a license stronghold which is bad news; personally or as a business. It's somewhat more sinister then that:
I don't have a problem with the fact, that M$ makes an absurd profit by selling software. It's a company, run by insanely clever business savvy people. It's not so much the person of a Bill Gates, Steve Ballmer or Nathan Myrvhold (sp?), but the combination of those brains; and kid you not - they're brilliant in what they do.
It's not even the documented, rotten business tactics they apply. I worked for a database vendor for somewhat over 4 years (not the evil empire of database) - and man. Software is a business which is rotten to the core. So actually a lot of what they do is business as usual in that field.
What gets me, is the fact that M$ is attempting to manipulate our everyday lives to the worse and charge us for us for every move on the way.
Wanna listen to a tune?
You better have WMP, with integrated digital rights management on a very low level.
Wanna watch a movie?
Well, bad news:
Your copy of this DisneyWarnerSonyViacom flick can only be viewed three times within a year. But fear you not: It anyway won't play, since your copy is not licensed to be played on a computer in Wyoming. And most certainly only on a DCMA protected EvilCompany licensed device, which is certainly not available for your OS of choice.
Wanna browse the net?
Certainly not a problem. If we don't take care however, it will be a net crippled to the lowest common denominator. It will be a net where companies like M$, AOL, Disney and CyberPatrol will be in charge for providing the content. Their content of course.
Paranoid? Not really. Actually I wouldn't give a shit if they're out there to get me. I do fear however, that computers are turning into dumbed down CPRS controlled AOL compliant, Micro$oft taxed idiot devices, which is not that far away from your average game show on telly. And yes, I believe this should be fought with all the might of people who are in a position to fight such a development.
How? Well, for starters:
Do you really need a M$ OS and applications on your pc?
What about supporting a free software project by writing code, or if that fails, support one by using it, reporting bugs, writing some documentation, or donate some of your time to a worthy cause
Are you in a position to make, or influence decisions? Yeah? way to go!
Support your local art community, write, subvert your school or company, whatever.
But by all means, if you don't want your computer to provide the cultural value of your average telly program in five years then do something!