Windows 7 Licensing
Paul Thurrott’s commentary about Windows 7 licensing (“Pricing Malfunction,” InstantDoc ID 102303) hit home with me. I'm an IT professional, and at home I have two netbooks (running Windows XP Home Edition), four PCs (one running XP Home, three running XP Professional), and one Windows Home Server (WHS) system. I'm very excited about Windows 7 and would be happy to pay $50 per PC to upgrade to Windows 7 Home Premium. I guess I'll watch closely for special pre-sales pricing from consumer electronics stores and jump aboard when I can. I wouldn't upgrade my PCs to Windows 7 at a price of $100 or more per PC—$600 (or more) in OS licensing won't receive approval from my CFO (i.e., my wife). But I should be able to obtain her sign-off at $300. The folks in Redmond should take Paul's article to heart!
—J. Christopher Graham
Move to Windows 7? Probably Not
With Windows 7, Microsoft has completely missed the point: Most business users don't need more bells and whistles; they need better security, accountability, traceability, and trackability. You can't get these features from an OS that has been designed for Internet interoperability from the ground up.
My OS of choice at work remains Windows 2000 Server SP4, which runs Mozilla Firefox, Mozilla Thunderbird, AutoCAD LT 2002, and OpenOffice.org 3.0 very well. My home PC runs Windows XP SP2. After reading horror stories about installing XP SP3 on previously well-functioning SP2 systems, I decided not to do it. The PC doesn't get updates anymore. It runs a decent firewall and antivirus solution, and so far it seems reasonably free from hassle and recovers well from failover. It just can't run some legacy applications.
You might wonder why I haven't switched to Ubuntu or some other flavor of Linux. The answer is that my AutoCAD software is mission-critical, and the Linux alternatives are poor in this regard. Also, I've recently come to rely on PDF documents, and support for generating them in Linux is patchy for many applications. (However, in both cases, support is improving.)
Burning bridges, putting in new features nobody asked for, indefinitely postponing the Great Windows Code Rewrite, Microsoft is gaining a reputation for bells and whistles at all costs, including computer security. That's not a sustainable plan in the midterm, let alone the long term.
I've been enjoying Robert Sheldon's PowerShell series, including “Save Your PowerShell Code in Profile and Script Files” (June 2009, InstantDoc ID 10178), for several months now. He has provided an intuitive, easy-to-follow description of PowerShell essentials. Any administrator who isn't comfortable with the command line should be following this series. Kudos to Robert. I look forward to future articles from him!
Bing Rings a Bell
I thought you might like to know that Australia Post has had a service called Bing for quite a while. You can see the Australian Bing here—it's obviously branded Bing. I wonder how much research Microsoft did before naming its new search engine.