Are you ready to wheel the Microsoft gift into your city?  Windows 7 its free for a year...but why?
Are you ready to wheel the Microsoft gift into your city? Windows 7 its free for a year...but why?

Its been reported that Microsoft is due to meet again with the EU in regards to the bundling of IE within its Windows platform in early June.  Microsoft will be attending this hearing to make representations and defend its practice of bundling IE with its Windows product.

The EU has said of Microsoft that its IE practices:

“distorts competition”

and

“an artificial distribution advantage which other Web browsers are unable to match”

Now if you agree with this or not (and looking at some of the comments on the net, it appears many people who have used IE for years are very happy with their discovery of Firefox) it makes me wonder why Microsoft chose May 5th to make public (and free) its RC to the public until 2010.

I dont think it can be argued that when Microsoft (IMO) took a Linux distro approach to releasing betas of Windows 7 to the general public and they were very popular.  People like to think they have something “cutting edge” and I think alot of users were made to feel quite important by running the bloat beta and believing their bug reports and experiences were being looked at by Microsoft.

Thats not the way I see it.  On a particularly interesting article from April 2008, Bill Gates is reported as saying:

“I think if you invent drugs, you should be able to charge for them,”

http://arstechnica.com/microsoft/news/2008/04/bill-gates-the-gpl-which-we-disagree-with.ars

I believe that Microsoft is getting the RC out to the masses quickly and before the EU makes any ruling.  That way, if it does, people will already have Windows 7 on their machines.  It is reported on Boycott Novell that Bill Gates has in the past said words to the effect of “get them hooked, we’ll work out how to get a return later”  If this is correct then in my opinion its like the local drug dealer giving out freebies to the kids prior to the drug becoming illegal expecting a return from the addicts at a later date.

Think my example is a little OTT?  Well its Bill Gates mentioning drugs, not me.

So maybe at last Microsoft sees a worth in free software?  We’ve already seen numerous people comment that Windows 7 looks in many ways like OS X.  We have seen Microsoft cast its beady eyes at other sucessfull products and try to emulate them (IMO) Zune?.  I wonder what other ideas Microsoft can draw from FOSS and other products?

Just my opinion, but when you are drinking from the holy grail, consider that you may have picked up the wrong cup.

“The release candidate is available for everyone. From 30 April it will be available to our IT professionals through MSDN and TechNET, we let them get it in advance.”

Im sure many people will remember what some MS faithful have said in the past (in relation to Linux) “you get what you pay for” I bet the Microsoft faithful are regretting saying that as we get the news Microsoft is giving away their OS aswell!

Goblin – bytes4free@googlemail.com