Unfortunately it's probably already been activated and reselling would trip the WGA box of doom.
Today I read an interesting comparison.
Anyone who's been in the computer biz for more than a decade or so knows the sad story of how Novell got their asses kicked by Microsoft, who offered a product that was cheaper, easier to install, and more integrated, even though it was of substantially lower quality.
That having been the case, chew on this:
VMware could very well be the Novell Netware of today. They've got a great product -- but they're expensive, their software can sometimes be quite byzantine to work with in large installations, and what they do is rapidly heading towards commodity status.
What happens next remains to be seen. Hyper-V is a piece of crap, but that won't stop a lot of pure-Microsoft shops from deploying it, especially if they're already entrenched in Microsoft licensing. And the open source offerings are quite good, at an early enough stage to make a difference.
If the folks at VMware are smart, they will position themselves as a software management company rather than a virtualization company. Already there is some noise about vCenter being able to manage other hypervisors (other than ESX/ESXi) in the not too distant future. That would be a good move for them -- give away the hypervisor under *all* situations (currently ESXi is only free if it's unmanaged) and charge for a hypervisor-agnostic management platform.
So much for the Linux and Mac clients working properly anymore. I wonder if third-party clients will emerge?
Microsoft won't shut off Mac and Linux on day 1, of course. They'll simply let those clients go unmaintained, and then one day there will be a message "Your version of the Microsoft(R) Skype(TM) Client is too old; please upgrade to the latest version to enjoy all of our Innovative(TM) new features!" but the new version will only be available for Windoze.
I'm sure there will be an X-Box version too, using one of the cameras in the Kinect for video.
In the meantime, I suppose it'll be Google Chat for the rest of us. I was delighted to discover that my instant messenger client (Pidgin) already has support for video in Google Chat.
well, they're going to port everything to c-carpet so it runs on the vistafon. thanks to our beloved miguel it won't be that hard to maintain a working linux version... (just get the filenames right without driveletters)
but the client is going to become slooouuwww and suck cpu till it burns.
Subject: Arnie ist bald da...
Haven't been impressed with the Linux Skype client, anyhow...it was always lagging in features and functionality behind the Windows and Mac versions, and crashed more often than not.
Microsoft seems to be realizing that everyone hates the Office "Ribbon" so they're completely redesigning the user interface for Office *again*.
And this time around they're basing it on the allegedly "hugely popular" Metro UI from Phone 7, which uses gigantic fonts that wrap all over the page.
Yeesh. The problem here is that office automation software is DONE. Microsoft can't think of any useful new features to add to it, so instead of just stopping, they keep throwing more and more crap into it, otherwise people get upset that they're spending $500 for not much more than bugfixes.
Microsoft's board, and in particular, Bill Gates, do not seem to agree.
I'm happy to see this. I agree with Einhorn: the last ten years have been largely stagnant under Ballmer's leadership. And I'm cool with that, of course, because it is in everyone's best interest for Microsoft to continue to decline.
(Sometimes you've got to wonder what color the sky is in some people's worlds --- I actually saw one tech pundit claim that "Microsoft built the platform from which Apple and Google launched their own successes")
The story now seems to be morphing from "Ballmer should be kicked out" to "Gates should be brought back."
If this happens, it will be the realization of something I have predicted for a long time: they are planning to add "the triumphant return of the original CEO" to the long list of things they copied from Apple.
You heard it here first.
That's an amusing comparison, given the personalities involved.
The Triumphant Return Of Steve Jobs:
Glamour, glitter, a nice runway with super-models flashing the very latest apparil, raucous music from all the latest artists, etc.
The Triumphant Return Of Bill Gates:
Drab tile floors with beige walls, 8-bit mono music (and only one note at a time) from a cheap Casio calculator, with ugly, disgusting guys standing around trying to outdo each other intellectually, etc.
(Sometimes you've got to wonder what color the sky is in some people's
worlds --- I actually saw one tech pundit claim that "Microsoft built
the platform from which Apple and Google launched their own successes")
Well, sure, you have to use IE to download chrome.
The story now seems to be morphing from "Ballmer should be kicked out"
to "Gates should be brought back."
Gates will never do that. (imho) Like any past president, all you could do is make your reputation worse. (applenotwithstanding I'll get to that in a minute) Look at the yahoo guy. Or dell. I can't imagine what brain fart made anybody think that the skills that build a company from scratch are in any way related to the skills that can save a company from decline from being old.
Gates would do well to keep spending his foundation's money and stay the hell away from microsoft.
Well, sure, you have to use IE to download chrome.
I didn't use IE; I just did "apt-get install google-chrome" :)
To be honest, I don't think Gates *wants* to run Microsoft again. He may be evil but he's not stupid: he knows that Microsoft's best days are behind it; he might even be aware that the tech sector in general is moving away from the United States as we continue our race to the bottom.
I think what Microsoft *really* needs is not Gates, not Ballmer, but someone with the business skills to turn Microsoft into a properly operating "old company." Instead of trying to gobble up 100% of every market it enters, Microsoft needs to grow the fuck up and start acting more like IBM. Build products that may not be sexy but can be trusted as reliable workhorses. Be a trustworthy corporate partner, become a blue chip stock, pay out dividends, and sit quietly in the background as an engine of American business.
Paul Graham once suggested that "Microsoft's biggest weakness is that they still don't realize how much they suck." That's a rather provocative way of putting it, but they really do still think that they can b all things to all people. They haven't come to terms with the fact that the computer industry is way too big for one company to own it all, and that it's ok to cede some parts of the market.
Gates has probably realized that Microsoft peaked in the late 1990's and that was its best, and last, chance to "own it all" before disruptive forces changed the game towards the end of the decade.
So ... what does everyone think of the user interface (sorry ... "experience") they're preparing for Vista 8? Evidently, they are planning to deploy their smartphone UI on *every* version of Windows, regardless of whether it's for a phone, a tablet, a laptop, or a desktop.
All of the demo videos I've seen so far have been driven by touch. I would imagine it's going to be quite cumbersome and frustrating to use with a mouse.
They seem to have this obsession with conformity *of* Windows, not just *to* Windows. "One world, one operating system, one user interface" (Microsoft's version of "Ein Volk, Ein Reich, Ein Fuhrer")
The new UI is a bunch of eye-candy with a huge learning curve.... not "intuitive" at all and seems a bit on the "trying to make everyone happy" theme.
I'm all for changing UI's to match the current trends, which is nice and good, but why completely change absolutely every single way you interact with your computer?
Will there be a way to completely disable this new UI so people-like-me can work in a familiar environment instead of something terribly confusing?
Instead of consulting a team of designers, they should be researching how the users feel about these subjects. I think they've long-sense lost sight of the customer and they're trying to make themselves happy with this UI (and other) redesign.