To help you when putting Microsoft's latest OS, Windows 7, through its paces, we've highlighted its 7 deadly sins. Partake in these activities at your peril.
Greed: Windows 7 will cost you
Microsoft is a greedy company. Its obsession with preserving profit by stamping out software piracy has led to ever more onerous 'Windows Genuine Advantage' (that is, copy protection) mechanisms, culminating with the albatross of a solution that plagues Vista and, to a lesser degree, Windows 7.
Meanwhile, Microsoft's determination to even out its revenue stream has led to the company denying critical management technologies, like the Microsoft Desktop Optimisation Pack (MDOP) and Enterprise Desktop Virtualisation (MED-V), to customers who refuse to bite the Software Assurance bullet, Microsoft's expensive insurance plan that extracts an annual fee for every PC you have for the privilege of running the current Windows.
Another pickpocket tactic: Tying Windows 7's few, tangible, IT-oriented benefits to the company's server platform. Want to leverage technologies like Branch Cache or Windows Direct Access? Then stock up on some upgrade CALs (client access licenses) because the Windows Server 2008 R2 show is coming to town.
Given how badly Microsoft dropped the ball with the nonexistent Vista/Server 2008 integration message, forcing IT shops that swallowed that bitter pill to now shell out for yet another upgrade cycle is simply unforgiveable.
Considering the company's position as a monopoly, such behavior is all the more reprehensible. For good or bad, Microsoft's responsibilities now extend beyond pleasing its shareholders to include providing leadership and direction for the industry as a whole.
If the company foists a buggy, unmanageable platform upon what is effectively a captive audience, it is then duty-bound to provide affordable solutions for addressing the glaring deficiencies in that platform.
This is the mantle that a true market leader must assume - and as a veteran IT professional, you already know full well that Microsoft falls short of this ideal at nearly every opportunity.
Your job, then, is to mask this moral weakness by emphasising the various bogus ‘value' propositions Microsoft uses to pitch Software Assurance and Windows Server 2008 R2.
After all, without SA you're screwed, and without Windows Server 2008 R2, you get little more than a prettied-up Vista. So pony up and shut up. Or go Linux and spend the rest of your life debugging some pimple-faced teenager's idea of a device driver stack. It's your call.
Anger: Windows 7 penalises Vista refuseniks
Windows 7 is the focal point for much Microsoft customer anger. From the disappointment of not having a direct upgrade path for XP users to the frustration of having to pay for what is essentially a glorified Vista Service Pack, corporate bean counters are furious with Microsoft over the company's mishandling of the Windows 7 transition.
It's not enough to have ignored their concerns with the buggy, consumer-oriented Vista. Microsoft felt the need to rub salt in the wound by effectively punishing them for having the gall to try to save XP.
This is customer abuse of the worst kind, and you may find yourself tempted to hop on the Redmond-bashing bandwagon. But just remember: Microsoft is not a forgiving company. Those who refuse to embrace its long-term strategy often pay dearly as they scramble to catch up to the rest of the Windows parade.
Just ask those poor souls who decided to skip Vista. Pay now, or pay through the nose later. That's the Microsoft way.
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