Re: The hard realities of software licensing (Sept. 27)

I would just like to note that there is always the option of not upgrading at all but sticking with what works. If a current configuration works and is reliable then keep it. Why change just because MS comes out with Win XP or whatever?

Your business will not fail if you are still running Win98. Really. Save the money. We need to think of the software etc. more in terms of durable goods instead of disposable goods.

Brian Murrant

Re: The hard realities of software licensing (Sept. 27)

I greatly enjoy your insightful comments on IT issues.

Your article on Microsoft’s new software licensing prompts me to make some observations that might be considered by most as heretical.

One, the computer market was in large part fueled by Microsoft (through its Office software) and Intel (through its computer chips), who between them really defined “value” in the high tech economy of the 70s/80s/90s (products that people were willing to pay for).

Two, The Internet market was in large part a bust because no-one defined anything of value in the Internet economy (other than paying for access, no-one seems willing to pay for anything). The recent dot-com meltdown really pointed out the lack of any business models for this sector.

Three, now we see Microsoft introducing “software licensing,” which brings me to your article and my observation. The introduction of a different model for paying for product, along with other subscription services, may or may not resurrect the so-called Internet economy by reintroducing the notion of value to purely electronic product.

I don’t think there’s much doubt that Microsoft will be successful in forcing us to pay for MS products this way. However, as a businessman I’m hopeful that this will create a new generation of consumers who are willing to pay for intangible, electronic, product. Only then can e-businesses be created and survive.

The infrastructure for a new economy must be based on a valid value proposition. Observing how other vendors (and, more importantly, their customers!) move to new models of electronic payment for electronic products and services will be a good indicator of whether the notion of electronic commerce will revive.

Please note, the views expressed are personal comments and are not to be interpreted as a statement on behalf of Guigne International Limited.

Jim Stacey
Guigne International Limited

Re: The hard realities of software licensing (Sept. 27)

I think it’s important to note that MS has caved to the extent of extending the deadline for decisions until Feb 28,2002. I say this not to laud MS but rather that I think your column may cause a number of MS execs a brief heartflutter when they wonder if after all things changed back again, because it is easy to read your column as saying the decision must be made by tomorrow.

Murray B. Thomson
Director, IS
Klohn-Crippen Consultants Ltd.

Re: A model of virtual reality (Sept. 26)

Good luck finding one (Land’s End)! They’re a catalogue merchant like LL Bean. Yet their “no questions asked” returns policy means you can try it on at home and send it back if it doesn’t work out. It’d be interesting to know their return rates and costs for the lessons other B2C’s can learn. They appear to have done it profitably for decades.

Tim McLaren
Principal Consultant
Korva Consulting Ltd.

Re: W32.Rekcus (Sept. 21)

I am always inpressed at how well you see the bigger picture. You speak my opinion too. Keep talking!

Shannon Hrudka
Network Administrator
Hensall District Co-operative, Inc.

Re: HP buys Compaq (Sept. 14)

The banner headline on the September 14th issue (of Computer Dealer News) motivates me to write to you.

I have some definite issues with this. I feel it is mainly a regurgitation of press releases.

This is an unmitigated disaster and, I suspect, far from a done deal. Why? For one, the HP shareholders are being asked to hand over stock dilution for a company that is still steadily plummeting in value, has divested itself at no gain of its core technologies, and has demonstrated a steady record of poor performance under 3 consecutive CEOs.

Also, Compaq shareholders won’t stand for it. There is nothing that says that HP is doing any better than Compaq. HP is losing at least as much money, has even less profitable core technologies, and an even faster shrinking market share, and their stocks are falling even faster than Compaq.

The only winners in this game are Intel and Dell.

The real losers are the two big distributors. You need to be telling your readers, the Canadian computer resellers, that they need to be prepared for a very nasty future. Why? Ingram and Tech Data account for most Compaq and HP product sales. Between those two brand lines you have roughly 45 per cent of the sales of the two big distributors.

If the deal goes ahead, this will result in a significant drop in gross sales for them. Probably around 20 to 30% according to most. This means other product prices will rise, credit will tighten up, and the resellers will pay the price.

However for the other OEM/integrators of PCs and servers, and for Sun and especially IBM dealers it is great news.

For end users, and dealers it also is a disaster for another reason: within two years Intel will control virtually the whole CPU market. Not because of technology, price, or performance, but by using pressure to eliminate all opposition.

Maurice W. Hilarius
Hard Data Ltd.

Letters to the editor must include the writer’s name and company name along with an e-mail address or other contact information. All letters become the property of Editors reserve the right to edit submissions for length and content.

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