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Re: Windows Update to perform mandatory piracy checks (July 26)

It is hard for the largest software company in the world to claim this will protect them when their net income this

year is up by 30 per cent. Where’s the problem? This is one further step to them then forcing other developers to be more cooperative by incentive – they can offer to check for pirated copies of their software if they make them more Windows-friendly. The small guys are the real losers in piracy, and in many cases, Microsoft has been the pirate. Look at all the copyright suits they have settled or been charged with, where the originating programmers essentially were beat over the head so Bill and crew could enhance their own products. I thought the activation routine was supposed to solve the problem.

Microsoft should be split into OS and all else, and all developers should be given equal access to the OS code. It is inconceivable in business that a company with the market share of MS, and the power they wield to drive consumers into their other products should exist today without substantial regulation. This isn’t about piracy, its about control. When MS was ruled free to dominate the market, they were granted a monarchy of sorts, with the power to control their marketplace almost without restraint.

Joe Seigo
Calabasas, Calif.

Re: Windows Update to perform mandatory piracy checks (July 26)

When will someone do a story which covers the other side of the piracy story? Let’s all be honest, if Microsoft wanted to stop piracy they could, but they skate around it because it allows more of their software to be circulated, call it free market research. I have been in the business for over twenty five years and there are two sides to every coin, I have at least a hundred thousand dollars of software and training material in my basement which is non-useable or -compliant. Add to this at least that much in training, finished my MCSE just in time to get the notice for the next one. My CNE sits on a wall collecting dust as well as over a hundred other certifications. Microsoft made it where they are on our backs, the underpaid technicians trying to please a customer by getting his two-year-old program to run on the new Windows platform, Windows me should have been a complete refund or upgrade to Windows XP.

So for once please do an article on what Microsoft products have cost the world, let alone the poor guy trying to do a job and you will see there is only one winner in this situation, Microsoft.

I maintain several hospitals and with six buildings and over 1,500 users and there computer cost are starting to cost people their jobs. So let somebody else step up to bat.

Kenneth Muir

Re: Is open source a healthy choice? (July 25)

Khaled El Emam fell for many of the common misunderstandings of Free/Libre and Open Source Software (FLOSS). He compared apples to books, only to suggest that apples taste better.

The “more eyeballs” argument is to software like access to information requests are to democracy. Having ATIP requests in a democracy does not guarantee that problems will be disclosed, but disallowing them guarantees that insiders will hide and otherwise abuse mistakes. Software or public policy can only be good when an opposition person (competitor, etc) is able to view what is going on in a fully transparent and accountable manner.

If all source code was disclosed from both FLOSS and “software manufacturing” projects it would likely be found that the top projects for FLOSS are far higher quality than the top projects for “software manufacturing.” For the smaller projects, quality will be lower regardless of whether it is FLOSS or not. It is only due to the inherent lack of accountability and transparency that we have no way to measure code quality for “software manufacturing,” but can easily evaluate the full spectrum of FLOSS.

Another misconception is about price. With “software manufacturing” you pay for copies, with support being extra. With FLOSS you don’t have to pay for copies at all, just the support. Because FLOSS is not tied to any specific vendor, it allows customers to shop around and get the best support, putting the client in control which offers them better support than the vendor-dependent situations.

You get what you pay for. If you don’t pay for support for software, you will get poor support (if any at all) from volunteers. The big difference with “software manufacturing” like Microsoft is that you are forced to pay for unsupported “copies,” and because of the monopoly on support aren’t able to shop around.

Russell McOrmond

Re: Is open source a healthy choice? (July 25)

The U.S. Veterans Administration has a software that Medicare will distribute for free called Vista. It uses M or Mumps but integrates with Java. It’s not really touted as open source but it is and it has the potential to be a killer app.

Paul Campbell

Re: Crystal Reports trainers cry foul over licensing (July 22)

Great job on that article!

Ido Millet

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