MS monopoly acts the part

— 12:00 AM on April 23, 2002

While Billy Gates is busy defending his company in court as something other than a monopolist, MS marketing drones are putting the squeeze on school districts in attempts to get every last penny out of them via its latest Windows licensing regime.

The story is much the same for businesses. MS and PC manufacturers' sales reps are pushing hard to sell Office XP licenses for $330 per system plus the cost of "Software Assurance" subscriptions, which you have to renew (that is, pay more) every two years (and compliance will be tracked "for you" by Microsoft themselves.) An OEM copy of Office XP costs only about $150 per system, so you'd have to throw out your PC and upgrade it twice before seeing a cost benefit from a transferrable license. Effectively, Microsoft has raised prices.

But MS's marketing drones know full well that the complexity and constant churn of past MS licensing regimes makes compliance difficult, so they are taking the "carrot and stick" approach to selling, in which the carrot is the tough-to-swallow Open License terms, and the stick is the threat of a BSA audit and resulting ligitation. The stick is used to beat you until you swallow the carrot.

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