Microsoft's Windows 7 line-up: The good, the bad and the ugly

Microsoft's Windows 7 line-up: The good, the bad and the ugly

Summary: If you were one of those individuals holding out hope that Microsoft might go the way of Apple and move to one or two SKUs for Windows 7, your prayers have gone unanswered. But there still is some good news in what's on tap when Windows 7 ships, most likely in the third or fourth quarter of this year.

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If you were one of those individuals holding out hope that Microsoft might go the way of Apple and move to one or two SKUs for Windows 7, your prayers have gone unanswered. But there still is some good news in what's on tap when Windows 7 ships, most likely in the third or fourth quarter of this year.

Microsoft went public on February 3 with its planned version (SKU) line-up -- but not pricing -- for Windows 7.  After receiving an admittedly very quick SKU overview from the Softies yesterday, here are my first impressions of Microsoft's new SKU plan.

The Good

Microsoft learned a lot of lessons from Vista -- among them, that too many SKUs with too few justifications created customer confusion.

Microsoft is putting the bulk of its marketing dollars and muscle behind just two of the Windows 7 SKUs: Windows 7 Home Premium and Windows 7 Professional. "We think over 80 percent of customers will be on those two SKUs," Bill Veghte, Senior Vice President of the Windows business said. "That's where we are putting our marketing focus."

Another positive: The era of Ultimate promises (and failures) is over. Microsoft is making sure that each, successive version of Windows 7 is a true superset of the SKU just below it. If you pay more money, you get more features the day you buy the product -- not some unspecified time in the future.

Finally, for XP users who've skipped Vista and are wondering whether they'll be able to get upgrade pricing when moving straight to Windows 7, the answer is "Yes, we can!" The official statement, from a Microsoft spokesperson: "Customers can purchase upgrade media and an upgrade license to move from Windows XP to Windows 7; however, they will need to do a clean installation of Windows 7." (Microsoft still isn't ready to talk pricing, but at least you know now you won't have to buy a full license.)

The Bad

While Microsoft is going to emphasize just two SKUs, it still is going to offer five or six (depending on how you count) different Windows 7 versions. (And more, if you count the stripped-down K, N and KN versions the company is required to sell overseas because of antitrust rulings). Here is the full Windows 7 SKU line-up:

  • Windows 7 Starter Edition (for emerging market and netbook users)
  • Windows 7 Home Basic (for emerging market customers only)
  • Windows 7 Home Premium (the main "Media Center" equivalent)
  • Windows 7 Professional (the business SKU for home users and non-enterprise licensees)
  • Windows 7 Enterprise (for volume licensees)
  • Windows 7 Ultimate (for consumers who want/need business features)

Veghte claimed that Microsoft can't have a one- (or two-) size fits all SKU plan because it has more than a billion customers worldwide running Windows. There are too many diverse needs to shoe-horn them all into two SKUs.

I'm also still confused about the changes Microsoft is making to its Ultimate SKU with WIndows 7. Veghte told me that Microsoft is anticipating Ultimate to be one of the less popular SKUs with a run-rate in the "low single digits). Microsoft is positioning Windows 7 Ultimate as the preferred SKU for consumers who need enterprise features (but aren't volume-license customers), as well as for OEMs or retailers with "specific offers" they want to sell around. With Vista, the Ultimate SKU was also aimed primarily at enthusiasts, but was Microsoft's preferred high-end offering for consumers -- one to which it tried to convince customers to upgrade. That doesn't seem to be the case with Windows 7, leading me to believe Microsoft is on the path to phase out Ultimate....

The Ugly

The rumors were wrong; the reality is there is no netbook SKU for Windows 7. Because Windows 7 has been tweaked to have a smaller memory footprint, etc., the full version of 7 can run on many, if not all, netbooks. Microsoft is offering netbook makers a choice: Put Windows 7 Starter Edition or Home Prmium on netbooks.

Unsurprisingly, Veghte was unwilling to discuss how much Microsoft is planning to charge its PC-maker partners per copy for Windows. Here's the Pandora's box I foresee: Is Microsoft going to charge PC makers less per copy for Home Premium than it charges to run the exact same Home Premium SKU on a full-fledged notebook or desktop system? Who will be the judge of what is a "netbook"? Will OEMs decide to preload Starter Edition instead to save money? If they do, users may be unpleasantly surprised when they realize they can run only three apps simultaneously on Starter....

(With Windows 7, Microsoft is now allowing PC makers in all countries, not just emerging markets, to preload Starter Edition on new PCs, by the way.)

My ZDNet blogging colleague Ed Bott will be detailing what's in each of the new SKUs, in case you're still confused about how the Win 7 line-up will stack up against the comparable Vista/XP ones.

Update: Steven Bink of Bink.nu fame has a handy chart comparing the various Windows 7 SKUs.

In the meantime, what do you think of the new Windows 7 line-up? See any gotchas or any good stuff that I missed?

Topics: Hardware, Microsoft, Operating Systems, Software, Windows

About

Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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  • Microsoft was surpised by how well Ultimate sold in Vista.

    Why would the company consider the Vista SE version less likely to be popular? Is this another example of the company understating expectable good news?
    Anton Philidor
    • Ultimate sold well because.

      Because people who bought the home edition got conned. They found out they can't do the things they were expecting, and then had to upgrade to get the features, and spend an additional 200 dollars.

      And of course OEM's know this, that is why we see "Multimedia PC" on the shelf. People want to be able to share their files in a home network, and do the whole multimedia thing.

      I don't think it was a surprise at all, it may have been good new to them that they got consumers to pay 3x as much for their product then they should have.
      xXSpeedzXx
      • Got conned? That is crazy talk j.m. Ever been to Microsoft.com?

        Every last detail about each edition was all over the web, let alone on Microsoft.com. <br><br>
        Ultimate was advertised, correctly, "for those who use their home PC for work as well". <br><br>
        It wouldn't matter how it was worded, there would be people claiming MS is "conning" them, like yourself. <br><br>
        My best guess is this happened to you, because you didn't do your homework, but instead you try to make it out like the average consumer is not bright enough to determine features before purchasing. <br><br>
        You know, if you apply that elitist type attitude across the board, there are a lot of people out there with the wrong version of car they "really" wanted, since many car manufacturers have up to a dozen various packages for one model. <br><br>
        Or how many poor saps got soaked by Apple when they are faced with 50 different iPods, and thinking, naturally, the ones with screens on them must do "touch". Isn't that what you'd think? <br><br>
        Please let this crap die. <br><br>
        Microsoft, nor any OEM was trying to CON anyone into buying a version they didn't need. <br>
        If you have proof to the contrary please present it, otherwise I don't feel bad for you buying a version you didn't want, again, the specs for every version are there for you in full detail at Microsoft's website and you should have known better. Just like anyone out there savvy enough to setup a home network, who all got the correct version and are all happy with their purchase. <br><br>
        xuniL_z
        • See some of the subsequent posts below.

          When you see advertisements that say things link "this computer comes with everything you need" and of course then there is the fine print that says additional costs may apply, to get the features you want.

          Honestly I think there are people that get doped into buying something that doesn't and cannot suit their needs. I am an IT tech at a college and I see it every term, I have college kids that come in and ask why they can't do something on their laptop or computer. And it isn't limited to Microsoft, it happens in apple products, but to a lesser extent, as the apple products will do what they want, it is just different than what they see on the campus computers, and that confuses them. But what I hear from kids that buy a PC is "well I was expecting to be able to do this, but I can't. Can you help? Then I have to tell them they need to spend an additional 100-200 dollars to get the version who can.

          The different versions do not con me, as I know how to read them, but I also know how most end users are. Why do you think CD trays get used as cup holders...?
          xXSpeedzXx
          • Well, you are talking about something that is not just a MS phenomenon...

            There are many people that should have to be given an IQ test before they can have children. <br>
            ;)
            <br>
            We can't stop all ignorance in the world by reducing the MS OS versions to one. that will solve very little. Businesses don't want the media center stuff, that is probably part of the reason Macs are not used in business outside of publishing and art departments for the most part. <br><br>
            And if we are going to talk about advertising that you feel may not be above board, just take a listen to any Apple commercial. They don't just mislead, they contain outright lies. <br><br>
            Go to Apple.com and you'll notice Leopard is advertised as a FULL 64 bit OS. That is a lie. I don't care how many times I have to say it, or how tired anyone becomes of it, it is a lie. Leopard's kernel is 32 bit. Apple has Never been able to release a fully 64 bit OS. They are getting closer, but by trying to cram everything into one OS, they are forced to mislead the public. <br><br>
            And with Vista x64 machines, the full 64 bit kernel not only gives you better performance with 64 bit apps and drivers, it also makes 32 bit apps run faster because 64 bit kernel operations can still be performed giving the app better performance. <br><br>
            I think what MS needs to do is draw more attention to the 64 bit flavor of each version. It's past time we move to a 64 bit world. Linux based OSes also have full 64 bit versions, so those Apple students are way behind the crowd. <br>
            ;)
            <br><br>
            Unfortunately for the Linux folks, if students are as far out of it as you represent here, Linux stands little hope of adoption. I think this coming generation is important to Linux success, so if they can't decipher what each windows version includes, forget trying to deal with Linux. No matter how easy they claim the Ubuntu download is, there are too many choices for those kind of people to make and they'd soon get frustrated trying to get it setup and some apps they understand how to use.
            xuniL_z
          • Everything who needs? The buyer has to have some brains.

            Statements like: "this computer comes with everything you need" is obvious sales fluff that no one would fall for if they were buying any other product.

            I need to tow a snowmobile trailer with two snowmobiles on it that weighs in at about 1600 Lbs. Supposing I walked into a car dealership and the salesman immediately said "this car has everything you need" so I bought it without checking the specs and features for myself or making him answer the question about towing capabilities. Supposing I got home and found it had no trailer hitch and that even if I had a hitch put on it it would only tow 1000 Lbs? Would I then be justified in saying that $%#^$ Ford sold me a piece of crap car that won't tow my stuff? Or would you say "hey dummy, you should have made sure of that before writing the check".

            Or what if I went into the dealership and there were only three models to choose from? Would I say "gee isn't that great that they limit the choices so much so that I don't have to decide or do any research or know anything?

            Why is it that we expect computer purchases to somehow be so much simpler than any other purchase we make? We want our choice to be as simple as saying hmmm do I want skim milk or 2%. We want to buy it without having to think about it or know anything yet when we get it home, mercilessly criticize the manufacturer when it doesn't do everything we want.
            cornpie
          • Oiy

            For almost everyone, Home Premium was plenty.

            I upgraded a couple pc's to Ultimate solely
            because I wanted RDS and a few other things on
            work machines. Home-only machines run premium,
            and that's got plenty.
            evilkillerwhale
        • JMorgan is Right, "xuniL_z" is wrong

          I'll just refer to him as X. Anyhow, X is really a cocky "thinks-he-knows-it-all". X is talking absolute rubbish.

          [i]My best guess is this happened to you, because you didn't do your homework, but instead you try to make it out like the average consumer is not bright enough to determine features before purchasing.[/i]

          Right dude X, yeah, jmorgan and the bazillion other people I've encountered that asked me if I could help them either figure out how to make Vista do what they want (which it couldn't, they needed a more expensive version), or remove it and go back to XP that "just worked great".

          [i]Ultimate was advertised, correctly, "for those who use their home PC for work as well". [/i]

          Plain and simple evidence of the rubbish. So nothing else but the Ultimate version is good for work? That by itself is good enough reason to leave Windows for another platform. Should people have to buy an "Ultimate" version simply because they work from home? Doesn't that sound just slightly pathetic?


          [i]You know, if you apply that elitist type attitude across the board,[/i]

          WTF??? Elitest?!? Umm, what about what he said was even remotely close to the definition of "Elitest". Sounds like you've been listening to too much liberal talk radio... Bwahaha...Elitest...


          [i]there are a lot of people out there with the wrong version of car they "really" wanted, since many car manufacturers have up to a dozen various packages for one model.[/i]

          Totally different sales models, but ok, I'll follow your anology. In the automotive world, we call it a "test drive"; Software world we call that "Try before you buy" or "Shareware". The closest equivalent would be the Apple Stores where users can go in there and get purchase advice from a qualified sales rep and even test drive the products before buying. Can you think of any equivalent model in the Wintel OEM world? Very few, if any at all. Rubbish I say.

          [i]Or how many poor saps got soaked by Apple when they are faced with 50 different iPods, and thinking, naturally, the ones with screens on them must do "touch". Isn't that what you'd think?[/i]

          I don't know how many, do you have the figures, or was this one of those "it happened to me, so everyone else must be the same sort of dullard" type of situation you mentioned previously?

          Could you send me the URLs to the other 30-something iPod models available? I'm truly interested...

          "Soaked"??? According to word-web at Princeton, the closest definition to your misused euphemism is "overpriced". Were Apple's products overpriced? Oh wait, you were talking about consumers mistaking that the all of the devices had a touch screen...I can honestly say I've never had a single person mention that to me, nor have I ever read a blog post about it. I'm not saying there weren't a few of the non-tech types that had that happen, but really, there is no comparison to the number of people with complaints against Vista. iTunes and Apple DRM perhaps, I hate it, but my iPod, I have only good things to say about it. Can't say the same for Vista.

          [i]Please let this crap die. [/i]

          Don't be so hard on yourself.

          [i]If you have proof to the contrary please present it, otherwise I don't feel bad for you buying a version you didn't want, again, the specs for every version are there for you in full detail at Microsoft's website and you should have known better. Just like anyone out there savvy enough to setup a home network, who all got the correct version and are all happy with their purchase.[/i]

          Umm, I got the right version, the first time, and I'm still pissed off that it's a POS. Switched over to openSUSE 64-bit and haven't had a problem since. Haven't looked back either. I have a nice open road before me now...

          MarketingTutor
          • toot your own horn much

            Look lets keep this really simple.
            1st were all in the science of computers be it
            Techs, IT, Network admins,and retial(to a
            lesser degree). I have found that I and my co-
            workers and most of the professionals in the pc
            world are too busy arguing with each other to
            see the real issue at hand.
            We as techs and it pros earned our tools too
            hinder, harm or help those that rely on us to
            keep there machines running and doing what
            there supposed to do, and also getting them (or
            building in my case)the proper hardware and
            software that will fit there needs.
            I would willingly send a customer to the mac
            store and get a mac that will do all the things
            they want to do if I cant get them a PC that
            will do the same thing.
            it really dosen't matter what we use on our own
            time be it Linux,Windows,OS or what have you.
            all this bs of how MS did this and linux is
            that and mac rulz.
            Its all really stupid speekin that your
            personal experience is another tool for you to
            use.
            so in short we all need to quit being whiny
            little school girls and do the right thing, for
            our customers and those reliant on us for the
            support they deserve.
            unholytech
          • Whoa there, pardner

            <i>I'll just refer to him as X. Anyhow, X is really a cocky "thinks-he-knows-it-all". X is talking absolute rubbish.
            </i><br><br>
            Well, i'm not, but if I were cocky, your reply is definately the pot/kettle/black thing with a vengance. <br>
            I don't "think I know it all" by any means. I know my limitations and abilities very well, thanks anyway. <br><br>
            <i>Umm, I got the right version, the first time, and I'm still pissed off that it's a POS. Switched over to openSUSE 64-bit and haven't had a problem since. Haven't looked back either. I have a nice open road before me now...
            </i><br><br>
            Ummm, you know this is where cocky (you) and I have to part ways. I don't come on here and post that linux is a POS. I don't think it is at all. <br>
            Likewise, Vista is a very stable and secure and inmho the best network client today. There are some professionals that have had issues with Vista (and other OSes), but they would never grunt out expletives like POS, WTF, and all that garbage like you.
            <br><br>
            As for your closing lines about "moving to Suse and you haven't looked back?" <br><br>
            Well since you are in a Windows blog commenting on vista, I can clearly see you "haven't looked back" <br><br>
            Please, try to go back to looking forward to that big open road.
            xuniL_z
          • "I don't come on here and post that linux is a POS"

            Ha ha ha ha-ha, haaaaa!

            Poor memory there, eh? Ha ha

            Maybe you aren't NOW, but I've heard that a leopard can't (or won't) change his spots.
            Ole Man
          • blah blah blah blah blah...

            [i]Likewise, Vista is a very stable and secure and inmho the best network client today. [/i]

            yawn... :o/


            X, do you really going to change anybody's opinion about that at this late stage? You are truly naive if you believe that.

            M$ had their chance two years ago and they blew it...
            hasta la Vista, bah-bie
          • B. do you really think.

            I don't know the score here? <br><br>
            I'm not sure why you seem to reply to me as though i were strange. With over a billion users on this planet, you don't think a Windows user that happens to like Windows won't show up on a Windows blog? <br><br>
            YOu are here just ot post anti MS smack again, like you always do, do you think that is going to change anyone's mind on anything here? <br>
            You are preaching to the choir. <br><br>
            If you dislike MS, then why vist blogs about their products? What is your reasoning? <br><br>
            Some kind of anti-ms torrets where you are compelled to search out where windows users would be, then blurt out unprofessional sentiments about a piece of software?
            xuniL_z
          • Why do I reply?

            Because I believe in fighting monopolies, that's why. Not everyone out there is a sheep, fully absorbed into M$ borg way of thinking as you are. Our 7%er voices need to be heard.

            I know a lot of Winbloze users out there, myself included. We use it because our employers give us no choice, not because there's any great LOVE for it. If you don't like the responses you get, then feel free to move somewhere else. Unless you are a paid shill and this is your job.

            I hope the Obama administration looks into M$ anti-competitive practices with the Justice Department eventually splitting it up into little modular pieces. That would be something I'd like to see. And it may very well happen.
            hasta la Vista, bah-bie
          • Yawn

            MS was never a monopoly. The judge, who ended up showing his bias and the case should have been thrown out, that kind of behavior should never be allowed in our justice system..ever..that is what I'm fighting, but he had to make new law from the bench to fit MS into a monopoly. He had to discount SUN and Apple, neither of whom had any MS influence affecting their growth, Apple for example decided to stay very very proprietary with Appletalk instead of supporting TCP/IP and never showed any interest or were really bad at growing the company. They are doing so today, so when MS was still a small company they could have then. They chose to let it all happen. IBM paved the way, so maybe they are to blame? They were in AT court more than any other IT company, why not fight IBM? Oh, that was in the past? <br><br>
            So was the MS trial. It's been a decade of MS being under the thumb of the DoJ, submitting all plans to DoJ legal to get approval. <br><br>
            They have paid their debt to society. Apparently apple has 10% of the market and many Linux zealots are claiming the Linux share is growing. Why do we need people like you on here spouting 1990s garbage continuously? What a waste of a life and time. Your family must be so proud of you. <br><br>
            You are not fighting world hunger and lack of medical facilities to the poor around the globe, like Bill Gates is doing mostly full time now ( Are you one of those so shallow and so spiteful as to claim he's *only* doing it to have more Windows customers? Those that honestly believe he is somehow making all of the billions he is trying to save sign a contract of some type of retarded thing. Then there are those that claim his power plants or medical facilities are outputting something harmful, so that wipes out ALL of the good they are doing. How much hate does one have to have in their hearts to say something like that. Power facilities et al unfortunately have some degree of a downside. For example there is an oil refinery in a town near here and their is a pattern of higher incident of cancer of those that live near that facility. Well, people choose their own place to live and to take that chance. Around the globe there is that unavoidable downside to the progress of man and the saving of billions of lives....some small number may be affected. That is an unfortunate fact of life and nothing more. Bill and Melinda and serious and trying to save many people and make the world a better place) <br><br>
            What have you done for your fellow man today? do you voluteer at hospitals or cancer centers or have you started any neighborhood programs to help the youth or give your time trying to stamp out the slow but sure ruining of our natural resources? There are factories spewing out harmful chemicals, Apple included, and MS NOT included. <br><br>
            80% of the market is not a monopoly, sorry. <br><b>
            Why not fight against Haliburton and how Dick Cheney formed and became infinately wealthy soley from contacts made while in office? <br><br>
            Why not try to help the economies of the world buy BUYING something. <br><br>
            I'm not sure where you are from but socialism has been shown to be totally unobtainable and usually turns a country into ruins. this does not include any nation in the EU that are called socialist because like the U.S. is partially capitalist but has many socialist programs, they have a lot of capitalism mixed in with their style of socialism. <br><br>
            I would rather there be a natural, organic evolution, as there is clear evidence of it happening, rather than code being dumped into the marketplace and displacing millions of workers at the worst possible time. <br><br>
            Monopolies are legal and provide a lot of good to the world. MS has never been against mankind. They are good stewards of their jobs and have been since they started. They are in favor of enviornmental controls and being eco-friendly. They don't have any "Evil" purpose as you and others are trying to make it out to be. <br><br>
            Google on the other hand has racked up a record of being against humanity and their business model, for the world to see, consists of an army of lawyers who are trying to gain Google control over entities that have existed for against. They have stomped out many companies who had a similar name or used the letter "g" for a product with their massive amounts of cash and that same army of lawyers to try and own the web itself. They use bandwidth as though they do own it, they make exclusive deals but fight against it where competitors are concerned. <br><br>
            Apple is showing they are more greedy than MS ever thought of being, you don't see that? <br><br>
            Are you fighting aganist their iPod/iTunes monopoly? they have as big a share there as MS does on the desktop. And you seem to forget that the desktop is not where computers end. There are still millions of unix and linux servers in use worldwide. <br><br>
            What about the Linux monopoly on embedded systems? Huh? Are you "fighting" that monopoly? <br><br>
            If a certain Linux OS got teh netbook thing and grew it to 80%, would you go out after the distro and fight against it? No, of course you wouldn't. <br><br>
            You are totally subjective and autocratic. <br><br>Most sites I work with now are using openoffice to some degree or another. It's only a matter of time before these "free" packages are good enough to replace MS Office, which is not a monopoly either, not by a wide margin in fact. What happens then? Can the world afford another million jobs lost? There are thousands, perhaps over 10,000 at MS that work on Office. Then there are application programmers by the millions around the world that build Office solutions. So a free package comes in and takes over, then what? immediately over 10,000, probably closer to 20 to 30,000 people are gone from Microsoft, just like that. And then the ecosystem that if you look at MS as a whole goes into many multiple Millions of people who would be displaced and lose jobs. <br><br>
            "free" software, or open source software is not a revolutino in technology. In the past one technology replaced the former and people worked into the newer technologies and that has happened forever basically. <br><br>
            You we are just seeing a very large job creating computer system industry trying to be taken over, completely by most of the religious fanatics like yourself that Linus Torvalds totally dislikes. He said he didn't open his kernel to replace Windows or form religious zealots using it to "fight" proprietary software. He is sickened by what you and others are doing and he's the man that wrote the kernel. <br><br>
            I don't care how successful Apple gets, competition is always good, but Linux based OSes aer not competition, they are free replacements that is just a "SWAP" out with proprietary, not a new technology that will create millions of new jobs for workers to move into, it will cause the largest displacement of workers around the globe, and this will happen when it's good enough to do so, and create a tragedy on a scale the world has not seen. Worst the the great depression, as if things are not bad enough already we will see Jobs evaporate into the multiple millions that will never come back. Not if Linux is not monetized. <br><br>
            Unix, as we know it today, was paid for by taxpayers during the 70s and the darpa projects at many universities and other research sites, such as where Mr. Cerf was funded by tax money to come up with a communication protocol and tcp/ip was eventually born. At Berkeley where they fought putting tcp/ip into the OS but has to do so, luckily, because the funding would not continue if they had no. Scott Mcneally was attending Standford University and on the S.U.N. research group there. He was a bright engineer but with all of the work from Berkeley and PARC and many other sites a Unix solid enough and secure enough to give the U.S. computer superiority, the object of the darpa projects and one that is secure enough for the U.S. military arose.<br><br>
            Now this is key, the Feds wanted to privitize the work that had been done to grow the technology further and they knew that was the place it would happen, not in government funded facilities. So SUN was formed for McNeally with government funding and an ANTI-TRUST EXEMPTION. Yep, they and other companies of that time could take over the countries computing and be totally exempt for anti trust law for a long while. <br><br>
            You should dig up the darpa project details and try to fight against Unix and Linux which was derived and modeled entirely after Unix and how they used a government project to propel "free" software into the picture. <br>
            It's government software, and the NSF has supported many Linux projects over the years, I suppose MS has taken advantage of NSF monies too but like Linux. <br><br>
            Now Linux is powered by huge money like that from Shuttleworth, Google, IBM ( major breakers of anti trust laws and SUN who was given that "free" access to all of the technology out of darpa projects, including RISC processor technology and the list goes on and on and they had that exemption from Law and here it's MS who made it on their own in what amounts to an unprecedented period in history, not a monopoly as they had nobody competing. Apple and Sun had no clue about an OS for the desktop for the masses. Everyone soon could afford a computer with an OS. That was a GREAT thing in our history. Not a bad thing at all. Except to people like you. <br><br>
            Why not go after the real problem, the government backed software, paid for by taxpayers and now pushed by government loving stooges who would rather live under massive government control than free enterprise and the ability for everyone to have a chance to do what they want and start their own businesses as they wish for profit, as is required for the economy to work and people have jobs.

            xuniL_z
          • More blah blah blah...

            I got about half way through your endless nonsense before I fell asleep and you still haven't convinced me otherwise. M$ is 10 times bigger than Apple so your red-herrings there don't impress me a bit. You are nothing but a brainwashed tool of a multi-national corporation.

            Yes they are a monopoly and now that we have a new administration, we'll hopefully see the government involved in this again. They gave up too soon when Clinton was President. I've seen the deposition tapes made in 1997 when Gates was playing dumb before the cameras.

            You can spout on and on all you want to, but the day will come when the borg is broken up while Bill Gates continues to play Mother Theresa with his criminal wealth.

            Too much power, too much control. They will pay.
            hasta la Vista, bah-bie
          • Geez!

            I didn't know ZDNet allowed that much swill in one post.......

            Learn something every day, without even trying.
            Ole Man
          • I guess he likes to hear himself talk

            Talk about bloviation. He really wasted it with me. Maybe he should sing to the Redmond choir...
            hasta la Vista, bah-bie
        • I get so sick of Microsoft employees shilling on discussion groups

          I get SO sick of Microsoft employees shilling on discussion groups. Do you REALLY believe you are not plainly obvious???

          Do you get extra pay for it, or just get to keep your Microsoft job??
          maggietoo9
          • I get sick of closed minded nutballs...

            commenting on discussion groups that think anyone who is not a violent anti-ms loon is a microsoft employee and has no right to voice their opinion. Why don't you crawl back into that hole you came out of, now?
            jamesrayg