Licensing Matters

One of the biggest reasons I had for moving my last employter to GNU/Linux was M$’s licensing. I’m writing about XP licensing, several layers of complexity less than M$’s current BS. I needed to keep track of “stickers” and OS versions when all I wanted to do was use IT in education. Is that too much to ask? Then there was the malware. We had to put up with that and pay (blood, sweat, tears, my time) for re-imaging systems every week. The EULA? It wanted to forbid networking of our PCs without a licence for a server…

“between October 2012 and December of last year, Johnson seriously contemplated upgrading a set of Microsoft on-premises servers, including SharePoint, Lync and Exchange, and moving about 1,200 users to the newer, cloud-hosted versions in Office 365.
But after three months of research, proposals and evaluations involving Microsoft and some reseller partners, Johnson and his team didn’t feel they were presented with a clear and favorable licensing and technology plan that would have let his company achieve the goals of the upgrade. They decided to not move ahead.”
Business IT is much more complex because businesses has so many more products from M$. They are locked in tightly and the licences are truly inscrutable. The complexity of the licensing does many things:

  • it make businesses overpay, often multiple times for the same “service” (disservice)
  • it forces businesses to talk to M$ about any changes in IT which slows down and increases the cost of changes
  • it gives M$ justification to mess with businesses demanding audits and more money
  • it simply raises the costs of IT prohibitively, forcing many businesses to use antiques like XP indefinitely

On the other hand GNU/Linux is mostly covered by Free Software licences that give the users the right to run, examine, modify and even distribute the software with no fuss at all. Where’s the complexity? There is none. My work dropped from many hours per week fixing that other OS to having robust IT just keep on ticking with GNU/Linux. That must be looking pretty good to businesses now. Too bad they didn’t all migrate a decade ago when the horror of XP was introduced. It’s taken that long just to fix some of the bugs in XP and now M$ is forcing change to a new more expensive alternative. An alternative is needed and it’s Free Software, a cooperative product of the world, not of a monopolist. Go to Debian GNU/Linux or Goodbye-microsoft.com and enjoy the difference a good licence makes.

See Microsoft scrambles to simplify its convoluted business licensing.

See also, A peek into the business licensing abyss, courtesy of Microsoft. Oh! The Horror!

About Robert Pogson

I am a retired teacher in Canada. I taught in the subject areas where I have worked for almost forty years: maths, physics, chemistry and computers. I love hunting, fishing, picking berries and mushrooms, too.
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19 Responses to Licensing Matters

  1. wolfgang wrote, “no socket for IBM keyboard on nexus”.

    Every smart thingy I have seen has at least 1 USB port. Add a hub and go.

  2. wolfgang says:

    …tablet with keyboard…
    look like hoax to me. no socket for IBM keyboard on nexus. .app for libre office on nexus in google world listed as pre-alpha. not sound very good to me. better to use desktop connect app from google store and then use real office on desktop at home.

  3. dougman says:

    Wolfies never sees Linux, but owns a nexus tablet… LOL.

  4. wolfgang wrote, “someone who want pc to do letters and work stuff like expense account is not going to buy phone or tablet instead just because dictionary says is computer.”

    That’s silly. See LibreOffice running snappily on a tablet with a big keyboard like my Beast has just for such tasks. Remember, office suites were around in the days of 8-bit PCs and today’s tablets kick ass in comparison.

  5. wolfgang says:

    …what is personal computer…
    people I know do not go around looking at dictionary to find out what computer to buy. sort of know already since computers been around for decades. know about smart cell phone too. even tablet.
    someone who want pc to do letters and work stuff like expense account is not going to buy phone or tablet instead just because dictionary says is computer.
    you go into store or I go into store, windows pc for sale. once in a while see mac. never see Linux. maybe you find on-line for china or timbuktoo, but not same as in store.

  6. dougman wrote, “I should be able to perform the same amount of work for $30 in 8-9 years time, around 2022-2023”.

    There are many terms in the cost of a PC. M$’s “tax”, the price of oil, the cost of labour and politics are all involved. Several of those terms are irrational acts of mankind, even arbitrary. Cutting M$ out of the picture is a net benefit to mankind but there are still lots of things not going well in the world. Look at Putin starting WWIII in slow motion so the world does not take notice…

    Still, the cost of replicating a chip thousands of millions of times has kept declining. Getting rid of keyboard/mouse with voice/vision-inputs could cut another ~$50 and displays might be replaced with lasers on servos to save another ~$50. $30 might be possible but I have doubts. There are still so many components of the cost not scaling well, like energy/politics. In a decade, China will be a very different place. Even emerging markets are changing faster with each decade. Apart from the certainty of war and the spread of technology what can we know with any certainty? A decade ago I would not have predicted that the Whitehouse would be occupied by a pacifist or that USSR would return to gobble up eastern Europe with impunity.

  7. dougman says:

    I recall Window PC’s costing 2-3K USD in the late 90s. Nowadays, I can do the same type of work on a $300 Chromebook at 1/10th the cost.

    Running projections, I should be able to perform the same amount of work for $30 in 8-9 years time, around 2022-2023.

  8. wolfgang wrote, “smart phone different than tablet different than pc”.

    Certainly smartphones are different from tablets but they are both personal computers. Why can’t you see that?

    Computer: “A machine that can be programmed to manipulate symbols. Computers can perform complex and repetitive procedures quickly, precisely and reliably and can quickly store and retrieve large amounts of data.”

    The personal computer is a computer that lends itself to use by a person as compared to a server that is intended to serve a bunch of people or computers on a network. These days personal computers tend to be small, cheap and portable and run Free Software like GNU/Linux or Android/Linux. Operating systems that are limited by the penchants of various corporations to restrict use to certain computers and not others are doomed to become niche-players in the market. For the time being, M$’s OS seems only loved by businesses because it runs certain equipment or software that businesses depend upon. Apple’s OS seems only loved by people who don’t mind paying twice for COTS hardware. The rest of us can shop on price/performance and get great personal computers at minimal cost without all that baggage. By the end of 2014, personal computers running M$’s OS or Apple’s will be less than 50% of units shipped. One can argue that legacy PCs mainly run that other OS but that’s just about irrelevant to consumers who have figured out that small and cheap works for them. Pretty soon businesses will realize that paying multiple the rate consumers pay for IT is not a very good bargain. Then all Hell will break loose. Then OEMs will prefer GNU/Linux if they want to keep selling the big machines.

  9. dougman says:

    LOL, obfuscating your dire message wolfie?

    To be more factual, PC’s are not solely Windows based, one can have a OSX or Linux desktop as well or even a Chrome based desktop, running Linux these days.

    People running Windows are using software designed by M$, with the hardware built by an OEM.

    People using Mac’s are using OSX software with hardware built and designed by Apple.

    You using an Nexus Android tablet, are using a Linux based software built on hardware designed by Google.

  10. wolfgang says:

    …argument be later?….

    no argument, just like no conflict. people using pc use windows. people using mac use apple. people using nexus using google. and so on. not caring about what used, just what it does. smart phone different than tablet different than pc. I can tell the difference, why not you?

  11. wolfgang says:

    …conflict of interest…

    no conflict at all. using programs on pc using programs on tablet. don’t care what’s under hood, just use. buy ipad, comes with apple. buy nexus, comes with google. buy pc, comes with windows. buy smart phone, comes with big bill for connection. get flip phone and pay 10 cents per minute. only make quick calls or get text for a nickel.
    don’t need to go to Linux church to use nexus.

  12. dougman wrote, “Windows has got to be the worst operating system on the market. People want to cite the popularity of Windows”.

    It’s not “popularity” when the situation was that if people wanted a PC they had to buy that other OS. It’s monopoly. Thank Goodness that’s on its last legs. Today, people have a choice and they are choosing */Linux PCs of all shapes more often than PCs with that other OS. What is it for 2014? Nearly a billion smartphones will sell and 400 million tablets. That’s a tsunami bearing down on M$’s lifeboat. M$ is paddling as hard as they can but they only seem to be able to get businesses to climb into their lifeboat. Consumers, at last, are making other choices.

  13. wolfgang wrote, “many many people using windows”.

    What will the argument be about next year or the year after when many many more people use */Linux than M$’s OS? At the rate of production of smartphones and tablets that situation is looming.

  14. dougman says:

    Crazy troll loves M$, but loves Linux tablets too. Conflict of interest, yes?

  15. wolfgang says:

    …dougman not convinced yet…

    many many people using windows, but dougman sure they are wrong. he has better idea and thinks rest of world is crazy. he thinks that same people have garbage music. dougman blessed with knowledge better than world. could actually be curse though.

  16. dougman says:

    M$ has never instilled confidence; Linux is used more extensively than you *pretend* to think.

    Windows XP will push more users to Linux, as people hate Windows 8. People are tired of malware, Linux offer a solution that’s stable and free of malfeasance that infects Windows.

    Windows has got to be the worst operating system on the market. People want to cite the popularity of Windows, but just like music, popularity usually means watered down garbage. Its popular because M$ simplifies everything for computer illiteracy, for example, barely no Windows user knows how to reinstall their OS and the majority of the time, the user has no reinstall CD anyway. **FAIL**

  17. wolfgang says:

    …Pogson closing deal…

    chuckle. not know sales game, I think. who pay for room last night at Mariott? who pay for Hertz car? who pay for plane ticket? Not person in business just because hate microsot, I bet. need money to make money. even need money to give away Linux. if people going to jump on it, why take so long?
    people not want to trust business future to someone who say in business for fun of it or because hate Microsoft. think not going to be around for hard times.
    people look at Microsoft and see that they make lots of money and can be relied upon to come back for more next year. gives confidence in long term haul. When customer and supplier both make money, everybody feel happy.
    no free lunch for long.

  18. wolfgang wrote, “he’ll lower the price a little, shake hands, and go back to business.”

    What? No TCO? I should sell them the Brooklyn Bridge for only 10 cents per car. I could easily afford to give them a reduction of 50% if that would close the deal.

  19. wolfgang says:

    …complexity of license…

    that for sure, but easy way out is to let sales man figure it all out and present quote. give him sad look and he’ll lower the price a little, shake hands, and go back to business. no need to suffer over details. affordable deal good for everybody and no hassle. piece of pie.

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