Tuesday, July 31, 2007

End of Life

Here's an idea I had the other day. It's probably been had before, but who cares.

We were discussing Microsoft operating systems and the consensus was that Microsoft have released one very good operating system which was Windows 2000. Windows XP is also not too bad, but represents a step back from Win2K in that it introduces a few new features at the expense of considerable cruft such that the performance takes a dive.

Anyway, you can't really use Win2K anymore because, if it is not end of life, it is close to end of life which means that Microsoft has stopped supporting it. This means you [i]have[/i] to upgrade, including buying new hardware to negate the performance losses (NB each release of Mac OS X has been faster than its predecessor on the same hardware, not to bang the Apple drum or anything).

So my idea is that, as soon as a software product goes out of support, the vendor must release the source code to people who have a legitimate licence. This will allow people who want to continue to use the product to provide, or buy, support from elsewhere and it prevents one of the nastier aspects of the software industry which is that vendors sometimes use the threat of withdrawal of support to extort money (for new licences) from the punters.

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