Microsoft and Lock-In [11:19 am]
An entertaining assessment of current Microsoft moves over at eWeek: No More Microsoft Support For You
It will be two days before Christmas, and all through the world, not a creature will be stirring except Microsoft employees taking many programs off the Microsoft sales racks.
[...] What Microsoft is really doing is forcing business customers to upgrade their operating systems to XP and Server 2003 and their application suites to Office XP and Office 2003. I think the company is doing this to kick up corporate XP sales. (Both Server 2003 and Office 2003 have had disappointing sales.)
In a way, I can’t blame Microsoft for this move. As IDC’s Kusnetzky told me, Microsoft has already supported its programs long after most companies would have pulled the plug.
[...] Worse still, if you take a close look at Microsoft’s current generation of software, you’ll quickly see that it’s all designed to lock you into Microsoft products, from your desktop to your server.
Take, for example, Office 2003. Unless you use its groupware and presence functionality, it’s really little more than a cosmetic improvement over Office XP. To use those new tools, though, you need to upgrade your server to W2K or Server 2003 so you can run Exchange 2003, SharePoint Portal Server 2003 and Live Communications Server 2003. Oh, and if you haven’t moved from domains to Active Directory, you’ll need to do that, too.
[...] From where I sit, Microsoft is not only bullying customers into upgrading, it’s making it so pricey to do so that even people who love Microsoft must start thinking about alternatives.