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February 16, 2009

Woman Sues Microsoft Over XP Downgrade Charge

PC World has published an article about a woman in Washington that has decided to sue Microsoft for charging users who purchase computers with Windows Vista a downgrade charge if they want XP installed.

Her argument is that Microsoft is being unfair because they are forcing people to buy Vista if they want XP, because XP is being discontinued. Because of this, she things they should give her XP for free since she is buying vista.

Lets remove Microsoft from he equation, and pretend its another piece of software. Lets say Adobe release Version CS4 of Photoshop, with CS4 do you get CS3? CS2? no, absolutely not, you get CS4. If there was something you wanted in CS3 that's not in CS4, you pay the money for the older version (and they don't give a discount)

Microsoft is charging just under $60 dollars as a downgrade fee. They do this because now they not only have to give you a copy of XP, they have to continue to manage the licensing for it and provide support for it. I think this is very reasonable.

Also, the women fails to realize that a product manufacturer is allowed to discontinue any product they want, regardless of level of demand, so saying but people hate vista, and want XP" is not a legal argument for them to allow people to just buy XP.

As an IT company, we buy these downgrade rights all the time for clients. Many don't want to move to Vista on new computers because they want to keep all of their systems running the same OS and they don't want to pay to upgrade 40-100 machines to Vista since they have no reason to. This makes sense to me. Smaller companies who are just getting started and are buying new company computers buy all Vista machines, because Vista IS a good operating system despite what all the people who have never given it a shot have to say.

The bottom line is, if you want a piece of software, you are paying for it. If the only way to get it is packaged with something else, that's a manufactures decision, not yours. What's next. Apple getting sued because I need to use iTunes if I want to upgrade the software on my iPod?

Read the full PC World Article Here

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