Lord knows I don’t resent Bill Gates and his money–btw, since that shooting at VA Tech, shouldn’t the shooting of rich people require another bias law?–but there’s a certain amount of greed that overshadows all the good his company has done. When Microsoft’s loyal (translation: dependent) customers are asked to upgrade every three to five years and pay a minimum of $200 to do so with each program, isn’t that a bit much?
The problem is that a user must upgrade eventually, and that’s because Microsoft makes it impossible for prior programs to work. Right now I’m working on a problem with my neighbor’s Windows Media Player. It suddenly prevented her from ripping a CD and as I suspected, required her to upgrade to WMP 11. WPM 11 doesn’t come with the codecs necessary to decode MP-3, so that a further purchase of a decoder, anywhere from $10 third party to $20 from Microsoft.
The worst: Office Word 2007 now produces files with a .docx extension that Word 2003 cannot read without a download. I’ve already come across this problem in receiving files via e-mail from a friend on vacation. I’d love to read them, but am truly hesitant to download the program that will allow me to do so with my Word 2003 because knowing Microsoft, it’ll mess something up with my own Word files unless I go for another download, or purchase the 2007 Office Suite at anywhere from $200 to $500.
And knowing Bill, that purchase would only be useable on a single computer unless I pay more for a networking license for all four computers.
Mac is starting to appeal.