Wednesday, April 26, 2006

IT or rather computer OS thoughts

For starters as a follow-up on the previous post we had a great meal at restaurant Armanzi, I strongly recommend a visit should you be in Harare and have the money and something to celebrate. Fabolous food with a strong asian influence, excellent surroundings, really good service!

Topic of this post is however a very different one. I have just tried out the beta version 7 of Internet Explorer and yes, it looks way better than the existing v6. HOWEVER you can not install unless you first validate that your copy of Windows XP is an original, this is done online with Microsoft.

I am not really objecting to Microsoft trying to stop the use of pirat copies of their software but I HATE the system now set up for validation and license restrictions. I, who constantly tinker with my computer, basically need to reinstall 3 or more times a year. the computers performance slowly grows - slower... due to all install/uninstall/upgrades and experiments that I do.

This is near impossible with an ordinary license as it will be seen as I am installing on several computers. Moreso, if I change the hardware too much I will have to "re-validate" online that I am not installing on a new PC, something that cost me several working days a while ago on a server installation here. Because it did not work, in short.

So I am using a so-called Corporate version instead of the one I have actually bought. It can be installed x times without any further questions than a license number but will not validate online. So I am stuck. Either I reinstall my "proper" version and go through reinstall hell every now and then or I live with the fact that I can not update to newer versions of certain software such as Internet Explorer.

From what I read I understand next version of Windows, Vista, will be even more tied up this way. I think MS is making a huge mistake here.

Why? Because I am already toying with the idea of installing a Linux desktop version without any such problems and just keep Windows XP as a small "must have for business" portion of my computer. And I believe that many users of illegal copies of Windows XP will go that way instead of buying a, in many parts of the world, expensive license for a software that have an increasing number of built-in restrictions. It could backfire badly, actually promoting the use of desktop Linux as a serious contender for Windows XP and Vista.

It is in many ways more interesting than it has been in a long time to work in the ICT sector because a near-total domination of Microsoft is starting to dissolve. I look forward to next version of Kubuntu Linux with great anticipation actually, I think that might be the one I choose to put on my Dell notebook.

For now I just note that I will stay with Firefox as browser instead of new Internet Explorer...
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