RE: [ reactions ] Re: [NYT] Microsoft Is Set to Be Top Foe of Free Code

From: Bill Humphries (
Date: Thu May 03 2001 - 04:32:12 PDT

> But Microsoft's model makes payments for service easy, even trivial,
> compared to the porn industry.
> Pay for our software when you buy your machine, and use it for as long as
> you want.

It was my interpretation that the speaker was focused on the services over the web model such as the Hotmails, Salon.coms, etc.
> A monthly subscription model has high transaction costs if the money
> transfer is modest. Microsoft DOES sell much of their software on a
> subscription model to large corporations.

Yes it does, however, we could had been working on reducing transaction costs the past five years instead of wasting money on 'punch the monkey' ads.

I mean Passport is a big step towards that, but it suffers from a single point of failure.

> At some point Microsoft might make Windows Update a subscription service,
> and if the price isn't too big I'll pay.

Thats fine. And I'm not too concerned about paying for a Windows or MacOS license because I do want a relatively bulletproof desktop OS.

> The problem with a subscription model for software that you store on your
> machine is -- how can I keep collecting once you have it? That works for
> anti-virus companies, but I'm not sure it works well enough for product
> maintenance.

Well there are ways, but none of them are particulary welcome (pay or disconnect the silver thread connecting you to the license server). However, the area I'm concerned about isn't the desktop OS market. I'm more concerned about an enclosure of the GPL'ed commons on the server side.

A commons on the server side: Linux/Apache/MySQL/Perl is a countervening force.

I have no problem with MS selling licenses. I do have a problem with MS trying to legislate their competitors away.

It's part of a long-standing grumpiness I developed as an economics grad student... I assume that once you've reached a critical mass, it's easier to buy a Congressman than it is to innovate.

Hum... interesting empircal thesis topic. Comparing R&D, lobbying expense to size and determining if there's a switchpoint.

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