Saturday, October 20, 2007

Hello My Business Student

This is a note from a student who says he's working on some projects he intends to monetize. What should I tell him? I think it's OK to allow for-profit usages in academic contexts. He paid his tuition, so technically he has paid the bill for access to the software.

So is there line crossing that mandates another new purchase after graduation? I think that the answer is no, and I think that software licensing fees are enforced on developers through obsoleting libraries.

If that is so, then it's also true that a steady flow of sales for new computers running Vista is necessary to keep Microsoft in business. And yet adoption is not happening in academic Computer circles!

Upgrading a computer's operating system is expensive, and can result in the loss of your private data. The same student who hand-picks every component of his computer and purchases them unassembled is likely to run a pirated retail copy of Windows XP. Without purchasing a DVD Writer, he is unlikely to ever pirate Windows Vista of his own volition.

It's my passion in life to deliver a copy of Windows Vista to that wonderfully frugal, self-amused, possibly also piracy free, long-term Microsoft development technician, and show him how to use it. If he reads the license agreement like he's supposed to do, then I'm sure he'll know he's supposed to pay Microsoft some money.

Microsoft, are you as smart as Jeff Bezos of Amazon.com? When did we buy their software? Every time it didn't cost us anything but a click. How do we pay for that? This is another question altogether, and I'm still looking for a good answer myself.

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