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The best reason yet to use Ubuntu

Microsoft limits Vista transfers

Thank you digg netizens for showing some love!

There has been alot of hype over Ubuntu Linux lately. If you are still not convinced that Linux is the way to go, you may want to review the latest changes to Microsoft's licensing terms.

Basically, in layman's terms, buyers of retail copies of Windows Vista will be able to transfer their software to a new machine only once. If they want to move their software a second time, they will have to buy a new copy of the operating system. If you buy your computer with the operating system pre-installed, you are not permitted to transfer it at all.

"It was something that had been abused from a piracy perspective before," said Shanen Boettcher, a general manager in Microsoft's Windows Vista unit. "We're just being clear it's one move from machine to machine that you are licensed for."

And Microsoft plans on enforcing these new licensing terms very rigorously too, with their newly announced Software Protection Platform -- the big brother to Windows XP's bolted-on Genuine Advantage Program, which prevented unregistered users from downloading any updates and patches -- The Software Protection Platform logs you off within one hour if your copy of Windows Vista is not activated.

Now I DO NOT advocate software piracy at all, but I think these over-zealous measures are going to hurt people who legally purchased their software and for whatever reason need to transfer it onto a new installation. I think there has to be a better way of controlling piracy. Yes developers have a right to be paid for their work, but I honestly think that ALOT more people would willingly buy software that was honestly priced, and software companies woud see a much larger bottom line by making software titles affordable rather than pricing them steeply, and then complaining about the piracy. (Adobe: are you listening to this also?)

A great many people using pirated software are otherwise very law-abiding citizens. They do not use pirated software because they want to be rebels, or because they deliberately want to break the law. They do it because the price of software titles is out of reach to many average home users. If Microsoft, Adobe, and other software companies made their programs affordable to the masses, many of the current pirate copy users would gladly purchase their software, as the risk of being caught would be too great for such little money, but when you have a software like, for instance, Adobe Photoshop that is priced at $899.00 US, is there any wonder why it is the most-pirated software title online? Does this make it right? No. I read a statistic recently that estimated over 66% of the total installs of Photoshop are not legitimate. I cannot help but think that Adobe would see a much larger bottom line, and a much larger base of legal, legitimate users if it was priced at lets just say $199.99 for a nice easy figure.

As a web developer, I pay for my software. Paying for it also entitles you to customer support -- which can be crucial when relying upon the said software to make your livelyhood -- but almost all of my friends have Photoshop too, and I know that 95% of them did not pay for it. Am I honestly the only person who can see that software piracy is a problem that software companies have created themselves? They may be programmers extrordinaire, but they could use a crash course in marketing!

But I am digressing - lets get back on topic with the Windows Vista licensing changes. Maybe I am being cynical here, but what I do see all this leading up to, is Microsoft finally conceeding under pressure to allow users to buy add-on licenses for $30-50 each. So now Microsoft has found a brand new revenue stream, and everybody who was crying foul over the single transfer policy are happy campers too.

Pretty clever, makes the option of using Ubuntu all the more attractive though.

Ubuntu is my Linux distro of choice. It has alot more GUI implimentation than alot of the common distros, making it a great candidate for both novice users crossing over from windows, as well, the more seasoned Linux user will be impressed by its abilities to stand up against the more mature Linux distros.

But the major difference between Ubuntu and its predacessors is the community involvement and support. Ubuntu has some of the most active community forums and wikis I have seen, and if you cannot find the answer to your question already discussed, you can post your question and in many instances have several answers within minutes. This kind of community support was a very big part in my choice to switch to Linux.

You can see the community support in action for yourself at

I played in Linux a few years back (who remembers KNOPPIX?) and found the experience cool, but after 4 hours of tweaking and compiling, the most I could do was open mp3s. (LOL!) I tried Ubuntu for the first time back in April, and now have 4 of our 5 computers running Ubuntu full time, and the fifth computer has a dual boot with Ubuntu and Windows 2000 - for the odd time I do need W32 support.

I am thoroughly enjoying the learning curve this time around, knowing that I have the support of such a great user community at my fingertips has really made this journey and learning experience a fun one!

Sorry Bill .... We had a good run together for 11 years, but its time for me to spread my wings and leave the nest. Take Care!

Related: 4 Reasons Why Windows Vista Is Just Not Worth It

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image courtesy of Business Week