Misleading media

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Pulled from Brad this morning is the ExtremeTech article. Now the title of this article and the general feel of this article is NOT what is actually happening! The title is “ To Cut Off Dual-Boot Windows Option”, which makes it seem as though MS is somehow going to make it impossible for you to dual-boot any two OSes on OEM machines.

What is actually happening is that MS is not going to allow OEM’s to pre-load two different OSes on a machine and ship it. Let’s take my work example, when we upgraded a bunch of PC’s a couple of years ago, they came from Compaq with NT and 2000 preloaded. On first boot we had to select which one we had actually paid a licensing fee for, and the PC would install that one completely and erase the other. It had no effect whatsoever on our ability to dual boot later!

Now MS is claiming that this practice encourages piracy, which it clearly does, because the PC’s shipped with CD’s and Product ID’s for both 2000 and NT even though we had only paid for the NT licenses. There was nothing, other than my own ethics, stopping me from taking the 2000 cd’s and passing them around to everyone I know outside of work. Clearly that’s sort of a stupid thing to do, and I’m sure MS has not been happy with OEM’s who do that!

No, what we have here is not MS exercising monopoly power to keep end users from dual booting , or whatever. What we do have is a headline writer looking to get some juice by scaring people and painting MS as the bad guy.

BTW, technically I don’t see how MS could possibly stop anyone from dual-booting a PC. My Windows partition has no idea that my Linux partition even exists, how would MS program their OS to detect other partitions? And even if they shipped that way, how could they stop you from reformatting the HD and creating two partitions on it? Seems like only the HD manufacturers would have the technical ability to keep you from dual-booting.

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