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IT-Director: Microsoft Windows for free

Jul 31, 2000, 19:48 (11 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Cheshire Cat)

"By entering the domain of the appliance -- the games console, video engine, wireless PDA or whatever -- Microsoft is recognising one crucial fact. With appliances, nobody cares about what is under the bonnet, the external functionality is more important than the internal components. This is the rationale behind other companies (such as these) using Linux -- there is no operating system sell, it is the box that counts. Also, with Linux there is no operating system buy as it is license- and cost-free. Microsoft cannot compete at the OS level as others are giving it away, hence they are competing at the level of the complete device. This is a dangerous game -- hardware margins are notoriously lower than software margins -- but the company has no other choice."

"By bundling Windows with the device, Microsoft is essentially giving it away. In doing so it gives itself an exit strategy from the oncoming drought in the OS space. Perhaps more importantly, it can move on without losing face -- a necessity in the technology market, where image counts for far more than people give it credit."

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