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Microsoft Lifeline for Older PCs

     
10:27 pm on Jul 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Microsoft on Wednesday revealed software that turns older PCs into more modern and secure systems, but in the process also makes them less than full-fledged computers.

The software, known as Windows Fundamentals for Legacy PCs, is designed as a stopgap measure for companies with a significant number of older Windows PCs that they aren't ready to replace and that can't be easily upgraded to Windows XP.

Microsoft Lifeline for Older PCs [news.zdnet.com]

12:40 am on July 13, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I don't quite understand how this will work unless you have high speed internet? With many users of older machines also using dialup internet or no internet at all this could be a fly in the ointment.

Microsoft have done a good job of dressing up a subscription based system for software licensing, an issue which I can see being increasingly divisive.

The biggest thing I have an issue with here is the limited nature of these new operating systems. I want to know if this means that the user will no longer be able to install third-party software.

Subscription based use may be an opening for open-source and alternative software packages as there will be more and more opportunities for the user to say "hey wait, let's give something else ago instead of renewing".

If you have a one in five chance of being short on cash at any given time then having to renew your software every year means you are likely to try free software once in the next five years.

1:53 am on July 13, 2006 (gmt 0)

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This is the Microsoft Eiger - Thin Client [webmasterworld.com] we've discussed before when it was in testing last year.

I don't quite understand how this will work unless you have high speed internet? With many users of older machines also using dialup internet or no internet at all this could be a fly in the ointment.

I get the feeling that the target markets are corporations and government offices who have the LAN in place for connectivity, but don't have the hardware specs on the old machines to run newer a OS. This extends a lifeline to those companies that have made a big hardware investment in the past and want to get a few more years out of the equipment.

I'm sure this will bring the Linux fans out of the woodwork. ;) However, I know a few IT guys who are looking forward to this. Running Linux isn't an option for many organizations.

2:07 am on July 13, 2006 (gmt 0)

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From the article:
Turning PCs into thin clients is something new, Oldham said.

No it's not.. I've been doing this for quite some time with LTSP [ltsp.org].

Running Linux isn't an option for many organizations.

True, unfortunately. Many organizations do have a lot of money invested in, and data tied up in, proprietary software.

2:30 pm on July 13, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Microsoft have done a good job of dressing up a subscription based system for software licensing, an issue which I can see being increasingly divisive.

Fundamentals for Legacy PCs sounds like a niche product, and the lifetime of the average subscription is likely to be fairly short. So I don't think this is intended to break any new ground--it's just a way to keep customers happy and make some money off customers who are reluctant to invest in new PCs.

6:18 am on July 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Windows Fundamentals is available to corporations only via Software Assurance (SA), Microsoft's volume licensing scheme.

[microsoft.com...]