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View Thread: Cash Cow - article by former MS employee
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    I read the article and I thought it was pretty thoughtful.  (The blots are the result of either Unicode characters that we don't have in our fonts or someone mixing in some non-UTF8 material while editing part of the page.  It looks like smart-quote, soft-hyphen, and special-dash stuff but I haven't looked at the source.)

    I am still on Office 2000, and I have two Windows 98 machines here in the NuovoDoc SOHO.  That's right, I don't want the destabilizing experience, especially since I know I am going to do clean installs onto NTFS-formatted drives.  I have XP Pro and Office 2003 already, but haven't installed them.  I keep waiting for the right mood, phase of the moon, and a moment of reckless abandon to sweep me over the hurdle.  Also, my machines are OEM-qualified for Windows 98 alone, and I am not going to buy new hardware this week. (Our family car is now 15 years old, too.) 

     Meanwhile I have taxes to do and I won't be doing anything destabilizing while working on that (I am still on Money 2000 too, though 2003 is over on my shelf waiting to be installed when things quiet down.)

    Upgrading my systems and having the latest and greatest is not what my life is about.  I like Windows XP Pro where I have it installed, though there are days when I wonder whether the additional security and stability are offset by the need to become a system administrator and deal with settings and provisions that I only vaguely understand and occasionally mess up.  If I need an MCSE to run this thing dependably, it is going to turn into a Jaguar joke (before Jaguars became Fords and apparently ordinary folk now trust them more, based on what I see on the street).  That might be a good lesson, but the Mini Cooper "Let's Motor" success may be more instructive.

    The Macintosh experience that many people report is fascinating, both as a credit to Apple and also as a tribute to simplicity.  OSX only has to support essentially one proprietary hardware family, and that is not a luxury that Microsoft has.  I appreciate that.  I also appreciate that there are people for whom that doesn't address their desire for something that simply works for them and gets the job done.  It has nothing to do with open-source, in terms of appeal to the consumer, it has to do with the expectation of stability.  Watch what has people trade in their automobiles and switch manufacturers.  It may not be a lemon for you, with your metric tools and full set of service manuals.  Just keep in mind that's a niche experience.