Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 28th Jun 2007 21:39 UTC, submitted by jayson.knight
Windows Microsoft is simplifying the processes via which its PC-maker partners will be able to provide 'downgrade' rights from Windows Vista to Windows XP for their customers. Microsoft will implement the first of the policy changes for its Gold Certified (top-tier) OEM partners within the next couple of weeks. The company will streamline downgrade-rights policies and procedures for the broader channel somewhat later, said John Ball, general manager of Microsoft's US Systems Group.
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Back then, Microsoft was considered the plucky young visonary upstart sticking it to the no-result daydreamers and imaginationless old stodgy businessmen alike... sort of the way George Lucas was considered back when he made THX 1138.

Heck, to illustrate the kind of competition they fought against: I had an IBM PC from the early 90s once. Their cases were kept locked by special keys that only Authorized IBM Distributors could open, so if as much as a cable came loose, you'd have to go back to them and pay to get it repaired -- and they typically would only repair it for a few years, after which you were expected to upgrade again. The case had a single point of control (somehow, they tied all the connectors to that one key), and if you tried to open your case any other way, you would not be able to get your computer repaired. Freedom from this sort of hardware lockin was revolutionary.

Not to mention they made software that other companies used to grow and thrive. How many companies used some form of MSBasic, or implemented the MSX standard?

Evil as Microsoft is considered nowadays, they slew far greater evils in the marketplace.

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