Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 7th Mar 2011 23:21 UTC
Legal Well, how about some positive news to end this day? How about annoying the heck out of the Business Software Alliance? There's a new proposal for a directive on consumer rights in the EU, and in it, digital goods - software, online services, and so on - are explicitly defined as goods that are no different than any other good - like bread, watches, or cars. In other words, you would suddenly own the copies of software you buy, effectively declaring the EULA as a worthless piece of paper. Surprise - the BSA is not happy about this.
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RE[5]: Um, I disagree
by jabjoe on Wed 9th Mar 2011 10:14 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Um, I disagree"
jabjoe
Member since:
2009-05-06

Companies care about money, not just your money. For a company, the optimal situation is where the customer thinks the products are good, but they are made as cheap as possible. It's about quality perception, not quality. Often the pattern is:

* Make something that is genuinely good, build up the brand.
* Keep making things under that brand, but cheaper (leaving the price the same). At this point the customer is still thinking it is genuinely good. This is the milking phase.
* When the customers wake up, goto line 10

How long they can trade in on a brand name, without really delivering, depends on competition.

If there wasn't regulation, in real world goods, like cars, this practice would kill people. In fact, even with regulation, it has killed people (cars again).

In software, often people can't change company. They are locked in. Certainly this is the common case with closed software. MS pretty much leave things in the milking phase. IE only got better when FireFox turned up. Windows went from Vista to 7 when Linux started coming at them from the netbook. Windows NT only happened at all because they wanted to compete on servers.

Competition in software is very weak, certainly on the desktop. To make it better, the MS question needs dealing with. Make application software or make operating systems, if you want to make both, one must be open source to ensure fair competition. File formats must be open and documented, with an open reference implimentation. This would deal with Apple too. Then we can have true competition in software, no vendor lock-ins. This is why open source works so well, you can't be locked in. Your open system is made of interchangable parts competing to be the part in your system. (Even the kernel, which is why I didn't mention Linux.) The regulation for the open system comes from the licenses and the programmers wanting the code to be good.

System needs rules to operate by if we want to keep them operating within parameters good for us (like not killing people (cars) or problems for society (banks)).

It's not competition or regulation, you want both. Regulated monoplies are better than unregulated monoplies, but better to not have monoplies at all.

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