Life without Windows or OS X

GNU/Linux is quite possibly the most important free software achievement since the original Space War, or, more recently, Emacs. It has developed into an operating system for business, education, and personal productivity. GNU/Linux is no longer only for UNIX wizards who sit for hours in front of a glowing console. Are you thinking about switching to Linux and want to learn how to use it? Have you been using GNU/Linux for some time and want to learn even more? This is the place for you.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Bait-and-switch:The Windows 7 multitasking tax

First let me say that I am not an open-source only evangelist. One of my favorite native GNU programs is NERO Linux 3, nothing open about that one. I must ask one question of the Microsoft apologists. What about this MTT I posted about before. Is it real or did I just make something up? Do I see a bait-and-switch in the works.

It the world of computers, there is something that many of us take for grated every day. Its called multitasking. In computing, multitasking is a method by which multiple tasks are done at once, meaning, running more than one program/process/task at once. No big deal right? The ability to multi task should not cost the user, more should it? We are pre-conditioned to believe that the OS we are run generally does just that, we have been able in the last 10 years run any program as many as we wanted only limited by the performance of our computers.

The Starter edition is aimed at the low cost ultra portable market. I have heard every where that Windows 7 is light-weight enough to actually run on those machines, yet there is a three app rule in place. The three-app rule includes applications running in the background, meaning that a user running Windows Messenger and Fire Fox, for example, could only use one further application on their machine like word or Thunderbird. If you want to open them both your force to close Messenger or Fire Fox. Buyers of ULCPC devices with Windows 7 starter will have the option of upgrading (paying the multitasking tax) to the more powerful versions, Ballmer said.

Now we all know that Microsoft by putting out Vista that Ballmer under estimated the need for an operating system that ran on cheap low spec machines. You want the full power of vista, buy a new high price system was the mainstream line. Then ULCPC devices hit the market place, going for as little as 389.00. That gave rise to GNU/Linux on the new platform. In response to the rapid growth of Linux on these machines, they extended the lifetime of XP and started giving it away nearly free. Falling hardware prices is putting the hurt Microsoft’s profits. The biggest problem with computers these days is that they don’t cost enough to invisibly hide the fees of a Windows PC license.

I tested Windows 7 Ultimate Edition (beta) on a Asus Eee PC 1000HA. Guess what? It runs five apps just fine. There is no need to even have a Windows 7 Starter Edition on similarly configured ULCPC devices. Remember that the three app restriction was to make sure that users can get the best possible performance from power limited hardware. The 1000HA uses the usual Atom N270 processor with 1GB RAM. I did not upgraded any hardware to run Windows 7 beta.

I want Microsoft Windows 7 to be competitive with the forces of open-source. It makes every one work that much harder to improve Firefox, open office, or even KDE. What Microsoft needs to do is just price 7 competitively and not give a deceptive price (pre-multitasking tax) for a crippled product so as to just look price competitive, then force you to pay MTT to get what you really expected in the first place, that ability to open more than 3 apps at once. One could say thats a type of bait-and-switch.


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