I have prided myself in never buying any software from Microsoft. Ever.
The Microsoft-branded software that I have came either with the computer I purchased or was given to me by Microsoft. The list of free-bees from Microsoft included Office 97, Windows 2000, and Visio 2002.
But on Saturday morning, 9am, June 28, I entered Staples to buy a box of Microsoft software: Windows XP Pro Upgrade. It was, as I explained to my son, an insurance policy.
For the night before, I had been sitting at my 6-year-old workhorse of a desktop PC running Windows 2000 (the one whose copyright date is 1999), and these thoughts suddenly struck me:
What if I need a new desktop PC?
I sure don't want to run Vista.
What if some crucial software requires XP or Vista, and won't run on 2000?
Some non-crucial software is like that already, such as Lotus Symphony and Solid Edge.
Judging by Windows 7 ship date (just 1.5 years from now, of which one year consists of beta testing) and its code base (Vista), I doubt it can be any better than Vista.
So, the green cardboard box is in its white-and-red Staples shopping bag waiting for some significant event that causes me to insert the CD and double-click on setup.exe. I wonder when that might be -- if ever. New data shows that Macs are running in 80% of businesses, and I've got Linux running on a notebook computer to my satisfaction.
In any case, by January 2010 virtualization or some other technology will make Windows 7 unnecessary. I predict that Microsoft will become so consumed over losing its monopoly that 7 will feature all kinds of consumer-hostile lock-ins.