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The End of Free Support

A common complaint used against open source software (and to explain the value of licensed software) is the (apparent) lack of support. Microsoft’s recent announcement to discontinue support for Windows 98 reverses that argument…and turns it into a selling feature for open source. The End of Free Support states: “Lurking deep in the back of the entire concept of licensing software is the issue of support. This was brought to the fore when Microsoft announced it would cease supporting Windows 98 and Office 2000. Even auto makers support their cars with supplies of parts that last minimally seven years. And they will always fix even older cars with third-party parts.”
Imagine a seven year old GM car…that is no longer supported…and that is somehow “closed” that no one else can support it. Insane…but a reality in the software world.

One Comment

  1. Taran wrote:

    Agreed. For people stuck with Windows 98SE for now, though, I’ve written something that may be useful:

    http://www.knowprose.com/mtentries/000634.html

    Sunday, December 21, 2003 at 9:19 pm | Permalink