Microsoft, Fox, Being Nice

I just read an interesting article on about MS’s new hiding features and other stuff to appear is Service Pack 1 to Windows XP. Basically MS is not doing any of the stuff talked about in the current remedy hearings, but they are basically renaming and centralizing the box that always pops up urging people to “make this my default.”

The new control panel lets you basically “hide” other installed programs and make certain programs default, overriding the annoying prompting. This is somewhat useful but not very. You aren’t allowed to delete Internet Explorer, only “hide” it, so it still takes up all the memory and is used in other apps, but it doesn’t appear on your desktop. Big woop. And you can hide other programs you’ve installed.

WHY???? If I installed the program, why would I want to hide it? Why not just uninstall it? I mean, if you don’t want to normally use it (say, only use RealPlayer for the occasional RealAudio stream) you can remove it from the Start Menu or the desktop already, just drag them to the Trash Recycle Bin. So what does this add? Not much.

But in one important respect Microsoft is being really nice, and I’m not really sure why. For people who are running stolen versions of XP using codes obtained from a big company, their systems will be frozen in that state, meaning no upgrades unless they pay, but will not be disabled:

“Basically we’re freezing their computer where it is,” Cullinan said. “We’re not preventing them from using it, but obviously one of the benefits of having a license is keeping your PC updated.”

If they’re ripping you off, MS, why not just completely disable their computer. Its their own darn fault for pirating your wares. Of course, I say this not being a user of XP, as I don’t buy ANY MS software, as I despise them, but I still understand that if they’re selling a product and someone is stealing it from them, they can do whatever they want to stop the people. Just as long as Adobe Photoshop doesn’t institute similar restrictions. 🙂

Oh yeah, Fox. Not the broadcasting company. Michael (J.) Fox was on Charlie Rose, and I caught a bit of it, and I found it very refreshing that he stated outright, without even being asked, that the reason he came forward with his disease was not because he cared about a cause, wanted to save the world, wanted to enlighten everyone to the evil of the disease, etc., but simply for himself, because it was becoming harder to keep lying to people, and to act, and whatever.

I really appreciate him telling the truth and not retroactively making his “coming out” about caring for the world. He cared for himself. He hid the disease for, like, seven years. Eventually it got bad, so he told people, because it was impacting his relations and his career. Makes sense to me. Really its not the public’s business except because he is a public figure, and of course he helped “shine the spotlight” on another disease, put a celebrity behind it, etc., which I guess actually is Good For the World ™. So it all worked out Mr. Fox. And by the way, I”m really sorry about your disease and am glad you’ve been so open about it. Maybe I’ll buy your new book. 🙂