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Vista spyware may give filip to Linux and OS X

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Until a couple of days ago, like many others, I was looking forward to the long awaited release of Windows Vista. Then the news broke about Microsoft's intention to crack down on software piracy by putting what amounts to spyware on users' computers. Now I'm thinking twice about whether I really need or want this new operating system.

Mocrosoft's so-called Software Protection Program (SPP) has been presented to intending users as a fait accompli just a month ahead of Vista's scheduled release. It will mean that those who use Vista and other Microsoft products will have to put up with their systems constantly being checked online to make sure they're not using any products deemed to be pirated software.

Perhaps we should be grateful to Microsoft for letting its intentions be known in advance of the Vista release. It gives us a chance to evaluate the alternatives.

There is of course Linux, an operating system that enterprises are considering with increasing frequency. Relatively few have made the jump to the Linux desktop but they now have a clear choice between moving to Vista with its tight validation controls and Linux distributions without such controls from Vendors such as Red Hat and Novell, as well as freely available distributions such as Ubuntu.

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