Saturday, 30 August, 2003

More on public computers

One more thought on the public computers idea from yesterday.  This is a move that Microsoft would have a very difficult time countering.  Their whole business model is based on licensing software on a per-computer basis.  The XP licensing scheme stores information about the machine on which it's installed, and will force you to re-register if the hardware changes.  Unless they came up with a thumb drive that had a built-in license key of some kind (and imagine what privacy advocates would have to say about that!), it'd be impossible to use Windows in this manner.  That's assuming you could get any version of Windows to auto-detect hardware and boot into a usable system without having to install onto the hard drive.  I'm sure Microsoft could cobble something together, but I doubt you could do it with any existing version of Windows right out of the box.

Just a thought.