"I have a mind like a steel... uh... thingy." Patrick Logan's weblog.

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Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Deliberately Misguiding Windows Me

From Information Week. I have a computer at home my wife uses. She needs Windows, the PC is fine, and won't even run XP. So it runs Windows 2000. (And every version of Linux up to the most recent Ubuntu and Suse! But she needs to boot into Windows.) We all know its "VersionNT" under the hood. Not that I am looking to run MSFT Defender, but this is just silly. $10 billion USD at a minimum spent on Vista! Unlikely I'll ever have it in the house. At some point I'll move her Windows 2000 and some other XP systems my kids run to virtual images on Linux and/or MacOSX, where they will remain in their formaldehyde virtually forever.

As other new products emerge from Microsoft in 2007 and beyond, more and more of them are likely to leave Windows 2000 out of the party. Which of these installation restrictions are caused by a real lack of capabilities in Windows 2000, however? Are any of them merely a "squeeze play" by Microsoft to convince buyers that it's necessary to immediately upgrade all PCs to Vista and all servers to Server 2003 or the forthcoming Longhorn Server?

One example of this conundrum is Microsoft's Windows Defender program. This antispyware program can be downloaded for free, but it will only install on Windows XP, Server 2003, and higher. The application won't install on Windows 2000, according to Microsoft's own product documentation.

Users have reported, however, that this is simply an artificial rule built into the Installshield package that copies Defender files to disk.

The installer contains a condition defined as VersionNT > 500. (Windows 2000 is technically considered version 5.0 of Windows NT.) Admins who've removed this condition using Orca, an Installshield editor, say Defender then installs and runs fine on Windows 2000.


Patrick Logan said...


Richard Cook said...

This is going to be like DRM. All is takes is someone, somewhere, to figure out a way around it and we'll all know.

Anonymous said...

Here is another perspective on why Windows conitunes to dominate despite it's obvious shortcomings:


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About Me

Portland, Oregon, United States
I'm usually writing from my favorite location on the planet, the pacific northwest of the u.s. I write for myself only and unless otherwise specified my posts here should not be taken as representing an official position of my employer. Contact me at my gee mail account, username patrickdlogan.