In behavior that makes the phrase “Monolithic Monopoly” look like a Mom & Pop convenience store, Microsoft are now warning users that they may face security problems even if they buy official copies of Windows. But this isn’t a humorous moment of self-awareness; this is more a mafia-style warning along the lines of “Something awful could happen if you don’t by enough Microsoft products.”

The core of the issue is the widely reviled Windows Vista, which many businesses have decided not to bother with on the grounds that they shouldn’t have to buy a new supercomputer mainframe for every employee who needs e-mail. So many, in fact, that Microsoft have been forced to roll back the “end date” of Windows XP and – with Windows 7 hovering on the horizon – face the horrifying prospect of people daring to not buy a broken product they never wanted. Clearly, this will not stand.

Microsoft VP Mike Nash writes in a newly released white paper, basically threatening any business with the temerity to attempt upgrading from XP (an official product of Microsoft) to Windows 7 (an official product of Microsoft). They would face security vulnerabilities, uncertain stability, reduced support and – it seems – plagues of locusts while MS support looked on and shrugged.

Unless, of course, they buy a copy of Vista. Let me restate that in case sheer capitalism hemorrhaging horror of it hasn’t sunk in: customers would have to buy an entire failed operating just for the privilege of buying another one. Implying that the MS engineers are RIGHT NOW specifically NOT fixing XP-incompatibilities in the developing version of windows, because they have already decided to simply bully people into buying two products.

To call this a gross abuse of the customer base would be to dismiss torture-homicide as “rude”.

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