very interesting listen... didnt fall asleep once :)
I've been listening to the TWIT podcasts (windows weekly, macbreak, T.W.I.T FLOSS etc) for a while now and I was pleasantly surprised to find one on el reg. I then found you on Itunes and subscribed so lets hope you get some sponsoring eventually :)
Only thing I'd say I disagreed with was your take on the EU. The less incentives for the likes of Dell to choose just windows over another operating system the better... I don't think the average customer can make an educated decision based on how much 'sponsored' software is pre-installed (AOL, Norton trial etc) especially 3 years later when the same expired trial is running alongside another A/V product.
If Microsoft hadn't started all this shit we wouldn't have win-modems and other cretonistic 'value added' products and the customer would be able to choose on the hardware and not have to worry if their OEM OS license travels over to their upgraded system. I always say that 'software should be written for the hardware, not the other way around.'
I believe that the EU has partially corrected this even as far as to say the suggestion of making bundling the OS illegal would ALSO be a bonus for customers. I agree the decision has came 10 years too late... nobody would consider an OS without a browser these days and although Microsoft raised the stakes in the short term I think ultimately its the 3rd party ecosystem that suffers in the long term.
I admit I say this as a linux/mac fan -- OSX wouldn't come into this rule because apple provides the platform as a service and provides the 'whole apple' experience. I would more than welcome Microsoft bringing their own branded PC hardware to Europe from India and providing the same 'Microsoft experience' that apple has done so far.
At the end of the day I couldn't give a monkeys what OS you, your children or your granny uses to collect their mail.. but I do strongly believe they should make that decision based on the merits of the software and not on the back handers of the PC manufacturers. People generally dont care or update their OS between computers as long as they 'work' and I think Microsoft have been taking advantage of that fact to dominate the market rather than because their systems are better. It reduces the choices of the people that do care and stifles innovation in the long term.