A) I was referring to systems administrators who work for companies too poor or too cheap to pay for things like technet, training and so forth. There are millions of them around the world and this is a knife in their belly. Those men and women are my brethren and sistren. Until only just recently I was one of them; no consulting company of my own, no budget beyond asking myself "do I buy a steak or put a few more dollars into the pot for the tools I need to do my job."
Apologists can condescend them all you want, or suggest that their employers should pay but reality doesn't comply whit the fantasies of those who set licensing policies. This is a direct attack on people like me; it is Microsoft saying that those who have spent their careers and lives doing what I have done are irrelevant, inconvenient, and above all guilty unless proven innocent.
I'll not stand idly by whilst one of the only groups of people in this world I can readily identify with is maligned, marginalized and shamed.
B) For your information, this article was written during the only weekend off I've taken in a year. It was the only weekend I've had to see my wife in two months. She's on location on an acting job and I won't get to see her for at least another two months. So I was on vacation. Some things are more important than my own personal amusement.
C) I don't have an MS addiction. I've been using Red Hat since late 1994 and have had periods of only a few months since 1995 when I wasn't running a network somewhere consisting of Red Hat, Apple and Microsoft.
Technology is technology, regardless of the purveyor. I disconnect my feelings regarding business practices from my respect for the technology produced. Microsoft makes good tech. They make shitty people.
Your understanding of the situation - and why so many are upset here - is at best incomplete at worst flat out wrong. What's more, hiding behind legalities like "consumer protection laws" as a means of trivializing the challenges this move has introduced into the lives of so many is simply offensive. It's easy to blithely demand people pay more, change the world around them to be more like you desire or simply write them off when they lack the power, authority or money to make others choose differently.
It is a different thing entirely to live in that world for decades. Perhaps you should. You might learn a thing or two about compassion and why the intersection of business and ethics needs be a primary concern not something we can allow to be overshadowed by the trumpets and drums of quarterly profits.
There is nobody in this industry you can trust. If sycophants of any flavour are your desire then bang on the desk until Eadon is given a forth-covered Pengiunskin soapbox and go read Ed Bott for a dose of truly singular Redmondian butt snorkling.
Me, I'll be as objective as I can and I"ll review any technology that crosses my path or interests me. My focus however, will always be on the SME. Someone has to, because our entire industry is focused on "being on message" where "being on message" means "captivating the enterprise buyer."
So try to understand my full meaning when I say that SME sysadmins are my fucking tribe and I will defend them to the bitter end. Even if all I can do in their defence is loose words upon the ether.