Get Your Wallet Out: App Upgrades And Music Fees - InformationWeek

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4/19/2007
03:27 PM
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Get Your Wallet Out: App Upgrades And Music Fees

Whatever else Windows Vista does for your PC, it's not going to make the numbers on your budgetary spreadsheet any lower. Several software vendors have decided not to upgrade existing versions of their products to be Vista-compatible -- instead, they're going to reshape upcoming versions. So if you buy a Vista PC, you don't get to reinstall your existing application onto your new machine. Instead, prepare to fork out some additional cash to get the next iteration.

Whatever else Windows Vista does for your PC, it's not going to make the numbers on your budgetary spreadsheet any lower. Several software vendors have decided not to upgrade existing versions of their products to be Vista-compatible -- instead, they're going to reshape upcoming versions. So if you buy a Vista PC, you don't get to reinstall your existing application onto your new machine. Instead, prepare to fork out some additional cash to get the next iteration.This is all laid out in Paul McDougall's article Mind The Vista Gap: Why Some Key Windows Apps Still Aren't Compatible, where he tells how companies such as Adobe (maker of the very popular Creative Suite digital publishing products) has decided not to make its earlier Creative Suite 2 applications compatible with Vista. So if you own CS2, and you don't want to pay for a new version, you're going to have to put up with performance problems and irritating glitches. Not good.

The problem is that it's not easy to tweak applications so they'll play nicely with Vista. One of the main culprits is (not surprisingly) the User Account Control, which is supposed to encourage users to stay out of the administrative levels of Vista -- and can play havoc with existing apps. (For some ways around this problem, you may want to check out our recent article How To Manage Windows Vista Application Compatibility.)

You can't fault Microsoft for doing its best to correct the vast and very nasty security problems that plagued Windows XP (at least partially because of its popularity). But the question is now being asked: Is the cure turning out to be worse than the disease?

Incidentally, talking about cures and diseases -- the recording industry apparently feels that the cure for a less-than-desirable bottom line is to price Internet music-streaming and radio station sites out of existence by dramatically raising royalty rates. The result, unfortunately, will be that many listeners will lose some good free sources for finding new music. The sites are fighting back -- there is a petition set up on a site called SaveNetRadio.org -- but since the new rates are due to go into effect on May 15th, we may soon see the disappearance of some of our more entertaining Internet services.

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