Microsoft to offer 'family plan' for Windows XP
By JIM BROOKS
As an increasing number of homes have more than one PC, Microsoft
plans to offer discounts on its upcoming Windows XP operating system
to users who want to install it on several PCs.
While site licenses are nothing new in corporate computing, this
marks the first time Microsoft has offered "family licenses"
for any of its products.
The family licenses allow additional installs of the full version or
upgrade version of Windows XP within one family.
The prices will be discounted by $10 to $30 from the full-price
The family license is a work around for Windows XP's new security
feature, Product Activation, which will -- for the first time --
prevent home users from installing the same copy of the software on
Windows XP users will be required to obtain a code to reactivate the
software if the computer the software is installed on is
significantly upgraded, or the hard drive is reformatted, requiring a
re-installation of the operating system.
Windows XP is set to go on sale at retail outlets Oct. 25, though you
can order a new PC with the operating system now.
The Product Activation scheme is part of Microsoft's crackdown on
piracy. Windows XP must be activated within 30 days by using an
activation wizard to connect to Microsoft online, which ``locks''
Windows XP to the computer's existing hardware configuration.
If the software isn't activated, it stops working and directs
customers to the Internet to automatically activate the software.
Users who change their hardware configuration or reformat their hard
drives must obtain a 44-character code from Microsoft to reconfigure
TERRORISM'S IMPACT. Microsoft and other developers of computer
games have delayed the release of their games, and several have
changed them in the wake of the Sept. 11th terrorist attacks on the U.S.
Microsoft has delayed the released of Flight Simulator 2002, and
plans to remove the World Trade Center towers from the New York skyline.
FS 2002 was due for release in the next couple of weeks, but the
company plans to delay that a while, a spokesman said.
Microsoft is also offering a patch for Flight Simulator 2000 that
will alter the New York City skyline in the wake of the attacks.
Canada-based game company Digital Leisure has canceled plans to
release its ``Crime Patrol'' game indefinitely. The game pits players
as police officers fighting terrorists and criminals.
Electronic Arts suspended its interactive phone calls and e-mails for
its ``Majestic'' online game after the terrorist attacks. Players can
return to the game, but must opt-in to do so.
Electronic Arts plans to revise its packaging for its ``Command and
Conquer 2.'' The original packaging showed the World Trade Center on fire.
FREE NO MORE. Yahoo! announced recently that will begin
charging a fee for its once-free Yahoo Personals, its online personal
ad service that has been online the last four years.
Users will still be able to post ads and answer them; visitors
wishing to scan through the lists of ads posted will have to pay.
Beginning Oct. 3, Yahoo will charge $19.95 a month for membership to
its ClubConnect service, which will give access to all the personal
ads on its site. Discounts for longer-term memberships will be available.
The move comes as Yahoo tries to create more non-advertising revenue,
which has faltered over the last two years. The personal ads are
popular, and the company believes people will be willing to pay a
NAPSTER CLONES PROLIFERATE. The number of file-swapping
services that have filled the void created by the fall of Napster is staggering.
And while they are keeping low profiles, most are still hoping to
make a profit on their operations.
Millions of users are downloading and signing up for the services,
which have yet to be targeted by the recording industry.
Services like Aimster, Audiogalaxy and MusicCity have begun to
provide the service that Napster used to -- file transfers, and while
most are MP3 music files, some services allow transfers of video
clips, applications and documents.
These services -- even if they dropped music files -- could be turned
adapted for use in large corporations where files are frequently
updated and shared.
The new file-swapping services are relatively inexpensive to operate.
The services' expenses are mostly legal, they say. Since they use
true peer-to-peer networking, none of them depend on their own
computers or servers. Each user's computer becomes a part of the
File-swapping veterans, like Travis Kalanick, founder of former
file-swapping giant Scour, say that the services allow the swapping
of copyrighted materials, they too shall have their reckoning day.
``It doesn't matter how legal you think you are,'' he said. ``You are
going to get hammered if your intent is to distribute (potentially)
For more information, visit www.musiccity.com,