Microsoft Will Offer Only XP a Secure Internet Explorer Future

“If you’re one of about 200 million people using older versions of Windows and you want the latest security enhancements to Internet Explorer, get your credit card ready.

Microsoft this week reiterated that it would keep the new version of Microsoft’s IE Web browser available only as part of the recently released Windows XP operating system, Service Pack 2. The upgrade to XP from any previous Windows versions is $99 when ordered from Microsoft. Starting from scratch, the operating system costs $199.”

[Original Article]

Well, they have to pry earlier (9x/ME) versions of Windows out of the marketplace. It’s just about killing them to try to secure XP’s two versions. We’ve seen what an effect it had on Longhorn’s feature set. I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see Windows Server 2003+ go away as soon as Longhorn Server ships in 2007. Microsoft has to be losing sleep trying to figure ways to discourage users with older versions of Windows.

Nope, things will be much simpler for Microsoft by 2007. There will be two real versions of Longhorn- Standard and Server. There will be add-on bits for the Standard version, but the core will be only the two versions.

I’m quite sure that Microsoft will offer the Standard release in a stripped-down version for people who only need the kernel. After all, accountants and the like probably won’t need the Glass-level interface. That kind of power takes hardware that only workstation owners and gamers will feel comfortable about. It will also defuse further lawsuits about forced bundling. That kind of thing can cost money.

What I’m also pretty sure about (he said, rubbing his crystal ball) is that Microsoft would just love to do something they’ve never done before- make the whole OS modular. The government is trying to force them in that direction. What better tactic than applying Kung Fu to the situation and moving completely in that direction? Sell the stripped-down minimum kernel version with a file system, the search technology, and enough barb-wire fences to keep the bad guys out, then charge extra for all the goodies. I’d guess that it would be orders of magnitude easier to secure the kernel OS than it is to rework XP every time a major flaw is discovered.

Imagine a world where no-one complains about having to pay for software they don’t use! *nix has been that way for years, so don’t dismiss the notion. Microsoft is already edging in that direction with the file system and the user interface. Even Microsoft’s buckshot team=programming approach would be well suited to the new organization.