Microsoft Embraces "Free Software" Movement

Fake News written by James Baughn on Thursday, March 17, 2005

from the free-shackles-with-every-purchase dept.

REDMOND, WASHINGTON -- In a shocking revelation that sent gasps throughout the audience, Bill Gates announced today at a press conference that the next version of Windows, tentatively called Windows MT (Microsoft Technology), is going to be available for free to everybody who wants a copy.

There will, however, be a few strings attached.

"We are fully embracing the concept of free software," Gates said while dozens of reporters sat with their jaws on the floor. "All copies of Windows MT will be made available to the public at no charge."

The audience came back to Earth, however, when Gates revealed that only a tiny portion of the core Windows system will be included in the Free Edition. Everything else will cost extra.

"Under this new patent-pending pricing system, customers will be able to mix-and-match the features they want," said Gates with a hollow grin. "This will save users money while fostering enhanced innovation."

During a weekly dig through the garbage cans behind the Microsoft Campus, a member The Humorix Vast Spy Network(tm) uncovered a preliminary copy of the new Windows MT pricing system. The document lists over 550 "add-on licenses" that will be available for users to purchase.

It appears that the core Free Edition will only include the Windows kernel, Internet Explorer (impossible to remove), a bastardized TCP/IP stack, the Microsoft Outlook Virus Delivery Platform, and the Windows License Manager application, called SLAVE (System License Activation and Verification Engine).

SLAVE features a "zero-click licensing" system that makes it easy for users to select, purchase, and install the additional features they want from MASTER, the Microsoft Automatic Software Toll Extraction Regime. Unlike Amazon, the user doesn't even need to click on anything to make a purchase -- they just hover the mouse over a portion of the screen for three seconds.

Some of the available add-on features for Windows MT might include (with tentative prices in US dollars):

  • Solitaire ($10)
  • Basic firewall ($10)
  • Enhanced firewall that kicks into operation before the TCP/IP stack is launched during boot ($75)
  • Command-line shell ($25)
  • Command-line shell that is more advanced than MS-DOS ($50)
  • Java plug-in for Internet Explorer ($500)
  • Start Menu ($5)
  • Registry Editor ($10)
  • Notepad ($10)
  • Calculator ($5)
  • Control Panel ($10)
  • Minimize/Maximize window controls ($3)
  • Standard fonts ($15) - the Free Edition only includes MS Comic Sans
  • Windows Help system ($5, but free after rebate)
  • Right-click context sensitive menus ($10)
  • User manager for creating accounts other than "Administrator" ($45)
  • Basic spyware detection tool ($10)
  • Upgraded spyware detection and removal tool ($100)
  • Advanced TCP/IP stack allowing more than 10 open sockets at a time (your first born son)

Pundits wasted no time hailing the new Windows MT paradigm as the "greatest revolution to hit the computer industry since the invention of ASCII." Said one shill over at, "This bold new Microsoft strategy will make open source software obsolete. After all, why use a free Linux system when you can use a free Windows system?"

The Blartner Group issued a statement saying, "This is exactly the kind of visionary move that we have been predicting for the last five years. We told you this would happen."

Microsoft has been tight-lipped about the release date for Windows MT, with a spokesperson saying only, "We expect a 4th quarter delivery." However, it wasn't immediately clear whether he was talking about Windows MT or the birth of somebody's baby.

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