It’s never been more obvious how much the hardware and software industries go out of their way to drive each others business. Pricing for Vista has been released and the standalone copies of Vista that you can purchase in any PC shop are so expensive that the vast majority will go with the OEM version that comes with new PC’s after Vista’s release. In other words, if you want to get Vista at a reasonable price, you have to buy a new PC. So Microsoft greases the hardware vendors, and in exchange, they (hopefully) will push Windows to new users.
I’m wondering if this relationship is symbiotic or parasitic. It occurs to me that if the DOJ and EU wants to even the playing field for competition, they should probably consider abolishing the OEM license. If that happened, Microsoft would be forced to compete on price across the range of their products.
After all, their OS monopoly appears to have amassed primarily from OEM sales.
On the subject of Vista, in addition to the high price of non OEM versions, you can now expect more stringent piracy checks as well. Apparently in the enterprise you are supposed to have your own licensing server running, but what happens if that server fails? Time will tell I guess.