Bits from Bill

Technology thoughts leaking from the brain of "Bill Pytlovany"

Saturday, April 14, 2007

File Restoration, a new Revenue for Microsoft

Suppose you buy a new car with an advertised 10 gallon gas tank. One cold night, on a dark lonely road, you run out of gas. You call up your "OnSoft" advisor and she says, no problem!

We really gave you a car with a 20 gallon tank. You've been driving around all these years with an extra 10 gallons. For an additional $100 we'll give you a code to access those additional 10 gallons of gas.

Well, that's pretty much what Microsoft(MSFT) has done with their different versions of Windows Vista. If you purchase Vista Business or Ultimate versions you’ll get “Windows Complete PC Backup and Restore”. This feature is not included in Vista Home Basic and Premium. Well, they really still exist, and files are backed up, you just don’t have any option to restore them. Unless of course you want to upgrade to a more expensive version of Vista.

Friend and fellow researcher Dave Methvin discovered this when testing Microsoft’s Windows Anytime Upgrade. You can read more about Dave’s research at the popular PC Pitstop help site.

Obviously, there may be circumstances when users will be thrilled to have the restore feature available at any price. Still, I have a feeling that this is wrong. Not only is Microsoft using up my disk space, but the whole premise reminds me of the extortion done by rogue AntiSpyware programs.

After being called a Windows apologist by Chris Pirillo, author Ed Bott fired back with a recommendation.

“Move your data files to a separate volume (instructions here). You can use a different partition on the same drive or a separate drive – the key is that it have a different drive letter than the volume that holds your Windows and Program Files folders.”

I enjoy reading Ed’s Blog but he does come across as a Windows apologist with his response. Telling users to move all their data folders is not a simple task and will most likely break some older applications.

A friend in Redmond tells me a tweak-like restore utility is already being developed. It might be a good idea in case this discovery creates a little negative PR.

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Anonymous Cel said...

Bill: Please don't post anything more to your blog! It will take me a few weeks to digest all you have offered in this one blog.

Seriously, great links, you have just helped me tremendously in better understanding about Vista.

I find Vista very intimidating because of the amount of new technology it entails it's technical needs and all the various versions.

Think I will wait a year or so to buy a new computer to use this operating system. My current dimension 2400 would never handle it very well. It has integrated video and without a AGP slot. I can see how this current video is very lacking. This is the price I pay for buying the cheapest computer Dell offered at the time May 2004 Grin.

Awesome blog. Thank you

10:01 AM  
Anonymous Rod said...

I have been using WinPatrol for two years now, and absolutely love it. In my opinion, it is the best program of it's type on the market. Since upgrading to Vista, I miss "Scotty's" bark... and I think the best upgrade would be to make a cookie "clickable" to drag into the "Cookie Filter File" So many of the cookies have a lot of symbols etc. it is hard to remember the exact configuration without going back and forth or writing it down first.

1:46 PM  

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