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  1. #1
    5 Star Lounger jujuraf's Avatar
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    MS discontinues products on MSDN

    Hi all,
    I thought some people here might find this information interesting especially if you have any of the MSDN subscriptions. I got email from MS that due to some law suit settled with Sun in 2001 about its virtual machine software, MS will no longer offer many of its older products on its web site for download. I don't understand why this is the case, but they say if you want them, you have until midnight Dec 23 to fetch them. Here's the text of the letter:

    ===============================
    In January 2001, Microsoft reached a settlement agreement resolving a legal dispute with Sun Microsystems concerning the use of the Microsoft® Virtual Machine in many of Microsoft's products. As a result, the following products are being phased out and will no longer be available through MSDN® Subscriber Downloads or other channels at Microsoft.

    We are notifying you that at 12:01am Pacific Standard Time, December 23, 2003, we will begin to remove the following content from MSDN Subscriber Downloads. If you require any of this content now or anticipate needing it in the future, we encourage you to download it prior to December 23. Depending upon when you began your MSDN Subscription, you may already have some or all of this software on CD or DVD media provided with your MSDN Subscription. Note that the availability of this software to you on MSDN Subscriber Downloads is dependent upon your subscription level.

    The products that will no longer be available are:

  2. #2
    Uranium Lounger
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    Re: MS discontinues products on MSDN

    <hr>I don't understand why this is the case<hr>
    In a nutshell: Sun developed the Java language, and holds rights to it and its use. Microsoft developed their own Java "Virtual Machine" (JVM) and did not adhere to Sun's standards. They added proprietary extensions to it to make it work better with Windows. Sun has never loved Microsoft and decided to take the issue to court to protect their intellectual property.

    That was a few years ago. Microsoft integrated their home-grown version of Java into all of the products listed in one way or another. Sun took them to court, and since they own the patent in the US, the courts gave Microsoft the option to "fix" their Java version or stop releasing it under penalty of law.

    So, there you have it. Whatever one's opinions of Microsoft or Sun, Microsoft had a choice. History has proven that Microsoft does not like playing the game by anyone's rules but their own, so they opted to remove all of their products that contained the "bad" Java code. They had until next year to comply but decided to yank the products now. Neat trick: it forces their customers into an upgrade cycle, filling their coffers with more revenue. Again, opinions aside, that is how capitalism works. Surely Microsoft shareholders would prefer that the money kept coming in and the stock price remains high. Microsoft is doing that, and whether one agrees with how is of little consequence. The only recourse consumers that disagree with their business ethics have is to stop buying their products.

    I would urge that any responses to my post or yours keep the flames to a minimum. By all means, I would like to see a vigorous discussion - so long as it is based upon fact and not unsubstantiated opinion. <img src=/S/smile.gif border=0 alt=smile width=15 height=15>
    -Mark

  3. #3
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    Re: MS discontinues products on MSDN

    Just to add a general word of practical warning: while various people may be tempted to circulate "clean" copies of the withdrawn software, they would be doing so without a license from Microsoft - whether or not they did this for gain. Such action could well be litigated by Microsoft on the grounds of piracy. In fact, not litigating against such activities could cause Microsoft to be taken back to court by Sun.
    Grüße

  4. #4
    Uranium Lounger
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    Re: MS discontinues products on MSDN

    Excellent point. I would be wary of any such "clean" products at any rate. Microsoft's products have proven buggy enough without third party cleansing!
    -Mark

  5. #5
    Super Moderator jscher2000's Avatar
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    Re: MS discontinues products on MSDN

    I think most of these products (except perhaps the stand-alone versions of Office applications) are on the DVDs, but I could be wrong about some of the older ones. Considering how long it takes to download big ISO images from MSDN, it makes some sense to check the DVDs first.

  6. #6
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    Re: MS discontinues products on MSDN

    A question: does this action by MS specifically "force an upgrade"? The products will no longer be available for download on MSDN. From what I understand no new upgrades or fixes to the software will be made available. I haven't specifically heard that existing support will be terminated, and my casual reading of the situation seems to imply that it won't be. Am I wrong? What reason is there to speed up an upgrade cycle due to these actions, other than supporting the cause of Sun righteousness (by buying more MS, a neat conundrum!)

    looking for enlightenment....

    kip

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    Re: MS discontinues products on MSDN

    "Force" may be too strong a word. But consider this: developers no longer have access to the builds of these products on a regular basis, and pulling them was done far in advance of when it was necessary. More interesting still is that if Microsoft had really wanted to, they could have complied with Sun's model and issued updates to correct their Java implementation. Instead, a lot of old products suddenly become harder to find.

    Sun is hurting financially. They are not getting the distribution of their J2EE runtime on Windows desktops now, so perhaps this move by Microsoft was out of spite? Smells like a monopolistic behaviour to me. One fact is inescapable: if you want your product to gain widespread adoption (Java in this case), making it work with the OS that sits on 95% of the desktop PCs out there is in your best interest. Java runtimes for every other OS solution combined cannot equal what you get from distribution of your code with Windows.
    -Mark

  8. #8
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    Re: MS discontinues products on MSDN

    With the exception of Visual Studio 6, it appears that all of the discontinued items have already ceased being included in a default full MSDN shipment. (A full shipment arrives on each subscription renewal.) The "big" change is that there will now be a gap for those developers supporting older platforms and products.

    For the record, MS appears to be canvassing making MSDN shipments download only. The profiling includes responses to the option of a 20% discount (for a download only sub) and asking whether users access their Library needs from a hard drive or use their DVD/CD.
    Grüße

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