Biting the Apple: Temptation Follows Disenchantment

AWC CIO Dale Frantzs disenchantment with Microsoft dates back to spring of 2006, when Janet Lawless, a Microsoft manager, notified Frantz that AWC appeared to be licensed improperly.

Confident that there was a mistake, Frantz informed Lawless that he keeps extensive records of all software purchases, licenses and registration codes. Lawless, in turn, threatened to turn up the heat and notify a company officer at AWC of her suspicions.

Thats when Frantz who is so passionate about accurate software licensing that he made it a condition of employment when he took the job at AWC nearly 10 years ago contacted AWCs attorney. As it turned out, Lawless was trying to sell consulting services to AWC by misleading and intimidating Frantz. After this story was reported in Computerworld [see "Rotten Effort" and "Sleazier Still"], Frantz says the hounding abruptly stopped.

The entire episode left Frantz with bad feelings toward Microsoft. But thats not the primary reason he started exploring software alternatives and ultimately opted to switch to Apple, he says.

Other key factors in his decision include the ever-rising costs of Micro­softs Windows operating system software upgrades, Windows security vulnerabilities and, most important, the need to safeguard systems availability, since AWC depends on a single monolithic application VIPS for virtually all of its revenue-generating activities.

Frantz notes that he always has been especially leery of so-called phone-home capabilities in Microsoft software when it is purchased under an open licensing agreement with the vendor. That feature is a built-in trigger that shuts down the software if a user is out of compliance, Frantz says.

If all of a sudden, all of the computers directing traffic for our jobs went down because the computers couldnt talk to Redmond, thats just terrifying, he says. I dont want Microsoft to have that degree of control over my business.

Copyright © 2007 IDG Communications, Inc.

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