In a stunning announcement made today by the most powerful commercial software giant on the planet, Microsofts’ Steve Ballmer announced what some are calling a “shocking” new marketing strategy: The next version of Windows will be 100% open-source and cost zero dollars to all members of the public on its day of release late this year. Ballmer said that this is only an amplification of another recent advertising project Microsoft created recently which is centered around criticizing the high prices of Apple’s Mac OS X, saying that Apple fans are being played as suckers by “paying $500 more to get a logo.”
Since the founding of Microsoft by Bill Gates, who stepped down as CEO effectively handing the reigns to Mr. Ballmer, the software company has refused to release its source-code; the programing used to create their popular operating system. Keeping it closed-source has been a strategy used by Microsoft to ensure they could maximize profits on sales of their product, but Steve Ballmer said he felt the time was right to go open source for a multitude of reasons. “Not only did we feel like rubbing it in Apple’s face by removing the price tag from our product entirely, but we feel it’s time to get some help from the public on refining Windows. Because let’s face it; they use Windows more than we do, so we might as well let them fix it themselves for a change.”
Ballmer went on to explain that with Microsofts’ closed-source model, the repair of bugs and security holes in their software is much more challenging. “Our studies have shown that software developers and programmers actually become less productive in direct correlation to the amount of money you pay them for their work. It’s gotten so bad that the shutdown menu in Vista took several months to create and design, and that’s pretty damned embarrassing if you ask me.”
Reactions to the unexpected change have been mostly positive to sarcastic. Mark Shuttleworth, founder of Canonical which develops and promotes their free Ubuntu Linux operating system, considered the change to be a little amusing. “You know what they say: Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.” Apple CEO Steve Jobs responded to the move by boldly stating “So what?!” When asked if Apple would consider making a similar change in their software development model, he replied in a typical sales pitch: “It takes a lot of money to build computers as cool as ours. Buy one,” he added with a crazed, hypnotic look in his eyes. “You’ll LOVE it.”
The open-source version of Windows 7 was originally slated to be released late in 2009, but with the sudden change in development structure, Microsoft actually anticipates this date to be unusually ahead of schedule. “Now that we’ve shaken our software development department down and replaced our laziest, most expensive programmers with dedicated Microsoft Windows fans who work for us out of sheer love for the brand, we anticipate faster development in the areas of security, stability and most importantly, system performance.” Microsoft was also originally planning to release seven various editions of Windows 7 (Starter, Home Basic, Home Premium, Professional, Enterprise, Ultimate and Star Trek Collectors edition), but it has been deduced that by making the software 100% open-source, the user will be able to get any edition they want for free simply by selecting which edition they want during installation at no difference in cost. “It’s a win win for everyone,” added Ballmer.
Also: APRIL FOOLS.