With the incredible success of the App Store, sometimes it’s easy to forgot that there are still many, many countries the world over that don’t have access to it yet. That number has been reduced today, however, as Apple brings its mobile marketplace to another 32 countries, bringing the total number of countries with access to the App Store to 155.
OS X Server has always been something of a bargain compared to the various flavors of Windows Server. Unlike Microsoft, Apple never focused on a client access licensing model in which organizations must pay for the server software itself plus additional licenses for users or devices that connect to it. Apple also doesn’t break OS X Server down into multiple variations each with its own features, licensing needs, and upgrade limitations.
When you buy OS X Server, Apple gives you everything from file sharing to Internet and collaborative services like wikis and internal messaging through Mac and iOS device management. If you start as a small business with a single basic server and eventually grow to the point where you need to support and manage dozens or hundreds of Macs, PCs, and mobile devices, there are no limits imposed on licensing or data migration.
Microsoft is a company known for creating strict, labyrinthine, costly terms in its commercial and end-user licensing. With Windows 8 seen as a make-or-break product for Microsoft, the company has already been adding licensing terms intended to strengthen its hand in the mobile market. As we reported earlier this year, Microsoft’s enterprise licensing for Windows 8 has provisions to coerce businesses into buying ARM-based Windows RT tablets while punishing those that deploy iPads with more costly terms.
Ratcheting things up a notch, Microsoft’s general counsel Tim Fielden announced new details about the company’s end-user license agreements. Although not mentioning specific products or services, Fielden posted on a Microsoft blog that many new agreements will prohibit users from initiating a class action lawsuit against the company.
Microsoft is using its home field advantage in the business market to alter the playing field between its upcoming low cost Windows RT tablets (formerly called Windows on ARM or WOA tablets) and the iPad. To date, the iPad has been the business and enterprise tablet of choice and that gives Apple a significant leg up over competing Windows RT tablets.
Aiming to neutralize that advantage, Microsoft has written Windows 8 licensing for enterprise organizations in a way that makes supporting the iPad and other non-Microsoft devices more expensive – essentially penalizing companies that opt for the iPad and want to use a virtual desktop (VDI) solution such as those from Citrix and VMWare for remote access to a Windows desktop.
We reported last month on the legal and licensing issues surrounding OnLive and its OnLive Desktop for iPad, a freemium offering from the cloud gaming company that offered iPad users a full Windows 7 desktop experience complete with Office and the ability to watch Flash content. The company made a big entrance into the Windows/Office on iPad space in January and announced its premium and business plans the following month.
More recently, however, Microsoft announced that OnLive was violating its licensing agreements. Microsoft even went so far as to accuse OnLive and any OnLive Desktop users of illegally pirating Windows 7.
OnLive appears to have learned the error of its ways. Over the weekend, the company quietly adjusted its service to be compatible with Windows licensing.