"Microsoft stood at a crossroads last month as it tried to
push its biggest customers on to a new licensing scheme
under which they pay a maintenance fee instead of buying
upgrades. There were signs of a global backlash that could
promote the use and development of rival products,
particularly open source.
The company looks to be riding high, with earnings up 7
percent for the year up to June and 46 million copies of
Windows XP sold since October - its fastest selling
software ever. But it cannot maintain revenues indefinitely
on new versions of old products, and for some time it has
been trying to move to selling software as a service."
August 29, 2002