Microsoft's attempt to demystify its software licensing in the U.K. has already caused one satirist to send up the Redmond, Wash.-based developer in a spoofed Web site.
The new marketing push on Microsoft's U.K. Web site sports a cactus, a sign reading "Do Not Swallow," and the overall tagline of "Microsoft Windows licensing. Not quite as obvious until now."
"We know it can all get a bit confusing, so we've gone back to basics," reads the site, which goes on to explain that, for instance, Windows 2000 and XP users will have to validate their copies of the OS by mid-2005 in order to receive updates; that OEM stands for "Original Equipment Manufacturer," and that an OEM licenses for Windows "live and die with each PC -- they are not transferable."
The unusual campaign has drawn at least one spoof, supposedly from a company named "Microsoft Windoze," whose bogus site adds one word to the official tag so it reads "Not quite as painfully obvious until now."
The rest of the satire takes on other elements of the real deal in subsections such as "The OEM License dies with the box" and "Volume Licensing." The former starts off with the line "Pay lots or pay often. The choice is yours."
It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out the OS leanings of the unnamed author of the site, since the last comments on the spoof page are: "Once I have polished it a bit I will link the business case that I used to replace our NT4 server with Linux here."