Friday, February 11, 2011

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It has been decided by Microsoft to pull its Windows 7 for Netbooks downloading tool from its online store. While Microsoft refused to formally comment, the takedown is likely in response to accusations that code for the tool was lifted from a CodePlex-hosted open-source project. The original program, the Windows 7 USB/DVD Download Tool (WUDT) was determined to help Microsoft capitalize on netbooks' enduring popularity among consumers.

Microsoft draw its Windows 7 USB/DVD Download Tool (WUDT) from the online Microsoft Store on Nov. 10, allegedly because the program include code from the GPLv2-licensed ImageMaster project. Microsoft originally introduced the USB/DVD Download Tool as a method for netbook users, for those who lack DVD drives on their devices, to install Windows 7 on their machines.

The ImageMaster project, hosted on Codeplex, is addressed on its site as "a .Net C# application for reading and writing disc images." One of the user said that it is a very weird feeling after poking through the WUDT’s internals because there was too much codes for such a simple tool.

According to one of the user, Microsoft may have destroyed ImageMaster's terms for use of the open-source code decline to offer source code for their customizations to ImageMaster and stapling on their own licensing terms, further prohibiting their rights to the software.

As this comment spread in the larger media, it appears that Microsoft made the decision to pull the WUDT from the offerings on the Microsoft Store, although the "Windows 7 for Netbooks" page remains active without an "Add to Cart" link. 

One of the Microsoft spokesperson said in response to it that they are currently looking into this issue and are taking down the Windows USB/DVD Tool (WUDT) from the Microsoft Store site until their review of this matter is complete. They apologize to their customers for any inconvenience.

WUDT was originally designed to make porting Windows 7 onto netbooks a relatively easy process.

One of the Microsoft spokesperson wrote while cautioning the users who would need to configure their netbook’s BIOS before they could boot off that USB device or external DVD player. For netbook users without DVD drivers, the M Windows 7 USB/DVD Download Tool [WUDT] will take an ISO image and create a bootable UDB device that can be used to install windows 7.

Despite so much hype and popularity of netbooks something that led Microsoft to create a Windows 7 solution for the devices in the first place is that Redmond has publicly indicated that it would like consumers to gravitate towards higher-priced "ultra-thins" that can potentially run higher-margin editions of Windows.

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said during the company’s annual Financial Analyst Meeting over the summer that Microsoft’s manufacturing partners would likely start introducing ultra-thin PCs with a higher price-point than netbooks by the end of 2009.

Ballmer told one of the analysts that they want people to be able to get the benefits of lightweight performance and also be able to spend more money with them