Two words – “about time!”. I’ve been a vocal advocate both in the user community and with my contacts at Microsoft that the upgrade process for MCE has been atrocious and needs fixing. In the past, users had to convince their OEMs to provide an OS upgrade to them or buy a new copy of XP MCE if they wanted to get onto the latest version. I would argue that the Operating System hasn’t seen a real upgrade since MCE 2002 and that users were just getting fleeced due to terminology.
The next version of MCE will be properly called an update, which is what the other ones should have been called as well. This change in terminology should mean that users can get the upgrade free from Microsoft directly, hopefully as part of the standard Windows Update process.
The next version of MCE will be Longhorn, and I’ll have no problem telling people that they’ll have to pay for that one.