[to fight Google] Microsoft is stripping Windows 7 of some of Windows' best built-in applications [Windows Mail, Windows Photo Gallery and Windows Movie Maker], and it's making them available only as downloads on its Windows Live site.
... the software can be downloaded for free .... It's a variation on the classic "loss leader" in retail, where you lure folks in with freebies and then pounce with a hard sell.
The author thinks this is a silly idea and that people will stick with Google until M$ makes online services worth using. If that's so, there no reason to buy Windows 7 which will still be bloated with unpopular applications and digital restrictions. Ballmer will be hard pressed to convert websites besides their own to Windows only and, with Vista's market share still in the single less than 10%, Vista only is suicide. M$'s would be circular dependencies are best solved by sticking with real standards and moving to GNU/Linux or Mac.