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Right, take the Intel i486 chips. Intel sold 486SX, and 486DX chips, plus a 487DX. Now, as far as an end user was concerned, the 486DX was a CPU as you'd think of it today with integrated FPU (relatively novel at the time in desktop) the 486SX was missing an FPU (still fine to run workloads that were at the time predominantly integer only) and the 487DX was an upgrade to make your 486SX have an FPU

But that was never what was really going on, all these were the same CPU design, except that when yield rates for the FPU weren't so good Intel disabled it and sold those as the 486SX. When sales of the 486SX outstripped supply of dodgy FPU 486DXs Intel removed the FPU altogether from new ones. Meanwhile the 487DX wasn't "upgrading" anything, it just disabled the 486SX and replaced it with a full CPU.


A customer is buying X features for Y dollars. It doesn't matter if certain other features are there and disabled, because that's not what the customer paid for.

Software does this all the time as well. Say you get the first three levels of a game for free. You have to pay to get an unlock code for all ten levels. Is it unfair that you really got the whole game for free and that you are being kept from accessing it unless you pay?

If you get the features you pay for, then the transaction was legitimate. Fin.

I don't think anybody's claiming it's illegal. Just questioning whether it's a smart move on Microsoft's part.

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