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Windows Operating Systems Software The Almighty Buck

MS Trying To Spur Vista Sales With Discounts 329

Posted by kdawson
from the wee-mite-desperate dept.
Ang writes "Is Microsoft having worries about selling Vista already? Ars reports that Microsoft has announced yet another 'discount program' for Vista, but these new discounts work out to only about 10% off list price — not much when you notice that retailers already sell Vista below list. To make matters worse, the discount program would still end up costing you $100 more than the older 'family' discount built around Vista Ultimate in some situations. Ars spends seven paragraphs explaining this convoluted offer. Is all of this complexity supposed to help sell Vista?" If you must buy Vista, it might be advisable to sit on your wallet for a while. The discounts are bound to get sweeter.
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MS Trying To Spur Vista Sales With Discounts

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  • Costco... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by podperson (592944) on Sunday March 25, 2007 @11:00PM (#18483587) Homepage
    Last couple of times I've visited Costco there have been huge and nearly full Vista racks. It's pretty early in a product cycle for Vista to be in Costco... let alone in Costco and not moving.
    • by EmbeddedJanitor (597831) on Sunday March 25, 2007 @11:24PM (#18483807)
      Unlike "real goods" which cost "real money" to make, a Vista product (ie. DVD + packaging) costs virtually nothing. No doubt MS is running sweet deals for retailers to get as many sales as possible.

      Apart from generating revenue, MS has to prove to share holders that the $5bn that was spent on Vista development was worth doing and they can only do that by showing an increase in sales vs XP. There must be a lot of shareholders wondering whether it would have been better to just put the money in the bank and ride XP for longer. After all, anyone not buying Vista would still buy XP, so what motivates spending $5bn?

      • by edwardpickman (965122) on Monday March 26, 2007 @02:57AM (#18485039)
        I couldn't help thinking about what $5 billion would buy in the software world. It's hard to compare graphics softwares and OSs but look at it this way you could buy most of the major CG software companies for that and probably pick up some choice 2D software companies to boot. That's a lot of complex software. Was the Vista upgrade worth $5 billion? If I was a shareholder I'd be pissed and want some one to explain. Mac is pulling off more innovative OS upgrades almost on a yearly basis for a tiny fraction of the cost. As a stockholder I'd want some heads to roll because all that wasted money could have gone to paying dividends instead of fat bonuses for a questionable upgrade. Microsoft's primary assest is market share which is formitable but can it last if they don't do better with future upgrades? Vista is a marginal upgrade for the user to XP so in a sense they are five years behind where they should be in development. Investors and customers may let them slide on this one but if the next upgrade doesn't look much better they will have a lot of explaining to do since Mac and Linux are constantly upgrading during the overly long Windows development cycle.
      • by Tim C (15259)
        Each individual copy of Vista is cheap to produce, but that first copy from which all the rest are made, that was incredibly expensive.

        Software costs more than duplication and distribution; you have to recoup the initial production costs (plus profit) spread across every sale.
        • by mgblst (80109)
          What the poster is saying that it doesn't really cost anymore to have 100 boxes on the shelf, than it does to have 500, so they are encouraging shops to take lots of boxes rather than a few, in the hopes they will create massive displays. This is marketing 101.

          I wonder what Microsofts hurry is, they now that they will dominate, most people aren't going to but a new PC without Vista, so why not just wait? Microsoft knows that they are sitting on a gold mine.
          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            What the poster is saying that it doesn't really cost anymore to have 100 boxes on the shelf, than it does to have 500, so they are encouraging shops to take lots of boxes rather than a few, in the hopes they will create massive displays. This is marketing 101.

            It's called "channel stuffing" [wikipedia.org] and while it is indeed marketing 101, companies can't get away with it for too long before the channel becomes mighty pissed off and starts sending the product back.

            Rich.

      • by Technician (215283) on Monday March 26, 2007 @04:06AM (#18485327)
        After all, anyone not buying Vista would still buy XP, so what motivates spending $5bn?


        Due to the disparity between the OEM copy included on new hardware and the retail price, my older hardware has upgraded to Ubuntu instead. Not everyone not buying Vista would still buy XP. Apple sales has been doing quite well with the Core 2 Duo machines.

        The TCO for MS products has become a problem for many with the required number of batteries not included items such as demo photo editor, demo CD writer, Wordpad (nuf said), and the endless AV patches.

        The TCO on Ubuntu has been much lower for me. Scanning, full e-mail, office suite, and photo editing is included. Media codecs, Flash 9, and DVD playback are a free download away. AV is generaly not needed yet.

        There is lots of history to show consumers that a MS release is a batteries not included distro. You will have to buy something to add some basic functionality such as burning an ISO to a CD or risk a malware freebe with a free program. (free rigntones, animated cursers, weather on the taskbar, video player, audio player, etc.. bundled with adware.)
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by pipatron (966506)
          Well, not that I don't hate Microsoft as much as any other guy around... I just have to point out that all the free things you talk about with Ubuntu, are also available for Windows, thanks to open source.
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Technician (215283)
            I just have to point out that all the free things you talk about with Ubuntu, are also available for Windows, thanks to open source.


            What I liked about Ubuntu was discovering them installed and working.

            Ever hit a freeware site and try to figure out what is a demo, nagware, crippleware, etc. Having a configured machine ready to run is a nice break.
      • by jkrise (535370)
        There must be a lot of shareholders wondering whether it would have been better to just put the money in the bank and ride XP for longer. After all, anyone not buying Vista would still buy XP, so what motivates spending $5bn?

        Which shareholder knows anything about technology or cares about technology-decisions made by s/w vendors? Every shareholder ought to be truly frightened when MS PAID Novell for the privilege of distributing Linux.

        Except for the eye-candy, there is nothing new in Vista that's not a
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Tom (822)

        After all, anyone not buying Vista would still buy XP, so what motivates spending $5bn?
        Especially for something that does what, exactly, that XP does not? DirectX10 is artificially restricted to vista, there's no technical reason it couldn't be backported to XP, is there? And DirectX10 is the only thing so far that's an advantage of vista over XP that exists outside the dreamworld of PR spins.
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by hr.wien (986516)
          There is a very good reason DirectX10 can't be ported back to XP. The entire Windows driver model has changed for DX10 to allow for instance GPU virtualization and GPU memory paging. This cannot be done in XP. To port it back you would have to replace the old XP driver model, which means you will have to replace the kernel, which means you've ended up with Vista anyway.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Foofoobar (318279)
      I laughed at those racks because whoever attempts to purchase and install those, unless they just bought a brand new machine (in which case it would come with Vista installed by default anyway), they are going to most likely have hardware incompatibilities, lack of driver support, etc and thus be unhappy and return the product. Too many returns will eventually cause retailers to stop carrying them on the shelves.

      But this isn't too much of a concern for Microsoft since they only accounted for 10% of XP's
      • by blackicye (760472)
        Actually, user experience and performance aside.

        Surprisingly driver and hardware compatibility issues for Vista are actually not that bad, I've installed it on 3 PCs so far, two older systems (1 1/2 and 2 years old) and one newer system (1 month old)

        I've not had any hardware incompatibilities so far but YMMV. The closest I've gotten to driver incompatibilities was one of the motherboards had an onboard Creative SB Live 5.1 chip. But a visit to Creative's website solved that, though it took some digging.

        Ther
        • Whom should we believe - you or a BBC reporter?

          You: I've not had any hardware incompatibilities so far but YMMV. The closest I've gotten to driver incompatibilities was one of the motherboards had an onboard Creative SB Live 5.1 chip. But a visit to Creative's website solved that, though it took some digging.

          BBC reporter:
          http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/6407419.stm [bbc.co.uk]

          Once online, Creative's website told me that my sound card was a write-off. No Vista support would be forthcoming.

          Grudgingly I ordered a new
        • by iendedi (687301) on Monday March 26, 2007 @07:43AM (#18486301) Journal

          The main reason I'd avoid Vista is the price and the loss in performance, though no new OS generally increases performance on the same hardware
          Apple's OS X operating system performs better with each iteration, on the same hardware. The rumor is that Apple achieves this remarkable result through a little known, and apparently forgotten, exercise called "optimization". Apparently, this activity is something that ancient computer-scientists used to do, according to some archeologists, but the ancient art of optimization was abandoned sometime during the Microsoft dark-ages.

          Many people dismiss this topic of optimization as a conspiracy theory, but I must admit that I am starting to believe that such techniques exist.
      • by kahrytan (913147)
        You are right. People will end up returning it. Thank God that Costco has a very liberal return policy. If it isn't compatible with your old pc hardware, simply return it for full refund.

          I have personally vowed to let XP be my last Windows license due to Vista's DRM and TPM control measures.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Ltar (1010889)
        I think a major reason that Vista isn't flying off the shelves like XP did is because people don't NEED Vista. XP works just fine. Windows 2000/me, however, was a terribly mangled and unstable peice of software. XP, in my experience, has been remarkably stable.

        ME, on the other hand, which I was running before XP... well... There was definitely a sense of urgency in switching to XP.
        • by init100 (915886)

          Windows 2000/me, however, was a terribly mangled and unstable peice of software.

          2000, unstable? I agree about ME, but you can't really compare ME to W2000.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by cerberusss (660701)

          Windows 2000/me, however, was a terribly mangled and unstable peice of software. XP, in my experience, has been remarkably stable.
          I have an Athlon 2800 box running on my desk here. At the time, XP had just come out but this one still had Windows 2000 on it. I never bothered to upgrade: it never hangs on this particular configuration and the box isnt used to play games. For me, Win 2k is perfectly fine.
    • Then the costco boxes are empty. You have to take them to front to get the actaul product.
    • Regardless how good or bad it is, you and I both know Vista will find its way onto 90+% of desktops as home users and corporations upgrade their computers within the next 2-3 years. Retail sales are a drop in the bucket for Microsoft. If it turns out to be a real turd (ala WinMe, which incidentally I don't believe Vista is anything like), adoption may be a bit slower than XP.
    • by tim_uk (123339)
      All the UK Costco stores had Vista in stock and on-sale on release day. The local store tech was unboxing new desktops and laptops and configuring OEM Vista on each that day too.
  • by User 956 (568564) on Sunday March 25, 2007 @11:05PM (#18483623) Homepage
    Is Microsoft having worries about selling Vista already? ... To make matters worse, the discount program would still end up costing you $100 more than the older 'family' discount

    Ok, then they're not worried about selling Vista, if the new discount program is worse than the old discount program. A rational person would draw the opposite conclusion: that they're confident in Vista sales numbers. At least, enough to reduce the incentive.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by jkrise (535370)
      A rational person would draw the opposite conclusion: that they're confident in Vista sales numbers....

      Microsoft seems confident that there are enough irrational people in the world to boost demand for an inferior, bloated product that lacks many promised features and requires 8 times more hardware to perform essentially the same functions.
  • Keep on waiting... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Junior J. Junior III (192702) on Sunday March 25, 2007 @11:07PM (#18483635) Homepage
    Not buying Vista at all, ever, will save you the most money in the long run. Not to mention aggravation.
    • by Seumas (6865) on Sunday March 25, 2007 @11:13PM (#18483693)

      Not buying Vista at all, ever, will save you the most money in the long run. Not to mention aggravation.
      Getting most videogames - say Crysis - to run in linux is pretty fucking aggravating.

      Between OEMs putting it on all new systems and people opting for it on their home-builds once games start making use of DirectX 10, Vista will rule the market just like XP, 2000, 98, 95, etc have.

      It really sucks having to have a special OS just to play videogames.

      Oh well.
      • by aussie_a (778472) on Sunday March 25, 2007 @11:17PM (#18483743) Journal
        If someone designed a computer/OS that allowed you to just throw a game CD/DVD in, no installing or drivers and just turn on the computer and play it, I would be all over that like a bad rash.

        If only there was a computer like that, if only.....
        • by Tokerat (150341)
          It's called a "console". They even come with special keyboards you can hold in your hand.
          • by init100 (915886)

            They aren't good for every game. How many RTS games or flight simulation games have you played on a console? I also hear FPS games are much better on PCs than on consoles.

      • Getting most videogames - say Crysis - to run in linux is pretty fucking aggravating.

        Is it any more aggravating than trying to get Tux Racer or Kstars to run on Windows?
      • by Tom (822)
        Not so sure.

        '95 was a somewhat risky move, but there was enough of a lock-in to guarantee that it would not fail, at least not in the market.

        '98 and XP were as safe as you can get with a "new" product. Only a license to print money could've been a more secure investment.

        Vista, on the other hand, is squarely in the "too little, too late" category. While Linux has lost some of its steam, it is quietly being rolled out in hundreds of large companies and many parts of the governments around the world. Apple is
      • by jez9999 (618189)
        I remember reading reports a while ago that PC gaming was dying. Everyone was going to consoles, and the PC market was shrinking. What exactly happened? 'Needing an OS for gaming' implies that PC gaming is going strong.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by blackicye (760472)
      Not to be an MS Apologist, but Vista really doesn't seem all that bad. Its driver support is actually pretty decent.
      I'm evaluating Vista Business on my office desktop atm, its been installed for 2 weeks, aside from it feeling a little bloated its working fine so far. (A64-3500+, 1 GB Ram, nforce 4 mobo, nVidia 6800GS)

      I was quite surprised actually when I installed it on a slightly older PC last week, I was having serious problems getting the onboard RAID on the MSI K8N SLI Platinum to work properly with an
      • by dwater (72834)
        > ...I'm evaluating Vista Business on my office desktop atm

        You have a desktop atm? ...and it's running vista?

        It'd be cooler if it wasn't running vista, but still, not bad.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by icepick72 (834363)
      Indeed not buying Vista ever will save you the headaches of Windows just as never buying Tiger will save you the headaches of Mac and never buying Ubuntu will save you the headaches of Linux. However if everybody followed this advice then nobody would have an operating system.
      • by jkrise (535370)
        Indeed not buying Vista ever will save you the headaches of Windows just as never buying Tiger will save you the headaches of Mac and never buying Ubuntu will save you the headaches of Linux. However if everybody followed this advice then nobody would have an operating system.

        Wrong conclusions. The PC market is unique in the sense the hardware is supposed to be standards-compliant and operating system - neutral; ie it is SUPPOSED to run ANY operating system. The big brand-name vendors are pushing pre-inst
  • Tom Peterson (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Seumas (6865) on Sunday March 25, 2007 @11:08PM (#18483643)
    Tom Peterson [wweek.com] says "Free is a very good price!".

    And I agree.

    At this point, I have no interest in paying for Windows. I do, however, require at least one Windows box (currently XP64) for gaming and testing deployment of some of our enterprise applications at home. I also don't really care to go through the trouble of finding a viable crack on bit torrent or anything. I will probably buy it once there are games which I must have that demand DirectX10 for the coolest gaming experience -- and I will do so when I am in the process of building a new machine so that I can get the OEM version.

    Even at that, I will not spend $200. I might spend $140. And that's for the full version (4gb+, multi-core, 64bit, etc). Otherwise they can just eat it. The only reason I ever need to jump off my solaris, debian or OSX boxes is to play games. Period.
    • >Even at that, I will not spend $200. I might spend $140. And that's for the full version (4gb+, multi-core, 64bit, etc). Otherwise they can just eat it. The only reason I ever need to jump off my solaris, debian or OSX boxes is to play games. Period.

      Then get ready to get on your knees and pucker-up because in a few years, games will no longer support XP. And no - you won't get a discount for Vista. Full-price for you bitch. =)
    • I do, however, require at least one Windows box (currently XP64) for gaming

      Have you tried this? It might be the last bit you need. I don't know if WINE will take care of the rest.

      http://www.transgaming.com/index.php?module=Conten tExpress&func=display&ceid=2&meid=-1 [transgaming.com]

      Cedega , TransGaming's flagship Linux portability product, allows Windows games to run on Linux seamlessly and transparently, right out of the box. With Cedega installed on your computer running Linux, you can simply insert your fa
  • So - in effect what the summary (and yes I glanced ad the convoluted link) is that an OS that is available in 7 different versions would have a complex discount scheme.

    And Microsoft is suprised that people aren't jumping into this? Hell, it makes shopping for HDTVs simple in comparrision.
  • Why ? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by billcopc (196330) <vrillco@yahoo.com> on Sunday March 25, 2007 @11:09PM (#18483659) Homepage
    I still don't quite understand why people would rush to get Vista. XP works the same if not better, there's actually mature driver support (well, mature is a relative term when talking about ATI, NVidia et al), and you know the software you need works on XP. This reminds me of over a decade ago when we all rushed to get Windows 95 the day it came out, only to pummel our PC's into dust with all the problems it caused. Printers no longer printing, internet dialer no longer dialing, and of course the joys of our old 16-bit apps crashing half the time. It was painful. I ended up dual-booting back to classic Dos + Wfw311 for a while longer while the dust settled. Vista is going to be the same story... give it a year, for most users it will have stabilized and 3rd party support will be established. Right now it doesn't even know which end to poop from.
    • by cdrudge (68377)

      I still don't quite understand why people would rush to get Vista.
      For exactly the same reason why people run out and download/install the latest RedHat, Suse, etc distro as soon as it becomes available. Because they can.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by GFree (853379)
        There is a small difference however. Downloading a Linux distro is free, Vista (assuming you get it legit) is not. Trying out a new distro won't cost you anything except for time, so he's questioning why people are rushing to put money down for Vista so soon.
    • There are nice things about Vista that are genuine improvements over XP. They might not be worth the price (which is subjective anyway), but they are there.
  • All I know... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by peterbiltman (1059884)
    ... is that I switched to Vista about 2 weeks ago and am loving it. Despite all the negativity people seem to have about it I find most of that negativity comes from people who have never installed it or used it.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Forrest Kyle (955623)
      I think some of the negativity comes from being asked to spend $200 on a big thing that is so complex it requires me to upgrade my computer, and it does pretty much exactly what my current thing does. Not to mention that it will probably have an unknown (But larger than zero) amount of DRM and snooping software woven throughout.

      For instance, here is a basic list of the applications I use regularly:

      Firefox
      Office XP
      Notepad
      DevC++
      ZSNES
      MathCAD
      Games purchased before 2005
      Winamp
      Cakewalk Recording Stu
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by RobertM1968 (951074)

      Funny.... not a single tech where I work thinks it's worth upgrading except to play with and learn to fulfill our job duties. We use it all the time. We field tons of questions that end up being answered with "Sorry you just bought a machine with Vista on it. Now you have to wait for the compatible ___________ (driver/app/game patch) to run that ___________ (piece of hardware/app/game)". We have a ton of HP laptops that dont even have proper webcam support in Vista - even though the webcam is built in to th

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by TheNetAvenger (624455)
        Reason #189 not to shop at CompUSA.

        Reason #188 was their restocking policy, if you buy a defective device and they don't have the exact same one on the shelf, they charge you 15% to change to another brand or model. Such a nice company... (gag)

        Seriously CompUSA has become the laughing stock of consumer tech PC industry. If your techs had more background or training, this would not be their response to people, the driver issues would be something they would know the workarounds to, and people getting 10-15fp
    • I installed a free copy of Vista I got from Dell about 2 weeks ago as well, and immediately uninstalled it. I had made an image of my hard drive pre-upgrade with Norton Ghost so it was pretty easy to do so. I was actually pretty excited about Vista, and ended up being disappointed. My primary complaints include (there may have been more but I uninstalled too quickly to find them):

      - they eliminated the expanding "All Programs" menu from the Start menu (wtf?), so instead you have to scroll up and down intermi
      • by Alioth (221270)
        The Mac is all open standards, apart from iTunes Music Store DRM - a Mac is *far* from vendor lock-in; certainly much further from vendor lock in than Microsoft's products. I have had absolutely no problems using things I have created on my PowerBook (such as videos, using the software that came with the PowerBook) on Linux systems. I have had no problems moving music from iTunes to my Linux system.

        Multimedia applications are easy to use on Linux so long as you're not using media that has DRM (with some exc
    • Re:All I know... (Score:4, Insightful)

      by DigitAl56K (805623) on Monday March 26, 2007 @01:20AM (#18484529)
      How does one persons random opinion with no surrounding discussion get modded insightful?

      Here, I'll give you my opinion too:
      I have installed it and I have used it, and I hated it.

      Well, I guess you're going to have to toss a coin on who to believe...
    • by antdude (79039)
      I use it at work all the time for testing. My two biggest complaints:

      1. UAC (I know it can be turned off, but it is still annoying) for basic stuff.
      2. Slow. Why does file copying/moving take longer than XP even without aero stuff?
      etc.
    • I agree.

      Though if I had actually paid for my copy, I wouldn't of been so happy. Sure Vista is good, but the price to feature ratio is sadly lacking.
    • by animaal (183055)
      I'm not at all enthusiastic about Vista either. But I'm resigned to the fact that at some point, I will be installing it, and I probably will like it.

      For me, it's been the same all the way back to Windows 95. When I bought a machine with Windows 95, the first thing I did was reformat it and put on DOS and Windows 3.1 (partly because I needed 16-bit windows for a specific project, but also because I didn't like Win95). Guess what - at the time, everybody was grumbling about Win95 being too heavy, slow for ga
  • by FMota91 (1050752) on Sunday March 25, 2007 @11:14PM (#18483711)
    Haiku: Move along...

    Sony is failing,
    Windows Vista is failing,
    Nothing to see here.
  • Yeah, but... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Null Nihils (965047) on Sunday March 25, 2007 @11:14PM (#18483713) Journal
    Microsoft makes most of its money through its OEM deals. I believe the number bandied about is that 80% of its Windows revenue comes not directly from the consumer, but from the "Microsoft tax" on nearly all computers sold. Also, the price MS charges OEMs for Windows is already a lot lower than that charged for an off-the-shelf version. A lot of Microsoft's revenue also depends on businesses and government, not consumers. These "discounts" seem more like the fevered imaginings of a marketing drone who wants to make Windows seem like a "sweet deal". It may not even be a ploy to make more sales in the consumer section, it might be just another trick to increase awareness of the Vista brand; nothing makes consumers perk up their ears like the word "discount", even if they are ultimately not interested in a new operating system.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by FractalZone (950570)
      Microsoft makes most of its money through its OEM deals.

      See my .sig line. If M$ can't legally bundle its buggy bloatware, it will either have to create/buy good software, or go under. I don't quite hate M$ the way some folks do, although I think it has never done anything technologically innovative worth mentioning. M$ just needs a massive kick in the ass to get it in gear and shift its direction. Despite Google snagging the cream of the IT/CS crop these days, MS has some very impressive capabilities
      • by drsmithy (35869)

        See my .sig line.

        [...] Outlaw "bundling" -- all items should be discretely negotiable!

        Yeah. I just can't *wait* to have to buy a car one component at a time, and wear the extra cost the manufacturers and sellers will be passing on to consumers...

        Who gets to decide what constitutes an "item" ? On what basis ?

  • The Choice Is Clear (Score:3, Informative)

    by lotusleaf (928941) on Sunday March 25, 2007 @11:19PM (#18483759) Homepage
    More and more I'm seeing these types of stories pop up:

    * "FREE AT LAST" [freemarketnews.com] by David Bond [freemarketnews.com] 03/19/2007

    Quotes from the "FREE AT LAST" linked article above: (bold emphasis mine)

    "But we were prepared for this Microsoft gambit. Why, we asked, after thousands of dollars already expended, should we feed the Microsoft maw again? Why this kilobuck penalty because we're getting a new machine? Made no sense."

    "So down it came to the nut-cutting time. Brand-new computer, sitting here on top of the desk. Chicken-out, go with Windows, or take the Linux plunge. Let's see: $800 for Vista and Office 2007, single install, or Ubuntu, Firefox and Open Office, all for free."


    IMO, I feel the title of that most excellent article pretty much sums up the growing change going on today. Why spend when a free and open alternative exists?
  • Riiiight (Score:2, Insightful)

    by davmoo (63521)
    Is Microsoft having worries about selling Vista already?

    Yeh, sure...Microsoft is crying all the way to the bank.

    Is this that slow of a news day?
  • This will furfill most requirements except hardcore gamers....

    I can't believe Microsoft can sell their expensive O/S at that price, no wonder they rely on discounts.

    In Australia the list price for Ultimate is something like $750 !

    Can almost buy a full hardware computer for that kind of money... insane.
  • The Only problem (Score:5, Interesting)

    by kilodelta (843627) on Sunday March 25, 2007 @11:59PM (#18484081) Homepage
    Is that it doesn't play nicely with AD domains. I know, we tried it and it failed miserably. Microsoft really dropped the ball on this one. I mean, even 2000 and XP could connect to both standard NT domains and AD domains. But Vista has issues, even going so far as completely screwing up the network settings. And friends in the market for a laptop are begging me to downgrade their machines to XP because critical applications they use will NOT run on Vista.
  • by jonwil (467024) on Monday March 26, 2007 @12:09AM (#18484159)
    You have Vista Home, Vista Home Premium, Vista Business, Vista Enterprise and Vista Ultimate.

    IMO, Vista Enterprise shouldn't exist with the bitlocker and other "enterprise" features being either made available in Vista Business or as some kind of add-on.

    The "N" versions need to exist to comply with anti-trust rulings and really are just the normal versions with windows media player files removed from the CD/DVD
    and the installer.

    That would basically leave 4 editions of vista, Home Basic, Home Premium, Business and Ultimate
    • by MojoStan (776183)

      You have Vista Home, Vista Home Premium, Vista Business, Vista Enterprise and Vista Ultimate.

      IMO, Vista Enterprise shouldn't exist with the bitlocker and other "enterprise" features being either made available in Vista Business or as some kind of add-on.

      Vista Enterprise is only available to volume licensing customers, so it really doesn't "exist" to the vast majority of buyers, especially those that are considering the "home" versions.

      That would basically leave 4 editions of vista, Home Basic, Home Premium, Business and Ultimate

      I agree that's more editions than necessary. IMO, Vista Ultimate should not be offered in retail boxed versions because 95% of retail buyers shouldn't even consider it. Those uber-users that need Ultimate can get it in an OEM version, bundled with their high-end computer, or via Anytime Upgrade. The retail boxed versio

    • Sorry bub, but when it comes to installation media, there isn't a scrap of difference between the different versions of Vista, just the pretty label. The installation DVD of Vista Home N has the install files of Vista Ultimate. What gets installed depends on what Product Key you enter. In my experience (MSDN subscription), if you don't enter a Product Key during install, you choose which version to install, and off it goes.

      Granted I haven't actually used Vista for more than an hour (one time was installing
  • This is a fun game. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by exp(pi*sqrt(163)) (613870) on Monday March 26, 2007 @12:19AM (#18484213) Journal

    If you must buy Vista, it might be advisable to sit on your wallet for a while. The discounts are bound to get sweeter
    If you must buy Vista, try to manipulate the price by posting a story on high profile web sites about how you should hold off buying Vista until the price drops.
  • by BillGatesLoveChild (1046184) on Monday March 26, 2007 @12:34AM (#18484311) Journal
    How about "Buy Vista, and we'll throw in XP for free! XP! The operating system that works:

    * High Productivity. None of those annoying UAC messages!
    * Device Driver Compatibility. Hardware will work out of the box!
    * Applications just work: Even Firefox! Even Visual Studio 2003!
    * No DRM. Watch your movies and listen to your music when you want how you want.
    * More efficient code, so works on today's hardware! Not only tomorrows!
    * XP is cheaper and doesn't have a dozen different versions: 'Oh sir you'll need the Vista Sub Pro Business Home Basic Version!'
    * Doesn't make you call Microsoft everytime you want permission to pee

    Vista is to XP what New Coke(R) was to Classic Coke(R).
  • Coca Cola also couldn't sell New Coke and offered discounts and coupons to make New Coke cheaper in attempts to sell more of it.

    Finally faced with reality, Coca Cola took New Coke off the market and replaced it with Coca Cola Classic or Classic Coke.

    Once Microsoft figures out that Windows Vista is New Coke, maybe it will do the right thing and offer Windows Classic?

    If I was Steve Ballmer or Bill Gates I'd offer the following:

    Windows Classic 9X (Based on the Windows 95/98/ME code but with improvements and new drivers for Firewire, USB 2.0, SATA) aimed at the low end consumers market and for upgrades for low-tech and low end systems. Priced at $90USD and $45USD for an upgrade.

    Windows Classic NT (Based on Windows 2000/XP code but with improvements and new drivers for Firewire, USB 2.0, SATA) The Home version for $129USD, the Business version for $179, and the Media Center version for $199

    Windows Classic Server (Based on Windows 2000 Server/2003 Server code) with server applications, and starting at $300USD for a 10 client license, and offering varied prices based on the number of client licenses.

    The Windows Classic 9X I would market towards the low end, people with older systems who cannot run modern operating systems. There are so many older 95, 98, ME systems out there that are not longer patched for security that it leaves them vulnerable to hackers and viruses. Having a new, low cost, version of Windows would stop the viruses and hacking, as well as fit their needs of a low cost operating system because they cannot afford to upgrade the hardware. Of course it won't run 2000/XP or Windows Classic NT software, but there is still plenty of Windows 9X type software out there.

    The Windows Classic NT would be marketed towards modern hardware and people who want an OS with more features in it, who don't mind paying extra for it. The Home version is the very basics and the core of the Windows Classic NT OS. Business adds in more supports for networks, logging into a domain, running an ISS web server, etc. Media Center allows better control of media and creating media and sharing it with other devices as a server.

    The Windows Classic Server is basically a File, Print, Web, Email, etc general server. I would keep a low cost of $300USD for 10 client licenses so that small businesses can afford it, and then charge more for more client licenses.

    Now these Classic operating systems wouldn't have all the features of Vista, and Vista would be kept for those who want to run it. The Classic operating systems would allow security companies to write security software for them like antivirus, firewall, drive encryption, etc.

    If Microsoft won't make Windows Classic 9X, just release all of the undocumented 9X API calls so some other company can write a 9X operating system from scratch to cater to those who want to run an older version of Windows.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by TheNetAvenger (624455)
      The Windows Classic 9X I would market towards the low end, people with older systems who cannot run modern operating systems

      I hope at least in your own mind you were trying to be funny.

      The Win9x code base with no security and roots to 3.1 and DOS is why developers have screwed up many applications still in use on XP.

      Also consider XP runs well on 80MB and a 200mhz processor (faster than Win95 or Win98 did), it is time to let these computers die, as most Linux distributions won't even run on them.
    • dude, seriously wtf...

      Why would microsoft want to support multiple code bases that render a display and run binaries in pretty much the same way. And Windows 98 needs to die.

      I have a better idea. Layer 3 firewalls at every ISP to watch for identificable Windows95/98/ME traffic and when it is seen, Deny all on that. Screw these horrible people running these horrible old OSs.
  • Windows XP Upgrades still goes for $99 for a fully legal copy (the full version is ~$150-$200). MS has NEVER offered steep discounts on its OSs, even years and years after they came out. It won't happen this time either. I know the market situation is different, Mac OS X and Linux are gaining ground, but no one ever accused MS of trying to temper their greed with more realistic pricing and marketing.
  • Joel's advice (Score:5, Informative)

    by Erbo (384) <obreerbo@nOsPam.gmail.com> on Monday March 26, 2007 @02:00AM (#18484755) Homepage Journal
    I'm sticking with Joel Spolsky's advice, from this column [joelonsoftware.com]:
    • Do NOT, under any circumstances, upgrade an existing XP machine to Vista, even if it's Vista Supremo Premium Ultra-Capable.
    • When you get a new computer, if it comes with Vista, that's when you'll upgrade.
    • Do NOT buy a new computer just to get Vista, if your existing XP-based machine is working well enough.
    Of course, Microsoft probably doesn't want me saying that...but screw 'em.
  • Back when Windows XP came out there were a lot of users with win95/win98. For them it was a necessary upgrade. Vista has Windows XP. Microsoft's got its work cutout because there's little if anything forcing Vista.

    Ubuntu is as compelling.

  • My brother works for M$ so he's offered to get me Vista Ultimate and Office 2007 for free. I said no.

    Yeah I know, I could have eBayed them, but it would have felt wrong.
  • If you must buy Vista, it might be advisable to sit on your wallet for a while.

    I'd say: if you are going to buy any software, it might be advisable to estimate how much its benefits are worth to you. If the price is higher than that, don't buy it. Vista probably makes sense for someone who "needs" DX10 (debatable, in my opinion) or a versioning filesystem, but hardly for millions of computer users.

Dennis Ritchie is twice as bright as Steve Jobs, and only half wrong. -- Jim Gettys

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