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Windows Operating Systems Software The Almighty Buck

Dell Indicates Windows 7 Pricing Will Be Higher 485

Posted by kdawson
from the confidence-or-arrogance-in-a-recession dept.
ausekilis sends us word that a Dell spokesman said, without giving numbers, that Windows 7 pricing will be higher than Vista's or XP's. "Windows 7 pricing is potentially an obstacle to Windows 7 adoption for some users, though in just about every other aspect the operating system is beating Vista, according to a Dell marketing executive. ... [Darrell] Ward continued, 'In tough economic times, I think it's naive to believe that you can increase your prices on average and then still see a stronger swell than if you held prices flat or even lowered them. I can tell you that the licensing tiers at retail are more expensive than they were for Vista. ... Schools and government agencies may not be able to afford (the additional cost). Some of the smaller businesses may not be able to enjoy the software as soon as they'd like,' Ward said.'"
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Dell Indicates Windows 7 Pricing Will Be Higher

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  • by eldavojohn (898314) * <eldavojohn@@@gmail...com> on Monday May 18, 2009 @07:39PM (#28004861) Journal
    Now if we could just get Dell to put a little drop down option in its OS & Productivity Suite selection to have an option for "Ubuntu & Open Office (subtract $200)" on all of their computers. And then to have it actually be $200 cheaper with the exact hardware.

    Then we might be talking about "2009: The Year of the Recession and Linux on the Desktop."
    • by frecky (1095067) on Monday May 18, 2009 @07:48PM (#28004967)
      You will never get the full Windows price back if you want Linux because Windows cost less with all the adware, spyware, trial that comes pre-installed with the computer.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        Perhaps Linux PCs should also come with preinstalled advertising to help reduce the price? Let's see: FREE OS minus $200 == a really cheap computer. (Maybe even a free computer)

        • by NeuroKoan (12458) on Monday May 18, 2009 @08:51PM (#28005569) Homepage Journal

          I believe 10 years ago or so there was a project that was called FreePC that would basically give you a fairly decent machine, in exchange for you letting them monitor your surfing habits and always display ads to you.

          It didn't work.

          • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

            by c_forq (924234)
            I had a friend who made a few thousand from a bubble company by letting them monitor his serf habits, they paid per link you visited, up to a certain amount. He wrote a script that would search and open a webpage to optimize his return. They caught on to this, and started to monitor for mouse activity too. He updated the script to move the mouse x pixels every y minutes. This went through a couple other cat and mouse games before the company folded. That is what probably happened to FreePC, people figu
      • You could have adware, spyware and trialware for Linux distros... if there were a market for them.

        Maybe the Linux community doesn't really want the hoi polloi using Linux.
    • by NineNine (235196) on Monday May 18, 2009 @07:48PM (#28004975)

      Then we might be talking about "2009: The Year of the Recession and Linux on the Desktop."

      Based on the last decade of Linux adoption, I think it's pretty clear that most desktop users are willing to pay a hundred bucks or two for Windows. I know that certainly am.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 18, 2009 @08:02PM (#28005129)

        Based on the last decade of Linux adoption, I think it's pretty clear that most desktop users are willing to run a search on The Pirate Bay for Windows.

        There, fixed that for you.

      • by davester666 (731373) on Monday May 18, 2009 @08:18PM (#28005271) Journal

        Really? Most desktop users?

        I would guess that MOST desktop users haven't knowingly made the choice or are even aware that there is choice other than Windows. Some portion of computer buyers are aware of Apple computers and that they come with a different operating system.

        Sure, some of the major manufacturers have occasionally offered a couple of models of computers with some variant of Linux available pre-installed, some even targeted for home and/or business end-users. But nobody (even today) has targeted a widespread ad compaign to even make people aware that there is such a thing as a 'Linux' choice (or Ubuntu or whatever).

        Of all the computers destined for end-user use (either for business or home use), for non-techies (as in, the vast majority of people who use computers to do things, not do things to use computers), how many do you think can a) name an operating system at all (ie, Windows or MacOS), or b) name an OS other those two.

        Simply put, I don't think you can say people have 'chosen' Windows over Linux, simply because they don't even know Linux exists.

        And this is largely because of (IMHO) Microsoft's tactics in the 80's and 90's, that required computer manufacturers to either sell only computers with Microsoft operating systems or computers with non-Microsoft operating systems [or that you sell other operating systems, but the computer the customer got could only have the MS-operating system loaded (and paid for) and the customer had to erase it and install the other OS, etc].

    • No, probably not (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Monday May 18, 2009 @07:52PM (#28005005)

      See that won't happen for two reasons. One is that MS gives you better licensing when you bundle Windows with all systems from a line. However the major reason is that Dell doesn't want to put up with the shit it would generate. It would be a tech support nightmare if they did that on main stream, consumer systems. You'd get a great many people doing it because it saves money. However they'd give no thought to if their apps would work or if they were willing to spend the time learning a new OS and so on. They'd get flooded with calls about it and have all sorts of angry people.

      That's why when companies do offer things like Linux or no OS options, they do so on business type machines. When they are selling to an organization with their own support, they hope you can figure out what will and will not work for you. For home users? Ya not so much. They'd buy it, try to install a game, then complain because it didn't work.

      Also, based on the prices Dell pays, it'd be $100 or less per computer.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        FUD whether it comes from M$ or from us is still FUD and a disgusting way to attack anyone or anything.

        MS has not used those licensing conditions for the better part of a decade (due mostly to the anti trust case), the top 10 vendors have fixed licensing prices from M$ which are not affected in any way by how much linux they sell or whether they put windows on 5% or 99% of computers.

        FUD and lies from us is in my opinion even worse than M$, we are supposed to be better than them.

      • Re:No, probably not (Score:5, Informative)

        by Anachragnome (1008495) on Monday May 18, 2009 @08:35PM (#28005423)

        There is one VERY important factor you are not taking into consideration--the fact that Ubuntu(Canonical Ltd.) makes THEIR money from service, not sales.

        If you think about it, this could be a home-run for both Dell and Ubuntu, not to mention the rest of the open-source realm.

        Dell and Canonical Ltd. could come to some sort of agreement where the customer service is done by Canonical Ltd. and is pre-paid with the purchase of the of the computer(the service fees charged by Canonical). If Canonical Ltd. determines that the problem is hardware related, the customer is referred to Dell for further service.

        Dell could even reimburse Canonical a small sum to offset the inevitable calls that are hardware based, but solved in a few moments without further need of Dell being involved.

        Canonical Ltd. comes out smelling like roses, probably with a huge increase in market-share, and Dell washes their hands of most of the CS headaches that they deal with, ones that are mostly the result of problems associated with WINDOWS.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by bit01 (644603)

        One is that MS gives you better licensing when you bundle Windows with all systems from a line.

        Yes, restraint of trade by a monopoly and should be illegal.

        It would be a tech support nightmare if they did that on main stream, consumer systems.

        No it wouldn't. They could easily do it, it just requires slightly more work than "here's an option".

        Maybe:

        1. Confirmation web page during the ordering process that says something like "Warning: You have selected Linux as your computer operating system instead of Wind
    • by Abreu (173023)

      Nah, remember that Microsoft gets paid for the number of computers sold, not for the number of Windows licenses sold.

      Therefore, even if you want an Ubuntu install, Dell would not give you a discount

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      Now if we could just get Dell to put a little drop down option in its OS & Productivity Suite selection to have an option for "Ubuntu & Open Office (subtract $200)" on all of their computers. And then to have it actually be $200 cheaper with the exact hardware.

      Even if MS got $200/computer (which I doubt); a downgrade would be the cost of MS software - support costs for Linux. While the OS may be free; supporting it is not and will require Dell to factor those costs in as part of the option. Depending on the cost of the number of units they would expect to sell the cost for Linux per unit may actually be higher than for MS software.

      Every time they change hardware they'd have to test to see if Linux supported the new configuration properly and fix any issues befo

  • by davebarnes (158106) on Monday May 18, 2009 @07:42PM (#28004893) Homepage

    Dell is obviously unhappy with the price and they are signalling (Cards. a play that reveals to one's partner a wish that he or she continue or discontinue the suit led.) to Microsoft their discontent.

    • by Malc (1751)

      No doubt. He's blaming tough economic times, but that's today. By the time that schools and governmental agencies are trying to buy this in serious numbers, we should be out of recession (not in six months at product release, but 12-18 after SP1 has been released).

  • by gmuslera (3436)
    Probably the value/price ratio will be better for Windows 7 than for Vista (or at least, the perception of it). Of course, if you take that into account Mac OS X could have a better ratio, and Linux, well, give math headaches.

    But if you dont count them as alternatives, then you have only one choice, and should pay whatever Microsoft think will be enough for them to survive the recession.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by kpainter (901021)

      Probably the value/price ratio will be better for Windows 7 than for Vista (or at least, the perception of it). Of course, if you take that into account Mac OS X could have a better ratio, and Linux, well, give math headaches.

      Error: Floating point division by zero

      • by tepples (727027)

        Probably the value/price ratio will be better for Windows 7 than for Vista (or at least, the perception of it). Of course, if you take that into account Mac OS X could have a better ratio, and Linux, well, give math headaches.

        Error: Floating point division by zero

        Obtaining a Linux distribution costs money (cheapbytes) or money (3G data overages) or time (weeks-long shipping times from Ubuntu Shipit). That might make your calculation more numerically stable.

  • by ecalkin (468811) on Monday May 18, 2009 @07:51PM (#28004995)

    microsoft is a company sitting on 25 billion dollars. they apparently sold $3-4 billion in bonds? they are *raising* prices during some of the worst economic times that a lot of people of have seen.

        it's like they have a pressing need for more than $30 billion?

        for a company that needs to sell operating systems to maintain their future, it doesn't make sense.

    e

    • by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Monday May 18, 2009 @07:57PM (#28005077)

      Note that Dell doesn't actually come out and say that. They aren't saying "MS is charging us $20 more per copy." They are hinting at it, but hedging their terms. What it smells like to me is Dell wants a better rate than they've been getting in the past, and this is one of the tactics they are using to get it.

      Companies posture over pricing all the time, and sometimes publicly. If Dell can get people mad at MS for their high prices, even if the prices are no higher than they normally are, then maybe they get more leverage.

      So while I have no inside knowledge of the situation, that's my bet. MS is keeping 7 prices the same, and Dell thinks they should be cut.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by TheNetAvenger (624455)

        Yes, Dell is not saying it will cost X more per copy, because it will not.

        Dell has more of a problem with restrictions on their bundles/spyware they load systems with and the kick backs they will lose with Windows7. Companies like Dell that bloatware their computers are more of a bane to the computing industry than anything MS has even done to harm the industry. PERIOD.

        After Vista was released and we deployed a bunch of 'business' class Dell Notebooks, it was freaking insane the amount of Dell support, and

    • When they reach 50 Billion, they'll have enough to complete Omega Omicron TERMINAL and they won't have to worry about selling OSes anymore.
    • by pegr (46683)

      Exactly! Let them screw themselves! After all, they'll have to do it 100 times to mean anything...

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 18, 2009 @07:56PM (#28005055)

    Windows 7 pricing will be higher than Vista's

    Oh I'm so glad I bought Vista and qualify for a free Windows 7 upgrade.

    Right?

  • by joeflies (529536) on Monday May 18, 2009 @07:57PM (#28005075)

    they need to demonstrate to investors that they are indeed a money making business that will continue to make a lot of money in the future. Regardless of their cash position, if the investors leave, who already got shaky feelings from vista, then the market cap of the whole company goes down and ballmer will go looking for a job.

    Now whether higher prices will help them make their sales goals, that's yet to be seen. In the short term, perhaps yes, with all the built in sales to the OEMs. In the long term, I bet the retail sales trail the oem sales for a while, so this might have been a pretty good plan overall anyways.

  • So... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by XPeter (1429763) *

    How much will it cost to get a copy of XP from Dell when 7 is released?

    • by kpainter (901021)

      How much will it cost to get a copy of XP from Dell when 7 is released?

      I don't know what it will cost but that will be called a "Downgrade downgrade".

  • Perceived Value (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Phroggy (441) <slashdot3@phr o g g y . com> on Monday May 18, 2009 @08:06PM (#28005155) Homepage

    Sometimes if you make it more expensive, people will buy it for that reason alone. They see the higher price, and think that there must be a good reason for it to be a little bit more expensive than the alternatives.

  • higher pricing? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by socsoc (1116769) on Monday May 18, 2009 @08:06PM (#28005157)
    I already pay a higher price for XP compared to Vista. Now I'm gonna have to pay a higher price for 7 compared to Vista?
  • by meist3r (1061628) on Monday May 18, 2009 @08:15PM (#28005235)
    I don't get it. My theory of Vista as an expectation lowering decoy gets more and more plausible.
  • I wonder (Score:4, Interesting)

    by SirLurksAlot (1169039) on Monday May 18, 2009 @08:40PM (#28005465)

    I wonder what it's like inside Microsoft's little bubble world? It's as if they're oblivious to everyone and everything outside of it. A recession is on but hey!, lets go ahead and raise the price! I mean, after all everyone hates Vista so they should be kicking Microsoft's door in to have to opportunity to pay more for the next version, right?

    Meanwhile I just upgraded my laptop to Jaunty and had it completely setup and configured to my needs in under a half hour. For free. It really makes me rethink the whole idea of upgrading my Vista machine.

  • by atmurray (983797) on Monday May 18, 2009 @08:51PM (#28005573)
    I wonder if it would be possible for someone like Dell to allow people to choose to have linux and windows pre-installed except leave windows on a 30 day trial. Then people are free to try out linux and see if it suits their needs. If they then decide they need windows, they can purchase a key for activation.
    • by Meshach (578918)
      Because, as as been stated repeatedly above, people don't care (at least most people).

      Most people get computers to do things: send email, read webpages, do banking, rip cds. That is why they buy the computer. They do not care that there is some other way to do these things that will save them $X amount. They care that they do not have to spend Y hours relearning how to do those basic tasks.

      No one is going to spend their time comparing two operating systems when the one they know already satisfies all
  • Small business (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Groggnrath (1089073) <lukasdoyle431@msn.com> on Monday May 18, 2009 @08:51PM (#28005579)

    Some of the smaller businesses may not be able to enjoy the software as soon as they'd like

    Translation: They'll buy it anyway, because MS could shit in a box and small Businesses with little to no technical support or knowledge would still feel forced to buy it because they don't know they don't have to.

  • Inflation (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Dripdry (1062282) on Monday May 18, 2009 @09:57PM (#28006045) Journal

    MS's latest move might bear out my theory about why they sold those bonds:

    MS sold bonds at a rock bottom price because they know those bonds are going to get massively devalued when inflation goes bonkers over the next couple years.
    MS is raising its prices ahead of this (hyper?)inflation scenario so that they can continue to turn a reasonable profit. Once they set the cost there isn't really any going back. Inflate the costs now for the OS that has to sell for at least a few years.

    That's my theory.

  • Yeah, right (Score:5, Interesting)

    by davmoo (63521) on Monday May 18, 2009 @09:59PM (#28006059)

    In reading these comments, its amazing how many of you actually believe that Dell (or any other top-tier PC maker) pays anything even near retail for any Microsoft OS.

    I know for a fact that back in the days before Vista when XP was still king that HP was typically paying Microsoft $35 a copy. I'm sure Dell gets a similar discount, and I'm sure they aren't paying any more than $60 or so a copy now.

    In addition, the makers of all that shitware that comes preinstalled on your new PC pays Dell a fee for putting it there. That's another reason that getting Linux on a PC from Dell would not necessarily reduce your price.

    This sounds to me like Dell wants to raise prices and increase their margins (which are currently very thin in the PC industry), and this is a cool way to blame it on Microsoft. They simply don't have the balls to say "Dell needs to make more profit".

  • Wishfuil thinking (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Elektroschock (659467) on Monday May 18, 2009 @10:03PM (#28006089)

    No one has to get the latest Windows7? Oh, yes, because we hate Vista we need to buy Windows7. Nonsense. Hardware prices are going down, and so will software. And here also Linux comes into play. Desktop Linux does not need to become a reality it is just necessary to strategically invest in alternatives. Asus is a perfect example.

  • by monopole (44023) on Monday May 18, 2009 @10:05PM (#28006107)

    ...though in just about every other aspect the operating system is beating Vista...

    Definitely the marketing slogan they should come out with "Better than Vista, almost better than the Swine Flu!"

  • by NemoinSpace (1118137) on Monday May 18, 2009 @10:11PM (#28006135) Homepage Journal

    may not be able to enjoy the software as soon as they'd like,

    Enjoy the software? Enjoy the Software! I AM GOING TO FUCKING KILL BALMER, as soon as i finish toking on this EULA

    #turns back to keyboard. types r-u-n-o-n-c-e in breathless anticipation.

    #fade to next scene, a forlorn penguin wandering aimlessly somewhere in antarctica, mutters under his breath... What do I have to do? Give this shit away? I'm never gonna get off this island. Looks towards the heavens... STEEEEEEEEEEEEVE!!!

  • They presume much. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by rnturn (11092) on Monday May 18, 2009 @11:53PM (#28006765)

    ``Some of the smaller businesses may not be able to enjoy the software as soon as they'd like,' Ward said.''

    That assumes they'll ever enjoy Windows 7 doesn't it? If they didn't buy into Vista what does this Ward fellow think Windows 7 will have that'll make folks like it? Less expensive hardware requirements? Dream on. Better security? (If it hasn't already been said by someone from Microsoft, I can almost guarantee that you'll soon be hearing that "Windows 7 is the most secure version of Windows to date".) Don't count on that. (I give it less than a month before a major virus/worm makes the rounds of the new Windows 7 systems.) Lower support costs? You're kidding, right?

    Seems like some of these analysts already know that Windows 7 is going to be a turkey.

  • by Lershac (240419) on Tuesday May 19, 2009 @12:13AM (#28006937) Homepage

    This is just Dells message to Microsoft telling them they will not eat a higher wholesale cost. They are swinging the bat they have to make MS lower the licensing costs.

    Good for them.

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