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Microsoft Promo: a PC and Xbox In Every Dorm Room

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the and-a-free-pack-of-heroin-with-every-windows-phone dept.

Education 219

theodp writes "Can Microsoft woo students into trying Windows 7 PCs? Well, starting on May 22nd, Microsoft will try to do so by giving away free Xbox 360 4GB consoles to high-school or college students who purchase new Windows 7 PCs priced at $699 and up. A Guess Who's Coming to College? teaser video for the promotion features a Halo Spartan's HS graduation ceremony."

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219 comments

Desperation (-1, Flamebait)

tripleevenfall (1990004) | more than 2 years ago | (#36202602)

Smells like desperation - MSFT has really been losing the teens/twenties market to Apple in the last 5 years.

Re:Desperation (5, Interesting)

bleble (2183476) | more than 2 years ago | (#36202632)

Yes, because every marketing campaign is done out of "desperation".

No teen/twenties or anyone else will pick OSX instead of Windows if he/she plays games. Which is exactly the target audience with bundling PC and Xbox360.

Re:It *is* Desperation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36202696)

No teen/twenties or anyone else will pick OSX instead of Windows if he/she plays games. Which is exactly the target audience with bundling PC and Xbox360.

But think it through -- if the teen/twenties market niche that plays games is always gonna pick windows, then why would Microsoft throw in a FREE Xbox360 to these people? That's like crack suppliers throwing in complementary Heroin bags for every $5 of crack purchased by their captive crack addicts. That doesn't make any kind of economic sense if the objective is to make obscene profits with the minimal amount of overhead. Why wouldn't the crack suppliers charge for the heroin as well if they know their addicts *want* the drugs?

Re:It *is* Desperation (1)

bluemonq (812827) | more than 2 years ago | (#36202776)

Because Microsoft would probably rather you play games on the 360 instead of the PC? They're probably not losing anymore money on the console at this point, and they're also making money off of agreements and XBLA.

Re:It *is* Desperation (1)

Pinky's Brain (1158667) | more than 2 years ago | (#36203202)

Then 3 years on when those college kids want a new laptop they will buy a Macbook, because PC gaming has no relevance any more to them ... and Microsoft loses mindshare for their bread and butter product, Windows.

Win a battle to lose the war ...

Console games that aren't ported to PCs (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#36202744)

No teen/twenties or anyone else will pick OSX instead of Windows if he/she plays games.

Unless the gamer plays the kinds of games that aren't ported to PCs. There are some video game genres where the idea of "multi-platform release" is PS3+360 or PS3+360+Wii.

Re:Desperation (4, Insightful)

excelsior_gr (969383) | more than 2 years ago | (#36202840)

Well, you have to admit that an Xbox is pretty big for a marketing freebie. We are not talking about free pens and calendars here.

The chain of reasoning here could be: College freshmen buy new computers, so there is a market there > They need to choose between MS, Apple, Linux > We need to make them go with Windows, so let's throw in an Xbox there > Help spread Win7 *and* make revenue from Xbox game sales.

I don't think that this marketing campaign is targeted to the teens that play games. It is targeted to the teens that are buying a computer for college, i.e. office, work (which will also help with MS-Office sales). If it was targeted to the gaming crowd it would be the other way around: e.g. a free netbook for every Xbox sale.

Re:Desperation (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36203074)

The 4GB Xbox has an MSRP of $199. Apple gives away free iPod Touch with Mac purchase, and those go for $229 MSRP.

Re:Desperation (1)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 2 years ago | (#36203198)

Apple manufactures both the Mac and the iPod touch, with big enough profit margins on each to cover the freebie and then some. Microsoft will make, what, $50 from that OEM copy of windows 7.

Re:Desperation (1)

Pinky's Brain (1158667) | more than 2 years ago | (#36203220)

Apple is vertically integrated and have huge margins ... they still make profit while throwing in the iPod Touch, just less.

Microsoft loses money on this.

Re:Desperation (1)

Requiem18th (742389) | more than 2 years ago | (#36203304)

If I recall correctly Nintendo sells Wii's at a loss. "Free" XBOXes are sure to boots sales of XBOX games, XLive subscriptions and DLC sells.

And that's not even actually free, it's easy to hide the cost in the price of the PC + Windows 7, specially considering Windows costs nothing for MS to install and people are just going to end up buying another copy when their PC inevitably gets infected/broken and need a replacement.

Re:Desperation (1)

dingen (958134) | more than 2 years ago | (#36203350)

Nintendo has never sold a single Wii at a loss, not even right after it was released. Actually, the Wii was for quite some time the only current-gen console sold with a profit.

Re:Desperation (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36202898)

No teen/twenties or anyone else will pick OSX instead of Windows if he/she plays games.

Because iPhones don't play games, and Portal 2, The Sim 3, The Rift, StarCraft 2, WoW, and other top-selling games aren't available on Mac.

Oh wait - they do, and they are. Welcome to 2011.

Re:Desperation (3, Interesting)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 2 years ago | (#36202934)

That's what I thought too, I mean, is it really much different than the free iPods Apple was giving out with computer purchases? But then, if you look closely at the numbers, it really is different.

Apple typically has a 30% markup on their products, which means they could give away an iPod and they might still end up with a bit of profit.

Microsoft on the other hand, doesn't make the hardware, and although the profit margins are obscene on Windows, they are still only making $50-$100 for each computer sale. That's not enough to cover the hardware costs on an Xbox, so they are losing $100-$150 for each sale here. (note: all numbers are estimates).

Obviously they think it is worth it, but why? Is it because they are worried about competition from Apple? I don't know, but it seems just as likely that Ballmer is a maniacal spendthrift, who thinks any price is worth paying to crush the competition.

Re:Desperation (2)

jcr (53032) | more than 2 years ago | (#36203162)

Yes, because every marketing campaign is done out of "desperation".

He didn't say anything about any other marketing campaign.

-jcr

Re:Desperation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36203196)

Yes, because every marketing campaign is done out of "desperation".

Pretty much. If your product is good enough, word will spread without a "marketing campaign"

Re:Desperation (2)

index0 (1868500) | more than 2 years ago | (#36202694)

What does it smell like when ipods are given away with every apple computer purchased by a student? Apple usually has this same promo every summer.

Re:Desperation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36202752)

But then, Apple only has 10% market share on the desktop. It would make sense for them to up this, by giving promotions.

The grandparent poster was right. They wouldn't need to do this, unless they really felt threatened by Apple.

Re:Desperation (0)

wisty (1335733) | more than 2 years ago | (#36202806)

And it's last years iPod, and last year's Mac. And face it, an iPod is NOT an xBox 360. The component cost is waaaaay lower. And Apple has markup to spare.

Re:Desperation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36202812)

What does it smell like when ipods are given away with every apple computer purchased by a student?

Teen Spirit?

Re:Desperation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36203000)

I was thinking "smug", but your post was much better.

Re:Desperation (1)

oakgrove (845019) | more than 2 years ago | (#36203012)

Apple will still make money there out of the gate because of the markup on Macs. The converse with Ms isn't true. I agree this smells funny.

Re:Desperation (3)

brendank310 (915634) | more than 2 years ago | (#36202790)

Apple has been giving out iPod's with laptop purchases for years now. If anything this is MS just trying to counter balance that. Seems like a win-win for consumers. Maybe Apple will step up their offering and give iPad's with laptop purchases now.

Re:Desperation (2)

spire3661 (1038968) | more than 2 years ago | (#36202824)

No this is exactly the direction i expected them to go. Like it or not, the Xbox is poised to be THE cheap, full featured modern cable box in the streaming era. You can buy a brand new Xbox for $200 and MS still makes a profit on it, and big opportunities to sell you more intangible stuff. Its a great loss leader since people see 'oooo hardware' .Give away the tangible, sell the intangible, very very smart.

Re:Desperation (0)

oakgrove (845019) | more than 2 years ago | (#36203052)

xbox is poised to be blah blah blah

Wait, what? What happened to the Wii, playstation, tablets, google tv's, apple tv's, slingboxes, boxee boxes, etc.? Did they all get outlawed and summarily destroyed? You are counting chickens before the evolution of birds here.

Re:Desperation (0)

hjf (703092) | more than 2 years ago | (#36203144)

waaah waaah i hate microsoft waaah waaah i dont want the xbox to become the shit, i want it to be anything non-microsoft.

oh that's not what you said? sorry, it just sounded like that.

Re:Desperation (1)

oakgrove (845019) | more than 2 years ago | (#36203270)

I think Microsoft has a legitimate chance in this space but there are hundreds of millions of devices from many manufacturers that also have a very good chance. It is very likely that the streaming to the television duties will remain a competitive market with a mix of devices in people's homes. Also, an xbox is a significant investment for people living in in developing countries. Those people are much more likely to invest in something cheaper. An arm based set top box can be put together and sold for much cheaper than the cheapest high end game machine no matter the economies of scale. I just think pinning the medal on Microsoft is a bit premature.

Re:Desperation (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 2 years ago | (#36203134)

Cheap?
You have to pay a monthly fee to use the damn thing. Even when PSN was down netflix worked fine on my ps3 and without me paying sony.

Re:Desperation (1)

Just Brew It! (636086) | more than 2 years ago | (#36203084)

Not desperation IMO... it is a plan that has worked for them in the past. Look at the pricing of the MS Office suite -- the Student/Educational version has historically been much cheaper than the normal one. Guess what... MS Office dominates the market, because everyone uses it in school. They're just extending their existing strategy.

Re:Desperation (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 2 years ago | (#36203278)

The difference, arguably, is that the unit cost of a piece of software closely approaches zero. The shiny disks and the box(if it isn't a campus setup, where they just email you the key and a download link) aren't quite free; but the overwhelming majority of any piece of software's price is the "what we can get for it" slice, not the "must recover marginal cost of production" slice.

Hardware, by contrast, has a substantial marginal cost of production. Lower than MSRP, obviously; but way higher than software.

Desperation (-1, Redundant)

tripleevenfall (1990004) | more than 2 years ago | (#36202616)

Smells like desperation - MSFT has really been losing the market of people in their late teens/twenties to Apple lately. This does not bode well for their future prospects because losing a customer to Apple carries the potential of being a lifelong loss.

Without some of the revenue streams they used to have, they really have to protect their market share in Windows consumer licenses.

Re:Desperation (1)

bluemonq (812827) | more than 2 years ago | (#36202782)

Apple gives away iPod Touches for people buying MacBooks before the start of the school year. It's a valid tactic.

Re:Desperation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36202890)

Apple gives away iPod Touches for people buying MacBooks before the start of the school year. It's a valid tactic.

Logic/attribution fail.

The motive doesn't make the tactic any more or less valid.

It's a valid tactic whether or not they are doing it out of desperation. And they are, incidentally, doing it out of desperation.

Re:Desperation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36202966)

It's a valid tactic whether or not they are doing it out of desperation. And they are, incidentally, doing it out of desperation.

Desperation you say? Microsoft are acting out of desperation?

When the gaming network of their main competitor has been repeatedly ass raped by hackers over the past few weeks leaving customers unable to play games online for what amounts to an eternity on the internet?

Yeah. Must be desperation.

Re:Desperation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36203022)

It's a valid tactic whether or not they are doing it out of desperation. And they are, incidentally, doing it out of desperation.

Desperation you say? Microsoft are acting out of desperation?

When the gaming network of their main competitor has been repeatedly ass raped by hackers over the past few weeks leaving customers unable to play games online for what amounts to an eternity on the internet?

Yeah. Must be desperation.

The xbox is there to entice people to buy windows PCs. That's why it's free and the PC is not. This is really so hard to understand?

This isn't about taking on Sony. It's about taking on Apple. To the exact dollar amount it's a match of a similar Apple promotion (involving iPods).

You completely miss the point and somehow that makes the other guy wrong. Yeah, sure. I love how people who are stupid like you are usually smarmy like you, too. That really makes the world a better place.

Re:Desperation (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 2 years ago | (#36202868)

Smells like desperation - MSFT has really been losing the market of people in their late teens/twenties to Apple lately. This does not bode well for their future prospects because losing a customer to Apple carries the potential of being a lifelong loss.

Without some of the revenue streams they used to have, they really have to protect their market share in Windows consumer licenses.

No, it doesn't smell like desperation, it smells like Marketing - which really smells like some anchovies left inside a damp athletic shoe for six months. Conceptually, it's simple - if the costs of the marketing campaign are less than the perceived value then it's a 'good idea'. Bonus points for getting people riled up about and bouncing it around the echo chamber (as we are doing here).

So, some marketing droid (probably sitting in a Starbucks banging away at his / her / it's MacBook Air) gets a few brain cells to fire, manages to pull off writing 6 moderately coherent paragraphs and downloads a couple of (copyrighted) images that may or may not have much to do with the main concept, gives everything a few tasteful drop shadows and gradients, stuffs everything into a Keynote file, emails it to a couple more droids who show it to some uberdroid who shows it to it's boss who runs a few specious calculations on a spreadsheet, then manipulates the numbers so they look better, then stops briefly to end this annoyingly run on sentence.

Then it gets massaged, changed and photoshopped until the end result has very little to do with the original idea.

Then it gets sold to some low level exec at Microsoft, a similar process ensues and some months later a marketing campaign dribbles out to the delight of bored Slashotters everywhere.

Desperation isn't quite the applicable concept here.

if you have a PC you don't need a console (5, Insightful)

Dan667 (564390) | more than 2 years ago | (#36202626)

I guess you could sell the xbox and use the money to buy games for the PC.

Re:if you have a PC you don't need a console (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36202670)

Better yet!
Buy 700$ PC, get free XBox360, sell both, buy better PC, get free XBox360, repeat until PC is good enough, sell XBox, buy games.

Re:if you have a PC you don't need a console (1)

mangu (126918) | more than 2 years ago | (#36203142)

Better yet!

Buy 700$ PC, get free XBox360, sell both, buy better PC, get free XBox360, repeat until PC is good enough, sell XBox, buy games.

You mean, it's like that email telling you that for every person you forward it Bill Gates will give ten cents to some charity? Only this time the charity is me? Cool!

Re:if you have a PC you don't need a console (1)

need4mospd (1146215) | more than 2 years ago | (#36203258)

You'd lose so much money on the resale value that you might not be able to afford the $700 PC when you're done. You might make $550 on the PC and $150 on the cheap base version xbox.

Also, I highly doubt the lawyers didn't include "one offer per person" in the fine print.

Re:if you have a PC you don't need a console (1, Interesting)

VortexCortex (1117377) | more than 2 years ago | (#36202718)

I guess you could sell the xbox and use the money to buy games for the PC.

My thoughts exactly... Well, except that I would sell the Xbox for for a RAM upgrade or possibly a few peripherals. Additionally I'd be formatting the drive, installing a VM, then installing Linux and re-installing Win7 (remember to make recovery disks first). IMHO, no one should run Windows outside of a VM. P.S. You can use a Hackintosh VM Image too, if you must, and dual or triple boot instead of a VM if you're brave enough to let MS Windows run directly on the metal -- Yikes!

If you're going to buy a decent laptop, might as well take some free stuff, convert it into a more kick ass computer upgrade, and install a freer OS that won't report your bit-torrent usage to the feds...

Re:if you have a PC you don't need a console (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#36202796)

Additionally I'd be formatting the drive, installing a VM, then installing Linux

If your distribution detects all the hardware, great. But a lot of people who buy a PC and then change out the operating system end up finding out that a piece of hardware connected to the PC is unsupported in the other operating system. When you buy a ready-made winbox, you at least know that it comes with drivers for the included hardware, no HCL checking needed.

IMHO, no one should run Windows outside of a VM.

That'll become practical as soon as desktop and laptop computers running something other than Windows or Mac OS X are nationally advertised to the general public. Or has this time come, and I just haven't seen it in my corner of the world?

Re:if you have a PC you don't need a console (1)

mehrotra.akash (1539473) | more than 2 years ago | (#36202968)

If your distribution detects all the hardware, great. But a lot of people who buy a PC and then change out the operating system end up finding out that a piece of hardware connected to the PC is unsupported in the other operating system. When you buy a ready-made winbox, you at least know that it comes with drivers for the included hardware, no HCL checking needed.

I have seen many PC's and laptops (HP comes to mind, maybe others as well), where its virtually impossible to install Windows from a stock image. You NEED to use the version they give with the pre loaded drivers.
And, you wont get drivers for any version of windows other than the one they come with at all.

Ubunty/Linux Mint however install without any issues

Re:if you have a PC you don't need a console (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36203046)

Which just reiterates your parents point.

And it is Ubuntu.

Dumbass.

./sour_mood off

Re:if you have a PC you don't need a console (1)

mehrotra.akash (1539473) | more than 2 years ago | (#36203158)

Which just reiterates your parents point

Unless it came with 1GB RAM and Vista, so it has a pertty pathetic performance OOTB as well

And it is Ubuntu.

and, that is known as a typo

Re:if you have a PC you don't need a console (1)

Missing.Matter (1845576) | more than 2 years ago | (#36203160)

I have seen many PC's and laptops (HP comes to mind, maybe others as well), where its virtually impossible to install Windows from a stock image. You NEED to use the version they give with the pre loaded drivers.

Hardly. When was the last time you used Windows? With Windows Vista/7 As long as your wifi/ethernet card installs, Windows Update takes care of most of the drivers. Anything else can be found on the mfgr website.

This is hardly the case for Linux. For example, My Envy 14 has 2 graphics cards, one low power integrated Intel and one high power discrete ATI. Windows handles this just fine, but Ubuntu can't run off the dedicated card. This means I can't get any Video out, as that goes through the ATI card. Further, power management sucks and I only get about 1.5 hours of battery life whereas I can get 4+ in Windows. Ubuntu offers to install drivers for the ATI card and when I do GDM won't boot anymore. This is in 10.04-10.10. I've had a hell of a time getting 11.04 to install because of these graphics issues.

I also recently installed Ubuntu 10.10 on a 2006 Dell Latitude. It installed fine and when it booted, asked me to install some updates. After they installed, it wouldn't boot past the Ubuntu splash screen. How the hell do you even troubleshoot this? What do you google? After asking my friends who are more well versed in Linux than I to have a look at it, their only advice was to reinstall 10.04 which so far is working okay but I can't get wireless to work, which installed fine in 10.10.

So yeah, you have to do some research on the system you buy if you plan to install Linux, or else you'll end up with a Laptop that doesn't use the hardware you paid for.

Re:if you have a PC you don't need a console (1)

oakgrove (845019) | more than 2 years ago | (#36203208)

He is saying what he will do. Why are you criticizing him as if he were positing it as a general solution? I'm getting a pool installed. Is that wrong because millions of apartment dwellers can't? I don't get you people that seem to think everybody should be the same.

No Super Street Fighter IV for PC (2)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#36202818)

I guess you could sell the xbox and use the money to buy games for the PC.

Provided that the games you want to play are even ported to the PC. The PC is stuck on the old version of Street Fighter IV, while the Xbox 360 has the current version.

It's really not a big problem (1)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 2 years ago | (#36203200)

There are some specific titles that don't get ported and if those are the things that matter to you then sure. However in general there is good cross platform availability. Most games launch at the same time (like, say Brink, or NFS: Shift 2), some take a bit but still come over. Also sometimes the PC gets a better version. Your SF4 example is an interesting one. The Version of SF4 on the PC is larger and more complete than on any of the consoles. Likewise Super Street Fighter 4, which comes out in July, will again have more content on the PC. So there is a wait, but you get more for it.

So really unless you have to have a title that is 360 only, like say Halo, then the PC is a perfectly valid option. Goes the other way too, the PC has games that the consoles don't, particular MMOs. World of Warcraft, Rift, Lego Universe that kind of thing. There are non-MMOs too, particular strategy games like Shogun 2 Total War, Civilization 5, and so on but other games as well like Witcher 2 and Darkspore.

Microsoft Promo (0)

hb79 (917595) | more than 2 years ago | (#36202690)

Not interested. In the future, please redirect these stories to Digg.

Re:Microsoft Promo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36203088)

Why don't you take your soap box and SHOVE IT UP YOUR ASS?

That was quick (5, Interesting)

GrumblyStuff (870046) | more than 2 years ago | (#36202720)

Wasn't it just a week ago when the antitrust oversight over MS ended?

Re:That was quick (1, Insightful)

hjf (703092) | more than 2 years ago | (#36203168)

Mactard Fanboys: mod me down already and save your time, no need to read the rest.

God I wish some day Apple will become dominant (or relevant, at least), so you mactards start getting viruses and antitrust lawsuits and whatnot. MAYBE THEN we will see that every company becomes "evil" like Microsoft when it gets the chance.

Re:That was quick (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36203394)

LOL, so you're butthurt over a company you support, and would rather it be a different company?

*insert trollface.jpg*
Problem?

Re:That was quick (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36203396)

To use a car analogy, are you saying that there are antitrust issues if Ford gave me free gas for a year with the purchase of a new car?

Maybe Xbox hardware is cheaper than people think it is...

haha (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36202726)

and yet we'll all still buy Macs :)

Someone used the "smells like desparation..." (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36202746)

While yes it kind of does, but Apple does this with iPods every year as well and pretty much falls in line with the promotion price point for price point.

To me, it sounds like Microsoft is finally acknowledging they have brand recognition in the Xbox and they shouldn't compete with Apple's portable media players. And aside from Wii's strong numbers in sales, I still feel like the Xbox360 is the clear winner this generation. We like to give them red ring crap, but to me the BS with Sony where early consoles had huge fail rates, removal of features and dead online service killed them and the Wii just never had more than the bundle games like Wii Sports, Sports resort, Fitness, etc.

Re:Someone used the "smells like desparation..." (1)

spire3661 (1038968) | more than 2 years ago | (#36202854)

Totally agree. MS won this round of consoles in a big way. They are going into the next generation stronger then anyone else. Nintendo is going ot have a REALLY hard time capturing the casual audience again like the did with wii. I was a big PS3 supporter in the beginning because i really liked the hardware ( say what you like, the PS3 hardware is MILES beyond the crudity of the Xbox 360), but they are dead to me now.

Re:Someone used the "smells like desparation..." (1, Informative)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 2 years ago | (#36203156)

Are you high?
Nintendo won in sales in a big way. PS3 is the runner up and Xbox360 might pay for itself. It still will not pay for the xbox debt, nor are its world wide sales figures that good.

Re:Someone used the "smells like desparation..." (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36203226)

MS is angling to capitalize as much as possible on the PSN fiasco IMO

"But does it run linux?" (1)

Ungrounded Lightning (62228) | more than 2 years ago | (#36202756)

Seriously:
  1) Buy the $699 PC.
  2) Get the free XBox console.
  3) Install Linux on the PC. (Dual-boot so you can hang on to any Windows-only functionality you need for the XBox or on a separate, swappable, hard drive to provide an "airgap firewall" against possible dual-boot cross-OS malware.)
  4) Have fun with Linux.
  5) Goodbye Microsoft profit!

Re:"But does it run linux?" (1)

jawtheshark (198669) | more than 2 years ago | (#36202862)

Goodbye Microsoft profit? How? They got the money from you already. On top of that they'll get money on each xbox game you buy. They might not get the desired effect, which is customer binding. Monetary profit will be theirs no matter what.

Re:"But does it run linux?" (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 2 years ago | (#36202900)

5) Goodbye Microsoft profit!

No, the Microsoft profit for the computer was already realized the moment you bought that Windows PC. It doesn't matter for their profit if you actually run it. And if you happen to buy games for that XBox, that's also profit for MS, independent of what you do on your PC.

Re:"But does it run linux?" (1)

hjf (703092) | more than 2 years ago | (#36203186)

There is a prerequisite: you need to be a smug anti-microsoft linux fanboy first.

Re:"But does it run linux?" (1)

westlake (615356) | more than 2 years ago | (#36203232)

3) Install Linux on the PC.

Not going to happen.

If you are a gamer on a budget Gog.com has 300 classic DOS and Windows games ready to run under Windows 7, none of them costing more than $10.

If you have student ID then Windows Academic Professional is $80 direct from Microsoft.com.

Expect steeply discounted academic upgrades to Windows 7 Pro, etc., as well.

Expect academic pricing elsewhere for any other must-have software. Expect anything of interest in FOSS to have long since been ported to Windows.

But does it run dual-boot? (And $699 PC?) (1)

billstewart (78916) | more than 2 years ago | (#36203294)

If you're a gamer on a budget, or a college student on a budget, why are you buying a $699 PC? Seems awfully pricy, and I'd think if you were going to college, either you've already got a game machine, or you picked a really silly time of your life to buy one. I suppose you could buy the $699 PC-Xbox bundle, sell the Xbox, and end up with a better PC than you might have otherwise bought, but it's still kind of silly.

Just about everything except games will work fine in a virtual machine, and even many games will these days, but maybe you'd want to run dual-boot instead of just VM.

Obviously a respons to the Apple promotion (4, Interesting)

Twid (67847) | more than 2 years ago | (#36202764)

Obviously this is a response to Apple's back-to-school promotion, which they have run for several years. Last year that program got you exactly the same amount in credit ($199) towards any iPod when you bought any Apple laptop.

One advantage of the Apple program is that you could trade up and get a higher priced iPod touch model and still get the $199 in credit. It looks like the Microsoft program only gets you the slightly gimped 4GB Xbox with no trade-up. A lot of students might be bummed when they realize they need a $100 hard drive accessory to play a lot of the games.

Not a bad deal, but I wonder how many Xboxes will be given to students who were going to buy a laptop anyway. I think the Apple motivation is obvious: to get students to switch to Apple. Not sure if the formula works the same with Microsoft.

Not much different (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36202768)

Not much different from Apple bundling iPods with MacBooks.

Re:Not much different (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 2 years ago | (#36202820)

The difference is that Apple isn't the dominant player in the computer market. Plus a $199 coupon or free product is generous, but it's not that generous for some of the more high end laptops they sell. And they aren't in danger of controlling the market just because they're giving away a few iPods.

Re:Not much different (1)

geekmux (1040042) | more than 2 years ago | (#36203308)

Not much different from Apple bundling iPods with MacBooks.

Really? When was the last time you heard of a student failing exams because he stayed up all night playing the latest MMORPG game on his...iPod?

No, an iPod isn't even close to an XBox when it comes to the distraction factor, especially in high school or college.

Profit in games... and kudos for no rebate! (1)

sunfly (1248694) | more than 2 years ago | (#36202848)

MS does not make much if any money on the hardware to begin with, they make it on the games. This may end up making them a lot of money. Big kudos for them not requiring you to buy an Xbox and turn in a rebate to get your money back like Apple does with the iPod promotion.

Manufacturing cost of an Xbox 360? (2)

dryriver (1010635) | more than 2 years ago | (#36202914)

There are 4 ways for something like this to work out financially for MS. 1) Either an Xbox 360's true manufacturing cost in 2011 is a mere 50 - 70 dollars a unit (ageing hardware + economies of scale from manufacturing tens of millions of them). 2) Or people who choose to become "Windows PC users" for the next 5 - 10 years will get shafted out of money so frequently and in so many different little ways that the cost of the free Xbox becomes negligible in the long run. 3) Or the creation cost of 1 unit of a typical Xbox 360 game works out at 3 - 5 dollars a pop while the retail price for the same unit is 40 dollars, so the profit made from selling a few games cancels out the cost of giving away a free console. 4) Or the next Xbox 2012 or whatever they will call it is R&D and almost ready to launch and MS banks on the fact that the free Xbox 360 users will willingly fork out dollar 699 or so to upgrade to the new Xbox 2012.

Confused... (4, Insightful)

laxguy (1179231) | more than 2 years ago | (#36202944)

by these commentors...

You buy a cheap PC, where Microsoft makes money from the license for Win7, they throw in a CHEAP 360 (basically the Arcade version, which I believe is is like 150-200$). After you've got a nice new free console, what do you do? Buy another controller (money to MS), buy some games (more money), buy xbox live (more money), buy a new hard drive for more space (more money), etc. This isn't desperation at all, this is just another way for Microsoft to make gobs of money. If they had given away an Elite Xbox, then there would be less money re-couped but they would still end up making a profit in the long run.

This is directed (like they say) at college kids, going to school for the first time and looking for a new computer.. AND A FREE CONSOLE?! HOLY SHIT! That sounds like a great deal to me, now I can go to school and play Xbox with all my friends and I don't have to shell out an extra 200$ for the console!

I don't understand how people aren't getting this..

Re:Confused... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36203054)

Slashdot is a den of freetards, as you know, they are not exactly know to be logical when it comes to hating MS.

Re:Confused... (1)

westlake (615356) | more than 2 years ago | (#36203300)

I don't understand how people aren't getting this..

It gets better.

The controllers work on both systems.

The retailer can point the student buyer or his parents to the dorm-room sized HDTV. The soundbar. The webcam for Skype...

Re:Confused... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36203314)

That sounds like a great deal to me, now I can go to school and play Xbox with all my friends and I don't have to shell out an extra 200$ for the console!

Who doesn't have a 360 now that wants one? The 360 is pretty much ending its life cycle, there aren't any banner games being released for it anymore. Of course they're giving these away, it's an easy way to make a last buck off of something that's going to be considered worthless pretty soon.

Not sure they thought this through... (1)

jonadab (583620) | more than 2 years ago | (#36202954)

If this hits a significant percentage of students, it could make for an "interesting" correlation between use of Windows 7 and what kinds of grades the students get.

HP or dell only or any PC? also will best buy play (0)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 2 years ago | (#36202958)

HP or dell only or any PC? also will best buy play hardball if you don't buy the geek suard add ons?

Timing (1)

creat3d (1489345) | more than 2 years ago | (#36202976)

The timing on this is perfect. With Sony's reputation going down the drain, handing out Xboxes is an interesting way to take advantage of the situation... Not only will people have to buy the controllers, game, Live, etc as Laxguy posted, they're essentially turning the Sony situation even more in their favor. Personally, I'd just sell the Xbox as I'm a PC gamer, but for the same reasons I would never consider an HP/Dell/"X" pre-built computer... Still, for college kids this is good. I'm still an MS hater though. Fuck you Bill!

Re:Timing (1)

creat3d (1489345) | more than 2 years ago | (#36203028)

Also, FTFA: "Mashable also notes that it’s a little odd for Microsoft to start the promotion just as school is letting out for the summer." Yeah, but it makes a lot of sense with Sony just getting hacked AGAIN...

this just confirms (0)

nimbius (983462) | more than 2 years ago | (#36202998)

microsoft is still genuinely dedicated to higher education and wants to help students more than Apple. im a computer science student and wasting money on a mac just doesnt make sense for me if all it does is get me a discount on an ipod.

If i win a promotional PC, does slashdot recommend FreeBSD or Linux for CS300?

Re:this just confirms (1)

hjf (703092) | more than 2 years ago | (#36203204)

So, why can't you use the FREE XNA development kit to do programming for the 360? Just saying...

The final blow to the US education system (1)

tchernobog (752560) | more than 2 years ago | (#36203034)

Do you think that any high-school student receiving a free console will study anything for the next year?

Of course, you might point out that most of these students already own a console (often a Xbox, too). Then these might be sold on eBay to Taiwanese students, and at least it's worth 40-50 $.

Re:The final blow to the US education system (1)

creat3d (1489345) | more than 2 years ago | (#36203064)

I think the US education system has a lot more problems on its hands... Not that video games aren't one of them, but I'm pretty sure excessive narcotic consumption is a lot more detrimental to one's willpower and desire to succeed than competitive gameplay.

Re:The final blow to the US education system (1)

hjf (703092) | more than 2 years ago | (#36203228)

By your logic, we should assume that if they get no xbox they will study EVERYTHING for the next year!

1) Ban XBOXes
2) See grades skyrocket
3) ???
4) Profit!

It's Free (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36203078)

First off if it's free why even complain... That's like complaining that someone gave you a free HDTV and all you complain about is it has 1 HDMI..... WHO CARES IT'S FREE. This is great for the people that are going to buy a laptop anyways so it's win win.
Why do the apple people always come in and act like they are better when it has nothing to do with them?
Apples DO NOT run corporations, fortune 500 companies, gaming tournaments etc... They use outdated hardware any geek knows this and Linux is more stable then OS X ever will be. Sorry for raging but Apple people are like those annoying girls that won't shut up we don't care about it, we know you spent way too much on that average machine. End of Story

Anyways it’s a great marketing program from Microsoft, it's all over the web and I think that's what they wanted and most companies make 80ish% off their gaming division so that Xbox to a new user is a gold mine for them anyway you put it.

Little Brother (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36203124)

http://craphound.com/littlebrother/download/

So where can I get a distro for paranoid linux?

A question of profitability (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36203264)

Apple make several hundred dollars on the sale of a macbook, but are happy to give up most of that profit to attract a student with a free iPod. It's a similar strategy to that used by banks during fresher's week - hook a student and you've got a good chance to keep them for life. They're breaking even on a sale in the short-term for more profitable sales in the long-term. Apple have huge market share amongst students and they're keeping a lot of that market share amongst graduates.

A single OEM licence of Windows 7 costs much less than an Xbox 360. Major computer manufacturers get huge discounts for volume. Last time I checked Isuppli figures, the Xbox costs more to make than the retail price. However you slice it, Microsoft will take a significant loss on the deal. This might be OK if we expected the promotion to gain them market share, but at best they're treading water. They're making a loss in the short-term to just maintain their existing volume of sales. That's seriously bad news and to my nose stinks of desperation.

Short on MSFT, long on AAPL.

Just what every student needs... (1)

geekmux (1040042) | more than 2 years ago | (#36203286)

...a reason to stay up 27 hours straight and play video games instead of studying for final exams. Somehow I doubt the marketing department is going to be cognizant of final exam week across the entire nation when they release the next version of Halo/COD/BF.

Of course we all know the blatant motivation behind Microsoft doing this, but what exactly is the educational need for an XBox in college? This is a bit different than bundling an MP3 player with a laptop with regards to the distraction factor. Of course, why am I even asking this when it seems to be a financial win for everyone but the failing student.

Bad news (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36203332)

This will be the worst thing to happen to retention rates since lottery funded scholarships.

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