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Microsoft Said To Cut Windows Price 70% For Low Cost Devices

timothy posted about 5 months ago | from the prices-convey-information dept.

Windows 178

kc123 writes with this except from Bloomberg News: "Microsoft is cutting the price of Windows 8.1 by 70 percent for makers of low-cost computers and tablets as they try to fend off cheaper rivals like Google's Chromebooks, people familiar with the program said. Manufacturers will be charged $15 to license Windows 8.1 and preinstall it on devices that retail for less than $250, instead of the usual fee of $50. The discount will apply to any products that meet the price limit, with no restrictions on the size or type of device."

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178 comments

At last (5, Insightful)

MCROnline (1027312) | about 5 months ago | (#46311871)

Now all we need is Windows retail to be a more realistic price too.

Re:At last (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46311901)

Yeah if it were this cheap I'd buy it instead of acquiring it through *ahem* other means.

Re:At last (5, Funny)

binarylarry (1338699) | about 5 months ago | (#46311951)

If someone from Microsoft is reading this, I personally don't think I pay enough.

I think the basic ad supported version of Windows 8 should start at $999 at least and go up from there for the more powerful versions.

I always feel guilt buying copies of Windows because I know how much I'm ripping Microsoft off.

Re:At last (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46312049)

It doesn't matter.
No one realistically pays for windows.
I get it for free from the university.
My friends get it for free from the pirate bay.
My parents get it for free from the computer shop, who I can only assume just uses some corporate licence key.
Why would anyone pay for something that is required to make things work?
It's like telling poor people they should stop stealing and just lie down and starve. Sure in an ideal world that's what they would do.
But realistically other people don't give a fuck about you and only care about themselves.
It's purely a cost benefit trade off.
Will pirating windows cost me more than $x? As long as the answer is no the price is too high.

Re:At last (0)

briancox2 (2417470) | about 5 months ago | (#46312189)

Why would anyone pay for something that is required to make things work?

That is exactly how I feel too! In order to get MS Office to work, they claim I need a product key. Ha! Product key, Scmoduct Key.

I was also told that in order to get Ender's Game to work on my TV screen I needed to buy a digital copy off of Amazon Prime for $19.99. Oh these silly people. Luckily I know how to make this stuff work without their help.

Re:At last (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46312389)

It's like telling poor people they should stop stealing and just lie down and starve. Sure in an ideal world that's what they would do.

The scary thing is that there really are people who believe that poor people should just lie down and starve, as if respecting property rights is more important than staying alive.

Re:At last (3, Insightful)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 5 months ago | (#46312617)

It's like telling poor people they should stop stealing and just lie down and starve. Sure in an ideal world that's what they would do.

The scary thing is that there really are people who believe that poor people should just lie down and starve, as if respecting property rights is more important than staying alive.

The really scary thing is people like you who think that TV shows and commercial software are needed to survive. The rest of the planet and the rest of history would like a word with you.

Re:At last (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46312827)

He didn't say that anywhere. It was the *other guy* who implied that.

Re:At last (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46312799)

My libertarian group has quite a few people that honestly believe this. I wonder if I'll become as extreme as well, I've only been going for about six months now.

Re:At last (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46312683)

> No one realistically pays for windows. I get it for free from the university.

Wolf: Excuse me, cousin, but with all this polar cold we've been thru, I couldn't help notice you're doing quite well while we wolves barely make each day... care to share your secret?
Dog: There's no secret, I got me someone who provides food in exchange for some basic errands.
Wolf: Like?
Dog: Oh, not much, just helping in hunts, which I'd do by myself anyway, guarding the house, which any self-respecting dog loves to do... things like that.
Wolf: Great! I'd like to get free food while doing all that, too!
Dog: Sure, why not? Just come with me, there are other dogs, you can join us... the more, the merrier!
Wolf: Yeah, let's go then. But pal, what is that on your neck?
Dog: What? Ah, that's my collar, I got it at work... for free, too.
Wolf: What is it for?
Dog: Well, sometimes they use it to tie me with a chain, when they lock me in a small area where dogs are kept.
Wolf: Whoa, do they do this often?
Dog: Yep, everyday in fact. It's no big problem, I use to sleep meanwhile. No big deal.
Wolf: Uh, dude... just remembered something I promised to bring back the wife and the cubs, so I guess I'll join you dogs on another day, I guess...
Dog: Ok, see ya!
Wolf: Bye!

Re:At last (2)

Luckyo (1726890) | about 5 months ago | (#46312053)

It's good that piratebay offers a very good absolution from these feelings of guilt.

Re:At last (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46313295)

May be they can give it out like AOL floppies!?

Whoop-de-do! (4, Funny)

hughbar (579555) | about 5 months ago | (#46311875)

If they pay me $15, I'll take a copy. Don't want it on any device I own or use though...

Re:Whoop-de-do! (2, Interesting)

the_humeister (922869) | about 5 months ago | (#46311989)

I bought two copies for $15 each back when it first came out (promotion lasted for 6 months, was considering buying more just in case). Went from Windows 7 Home permium to Windows 8 Pro. Wasn't too bad of a purchase: 1) it's faster in games, 2) it comes with Hyper-V, 3) non-English language support (especially Chinese and Japanese) is much better than Windows 7. So what about Metro? What Metro? I have Classic Shell installed so I never see it.

Re:Whoop-de-do! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46312719)

3) non-English language support (especially Chinese and Japanese) is much better than Windows 7.

Are you a walking ad? You're concerned about support for English, Chinese, Japanese, and another language too?

Re: Whoop-de-do! (1)

the_humeister (922869) | about 5 months ago | (#46312745)

Yes. I use those plus Spanish on a regular basis.

Re:Whoop-de-do! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46312865)

It's not rare to need either Chinese or Japanese as well as English. And it is rare (though not unheard-of) for initially-English software to support either Chinese or Japanese but not the other (Japanese does get a little intense about surrogate pairs, and word-breaking is a bit different in each language, but by and large they have similar concerns like not assuming that a single-character should not initiate a find-as-you-type search).

Re:Whoop-de-do! (2)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 5 months ago | (#46312945)

3) non-English language support (especially Chinese and Japanese) is much better than Windows 7.

Are you a walking ad? You're concerned about support for English, Chinese, Japanese, and another language too?

Many people have no use for that particular feature; but (if you are one of the unlucky souls consigned to a need to know about the arcana of Windows licensing) it's actually somewhat notable: Language support has traditionally served as a market segmentation mechanism: can't have filthy non-corporations engaging in international arbitrage trading, now can we? So companies (including MS with earlier versions of Windows under many of their assorted licensing schemes) have tended to gimp multi-language support to greater or lesser degrees in order to keep people from being able to trade copies purchased in different areas with people in other language areas (aside from expats, and copies with the necessary language files cracked in). Localization isn't free, so there is an argument to be made that Joe User, EN-US, is buying less software than Joe Cosmopolitan Translator of the 19 Tongues, and should pay less; but my memory is that, historically, getting additional language support in Windows has been a bit painful. It didn't come by default in the most common versions, you couldn't purchase it from them one language at a time; and you sometimes could only get what you needed by buying the 'we just threw in absolutely everything' edition, or some sort of enterprise-support-contract edition.

Re:Whoop-de-do! (0)

bmo (77928) | about 5 months ago | (#46313219)

Metro? What Metro? I have Classic Shell installed so I never see it.

I find this common among 8.x shills such as yourself.

The one defining thing that separates 8 from 7 at the user's end is "not that important."

You idiots are fucking hilarious.

No, I will not eat your shit sandwich with smaller bites.

--
BMO

Re:Whoop-de-do! (1)

Skuld-Chan (302449) | about 5 months ago | (#46313311)

I don't use the metro ui for anything on my desktop - that said - while I think Windows 8.1 is more responsive than 7 or XP, it does have a lot of usability issues, but its not debilitating.

I honestly think OSX (yes I have an airbook running mavericks :)) and the plethora of Linux desktops have about as many problems with usability - the shame with Windows is that Windows 7's UI was pretty much perfect.

Re:Whoop-de-do! (1)

AlphaBro (2809233) | about 5 months ago | (#46313377)

If you think Metro is the only difference, it's you. You're the idiot.

Re:Whoop-de-do! (1)

AlphaBro (2809233) | about 5 months ago | (#46312307)

Let me talk to some friends. I don't think they knew Slashdot poster hughbar was interested.

Re:Whoop-de-do! (1)

symbolset (646467) | about 5 months ago | (#46312399)

You want a copy to prank somebody with? You're mean.

Re:Whoop-de-do! (1)

Rufty (37223) | about 5 months ago | (#46312701)

Make it $5 and I'll take a DVD. My coffee cup coaster needs replacing.

Good-bye middle tier (4, Insightful)

SuperKendall (25149) | about 5 months ago | (#46311903)

One unwanted side effect I can see coming from this, is that most Windows devices will become either very cheap (to meet the price guideline) or very expensive. If you build a device costing $500, the cheaper devices are not going to be that much lower in spec than you because they didn't have to eat a more expensive Windows license.

When I read this story, I was excited because I thought it meant cheaper Windows for home users. I wouldn't mind running Windows 8 in Parallels on my mac, or even dual boot to it to play games. But the price for consumers is just too high for me to do that. They could get a lot of casual Windows sales and remain relevant but for some reason, they just don't seem interested in doing so.

Re:Good-bye middle tier (2)

Luckyo (1726890) | about 5 months ago | (#46312065)

I don't think you need to worry. Windows 7, which is routinely sold with everything but cheapest stuff is not on the fire sale.

This actually looks more like a desperate attempt to peddle win 8 under a different guise. Most of the mid range and higher ads that I see nowadays show win 7.

Re:Good-bye middle tier (1)

Gravis Zero (934156) | about 5 months ago | (#46312105)

When I read this story, I was excited because I thought it meant cheaper Windows for home users. I wouldn't mind running Windows 8 in Parallels on my mac

please get to a hospital NOW because you clearly have a fever of at least 105F.

No, read in. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46312107)

"While the regular Windows list price was $50, some of the largest global computer makers paid closer to $30 after incentives such as marketing funds provided by Microsoft, the people said."

The article says there won't be any additional discounts beyond the $15 for those products, but this still means a number of manufacturers will be paying closer to $30 for other products.

Re:No, read in. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46312237)

"While the regular Windows list price was $50, some of the largest global computer makers paid closer to $30 after incentives such as marketing funds provided by Microsoft, the people said."

The article says there won't be any additional discounts beyond the $15 for those products, but this still means a number of manufacturers will be paying closer to $30 for other products.

Some time ago there was an article on why Dell dialed down their Linux PC offerings, and why there wasn't much of a rebate (if any) on Linux PCs vs Windows PCs. It said that the average cost of a single customer service call to Dell was higher than what they paid Microsoft for OEM Windows license, and the Linux PCs got a lot more customer services calls, especially related to device/driver/software compatibility.

Re:Good-bye middle tier (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46312175)

and you'll be seeing under powered devices flood the market in hopes of gaining the $35/unit savings offered because to meet that price point there's not lots of hardware to run the full Windows 8.x OS. So we will see lots of dissatisfaction with performance much like what happened when netbook vendors switched from Linux to Windows XP. So more damage to the Microsoft brand and more customers running away disgusted.

Re:Good-bye middle tier (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | about 5 months ago | (#46312489)

I think you are right about this effect also, it pushes hardware to be cheaper and thus crappier to use.

Re:Good-bye middle tier (1)

Blaskowicz (634489) | about 5 months ago | (#46313063)

Slowest hardware that can run Windows 8.1 will be 22nm Atom or AMD 1.0GHz dual core, with 2GB memory (4GB can be likely), and either 64GB flash or a modern hard drive. Decoding of youtube videos done in hardware when the vids are in H264 (dunno about VP9)
There just doesn't exist crappier hardware on the market. Well, 32nm Atom sucks but Microsoft can exclude it from the agreement. So Windows 8 is guaranteed to work fine!

Re:Good-bye middle tier (3, Interesting)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | about 5 months ago | (#46312193)

The difference is just 35$. That is going to kill the middle tier devices? Being a windows box is going to be a bigger disadvantage than 35$ for that 500$ device. Basic problem is there is no killer must have app for that mythical 500$ device. Penny pinchers want a simple sub 200$ machine. Bells and whistles fanboi\s don't care that much about the price.

The problem for Microsoft is that it sells only to corporations and gamers. Both are not as price conscious as home users. But it has to fight a rear guard action to keep the home user in the fold. Otherwise they taste competing OS and see how others do it and demand Microsoft's feet to fire. They demand interoperability. There are people who have more powerful computing platforms in their pockets iPhones/androids/tablets than the corporation provided desktop they work on. The company workstation PC is hampered by layers and layers of IT clunkiness loaded on top of Microsoft cluelessness. I think this 15$ is just a PR stunt to fool the stock analysts, in reality Microsoft would be giving OS away for free without telling analysts.

Re:Good-bye middle tier (2)

Penguinisto (415985) | about 5 months ago | (#46312445)

The difference is just 35$. That is going to kill the middle tier devices? Being a windows box is going to be a bigger disadvantage than 35$ for that 500$ device.

Most hardware OEMs have margins thin enough that 7% ($35) will easily make a difference between a profitable device and a money-loser on a $500 product.
A sub-$300 device is even worse, with that $35 making up at least 11.5% of the total at $300, and growing as the overall price goes down.

Seriously - the only lap/desktop/tablet OEM that has decent margins is Apple, and they obviously don't ship Windows with their products.

Exactly (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | about 5 months ago | (#46312497)

I was going to post the same thing but you laid it out perfectly. If you think about component costs in a $500 system, $35 buys you either better parts or something you wouldn't have otherwise, and like you say there is no margin on middle tier PC's.

That's why I think it will mean more focus on either $250- systems, or $1000+ systems.

Re:Good-bye middle tier (3, Interesting)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 5 months ago | (#46313013)

At retail, $35 can get you 2GB of RAM from somebody you might actually respect, 4 from somebody who probably doesn't just sneak into competitors' factories at night to steal the stuff that failed QC...

$35 is also, depending on the phase of the moon and where you fall in AMD and Nvidia's release cycles, enough to get you bumped a tier or two in GPU capability. HDDs are a similar story, you aren't going to do anything radical for $35 bucks(say a switch form cheap 'n capacious HDD to screaming-fast SSD); but you can probably squeeze 1 'unit' of additional capacity, exactly how many gigs that is depending on the conditions of the day and whether you are buying HDD or SSD, out of your vendor for $35.

The less-visible-at retail stuff like fit-and-finish, case materials, what gets to be metal and what gets to be plastic, are harder for me to comment on; but 'just $35' can likely buy you 1 'bump' in any of the major spec areas, or some additional classiness in build quality. Especially if your ass is being kicked on industrial design grounds, or user dissatisfaction with your failure prone PSUs, that's not something to dismiss lightly...

Giving away.... It costs them nothing to produce (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46313309)

This you do realize isn't like giving away limes or quecats which cost something to produce per unit. Microsoft doesn't spend more then the cost of printing a few windows license stickers plus patent fees which aren't too much if they don't include native mpeg2 and other expensive patents.

Also, the value of an OS are 1. what unique things does it offer 2. What market Share does it represent.
1. is obvious and could be anything really, even things like being a good free alternative, etc.
2. If you don't have market share you don't get developers and admins. Which means you don't have users because there is no software. Developers won't developer because there is are no users. etc. You need a strong enough number 1 to break this chicken and egg cycle. But this cycle can also break if someone steals your market share.

Re:Good-bye middle tier (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46312533)

I am guessing that Microsoft will pretty soon come out with progressive pricing for the range $250 to $500. It would be sad to think that a device didn't get say GPS because it would have pushed the price passed $250 which would increase the price to $285. Well, we can hope Microsoft comes to their senses.

Even harder would be for customized hardware. If you want us to install that last 16 Gigibytes of ram and the bigger HD, it'll cost you $45 extra.

Re:Good-bye middle tier (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 5 months ago | (#46312967)

Given how much volume (if not necessarily profit) is handled by the middle tier, I'd be a bit surprised if all the major OEMs aren't having a...forceful...chat with MS right now about a licensing deal that either has more tiers, or is directly based on 'x percent of cost, capped at $y'.

It certainly makes no sense at all for a $250 device to have a $50 Windows license attached to it(regardless of what MS, or anybody else, wants); but it also isn't obviously in either MS' interest, or in the PC OEM's interest, to have an abrupt 'death zone' where the devices that fall just above the cut-off used to live.

Ah yes... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46311913)

MSFT, the only company that actually charges money for a consumer OS.

Re:Ah yes... (3, Insightful)

danbob999 (2490674) | about 5 months ago | (#46312033)

Just because Apple includes the price in their PC doesn't mean it's free. It is not free if you want to run OS X on a non-Mac PC.

Re:Ah yes... (1)

The Grim Reefer (1162755) | about 5 months ago | (#46312213)

MSFT, the only company that actually charges money for a consumer OS.

Where can I download my free copy of OSX?

Re:Ah yes... (1)

Penguinisto (415985) | about 5 months ago | (#46312479)

Where can I download my free copy of OSX?

right here. [apple.com]

They do require that you have an existing Intel Mac to put it in and a free App Store account to download it with, but I paid $0.00 to upgrade my MBP with it.

Hell, I can even download the source code [apple.com] for almost all of it in one spot.

Re: Ah yes... (1)

the_humeister (922869) | about 5 months ago | (#46312569)

I don't see the source code for Aqua or iTunes anywhere in that link.

Re: Ah yes... (1)

mspohr (589790) | about 5 months ago | (#46312635)

Speaking from experience, you absolutely don't want iTunes to use... for study, however, an example of how not to do things?

Re: Ah yes... (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 5 months ago | (#46313097)

iTunes is a grotesque abortion, which would make access to data on the necessary protocols and interfaces to get your non-fucked software talking to components that expect iTunes useful.

Thankfully it matters less with iDevices, now that those all have network connections of their own; but it's slightly tragic how much remains locked up from that 'iTunesU' fad, where Apple managed to convince a bunch of schools that the best podcasts are ones that you can only get to with Apple software, and which are only useful on the go with Apple hardware....

Re: Ah yes... (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 5 months ago | (#46313075)

I don't see the source code for Aqua or iTunes anywhere in that link.

To Apple's credit, they do release more than they are legally obliged to (unlike the assorted assholes who will fight the SFLC to the last man over some penny-ante hack to a GPL2 package in a router probably worth less than $20 of their lawyer's hourly rate, for reasons that defy human understanding).

Of course, Apple is a practically canonical example of the (not bad, certainly pragmatic, and arguably a lot healthier than doing a lot of dumb reinventing of the wheel) 'Use OSS to lower the cost of providing production-quality implementations of commodified components, keep your actual selling points locked up tight.' strategy.

The market rate for 'eh, mostly BSD' is approximately nothing, unless it comes with expertise or customization, the market rate for everything you need to build something interoperable with OSX? You could probably buy a collection of small dusty countries for that...

Re:Ah yes... (1)

The Grim Reefer (1162755) | about 5 months ago | (#46312809)

Where can I download my free copy of OSX?

right here. [apple.com]

They do require that you have an existing Intel Mac to put it in and a free App Store account to download it with,

That's not exactly free, is it?

Re:Ah yes... (1)

Penguinisto (415985) | about 5 months ago | (#46312817)

As in Beer or Speech?

Re:Ah yes... (2)

The Grim Reefer (1162755) | about 5 months ago | (#46312993)

As in Beer or Speech?

Considering this is Apple we are talking about, it goes without saying that it's not "free as in speech", doesn't it? Or have they suddenly embraced GPL and I missed it?

It's also not "free as in Beer" either. Otherwise I wouldn't be required to purchase their product first.

So, it's not free at all.

Re:Ah yes... (1)

danbob999 (2490674) | about 5 months ago | (#46312991)

They do require that you have an existing Intel Mac

Not only that you have an intel mac, but it must be already running OS X, which you bought when you bought your Mac. Therefore it's not free.

Re:Ah yes... (3, Interesting)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 5 months ago | (#46313061)

As much as I'm pleased to (for the newer gear) not have to fuck around with innumerable license keys and so on, Apple licensing is actually obnoxiously inflexible, and very consumer oriented. At work, I've become the mac-wrangler-by-default because most of the rest of the department are Microsofties from way back. Fine by me, more variety, more experience, all good. And the desktop and laptop gear is pretty good. Impressive industrial design, not too many freaky issues (though opendirectory is still a pale shadow of ActiveDirectory and Group Policies. Those things can be a byzantine mess; but they sure are powerful).

However, there are some rough edges: You need to buy new gear to replace or expand an existing lab/laptop rollout? Well kid, I'm afraid that Apple's OS support is as follows: The earliest supported OS is whatever the machine shipped with. The last supported OS is the version before the version that has your model in the 'installer will refuse to try' list. Oh, you wanted to expand a lab running OSX version N-1 without upgrading the entire lab to version N? That's so sad, good luck.

Even more vexingly, Apple has largely left the server business (they don't have a single device with redundant PSUs, their 'preferred' OSX Server config is a mac mini with two HDDs); but they steadfastly refuse to simply sell licenses that 'bless' VM instances(not running on physical macs) to run OSX Server. For $1000, they'll ship me their little mini, with its two laptop drives and OSX Server; but they don't even offer a 'keep your shiny little toy and enjoy the higher margins, just let me spin an OSX VM on my institution's preexisting, high-reliability, physically-distributed, high-uptime, SAN-backed, etc, etc. VM infrastructure. We have the cores, we have the RAM (with ECC and stuff, crazy!), we have the SAN, with the fancy disk monitoring and redundancy features. Why won't you take our damn money?

Chromebook (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46311935)

Linux will inherit the Earth. Tremble, M$ Office paperclip.

Re:Chromebook (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46312037)

Well wait and see about that, this is a good move for MS/Windows and low cost devices

Re:Chromebook (1)

symbolset (646467) | about 5 months ago | (#46312457)

These devices still need the expensive storage, memory and processor required to support Windows. Competitors don't. They are limited to the peripherals Microsoft supports. Competitors aren't. OEMs of Windows devices have to share design plans with their direct competitor Microsoft for platform testing. Makers of alternatives don't. Platforms that qualify have a maximum price, alternatives don't. These are still important issues.

Re:Chromebook (3, Interesting)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 5 months ago | (#46313127)

Linux will inherit the Earth. Tremble, M$ Office paperclip.

Not that it's a real problem, Linux is a decent embedded OS(arguably markedly worse than some designed for the purpose at Hardcore Embedded Stuff; but familiarity and smooth scaling from fairly tiny embedded systems to supercomputers counts for a lot); but the 'ChromeOS' is something of a historical irony:

Remember, back in '95, when Marc Andreessen threatened that Netscape would reduce Windows to a "poorly debugged set of device drivers"? That struck MS as plausible enough that they squished Netscape as hard as they could and (slowly) got off their ass on IE development; but look upon ChromeOS, and observe the OS reduced to a set of device drivers by the browser..

Re:Chromebook (2)

Zaiff Urgulbunger (591514) | about 5 months ago | (#46313155)

Linux will inherit the Earth. Tremble, M$ Office paperclip.

The hilarious thing about this is that there's someone as MS who has decided that the best way to approach the problem of Android/ChromeOS taking their market share is to... compete on price. Because that's going to work isn't it?

Microsoft, the former leader (5, Insightful)

surfdaddy (930829) | about 5 months ago | (#46311941)

They sat on their laurels too long under Ballmer and watched the market expand while they sat on the sidelines. They laughed at the iPhone when it first came out. Rather than putting Office on the iPad, they held it hostage to "protect" Windows. Five plus years later, they may finally do it. How much revenue did they give up there?

They chased Google with Bing. They've chased Apple with the Zune, their music store, and their Windows Phone. They put the name Windows on everything - their cloud, their phone, their ARM tablet, and their regular PC OS, even though all those products are different. They are a MESS. Good luck to Satya - he will need it.

Re:Microsoft, the former leader (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | about 5 months ago | (#46311975)

Judging by the price hikes for enterprise lixensing, it seems.Redmond plans on making up the difference by picking their busines customers' pockets.

Too many more price hikes and I'll take the pain of moving to Samba. I've already decided Exchange 2010 is the last Exchange server I will put in my organisation, and now that I've become a partner I finally have the clout to make it stick.

I can't see moving from Windows workstations but I can gut the backend.

Re:Microsoft, the former leader (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46312035)

You should stick with Microsoft. Seriously.

Re:Microsoft, the former leader (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | about 5 months ago | (#46312061)

TheWhy? I'm not a technical illiterate. Moving to Samba file.servers and other mail systems is hardly complex. I used to manage such systems for a living.

Re:Microsoft, the former leader (1, Interesting)

WuphonsReach (684551) | about 5 months ago | (#46312301)

Samba4 works pretty well. The main place it still fails to deliver is replication of the SYSVOL, which is where your GPOs are stored. You have to make sure to only edit GPOs on a single server, then make sure to synchronize those files to all of the other domain controllers. It's not difficult, just not out-of-the-box easy.

For a single-server shop, Samba4 is a good choice (even for migration away from a Windows server). For sites where you need more then one DC, there's still room for improvement.

We started migrating off of Windows starting 5-8 years ago when we put in our first Linux server. Since then, any new "server" application has been chosen to work on a Linux server. We went from 90% windows servers down to just a handful left. Samba 4.1 will kill off the remaining file/print servers for us. We might have zero Windows servers by the end of 2014.

On the desktops, we have very few applications that tie us to Windows and we're constantly working on reducing that count. Which gives us the flexibility to deploy either OS X or Linux to more end-user desktops instead of being 90% Windows.

Re:Microsoft, the former leader (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 5 months ago | (#46313153)

You would definitely know better than I about what it can and can't do, I'm just surprised to hear that SYSVOL replication, rather than any of the zillions of arcane MS-specific behaviors scattered across AD, would be the notable issue: Given the OSS-community love of building tools, I would have expected exactly the opposite: a situation where Samba4 plugs GPO storage and SYSVOL right into the capable hands of one or more of the modern revision control systems, offering lovely automatic versioning of all GPOs, painless replication and (mostly) painless merges, and all matter of neat stuff; but suffers some sort of painful issues somewhere else entirely.

Re:Microsoft, the former leader (1)

Penguinisto (415985) | about 5 months ago | (#46312545)

Judging by the price hikes for enterprise lixensing, it seems.Redmond plans on making up the difference by picking their busines customers' pockets.

True, but how much longer will that last? Sure, enterprises are stuck in some aspects (e.g. Oracle costs way more than SQL Server), but not in others, especially as those price hikes have customers exploring alternatives (e.g. PostgreSQL), and trimming way the hell back on the rest of the EA, or even delaying renewal altogether in some cases.

After all, I'm seeing an EA renewal coming up, and here's what I'm thinking:
* I don't have to upgrade existing SQL 2k8 boxes if they still run just fine, and can likely skip the next 3-year stint on them, excepting the one that backs the Sharepoint site, and even then only for support reasons.
* I got Exchange 2010 already; I can cut way the hell back by eliminating that from the next round, waiting to see what version 2017 has before bothering to upgrade it.
* Server 2012? No need or desire for it, and testing shows that it breaks a large chunk of our shit anyway. That bumps at least 600 servers off the licensing-go-round.
* So what's left, desktops? Not seeing any upgrade from Windows 7, so at most I can cut that back to whatever growth estimates I have.
* MSDN licenses... yeah, we can cut that way back to just the folks who actually write code for Windows, and cut back on accounts for the SEs and other ancillary folks, maybe restricting that to just the senior guys.

Mind you, there's a lot more to making such a decision than this, but if I'm forced to make hard choices in budgeting? That budget can damned sure be trimmed.

Too many more price hikes and I'll take the pain of moving to Samba. I've already decided Exchange 2010 is the last Exchange server I will put in my organisation, and now that I've become a partner I finally have the clout to make it stick.

I can't see moving from Windows workstations but I can gut the backend.

Exactly :)

Re:Microsoft, the former leader (1)

luther349 (645380) | about 5 months ago | (#46312249)

windows has never been first at anything.

Re:Microsoft, the former leader (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46312739)

Oh yeah? Who did the BSOD before windows?

better headlines... (4, Funny)

Gravis Zero (934156) | about 5 months ago | (#46311953)

Microsoft Becoming Desperate to Sell Window 8.1
Microsoft Losing Badly in Tablet Market
Chromebooks Out of Microsoft's Extortionary Reach
Microsoft Discovers Battery Life Is Very Important On Tablets
Microsoft Is Getting "Scroogled"
Microsoft Just Got the Facts

Re:better headlines... (1)

gman003 (1693318) | about 5 months ago | (#46312229)

Microsoft: Almost as horrible as Slashdot Beta

Re:better headlines... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46312295)

But their premises is wrong. Win 8.1 isn't selling because of cost, it isn't selling because it is crappy. People prefer Android or ChromeOS for the better OS, not because it's cheaper.

LovenThis Price Break (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46311993)

I would love to get this price break just to refurbish and resell systems. Would be nice to see PCs on eBay with a modern OS.

One Ring to rule them All (1)

mrflash818 (226638) | about 5 months ago | (#46312001)

In my opinion, they _so_badly_ want to be the One Ring.

I hope I live to see the day they are just a historical Wikipedia entry.

Why would I pay any money for an OS? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46312003)

Pay money and...

be told what devices I can run the OS on
be told what I can do and not do with the OS
be told what programs I can run on the OS
be told that I need to pay more money for most programs to run on the OS
be told when and how and *if* updates will be available for the OS

Take your 1980's bug-ridden, DRMed, OS and go away.

Re:Why would I pay any money for an OS? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46312083)

What are you on about? We're not talking about Unix.

Re:Why would I pay any money for an OS? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46312539)

Neither is he. Even UNIX allowed you to do anything you wanted.

Re: Microsoft Said To Cut Windows Price 70% For Lo (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46312017)

This seems to need a $15 upgrade option for people already running windows7 show ant to upgrade. Just sayin'!

Re: Microsoft Said To Cut Windows Price 70% For Lo (1)

Luckyo (1726890) | about 5 months ago | (#46312081)

I think most people would pay 15 just to not have to downgrade to 8 if they were forced to make a choice.

Homebuild (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46312039)

If Intel starts packaging cheap Windows with their CPUs then this would be a major boon to the home PC builder demographic.

Re:Homebuild (1)

0123456 (636235) | about 5 months ago | (#46312121)

If Intel starts packaging cheap Windows with their CPUs then this would be a major boon to the home PC builder demographic.

This is Window 8 they're talking about. Most people would pay more to NOT get a copy with their CPU.

Device I want Windows on (2)

randomErr (172078) | about 5 months ago | (#46312071)

I would love to see Windows on BeagleBone Black. It would show that even cheap devices get the love of Windows and open the Windows store. Also it would look great for kids to experiment with Windows on a $45 computer. At the very least Microsoft could release that micro-kernel version of Windows for hobby/development devices and open up Visual Studio for development.

Re:Device I want Windows on (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46312553)

It wouldn't be $45 any more...

and Windows isn't microkernel anymore. Not since about NT4.

Re:Device I want Windows on (1)

unimacs (597299) | about 5 months ago | (#46313361)

Things like the RPi and the BBB bode well for the future of Linux and other free or mostly free OSes. Personally I would much rather see kids learning about computers on hardware running an OS that can be studied, picked apart, and modified as desired.

I say this as somebody whose main computer runs OS/X which is a closed (or at least semi-closed) system. I'm quite content not to have it on a BBB.

Re:Device I want Windows on (1)

unimacs (597299) | about 5 months ago | (#46313383)

Oh and just curious. Have you spent much time working with linux and/or open source development tools? Visual Studio is very slick and refined but there's an astonishing amount of things in the open source world to aid a software developer. So much so that I'd never long for Windows on a BBB.

Google top honchos are strategic masters (5, Interesting)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | about 5 months ago | (#46312135)

I can only marvel at Google at its strategic moves. Sun tried to fight Microsoft with Java and got clobbered. Google rightly realized as long as MSOffice is delivering cash like a firehose, it would be impossible to fight it. It went on a long term plan with bare mininal Google Docs, then with Google apps to pinch the money supply. It leveraged the connectivity by making collaboration front and center of office tools. Microsoft did not reduce price fast enough, or introduce network features fast enough. They were resting in laurels and now MsOffice monopoly does not look as monolithic as it did when we were discussing the ODF vs OOXML fights.

It participated in the spectrum auction and made the telcos pay near market rates. It bought dark strands of the fiber network after the market crash to protect itself from local last mile ISPs from holding it for ransom.

It talked to WhatsApp, made an offer of 10 billion with lots of poison pills. It set the floor at 10 billion, leaving all the smaller players aside. It knew Facebook was despo and will buy WhatsApp, but it boosted the price and made Facebook pay dearlym 35% of cash on hand!. Please disregard the 19 billion dollar figure. That is based on overpriced FB stock price. That Facebook will be strapped for money in the coming year for other aquisitions is the key victory for Google.

WhatsApp's 450 million users includes millions who create new accounts every year when their old free for the first year accounts expire. Those users are penny, nay, paisa pinchers who use WhatsApp to avoid international texting charges between India and the Gulf countries and Singapore. They use WhatsApp to broadcast their texts to N recipients paying 1 outgoing text charge. In India incoming calls and texts must be free by law. Only the sender pays. 2 dollar per user? You can't chisel 2 rupees out of them. Anyway WhatsApp has no advantage when it comes to smartphones. Its explosive growth was due to it being the portal to the intenet for dumb phones via SMS. That market is done.

Unorganized linux tried to scare Microsoft with netbooks. Microsoft hit back and evenutally killed the netbooks market, though it had to extend XP's life to do so. But Google resurrected the netbooks markets, and is forcing Microsoft to engage in price war again. Given the drop dead simplicity of the Chromebook, and low cost by eschewing the bells and whistles of the tablet market, it is very difficult to see anyone make any serious money off them. But it hampers the others from raising their profit margins.

Google plays the strategic game stupendously well.

Re:Google top honchos are strategic masters (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46312525)

Wrong. Google operates randomly; any semblance of strategy is merely coincidental.

Re: Google top honchos are strategic masters (1)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | about 5 months ago | (#46313059)

Sufficiently advanced luck is indistinguishable from strategic mastery.

Upgradable Devices Then? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46312139)

So, someone comes out with a tablet that costs $249, and then has a means for upgrade to offer better performance, like added RAM? Maybe it is something that is unlocked?

Overpriced (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46312147)

At $15, the price is still $15.01 too high for Windows 8.

I like beta (/duck) (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46312161)

I just browsed a bit, and I thought to myself, what is this site? I like it, it is easy to navigate and looks nice. Next thing I know I look up and see the beta logo.

I've had every version of Windows available to me (0)

bmo (77928) | about 5 months ago | (#46312225)

And I've never seen anything worth paying them for.

Except maybe Windows FLP, which is not for sale for any price to anyone not having corporate licenses and its use is discouraged by Microsoft. Windows Embedded 8 is a fucking pig and is fucking useless. It's within 5 percent of the size of a full version of 7 or 8 and all of the resource use as a full version of 7 or 8.x. Why bother?

"Small devices?" According to who? Microsoft's idea of a small device isn't anyone else's that I know of.

Sure, I'll take all the DVDs that Microsoft is willing to send me. I need more beer coasters.

--
BMO

Re:I've had every version of Windows available to (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46312331)

Did you have Windows For Pen, version 1.0? Came out after Windows 3.1 and before Windows for Workgroups.

Business Model change or marketing ploy (1)

gpmanrpi (548447) | about 5 months ago | (#46312253)

Not to question Microsoft's business model, but why are they doing this. Windows is their core product. Everything they do is based on people buying windows and then office. This is ".com" logic, where they take a profitable product and then make a business model that is cheaper and makes no money. I don't use Microsoft products unless I have to, but this is not a recipe for success. Why don't they make something that people want? Is this a way to inflate license sales of windows 8 to consumer goods because manufacturers will buy more licenses for the same money?

Re:Business Model change or marketing ploy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46312579)

It IS what they did to kill the Linux netbooks.

Re:Business Model change or marketing ploy (1)

0123456 (636235) | about 5 months ago | (#46312915)

It IS what they did to kill the Linux netbooks.

I thought they gave Windows away free to kill Linux netbooks?

Make it free and I might use it... (1)

Max Threshold (540114) | about 5 months ago | (#46312267)

...to test the Windows performance of Java programs I write on Linux.

Surprised... (2)

QuietLagoon (813062) | about 5 months ago | (#46312353)

I was surprised that Microsoft was charging $50 per copy to the OEMs. That's quite expensive.

Dear Microsoft.... (1)

Lumpy (12016) | about 5 months ago | (#46312371)

Stop being assholes.

$15.00 across the board, you want fater adoption, let us at home pay $15 for it. Because at that price point, I'll give it another shot, hell I'll even tolerate some of the issues at that price point.

At $199 no way in hell.

Re:Dear Microsoft.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46313089)

Then again you could install the 8.1 Enterprise Edition in a VM and try it out for 90 days first.

Those 90 days with that horrible inconsistent UI will feel like 10 years on Windows XP

Death of RT (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46312481)

What's the point of RT tablets, now full blown Windows OS is actually much cheaper for manufactures than opting for the crippled RT. Yes, I know at this time, only x86 chips have the option of RT or Windows on tablets, and ARM devices are artificially restricted to RT by Microsoft, but Intel is currently selling tablet suitable Baytrail parts for NEGATIVE money (yes, that means Intel actually PAYS the company to build the tablet using an Intel SoC).

With Baytrail less than FREE, and with Windows 8.1 selling for a song when used on a tablet with an ARM SoC competing CPU (ie., NOT a laptop class ULV part from Intel), it is cheaper for tablet manufactures looking to support Microsoft to ONLY build Windows tablets, and of course, Windows tablets also have the RT interface option if users wish to use that.

Now the questions is when and whether Microsoft will release Windows 8.1 for ARM devices as well. But with Intel currently paying for people to use Baytrail, no ARM device could compete with a tablet using x86 and running Windows. One must therefore ask whether Intel isn't currently subsidising these cut-price Windows OS sales by paying Microsoft even more billions. The decision NOT to release full-blown Windows on ARM two or so years back was only made by Microsoft when Intel handed over many billions of dollars to keep Windows an x86 exclusive.

We are rapidly approaching the moment when a very decent Windows tablet costs no more that 150 dollars. Such a tablet can have 2GB RAM, a four-core Baytrail, but Intel's integrated GPU is quite weak, and better made for non-retina displays. It is of interest, though, as to how long it will take the Law to catch up with Microsoft and Intel for selling their products massively below cost to artificially gain market acceptance. Is there anyone here stupid enough not to realise that if the Wintel duopoly gained traction in this market, it would reverse all price cuts just as soon as able?

Required load (2)

symbolset (646467) | about 5 months ago | (#46312491)

Still comes with a horridly insecure browser integrated into the OS that is incompatible with their previous browsers and enterprise web apps and cannot be removed. Still prohibits preinstall of alternative browsers, search engines. Still prefers Outlook.com sign in. Is still Windows. Seems like they still have a few issues to work through.
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