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Microsoft Runs Out Of Windows XP Family Licenses

timothy posted more than 12 years ago | from the goodness-of-their-hearts dept.

Microsoft 340

TrAvELAr writes: "'There is a backlog,' says Mark Croft, lead product manager for Windows XP. According to this article on IDG, Microsoft has underestimated it's popularity of the new Windows XP family license. In an effort to slow piracy within single households, Microsoft has introduced the family license which will allow the user to install multiple copies of it's Windows XP operating system at a slightly discounted price of a $10 savings. Croft also states that the savings reflects the cost of Microsoft not having to produce another disc."

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FIST post . . . (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2607523)

right up Bill Gates ASS! []

Happy post-Thanksgiving day. (-1)

Fecal Troll Matter (445929) | more than 12 years ago | (#2607526)

GObbLe. []

Ooh, Ten Dollars. (5, Insightful)

The Raven (30575) | more than 12 years ago | (#2607527)

I don't think a ten dollar savings is going to stave off piracy on a 90+ dollar OS. Leaving off production costs is the START of sane pricing, not the END of a plan to give a price break for multiple purchases.

Re:Ooh, Ten Dollars. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2607561)

Obviously it is when people have bought all the licenses up already.

Re:Ooh, Ten Dollars. (4, Insightful)

guusbosman (151671) | more than 12 years ago | (#2607566)

I assume this 10$ discount wouldn't make a huge difference for many people deciding to buy or not buy. However, Microsoft makes a more 'friendly' impression offering a license like this one. I think there are many people who actually don't mind paying for licenses, and they would get a good feeling: 'wow, I just saved 10 dollar!'. So it's a matter of customer friendliness, not so much as anti-piracy policy.

Re:Ooh, Ten Dollars. (5, Funny)

stilwebm (129567) | more than 12 years ago | (#2607569)

Instead, pirates will think of piracy as doing Microsoft a favor by saving them $10 per copy they distribute. =P

Re:Ooh, Ten Dollars. (2, Flamebait)

The Raven (30575) | more than 12 years ago | (#2607578)

After reading it more carefully, I noticed that it is a $10 savings on the FULL copy of Windows XP Home... as in, the ~$200 copy. This is not a savings on the upgrade copy.

So it is not even a 10% savings... more like 5%. How lame.


Re:Ooh, Ten Dollars. (1, Insightful)

TrAvELAr (118445) | more than 12 years ago | (#2607860)

Heh.. had I ever spent $189 on a piece of software, I know I would chose the copy for $10 more that contains the media.

Production cost (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2607583)

That's right.

There should be NO production costs like with Free Software.

I'm still having hard time believing that companies don't understand this simple fact.

Free the software, charge for support.

Ooh, Windows XP... (3, Insightful)

digitalunity (19107) | more than 12 years ago | (#2607603)

Why bother? I've found Windows XP to be less than 100% compatible with games. For the home user, compatability and useability rules. I've found Windows XP to be easy to use, but has some serious issues with a few games. These issues often require software developer issued patches to correct the issue. That's a lot of work for the casual non-technical home user. I simply don't recommend it. Why not stick with Win98? It is fairly stable, plays games like a champ, has much greater driver support, and is easily obtained.

Like the article stated, the average geek isn't going to like reactivating XP every time the change 6 components. There certainly could have been a better way to do it. It's just not the preferred OS in anybody's house.

Just my 2.

Re:Ooh, Windows XP... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2607617)

I agree, I have used Win98 for several years just so that certain games will work well. NT-based systems will never have 100% game compatibility with certain games. winquake (quake1), for example, runs like shit under win2k. My framerate there is about 30fps vs. win98's 80fps. So I won't be upgrading my Windows partition anytime soon unless game compatibility improves...

Re:Ooh, Windows XP... (-1)

Anonymous Pancake (458864) | more than 12 years ago | (#2607648)

Be glad you are not a macOS X user. Imagine the speed hit on older macOS 9 games when the entire OS has to be emulated.

Re:Ooh, Ten Dollars. (2, Interesting)

Tuxinatorium (463682) | more than 12 years ago | (#2607651)

There's no additional cost to them whatsoever for someone to install another copy of windows, and they already make ten times what they need for R&D. The greedy bastards at MS are just gouging the market because they have a monopoly and many, many people are forced to use their OS. $90 instead of $100 for something with $0 marginal cost is still a bloody ripoff.

Re:Ooh, Ten Dollars. (2)

donutello (88309) | more than 12 years ago | (#2607866)

Yes, and there's no additional cost to them whatsoever if ANYONE installs a copy of Windows (repeat or not). Ditto for Oracle's database.

The marginal cost of software is virtually zero. That doesn't mean it should be sold free of cost - it means that the economic models you learned in Econ 101 are flawed and unable to address the situation.

Re:Ooh, Ten Dollars. (2)

Heem (448667) | more than 12 years ago | (#2607723)

If I am going to pay retail price for software (i'm not but if..) for the ten dollars, I want a box, a book, a cd, and any other fluff that comes in that box.

Read the article (2)

donutello (88309) | more than 12 years ago | (#2607855)

Obviously there are enough people that don't think $10 off is too little that they have run out of licenses. So who exactly looks like a fool now?

First Post (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2607530)

First post!

Long live me and the penis bird!

The Register Article (1)

bamberg29 (240460) | more than 12 years ago | (#2607531)

The Register reported this already on Thursday. The article can be found at

Re:The Register Article (1)

TrAvELAr (118445) | more than 12 years ago | (#2607822)

Sorry, I didn't catch it on The Register.

Signature? We don't need no stinking singnature.. :)

10$ Discount? (1, Funny)

AnonymousNonCoward (528209) | more than 12 years ago | (#2607532)

Hmm... now that's a deal!

The Register's coverage (5, Interesting)

T.Hobbes (101603) | more than 12 years ago | (#2607533)

The Register some critical coverage [] of the same matter. Seems this may be just a PR ploy

does Bill Gates like pancakes? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2607539)

When I was a young boy, I awoke every morning to the delicious smell of pancakes. My mother, and father's dojo contained within it a hot griddle perfect for making pancakes, waffles, and a multitude of other pancake-like breakfast pastries. I remember them well -- The pleasant, care-free days of my childhood in the dojo were often spent peering into the kitchen with eager anticipation as my mother prepared pancakes my family.

As I grew older, and began my journey to spiritual enlightenment, the memories of my pancake-eating youth filled my heart and dreams with warm, fluffy goodness....Ahhh, yes..the sweet, sweet memories... The day I ate 10 pancakes... The day I placed a warm pancake between my fleshy loins and performed the forbidden dance... The day pressed a pancake to my buttocks and encouraged my dog to come eat.. Indeed, much of my childhood was spent in pure innocence -- An innocence only pancakes can provide. It was heaven. A heaven, filled with pancakes, where I sat at the throne of God, with my hand-maidens Aunt Jemimah and Mrs. Butterworth seated beside me. An indestructible triumvirate made of flour, eggs, sugar, milk, water, and love.

By the age of 15, the path of my life became unclear and confusing. Torn between my duty my village and my love for pancakes, I foolishly left home in search of karaguchi ah-nowakadesu..The ultimate pancake. My journey took me to the many islands of my homeland, many days away from my dojo. My hunger for pancakes became my teacher, and foolishly I let it control the path that I walked upon. My feet, sore from travel, ached as my heart and stomach did, until I came to a realization. My duty was clear. I needed to take a stand and accept my love for the art of the ninja AND my love for pancakes. It was not wrong for me to love both. I love one as a dear friend, and one as a lover. Yes--My mission was clear--I must become a ninja, a secret assassin hired by the imperial family BUT I MUST ALSO ENJOY THE OCCASIONAL PANCAKE.

My adoration for breakfast cakes has placed me within an awkward position. Many ninja refuse to recognize me as their brother. I defend my father's land, but I am looked upon as weak and undisciplined. I tell them, "But, brothers! Listen to my plea! The pancakes do not weaken me, nor do they make me disobey the rule of my sword. They fill me with love." But alas, they do not understand...For the mind of a ninja is complex.

My only earthly desire is to be accepted for who I am. Yes, I am a NINJA--But I also enjoy pancakes. Will you accept me? If you were approached by a ninja who requested a pancake, would you submit to his will?

A Pancake-Eatin' Ninja

Microsoft and Single People (4, Funny)

ejaytee (186527) | more than 12 years ago | (#2607543) an effort to slow piracy within single households, Microsoft has introduced... Ooohh, I hate all those pirates in single households. I wonder what Microsoft has in mind to stop the pirates in married households.

Re:Microsoft and Single People (2, Funny)

dattaway (3088) | more than 12 years ago | (#2607559)

I wonder what Microsoft has in mind to stop the pirates in married households.

Kill the women and children, taking no prisoners.

Re:Microsoft and Single People (1)

A_Non_Moose (413034) | more than 12 years ago | (#2607790)


take no prisoners...heh, nice.

heh, mod parent and first reply up...

They are taking prisoners...did you forget the 1.1billion dollar donation thingy?

Estimates... (1)

Hall (962) | more than 12 years ago | (#2607547)

Hmmm, they probably figured 2 or 3 people would be interested in this so they had a half-dozen licenses available... Turns out 10 'families' wanted it.

M$ sticking it to the customers again. (3, Interesting)

LibertarianCrackSmok (536453) | more than 12 years ago | (#2607553)

From the article: And here's another catch: You can't purchase additional family-use licenses based on a license of a Windows XP preloaded on a new PC. To take advantage of the family license, you'll need to buy a full packaged copy of Win XP. That's always been the plan, because most preloaded discs are already tied to a single PC, and that disc couldn't be used to install the OS on another system, according to Microsoft.

All this is is M$ once again sticking it to the customers, for corporations this makes since because there are a lot of computers that they would have to load Windows onto but for the home user this is crazy. Microsoft knows they have the home market in a choke hold and that's why they do this, you'll never see a second rate software maker like Apple do this.

Re:M$ sticking it to the customers again. (3, Informative)

CottonEyedJoe (177704) | more than 12 years ago | (#2607672)

On the contrary, Apple's liscense is less forgiving in respect to multiple single family installations.

From the MacOSX Liscense:

2.A. This Liscense allows you to install and use one copy of the Apple Software on a single Apple-Labelled computer at a time. This Liscense does not allow the Apple Software to exist on more than one computer at a time, and you may not make the Apple Software available over a network where it could be used by multiple computers at the same time....

Apple does not offer $10 off of MacOSX for single families wishing to install OSX on more than one computer. Additionally, if you own a non-Apple Mac clone the liscense does not allow you to install it even if you purchased a copy of OSX for it.

The major difference here is that there is no copy protection on MacOSX.

I would also disagree with your assertion that Apple makes "second rate" software. Especially if WindowsXP is considered "first rate" perhaps you meant to say "smaller" software maker.

Microsoft calls for stricter gun control laws. (-1)

Fecal Troll Matter (445929) | more than 12 years ago | (#2607558)

But can you find...
the way back to your parking spot [] ?

Big deal (2, Redundant)

glenebob (414078) | more than 12 years ago | (#2607571)

You can save alot more than ten bucks if you just install it on all your PC's without telling MS about it.

Does anybody actually pay the extra lisencing fee when they install on more than one household PC?

Besides, if you consider Redhat as a price baseline, and considering the difference in functionality, XP is worth what, about $3.00? That means you can install it on 30 PC's before you get your money's worth.

Re:Big deal (2, Interesting)

fishebulb (257214) | more than 12 years ago | (#2607597)

yes this would save money but with there activation code bs it will become hard and harder. granted that code has probably been cracked or some workaround for it. but they are basically trying to kill the casual copying or loaning of disks. that really is irritating because i hate those Restore disks hp and gateway give you. i just want to install winders on my friends machine (well I would want linux, but they want windows) they dont want all that garbage. they paid for a copy of windows, so why cant i use my install disk, and their legal cdkey?

Re:Big deal (1, Troll)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | more than 12 years ago | (#2607598)

Besides, if you consider Redhat as a price baseline, and considering the difference in functionality, XP is worth what, about $3.00?

No, the value of Win XP is negative. It's less functional than something I can d/l for free.

Re:Big deal (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2607795)

No, the value of Win XP is negative. It's less functional than something I can d/l for free.

Whee, it's Slashdot, where pure opinion gets modded at +5, Interesting. If I had mod points, I would smack this comment down so quickly...

Re:Big deal (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2607803)

Whee, it's Slashdot, where pure opinion gets modded at +5, Interesting. If I had mod points, I would smack this comment down so quickly...

Agreed. Meta-moderators, mark the moderation as unfair and make sure the original moderator never gets points again, even if his name is CmdrTaco.

Re:Big deal (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2607602)

Without a crack, aren't you forced to tell microsoft about it? I think the product dies after 15 days or so if you have not activated...

Why does it take so long? (1)

MBCook (132727) | more than 12 years ago | (#2607575)

Why does it take so long? They could just phone/e-mail you the license number and then send off the certificate when they get it printed, that way you wouldn't have to wait/install Linux instead.

So What? (5, Insightful)

m_evanchik (398143) | more than 12 years ago | (#2607579)

Why is everyone always bitching when Microsoft tries to milk its customers? The more people get milked, the more they consider their alternatives.

Let Microsoft double its price for the second installation and make software piracy a capital offense. I assure you that would increase the use of open-source software.

Re:So What? (2)

LinuxHam (52232) | more than 12 years ago | (#2607708)

The more people get milked, the more they consider their alternatives

+1, perfect quote.

I started planting the seeds of doubt with my uncle. He recently sold a tax prep biz which required windows. Now he just surfs and emails. I explained to him how much he should really be spending for his MS software on each PC. He got sircam this year and started emailing out files from his tax directory (not customer's returns that I could tell, thank god) and he left his pc off for weeks until he could be sure it was cleaned.

I wrapped up the cleanup session with, "now think about how much MS expected you to PAY for this kind of software!" I said, "you let me know when you're really done with your tax work, and I'll load up some much safer software for you to use." I suppose I could dual-boot him and tell him to boot to Windows only to do taxes, but I'd have to see how well he takes to that.

Here is way to fix the shortage... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2607586)

Get onto IRC and download the Devils0wn release of WindowsXP. Its the corporate release so it has no activation! No more family licenses? Well, who gives a damn...

HAHA... eat my $#!7 billy


Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2607629)

MOD THIS biatch up


Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2607721)

Yeah, until you get the bullshit CONTROLS.MAN file corruption error.

What?? (3, Funny)

Penguinoflight (517245) | more than 12 years ago | (#2607589)

You mean they actually want you to buy a licence for every computer you put it on? How last-century :-)

How could this be a hit?? (2, Insightful)

shankark (324928) | more than 12 years ago | (#2607595)

Most families have 2-3 PCs tops. Why on earth would they want to have a family license when they can actually obtain individual licenses (+discs) for a mere 10-20$ more. Am I missing something here?

Re:How could this be a hit?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2607644)

I bet that most families have about one PC per household, not including that 486 sitting in the garage. the 486 can't run Windows XP anyway :)

Re:How could this be a hit?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2607766)

Their one non-486 PC probably can't even run XP, given Windows's increasing requirements :)

hmm (2, Insightful)

mother_superius (227373) | more than 12 years ago | (#2607600)

You know, this may very well true; but you have to wonder: is this true? It would be good PR for Microsoft. People love buying Microsoft even more than people guessed! The average person when reading this will probably think, "wow, people love buying the wonderful new Microsoft operating system! Maybe I should go out and buy it." Many companies have had press releases like that. If it backfires, they apologize and blame a scapegoat, and everyone forgets.

mod this guy up (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2607647)

there's NO fugging way M$ is short on licenses.

hell, the m$-license-dept should head over to and find themselves a keygen...

licensing poorly thought out (5, Insightful)

47PHA60 (444748) | more than 12 years ago | (#2607604)

I am not sure why they could not could not have tied the activation scheme into a credit card system to allow you to purchase additional licenses at install time.

Just tell the SSL web page how many computers you want to install on, pay $10-$15 for each additional license (not $80), and receive an activation code that you transmit to the central server each time you install on a new machine (and will work up to the number of licenses you bought).

I seems foolish to charge $90 for the upgrade, then another $80 for each additional, since MS only needs to sell one CD per household. With the lower price, MS still makes more money than they would off of a pirated copy, and the customer gets a licensing cost that is only slightly more torturous than the MacOS or Linux.

Regardless of what one thinks of MS' predatory behavior towards other software/hardware makers, it's in any company's interest to carefully think out and plan their consumer sales channel. MS' scheme looks pretty half-baked, indicating that it waqs not well-planned, and that nobody who actually works for the company has ever actually been a customer, and seen what it's like.

well (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2607608)

temporary nav whilst completing renovations

toys Ceiva Cam (4d) - PuKards - Cat - 1-900
stories Schumin - Goof - UPS - Red - ParentCam - Downtime - Sign - Drop - Geek - Frank - Bit Jugglers

Margin Note 1 Boston Herald article.
My god, not exposing teens to opinions?! Can't we find some law to stop this man?!

Margin Note 2 Cox News Service article.
Speaking of Protecting The Children, fortunately we have a company willing to protect our youth by digitally masking swords in the Princess Bride with laser light instead of steel, thus making it acceptable. I imagine in the scene where Inigo stabs the bad guy, instead of blood coming out of the wound, flowers and Pokemon jump out singing "I love you!! Kid power!!"
Sent by Ryan Bayne

Page 6
Whoo that was just the BESTEST week EVER.
Parodies can suck.

Not the parodies themselves--though God knows enough of them suck--I mean, making them. I just went through a small hullabaloo over my Page 5 update, which was a reminder to myself that people care about the work they produce, and parody can be hurtful. Plus, oy! The fans on both sides! I had to keep beating people back with a stick, you know, like look guys, stop with the YEAH YEAH LET'S GET HER crud, because I am the instigator here, and any talk of backlash is silly, since I'm the backlash-ee. I can't help wondering if she had a similar (but arguably more justifiable) issue, given that the "Welcome to our spammy opt-in mailing list!!!!!" announcements I've been getting are finally trailing off.

Now that the cold front's passing out of that particular teapot, I'm left thinking about parody in general. How much is too much? There's the legal angle, which I pretty much have a handle on--though my biggest stumbling block there is that I run towards perfectionism, and my idea of "minimum required to execute the parody" would be much higher than a court's view of the same. Part of my problem with the McYuks thing was that I was using her original art as clipart, and to me, I think you need that to make an effective parody; but I conceeded that point and redrew them myself, and it still works. It's not as immediate-funny as I'd like, but it puts me in a much more comfortable legal area.

Of course if you listened to popular uninformed opinion, I was never out of legal in the first place. Put me in the awkward position of having to repeatedly explain to people that what I was doing might not necessarily be kosher. You get kind of tired of hearing DUDE PARODY IS PROTECTED BY LAW (it isn't) AND MAD MAGAZINE DOES IT ALL THE TIME (with prior permission) SO LIGHTEN UP ALREADY.

Er, yeah, and there's the part I have trouble with, because I don't think "you should lighten up" or "look at all the publicity you're getting" or "you should find it flattering" are valid mitigating factors. I don't like hurting people, but...ah, there's no less stupid way to say this, but I take humor seriously. I tend to spend more time crafting the perfect punchline and less time worrying about who it's punching. Still, even when everything was going to crap and I was getting DUDE CAN'T YOU JUST BE NICE messages and such, I was thinking, wait, this is important. A parody probably has something mean at its core--otherwise, it's just fan art. So I felt like it was in my best interest to keep it up, because I know I'll be in this situation again, and I shouldn't start (continue?) a pattern of backing down just because someone's uncomfortable with something that I think is funny.

Also, I was surprised I didn't get the obvious question: how would you feel if this happened to you? Now, apparently I have an unusual viewpoint on this sort of thing: I don't think "you're a hypocrite" is a valid supporting point in a discussion. (Sure, being a hypocrite is bad, but I don't think "I might've left dirty dishes on the table, but you do it too" puts you in the clear.) So how I would feel about a parody of my work is immaterial to the subject at hand, but it did get me to thinking about it anyway. And it's a tough call, because I haven't really had to deal with it. How would I feel about someone taking my stuff and using it to goof on itself?

So, in the interest of fairness, I'm providing the following Zweblö Parody Kit.

I was going to start this with "Well, this teaches me a lesson about parody," but it's something I knew already, really.

About my comic: I drew Zweblö (formerly Zweckloser Blödsinn) for my college newspaper, from 1992 to 1994, and I maintained a constant inferiority complex throughout, and always needed convincing that it wasn't crap. In fact, one of the comic artists (who was an actual art student and thoroughly blew me away for drawing ability) once got wind I was doing a parody of his comic, so he did one of mine in the same week. I was so upset by it that I couldn't be bothered to see him or even talk about him for weeks. I had (and have) time, personality, and soul invested into it, and it's been pointed out more than once that my characters are essentially different aspects of my personality.

I wish I had a Mr. K set here, but I really wanted to get this update out today, and this drawin' thing is powerful hard, son. Eh, if it really catches on I'll sell expansion sets by mail.

Page 5
As a public SpinnWebe service, I am now providing Humor.
I was trying to get 1-900 back online today when I got entirely distracted by an online comic. Clearly there is a void to fill, here. I've been looking at some online comics recently, and I think there must be an issue with file formats I'm missing. I'll be honest; I don't hang around long enough to read their guestbooks or their Yahoo Groups to get details. I'm blessed with my own legal copy of Photoshop (and that's only because a reader who works for Adobe was kind enough to send it to me); maybe there are pandemic deficiencies with cheap/free graphic software which I know nothing about. Either way, there's a problem I run into frequently: many comics seem to be cut off before the punchline.

Could be that something goes wrong with the upload? Maybe there's some required plug-in I'm missing? Whatever the deal is, it occurred to me: here I am with a top-notch graphics program and a desire to help struggling comics artists, so why not do something about it?

And that I did. I picked a comic--in this case, McYukkies--and added the funny. Read the original on the home site, and then the panels I bolted on to the side. They're listed below in ascending order of how much they made me laugh.

Original Now with Humor(TM) By
21 21+ me
35 35+ me
33 33+ agent orange
38 38+ me

Thanks to Chris for co-developing the idea, and agto and Mach for their contributions. Mah posse gots mah back, yo.

if he is so inclined, the gentle reader may click here to peruse pages one through four which
previously appeared in this space.

Doesn't this just save Microsoft Money? (2, Funny)

thelinuxkid (218341) | more than 12 years ago | (#2607612)

Microsoft Rep: "Hi! Looks like your buying Windows XP, would you care to buy a family license?"

User: "How much will I save?"

Rep: "Ten dollars. But we just give you the sticker and a piece of paper, no actual box or CD or anything like that. That would cost us something like ... ten dollars!"

User: "Why don't I just buy the regular version again and get all that stuff including a backup cd just in case one is damaged or lost?"

Rep: "Because then we at Microsoft dont save money!"

Popularity ploy? (1)

imrdkl (302224) | more than 12 years ago | (#2607613)

Perhaps MS is trying to improve popularity here, by making it sound like XP is "flying off the shelves". I have my suspicions...

To me.. (1)

AA0 (458703) | more than 12 years ago | (#2607614)

this just sounds like a Microsoft commerical. You don't run out of something as trivial like making CDs and license numbers.

As for the huge money they are saving on not having to create another CD... its like they are trying to market a real product, something that didn't cost them $1 for the box and CD.

CD manufacturing cost (2, Troll)

janolder (536297) | more than 12 years ago | (#2607618)

I just checked prices at a professional CD manufacturer (acmed [] ). They quoted $0.87 per CD at 10000 quantity for CD, jewel box, three color printed label and insert. Microsoft either has a very sad manufacturing process or the statement "that the savings reflects the cost of Microsoft not having to produce another disc" is not quite accurate.

Re:CD manufacturing cost (2)

brunes69 (86786) | more than 12 years ago | (#2607641)

Well, I'm not siding with MS, but don't forget to include the cost of packaging (Those boxes are huge!), shipping, distribution, keeping track of 3 more CD keys, etc. It's probably close to 5 or 6 dollars at least.

Re:CD manufacturing cost (1)

verbatim (18390) | more than 12 years ago | (#2607650)

" essentially reflects the fact that Microsoft doesn't have to produce another disc" (emphasis mine).

What about the packaging, manual, shipping (of a box as opposed to a single document), packaging, handling, etc.

The article continues with "For buyers, 'it's partly a convenience, partly a price break,' he says."

The statement is accurate. It is essentially the total cost of producing another disc (including the packaging and whatnot).

Re:CD manufacturing cost (1)

mlong (160620) | more than 12 years ago | (#2607668)

I just checked prices at a professional CD manufacturer (acmed []). They quoted $0.87 per CD at 10000 quantity for CD, jewel box, three color printed label and insert. Microsoft either has a very sad manufacturing process or the statement "that the savings reflects the cost of Microsoft not having to produce another disc" is not quite accurate.

Don't forget those anti-piracy holograms or the laser-etched text or the security ink.

Re:CD manufacturing cost (4, Interesting)

kimihia (84738) | more than 12 years ago | (#2607690)

So you would have preferred a $0.87 discount instead of a $10 discount?

Oh no sirree, don't give me it that cheaply! Charge me the full $9.13 difference.

Re:CD manufacturing cost (1)

Tuxinatorium (463682) | more than 12 years ago | (#2607738)

Their manufacturing process is much more elaborate than that, so it costs more. There are holograms and other BS security measures on the CD, fat manuals, an oversized box, and other things. Microsofts arrempts to stop piracy probably tripled the actual production cost.

Re:CD manufacturing cost (2)

swb (14022) | more than 12 years ago | (#2607830)

But then, as others have pointed out, is the cost of the box, the manual. But those are just the manufacturing costs. You're leaving out entirely the management cost. Somebody at MS, presumably an entire department, has to supervise the manufacturing and distribution (itself another cost) of packaged software.

I'd guess that it costs MS at least $2M per year to have a small staff that supervises the production of XP boxed software. That's salary, benefits, office space, phones, coffee, scotch, hookers, hush money and everything else that it costs MS to have those people do the job of seeing that someone else makes CDs, prints manuals, shoves them into boxes and gets 'em trucked to the local Microcenter.

It's those numbers along with the manufacturing costs that gives MS their per-unit numbers.

XP Piratable? (2)

Sancho (17056) | more than 12 years ago | (#2607621)

I thought it was not able to be pirated! Man, did Microsoft lie to us?

Re:XP Piratable? (0)

magicslax (532351) | more than 12 years ago | (#2607852)

I sense the sarcasm here, but there have been WPA cracks out since the first round of betas. The activation scheme is closer to a straw man put up to deter _casual_ piracy rather than any serious prevention measure -and XP Pro doesn't even have that.

No breaks on older versions? (1)

ho11yw00d (538713) | more than 12 years ago | (#2607623)

I'm missing the point as well. Even with the release of XP, M$ won't part with their 95, 98, Me, or 2000 licenses for any less. Or will they?

My favorite quote (4, Funny)

1/137 (179946) | more than 12 years ago | (#2607628)

Here's how it works: You can buy a license to use your existing Windows XP disc to install the software on another PC for up to 10 percent less than the original cost of the program. So, for example, at Microsoft's own Web-based store, if you bought the Windows XP Home Upgrade version for $99, you can buy an additional license for that product for $89. If you bought a full version of the software for $199, a second license will run you about $189.

Nice math!

Re:My favorite quote (1)

pope nihil (85414) | more than 12 years ago | (#2607761)

up to 10 percent less than the original cost of the program

it's marketing mumbo-jumbo, but they did the math right.

Re:My favorite quote (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2607802)

9.9$=10%10$ in my book. So even that is not correct.

Re:My favorite quote (1)

donutello (88309) | more than 12 years ago | (#2607875)

What part of the phrase "up to" do you have trouble understanding?

Sounds like spin to me - Go Nintendo! (2, Insightful)

192939495969798999 (58312) | more than 12 years ago | (#2607632)

How on earth do you run out of a (presumably) auto-incrementing license number? So you sell 10... give the next guy #11!! It's not that difficult. Heck, you could even do it with... MICROSOFT ACCESS! Wow! But does Microsoft know how to use its own software? Of course they do. So this can't be a software issue... it must be spin of some kind. I went to a popular electronics store, and they seemed to have a whole lot of Microsoft XP's sitting around... right next to the x-box'es. Go Nintendo!

PR Stunt? (4, Insightful)

pen (7191) | more than 12 years ago | (#2607638)

Does it seem weird to anyone else that MS would have a limited number of licenses on an OS? Isn't this just a serial number generated by a script/program within a few seconds?

"Wow, Windows XP is so popular, Microsoft ran out of licenses!"

major hardware changes (3, Funny)

cornflux (168139) | more than 12 years ago | (#2607640)

And for the rare home users who do make major hardware changes, such as swapping out six pieces of hardware or installing a new motherboard, they simply have to call a toll-free number at Microsoft. The technician there will ask about the hardware changes, and then will reactivate the software over the phone, he says.
This just makes me feel all itchy and paranoid and claustrophobic and ...

So, I guess I'm one of those rare people who would dare do such a thing. I can see it now:

MS Tech: Hello, sir. What can I help you with today?
Me: Hi, I just upgraded my machine and I need to reactivate XP.
MS Tech: Okay, sir. *clickety-clack* And why were you upgrading your machine, sir?
Me: Oh, I bought a new motherboard and CPU and a few other things.
MS Tech: *clickety-clack* Mmm, hhmm... and what motherboard?
Me: Uh... do you really need to know that?
MS Tech: Yes.
Me: Hmm... Gigabyte GA-7DXR.
MS Tech: Oh... *clickety-clack*... you really should have gone for the Tyan Thunder K7.
Me: Excuse me?
MS Tech: I'm sorry, sir... *clickety-clack* I'm going to have to get manager approval on this one. Please hold.
Me: But I was already on hold for 20 minutes! I just want to use my machine!
MS Tech: *clickety-clack* Sir, please be patient. Remember, this conversation is being recorded. *clickety-clack* Me: Oy, vey!
...another 20 minutes later...
MS Tech: *clickety-clack* Sir, you'll notice the knock at your door.

Re:major hardware changes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2607671)

Wow. You're really stupid. I mean, astoundingly, mind-bogglingly stupid. Amazing.

Re:major hardware changes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2607713)

Let me see if I can bring this thought down to your level: takes one to know one.


Full License at CostCo (1)

Newt-dog (528340) | more than 12 years ago | (#2607645)

Well I was at CostCo today, with te full XP license going for $189.00 -- with no option for an upgrade path. Most consumers will follow the least path of resistance -- Just buy a full license and for the second computer, just buy another freakin full license!! (Me thinks this was Micro$ofts evil plan anyway)

Most people are not going to jump through extra hoops just to save $10. Just like that rebate on that 56k modem that you forgot to send in 2-3 years ago -- the manufacture is betting against you actually sending the rebate in! Ten bucks x # of XP purchasers = more ca$h in MS's pocket. My 2 cents worth.


ummm yea i upgraded.... (0, Redundant)

vrmlknight (309019) | more than 12 years ago | (#2607655)

me: I just upgraded my computer and need to reactivate
M$Tech" (typing sounds) yes sir what did you change
me: my Motherboard, cpu, ram, nic, and harddrive.
M$Tech"I'm sorry you haven't changed 6 items yet please call back once you have changed something else... thank you for calling microsoft today (the click of a phone hanging up)

A Case for Household Licenses? (1)

John_McKee (100458) | more than 12 years ago | (#2607660)

I would really like to see software publishers move to a licensing system based on households. Many families have multiple computers now, (My family has more then 6) and I find it unreasonable that you would need to license separate copies of expensive software for each computer, considering that it is unlikely that the software is going to be used by more then one user at a time, or in the case of an operating system, it will truly be a lost sale. Case in point, Microsoft Office. The retail version is priced at over $400 USD. I want to have a copy on each of my home computers, so 6*$400= $2400 USD for software that is rarely, if ever going to be used concurrently? I think that the more reasonable method for licensing would be to offer a household license. An example of this would be for Windows XP, the $90 family license would change into the Microsoft Household License. The $90 would cover every computer that was contained in your residence. While I understand that it would be difficult to verify that the computers were actually in the same household, that type of privacy is a pre-existing problem. This would just be a method for families to hold a legitimate license to their software without paying though their nose for it.

Number of Activations for XP? (1)

ho11yw00d (538713) | more than 12 years ago | (#2607661)

I heard a nasty rumor that the number of activations per EULA is 5. After that the license (sp?) would be invalid... Was someome blowing smoke in my sometimes gullible direction?

Re:Number of Activations for XP? (1)

DavidTC (10147) | more than 12 years ago | (#2607728)

Someone is blowing smoke at you, as 'activations per EULA' doesn't make any sense. An EULA is a license agreement, and you don't puchase a license agreement.

Let me clarify. When you rent a car, you do not rent the license agreement. When you 'license' XP, you do not license the license agreement. Hence 'activations per EULA' doesn't make any sense.

Now, it might be five activations per license purchased, I don't know about that. But it's not per 'EULA'.

Number of Activations for XP? (1)

ho11yw00d (538713) | more than 12 years ago | (#2607805)

Ok. But the EULA governs the puchase of the license. I apologize if I wasn't clear. Still, 676, the "Sony Licenses.." parody mentions:
The TV can be re-initialized up to four times, after which it needs to be returned to Sony for repair.

My take on XP. (2, Troll)

mindstrm (20013) | more than 12 years ago | (#2607662)

Strictly speaking, if I have windows XP, legally, and I then disable all the product-activiation stuff with some kind of crack.. I'm within my rights, yes?

Re:My take on XP. (1)

vrmlknight (309019) | more than 12 years ago | (#2607687)

i dont know casue you dont actually own the software or are kind "renting" it i dont know the term but since its not yours i dont think you can crack it i'd say go for it casue they cant tell (if your not caught its not illegal) :)

Re:My take on XP. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2607715)

yes you are, crack that beotch like an egg.

I always fid and download cracks/mods/hacks for what I buy, because company X will not be around forever (like my copy of dosemu for windows CE, you have to get a key every time you install, now the dude has gone and dissappeared, so I downloaded a warez version so I can use my legal copy of the program.)

Note: we all should flip off every programmer that thinks of using a "key".. they are always easily bypassed (write it on the cd copy or include the keygen on the copied disc. ) and it's only a way to just piss off users.

Re:My take on XP. (1)

DavidTC (10147) | more than 12 years ago | (#2607752)

All MS would have to do is include an encrypted movie with XP, and then get you arrested for violating the DMCA when you cracked it.

Re:My take on XP. (1)

A_Non_Moose (413034) | more than 12 years ago | (#2607858)

All MS would have to do is include an encrypted movie with XP, and then get you arrested for violating the DMCA when you cracked it.

Strangely enough, it is possible []

Story Submitted and rejected, essentially:
ASF ~= Another Security Flaw.
WMP ~= Windows Monopoly Protection.

Re:My take on XP. (0, Flamebait)

linzeal (197905) | more than 12 years ago | (#2607771)

Thats what I'm doing at home. My GF "had to have" it just like windows ME and I installed it on her computer with the cracks. Microsoft can go screw themselves if they think I'm going to send them anything short of a lawsuit for behavior like this.

Sony introduces new TV Family License (5, Funny)

Dr. Awktagon (233360) | more than 12 years ago | (#2607676)

In other news, Sony has announced a new Television Family License which allows all members of a family or household (up to 5 individuals) to watch the same television, without violating the Sony Home Electronics License Agreement.

"Unauthorized television piracy has been a real problem for us.", says Steve Smith, the newly-appointed Director of Licensing Compliance at Sony. "Families would buy a single television, and then would sit together and watch programs without any regard for our license agreements. Sometimes they would even invite other people over to watch programs, without even purchasing a Single-Use Event License. We estimated that we lost over $500 billion in sales last year to this problem. This [license activation] is just a way to recoup sales lost to theft."

So how does the system work? When you first plug in your television, a string of numbers representing the body shape of the person standing in front of the TV is sent to Sony via the HumanaLicense(tm) dialup system. At that point, another string of numbers is sent back allowing the television to view broadcast stations. Without the code, the TV only plays Sony promotional material over and over again. After initial activation, the TV needs to be re-initialized whenever a different person sits in front of it for more than 25 minutes. The TV can be re-initialized up to four times, after which it needs to be returned to Sony for repair.

Some TV enthusiasts are concerned: "How can Sony get away with this?" says Rick Rayman, a self-described "videophile" who often invites friends and family over to watch movies and sports programs on his high-end setup. "I already paid them for the TV, why should it matter what I do with it inside my home?"

However Sony executives dismiss these criticisms. Smith explains: "That's exactly the attitude we're trying to fix: this weird hippy idea that once you pay the money, somehow the item is 'yours' to do with as you please. First, these pirates invite their wife into the room to illegally watch TV together, next thing you know they're shoplifting flat-screens from Wal-mart."

But already hackers have tried to break the system. A hacker group calling themselves "Television Freedom Fighters" have discovered that cutting one wire inside the television removes the protection system. The group of six kindergarden students have been identified and are being prosecuted under new anti-terrorism legislation. In addition, because the information was released on the internet, Sony is recalling the televisions and solving the problem by adding a second wire that needs to be cut.

To help ease the transition to license-based TV viewing, Sony is starting a new advertising campaign entitled "Compliance is Cool" featuring an animated talking dog named Larry. Sony plans to extend the system to other types of home electronics soon.

Re:Sony introduces new TV Family License (0, Offtopic)

vrmlknight (309019) | more than 12 years ago | (#2607695)

hook line and sinker good troll/ +2 use of historical value +1 readability and +1 for getting a +3 moderation

Re:Sony introduces new TV Family License (0, Offtopic)

DavidTC (10147) | more than 12 years ago | (#2607743)

Erm, that's not a troll. It might be karmawhoring, but it's not trolling.

Re:Sony introduces new TV Family License (5, Funny)

deglr6328 (150198) | more than 12 years ago | (#2607849)

it's not a troll genius, it's called, say it with me now, satire. there ya go, saaa-tiiire. good. tomorrow's lesson, numbers.

microsoft, here we go again (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2607696)

It would please me a great deal if I could filter out articles and posting relating to microsoft.

I don't care much about microsoft and I am getting more an more less amused by the bashing of the company on slashdot.

for years and years it has been funny and all, but it tends to get boring, just slightly you know.

I don't care much about microsoft, and don't mind them getting bashed, they certainly deserves it. But now I'm just at the point where I would rather just completely ignore them and focusing on our own platform. Are we having so little to talk about on the linux, bsd side, that we just need microsoft as a constant subject?

Guess its a matter of activity. with the eternal battle of good versus evil, slashdot would loose followers and thats bad for the activity and thus its business.

argh good thing this posting is anonymous, else I would be bashed for my rambling which will probably be marked 'troll' and all.

well so be it. if my thoughts make me a troll, a troll I am. but who are you to judge then?

a vreespirit

Re:microsoft, here we go again (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2607707)

why dont you register a slashdot account than you can

I don't buy it (1)

efgbr (470166) | more than 12 years ago | (#2607714)

This is either a marketing strategy to sell stock actions or their NT4[1] database (you know, the one that keeps all the information about everyone's computers and families) crashed and they still haven't recovered it.

1. Of course, they don't trust their latest products with it.

This is not really the way it sounds (1)

BrynM (217883) | more than 12 years ago | (#2607733)

According to this [] article at The Register, MS has run out of licences sold to merchants. This does not mean that end users have lapped them all up.

In the mean time... (1)

A_Non_Moose (413034) | more than 12 years ago | (#2607749)

until you can get your certificate, Microsoft informs people to go on IRC and get XP_reg_gen.vbs in order to register their products.

Oh, and I love this quote:
"We don't capture any personally identifiable information," he says.

Hahahaha. No, nothing like your name, phone number, credit card #... no, nothing we can ID you by.

Wait a friggin' minute here. (2, Redundant)

x136 (513282) | more than 12 years ago | (#2607750)

They will let you install a copy of XP on more than one computer, as long as you pay the discounted price of $189?!?

Oh, yeah, that will stop piracy.

Get a clue Microsoft. If you are going to charge people to install XP on more than one of their own computers, How about an "Add-on" license of say $20? That would make sense.

Re:Wait a friggin' minute here. (1)

vrmlknight (309019) | more than 12 years ago | (#2607775)

i wouldnt pirate XP if i could install it on other computers for $20 hell i may even have paid up to $40 but $189 is a lil out of the park is it illegal to copy the CD if you own a licence and dont give it out i.e. back up reasons? or buying the extra licence and making a copy of the disk for that licence?

microsoft and piracy (1)

bender183 (447302) | more than 12 years ago | (#2607785)

whats insteresting to me is that nobody seems to relize that microsoft WANTS piracy to take place,
then windows will become even more propiertary. The only reason for the recent analness on licensing because it looks good in courts against a case that microsoft is trying to monopolize the industry. Think about it, more casual copying = more boxes running doesnt care about the piracy they are just watching out for themselves legaly

There IS a solution! (1)

Sentry21 (8183) | more than 12 years ago | (#2607765)

However, you can purchase Microsoft Rights XP Serf Edition for something like $149 ($199 in Canada). If you go to Future Shop, they have a sale on now too, 20% off, for the Christmas rush.

Installing Rights XP on your Windows XP system will prevent disillusionment when you discover that your country is being run by a cluster of politicians running Microsoft Political Agenda XP Government Edition (I think that's the one without concern for the public's rights, I always get them confused).

Microsoft's online service, MSN Lawyer, has this to say about the situation:

You're fucked. Deal with it.

Hope this helps people.


other OSes (4, Funny)

s20451 (410424) | more than 12 years ago | (#2607791)

I like this family discount idea. If I wrote to somebody at [] and asked for a family license, do you think they would give me $10 to install FreeBSD on each additional computer in my home?

Great.... (4, Troll)

gillbates (106458) | more than 12 years ago | (#2607816)

And for the rare home users who do make major hardware changes, such as swapping out six pieces of hardware or installing a new motherboard, they simply have to call a toll-free number at Microsoft. The technician there will ask about the hardware changes, and then will reactivate the software over the phone, he says

So what this means is that I can only install hardware which Microsoft approves. I'm sorry, but having to get a company's permission to upgrade my own hardware is just too much.

And the sad thing is that we will have to deal with these systems in the future - face it, the average computer user is going to use whatever OS is put in front of them. So yes, I personally, won't have to deal with this on my own system, but my relatives will. And guess who will get called to deal with 'computer problems' every time their system crashes.

Worse, I'll have to maintain two systems - one for professional use, running the latest version of 'doze so I can communicate with my employer; and a personal system, so I can maintain some semblance of sanity. Regardless of whether or not I run a free OS, I have to pay to use a proprietary one simply because the rest of the world believes that there is no alternative...

Emperor's New Clothes Syndrome (5, Interesting)

NatePWIII (126267) | more than 12 years ago | (#2607845)

At least that is what I call it, ok what are you really getting here, your getting the "right" to use their OS on another machine. Wow...

Come on, if your going to pay another $80.00 bucks at least M$ could provide you with a nice box, CD and manual and perhaps some little stickers etc...

I can hardly think of any industry where you pay 90% full price of a product and you see really no tangible "product". Granted this is the software business, but who is really saving money here, not the consumer really, only microsoft. The consumer is actually not saving anything, M$ is jacking them out of the CD, box, etc... so yeah... the price should be $10 less. Personally, I would rather pay full price for a totally new copy so I can have another backup CD of the OS in case I damage the first one.

I'm sticking with Win2k for now.

Importance of Piracy... (3, Insightful)

Princess Firefly (530989) | more than 12 years ago | (#2607878)

Especially for a monopolostic company, you need to understand how consumers use your software. As usual MS missed the boat. Back in the day (before I was enlightened) and I actually used Windows, one of the important things was that I could share it with my family and a few things, or vice versa. Or that when windows totally screwed up I could bring over a windows disk and fix their system. Even if I was still uninitiated into open source I'd be looking for a new OS if I had to phone MS to "activate" my software everytime I tried to fix it, reinstall it, or whatever (or else I'd be pirating a cracked version like crazy to everyone I know). Piracy allows a whole bunch of people to use something right away, if they like it, they give it to their friends or tell them to buy it or their friends just hear about them using it all the time. It builds up momentum and sets up this environment where a bunch a people are using the software and more people see that and then buy it. Some nice priates even choose to buy the stuff they pirate and like. I dare say a large number of games have gotten enormously popular riding fame based partly in piracy (unreal tournament?), not just making sure no one at all can use the software without paying. pf
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