Beta

Slashdot: News for Nerds

×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Microsoft to Sell PCs, Starting in India

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the no-red-rings-on-these-i-hope dept.

Microsoft 233

kripkenstein writes "According to an Ars Technica report Microsoft will begin selling complete PCs, for the first time in the company's history. The program is aimed at customers in India. 'Dubbed the IQ PC, the machines will cost RS21,000 (about $525), are manufactured in partnership with Zenith, and will sport AMD Athlon CPUs. ... In some ways, the move to sell hardware is a natural extension of Microsoft's low-cost Windows initiative ... It may also be a response to projects like Intel's Classmate PC and the OLPC XO.' The Ars Technica summary is careful to state that they seriously doubt this will lead to Microsoft selling PCs in the US, yet the question must be asked: After Microsoft mice and keyboards, then the XBOX and Zune, Microsoft is increasingly becoming a hardware vendor. Is it only a question of time before Microsoft starts to compete directly with the likes of Dell and HP?"

cancel ×

233 comments

oh but of course (5, Funny)

bmecoli (963615) | more than 7 years ago | (#19679099)

I mean the best place to sell PCs would be the place where all the tech support is, right?

Re:oh but of course (4, Funny)

sconeu (64226) | more than 7 years ago | (#19679199)

And this is the argument as to why MS won't sell PCs in the US.

They won't be able to foist off level 1 tech support onto the vendor, as *they* would be the vendor.

Re:oh but of course (1)

Bastardchyld (889185) | more than 7 years ago | (#19679861)

I for one welcome our IQ-touting overlords...

Re:oh but of course (5, Funny)

Rob T Firefly (844560) | more than 7 years ago | (#19679933)

You would think so, but it turns out the Indian customers' tech support line will be answered by some underpaid guy in New York who speaks broken Hindi with a Brooklyn accent.

The Customer Wins! (2, Funny)

Bastardchyld (889185) | more than 7 years ago | (#19679945)

When someone calls for support on their brand new IQ PC they will be able to understand them...

I can't wait until all of the other corporations start following Microsofts lead and "offshores" their customer bases.

Zenith? (2, Informative)

alcmaeon (684971) | more than 7 years ago | (#19680167)

Am I the only one here who didn't know Zenith still existed?

Good for them... (5, Insightful)

chris098 (536090) | more than 7 years ago | (#19679103)

This really is just an extension of Microsoft's business model. From the article:

Aimed primarily at students...

If they can get students hooked to MS products when they're young, especially in these developing countries where the alternative may be Linux, then it's likely these students will continue using Microsoft later on in life, because they're familiar with it. It's a clever move, and really, I'm surprised it took Microsoft so long to start doing this.

Re:Good for them... (1)

sconeu (64226) | more than 7 years ago | (#19679151)

Based on posts in comp.lang.c++, they're already hooked... and on VS6.

Re:Good for them... (5, Funny)

Spy der Mann (805235) | more than 7 years ago | (#19679183)

This really is just an extension of Microsoft's business model.

Yeah, but shouldn't they change their name from Microsoft to Microhard ?

Um... wait... nevermind.

An old Apple technique (1, Flamebait)

athloi (1075845) | more than 7 years ago | (#19679333)

Get the equipment into schools, then sell the software, and watch kids graduate expecting Apple gear. If I were Microsoft, I'd put ISOs of all their hardware and OSs on the main site for this reason.

Re:Good for them... (1)

Captain Splendid (673276) | more than 7 years ago | (#19679479)

If they can get students hooked to MS products when they're young, especially in these developing countries where the alternative may be Linux

Like the OLPC. Which is why MS is making this (for them) drastic move. Watch for them to offer PCs in other developing countries where the OLPC has gotten orders.

Re:Good for them... (1, Offtopic)

DataBroker (964208) | more than 7 years ago | (#19679623)

Watch for them to offer PCs in other developing countries where

Okay, so where is the link for Americans that want to order a handful of these machines for their kids' classes? My kids' school has Windows pc's and is surely willing to accept a few more of them. Why is it that I have to live in a foreign country to get the "cheap pc"? (Yes, I know I can set up Linux, but the school is not ready to admin heterogenous operating systems and I can't replace them all.)

(Begin Rant)
I think that any "Americian" company willing to sell a product a foreign market should be required to make available that product in their home market at the same - or better - price. Although this seems like an off-topic statement, it's applicable because this article is showing the opposite stance. They want to sell a discounted product abroad, but will not offer the item at "home". Blame my mother for this idea, as she is the one that taught me, "Charity begins at home."

Before someone tries to throw out the argument that it's a business decision, may I simply point out that subsidizing "a limited number of retail outlets in Pune and Bangalore" is little different than subsidizing "a limited number of retail outlets in (inner-city of choosing) and (rural district in chosen state)". I would hope that an American company subsidizing an American region should have more "long term" benefit than subsidizing Pune and Bangalore.

Of course, this same principle applies to all merchandise -- consider prescription costs. It makes no sense to me that I have to pay 5X for a drug that sells for X elsewhere, when the producer is not willing to hire me for 5X the the salary. If my company is willing to lay me off in favor of hiring 5 people off-shore, then they should only be allowed to sell off-shore also.
(/End Rant)

Re:Good for them... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19679775)

MS is NOT subsidizing anything. They are just entering the Indian PC market at the cheapest price point. Rs.20,000 PCs have been selling in India for over a decade now.

And if you want a $500 PC, you can buy it at www.tigerdirect.com. Or any local PC store. Stop your rants already!

Re:Good for them... (1)

nine-times (778537) | more than 7 years ago | (#19679635)

This really is just an extension of Microsoft's business model.

They're going to release a product, leverage their OS monopoly to drive everyone else out of business, establish a monopoly, and then stop development?

Seriously, though, this would really piss me off if i were running Dell, HP, etc.

Re:Good for them... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19679715)

Bollocks. My first computer was an 8-bit Sony whose only OS was the Microsoft's BASIC interpreter embedded in it's ROM. It printed a "MICROSOFT" in big capitals everytime it was turned on. Yet, I'm a happy Linux user and hate the big evil empire as much as my neighbor.

Re:Good for them... (1)

HoldmyCauls (239328) | more than 7 years ago | (#19679725)

It's a clever move, and really, I'm surprised it took Microsoft so long to start doing this.
Here's my take on this, and I've been noticing more and more what Microsoft's been doing and it suddenly makes sense now that I see this article. Microsoft has always played it safe. They're the pussies of the computer industry, and they could see how hard it would be to control/maintain the hardware *and* the software, a la Apple, SUN or IBM. Like the various UNIX-based software companies, they took known concepts and applied them to other peoples' hardware. To IBM: we'll sell you a DOS if you put it on every PC you sell. IBM: OK, but it's the hardware people are buying; DOS will just make it easier for people who don't want to install a whole system themselves. Then they found others using GUIs and knew they would have to tack one onto DOS to make their software worth keeping; Windows was born. To OEMs: You're selling IBM clones and our DOS software already works on them; look how easy it would be for people to use a GUI with them; we'll sell you both for cheap, but only if you put them on every clone you sell. This gave them the chance to test their software on every possible platform without having to rely on one; if Dells failed, they could still sell Windows on HP, Compaq, Acer, Gateway, and any mom-and-pop OEM that came about would want to run compatible software, right? So Microsoft has had the ultimate test bed for their software, and now, since supporting every bit of hardware indirectly (meaning providing an interface and expecting manufacturers to use it, develop their drivers well and certify them with Microsoft) has proven difficult enough, they can choose to support only their own hardware. And don't forget, Microsoft is in the hardware business, too! Keyboards, mice, joysticks, cameras; not the core of a computer, but since they controlled the systems and apps that used them, they knew how to make them work best. They've made their fortune letting the more major hardware manufacturers take the blame, while Apple remained content with its smaller market, and somewhere along the way Microsoft decided to wait it out until they could decide on what to support more directly.

Re:Good for them... (1)

hanshotfirst (851936) | more than 7 years ago | (#19679745)

That worked so well for Apple, didn't it? My schools had a lot more apple labs and a few pc's for teh "business" and typing classes. Apple practically gave stuff to the schools. Still, in spite of that schooled-in-familiarity, Micrsoft ended up dominating the market.

Re:Good for them... (1)

link7 (966918) | more than 7 years ago | (#19679877)

This just in... Microsoft announces purchase of Phillip Morris.

Built with... (0, Redundant)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 7 years ago | (#19679107)

... the very best parts that were left over from the X-Box 360 repair program!

All the more reason for Dell to sell Linux (5, Insightful)

slazzy (864185) | more than 7 years ago | (#19679113)

Time for hardware vendors to start selling more PCs preloaded with Linux. Why sell Windows when Microsoft is your competition?

Re:All the more reason for Dell to sell Linux (5, Insightful)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 7 years ago | (#19679259)

Seriously. It's not a good idea for MS to mess with their distribution channel. With Dell starting to see Ubuntu, it's not a good idea to give the vendors and more reason to push Linux on their customers.

Re:All the more reason for Dell to sell Linux (1)

timeOday (582209) | more than 7 years ago | (#19679509)

Seems odd to me, too. If Microsoft is going to subsidize loss-leader PCs to make sure Windows preinstalls are the norm in India like they are here, why not just bribe the OEMs who sell there to preinstall Windows?

Re:All the more reason for Dell to sell Linux (3, Insightful)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 7 years ago | (#19679681)

why not just bribe the OEMs who sell there to preinstall Windows?
...like they do here in the U.S., I presume you mean. Because unlike in the U.S., Microsoft can't bribe the politicians as easily in other countries. Why do you think the E.U. is giving Microsoft such a hard time? The U.S. government doesn't give Microsoft such a hard time because Microsoft bought and paid for a whole lot of politicians.

Re:All the more reason for Dell to sell Linux (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 7 years ago | (#19680183)

It seems like the entire US government is completely bought. Microsoft, RIAA/MPAA, Health Insurance companies, and all the other lobbyists have basically got the entire governemnt wrapped around their little finger. Don't the American people want to put a stop to this. It isn't good that corporations can just give unlimited amounts of money (or any at all) to politicians just to get their way. Corporations aren't a voting entity, they shouldn't be allowed to sponsor politicians.

Re:All the more reason for Dell to sell Linux (2, Insightful)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 7 years ago | (#19679593)

Competition != Mortal Enemies.
Adobe doesn't stop making products for Apple just because Apple has competing software. Same with Adobe not making software for Microsoft because Microsoft sells competing software. Unless Microsoft starts giving their PC some unfare advantage over the other ones. Then HP and Dells will compete with Microsoft on the Hardware end and will be partners on the software side. If microsoft tries to hard to monopolize the PC market that could leave an opening Linux and Apple. (Apple saying well if you go with windows + MS BOX, you are stuck on MS Box and windows) If you are going to be stuck you might as well be stuck with a better system. And the other guys will probably go with Linux if Microsoft starts giving window + MS Box an unfare advantage. This will only happen if Microsoft tries to be Apple

Re:All the more reason for Dell to sell Linux (1)

Mockylock (1087585) | more than 7 years ago | (#19680147)

That's why it's being sold in India. HP and Dell are probably not tough competitors in that country.

Re:All the more reason for Dell to sell Linux (1)

MojoStan (776183) | more than 7 years ago | (#19680209)

Subject: All the more reason for Dell to sell Linux

Time for hardware vendors to start selling more PCs preloaded with Linux. Why sell Windows when Microsoft is your competition?

That reminded me: doesn't Dell beat Microsoft's price of "about $524" with their current Ubuntu desktops? TFA doesn't show detailed specs for MS's IQ PC (AMD Athlon, MS Works, Student 2007, some "specialized" education software), but "starting at $449" (today's USA prices) [dell.com] , Dell offers their new Inspiron desktop with Ubuntu, Pentium Dual-core E2xxx (Core 2 Duo with reduced FSB and L2 cache), Intel G33 chipset w/GMA 3100 graphics, 512MB memory, and 160GB hard drive.

Maybe there's additional value in th IQ PC's software and support, but $524 doesn't seem that low to me for what looks like an entry-level AMD desktop.

Obligatory... (1, Redundant)

no_pets (881013) | more than 7 years ago | (#19679115)

...but does it run Linux?

A more interesting question... (1)

Cedric Tsui (890887) | more than 7 years ago | (#19679235)

A more interesting question to ask is whether they will be hardwired in some way that Linux will NOT be installable on these machines.

Re:Obligatory... (1)

aurb (674003) | more than 7 years ago | (#19679655)

Only if it's MS Linux [mslinux.org] .

Just to certain US corporate clients (1)

throatmonster (147275) | more than 7 years ago | (#19679117)

...that have software subscriptions anyway. At first.

Emulating Sun and Apple (4, Interesting)

Ngarrang (1023425) | more than 7 years ago | (#19679131)

Sun and Apple have made quite a good bit of business with this model. I am more surprised that Microsoft did not try this years ago.

Re:Emulating Sun and Apple (4, Interesting)

shaitand (626655) | more than 7 years ago | (#19679511)

'Sun and Apple have made quite a good bit of business with this model. I am more surprised that Microsoft did not try this years ago.'

I'm not, Microsoft's profits have dwarfed those of Sun and Apple combined and have relied on NOT doing this. Don't you think Microsoft selling PC's without paying themselves any licensing costs is going to have the likes of Dell and HP jumping the Microsoft ship faster than you can blink?

You would have to be crazy to promote windows when Microsoft has an inside edge on windows that assures nobody will have a computer that runs as well as those from Microsoft. Microsoft can do anything they want, including intentionally altering windows in ways that will cause it to misbehave on competitor hardware. This is a conflict of interest so glaring that is insane.

MS might get away with India... or not if the hardware companies are bright. But if MS takes this very far you will see a great deal more HP and Dell support for Linux and customization of Linux to work perfectly with their own hardware.

Re:Emulating Sun and Apple (1)

Ngarrang (1023425) | more than 7 years ago | (#19679739)

I'm not, Microsoft's profits have dwarfed those of Sun and Apple combined and have relied on NOT doing this. Don't you think Microsoft selling PC's without paying themselves any licensing costs is going to have the likes of Dell and HP jumping the Microsoft ship faster than you can blink?
Dell and HP cannot afford to jump a ship that forms the basis of their economics. Even if Microsoft were successful, it wouldn't mean that EVERYONE would jump to buying from Microsoft. There is room for many competitors.

You would have to be crazy to promote windows when Microsoft has an inside edge on windows that assures nobody will have a computer that runs as well as those from Microsoft. Microsoft can do anything they want, including intentionally altering windows in ways that will cause it to misbehave on competitor hardware. This is a conflict of interest so glaring that is insane.
Microsoft would not hamstring their own OS because they could never hope to compete with the output capability of Dell, et al. Microsoft wants their OS to run EVERYWHERE. They do need another source of income, though. The advent of Vista is proving to Microsoft this very point. Vista is NOT be accepted as widely as Microsoft had wished. Look back at the news that Dell was offering XP again on certain models, because the consumers DEMANDED it.

MS might get away with India... or not if the hardware companies are bright. But if MS takes this very far you will see a great deal more HP and Dell support for Linux and customization of Linux to work perfectly with their own hardware.
Why compete for the low-end? Dell and HP have no business trying to sell $400 and $500 PCs. They make greater profits on the $900 and up systems. Microsoft got Zenith to make the PCs for them. Heaven knows that we aren't exactly looking at a great computer, but a cheap one. Cheap PCs made with cheap parts. I feel sorry for the Indians.

Re:Emulating Sun and Apple (1)

kripkenstein (913150) | more than 7 years ago | (#19679843)

Microsoft's profits have dwarfed those of Sun and Apple combined and have relied on NOT [selling PCs themselves].
That is the generally assumed truth. Yet, I am starting to doubt it in recent years, and perhaps so does Microsoft.

The tipping point was the XBOX. Previously, Microsoft were adamant on their 'software-only' position (even in the portable music player market, which left it wide open for Apple, in retrospect). Then with the XBOX they changed that, and apparently it is starting to work well. The Zune is more along the same lines. While not successful, it shows Microsoft's intention to put out complete products, hardware and software combined.

But of course PCs are an established market, and Microsoft has a clear position in that market. But it is a dominant position, hardly vulnerable. If they sell PCs, what are their partners going to do, stop selling Windows on their computers? Not going to happen. So, in a sense, being software-only was what got Microsoft where they are (by letting hardware vendors fight amongst themselves and drop prices accordingly), but once established as basically the only operating system vendor for PCs, Microsoft can then branch off into selling PCs, and capturing even more profits.

There is really no reason why not, except potential antitrust litigation (but that seems less of a bother for them, recently).

Re:Emulating Sun and Apple (5, Informative)

Hawthorne01 (575586) | more than 7 years ago | (#19679855)

They did [wikipedia.org] . It did ok overseas, not so well in the U.S.

IF... (1)

DrYak (748999) | more than 7 years ago | (#19679929)

I am more surprised that Microsoft did not try this years ago.


If they had produced MS-Box instead of being a OS only vendor, CP/M or some Unix would have been the dominant OS, and Microsoft Box would only have less than 10% market share like Sun and Apple. Or would have flunked like most of the company that sold integrated hardware+OS solution during the 80s and 90s.

Microsoft rose during the 90s because one could install their OSes (first DOS, then Windows) on any of the then dominating platform (x86 PC-clones) instead of being tied to a peculiar architecture.

Maybe.. (1)

3p1ph4ny (835701) | more than 7 years ago | (#19679139)

Is it only a question of time before Microsoft starts to compete directly with the likes of Dell and HP?
Maybe. Although, how long after that until Microsoft stops issuing the "Windows XP/Vista ready" stickers to other OEMs and gets sued again?

well, Intel is not gonna like this :) (1)

sofar (317980) | more than 7 years ago | (#19679145)


but at least they're already selling linux ;)

(OK, technically not selling, but intel is one of the bigger investors in linux, right up there with redhat, novell, IBM).

Microsoft is a software conglomerate (1)

Bacon Bits (926911) | more than 7 years ago | (#19679147)

Microsoft sells hardware in pretty much the same fashion they sell everything outside the Windows and Office teams: They pay a company to produce the goods and then slap the Microsoft label on them. The only difference between hardware and software in this regard is that, historically, Microsoft has bought software vendors outright versus simply being a continuous customer to the hardware vendors.

Re:Microsoft is a software conglomerate (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19679295)

Any idea who makes Microsoft mice?

Re:Microsoft is a software conglomerate (1)

mymaxx (924704) | more than 7 years ago | (#19679341)

How is that any different from HP or Apple? They contract a Chinese manufacturer to build the parts, assemble it and then drop ship it to you (or a retailer).

For Years Microsoft has been neutral to OEM's (4, Interesting)

number6x (626555) | more than 7 years ago | (#19679149)

For Years Microsoft has been neutral to OEM's. Could this move drive a further wedge between leading PC vendors and MS?

Is it a sign that Microsoft understands it cannot require OEM's to stop from selling alternate OS's and must enter the PC market itself?

Or is MS just licensing its brand name to go on the outside of the computer and making money for very little cost (something MS is good at)?

Re:For Years Microsoft has been neutral to OEM's (1)

megaditto (982598) | more than 7 years ago | (#19679507)

That $500+ PC they will be selling will probably cost them under $200 to produce and distribute.

Since they cannot make their money selling OS licenses in India, they will make that $300 per PC the way Apple does it now: by selling overpriced hardware.

long term.... (3, Interesting)

apodyopsis (1048476) | more than 7 years ago | (#19679173)

Will this prompt the big manufacturers to ship more Linux PCs?

The natural suspicion is that this will eventually lead to whole PCs elsewhere in the world and not for just academics/students. Long term Dell, Gateway and the crowd should be eyeing this carefully I should think.

The writers may doubt it, but even in the FA "..if Microsoft sees success in India, similar partnerships may be forged in other emerging markets".

Zenith? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19679179)

So the monitors will be Black & White and kind of fuzzy?

Re:Zenith? (1)

Shag (3737) | more than 7 years ago | (#19679561)

I've seen Zenith PC's before... back around 1990. They were distinctly not good. Haven't seen them since then, so I haven't had any reason to improve my opinion... and I don't think this will help either.

Re:Zenith? (1)

R3d M3rcury (871886) | more than 7 years ago | (#19679807)

Actually, Zenith sold PCs to the US Military Academies back in the late 80s, via "Zenith Data Systems." Weird machines.

Sitting at home somewhere I think I still have my Zenith Data Systems T-shirt that they made up for the military contracts. It featured a cartoon of these stereotypical rather tough looking army guys toting PCs instead of guns.

Damnit (1)

jollyreaper (513215) | more than 7 years ago | (#19679181)

Microsoft using AMD processors... this makes me feel as conflicted as when I hear Al Qaida's operating strategy described as "open source terrorism;" the geek part of me says "yay!" but then the adult part says "oh, crap."

ummm (1)

socerhed (908637) | more than 7 years ago | (#19679193)

i do believe they just put hotels on boardwalk....or at least baltic avenue

Re:ummm (1)

peragrin (659227) | more than 7 years ago | (#19679407)

they have had hotels on boardwalk and parkplace it's called the BSA. but they weren't earning enough money so now they are going for the two sets of st. charles to Virginia and St. james to NY strip. They see the real money always has been in the physical product market.

Not Dell and HP... (1, Interesting)

DogDude (805747) | more than 7 years ago | (#19679195)

They're not competing with Dell and HP. They'd be competing with APPLE. They could sell hardware AND software, but without the Apple lock-in, and (hopefully), without the Apple price. If they can keep the quality up (like they do with their keyboard and mice), they should do well.

Nobody wants to be in Dell's position. Dell has a very precarious business (tiny margins and very dependent on just a few vendors). HP is just a mess these days, so I can't even guess what their core competencies are any more.

Re:Not Dell and HP... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19679283)

If they can keep the quality up (like they do with their keyboard and mice)
...and operating systems. You forgot to mention their operating systems.

Re:Not Dell and HP... (4, Funny)

Intron (870560) | more than 7 years ago | (#19679317)

HP used to be very competent in a small set of areas: the Alpha chip, Tru64 Unix, etc. Realizing that, they killed off those products. Now they are equally competent in all areas.

Re:Not Dell and HP... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19679325)

They're not competing with Dell and HP. They'd be competing with APPLE. They could sell hardware AND software, but without the Apple lock-in, and (hopefully), without the Apple price. If they can keep the quality up (like they do with their keyboard and mice), they should do well.

Ha ha haha ha! HAHA HA HA ha ha!!! Tee hee hehe he!!! **

HA ha Ha. Heh. ** **

Re:Not Dell and HP... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19679713)

HP is just a mess these days, so I can't even guess what their core competencies are any more.

Ink. HP is now an ink company.

Re:Not Dell and HP... (1)

Mattintosh (758112) | more than 7 years ago | (#19679799)

without the Apple lock-in, and (hopefully), without the Apple price

Instead, you have Microsoft lock-in and a Microsoft price.

Re:Not Dell and HP... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19679891)

Without the Apple service too.

anti-piracy commoditization (4, Interesting)

Speare (84249) | more than 7 years ago | (#19679225)

It's simple, really. If the market doesn't see software as a product, but rather sees software as inseparable or an ephemeral customization of the hardware "appliance," then the only way to make a profit on software is to bundle it and make profits on the hardware it's installed.

Rarely do people copy a completed MS Word installation from one machine to another. They copy an installer. If there's no installer, there's one piracy vector down. If all the machines have equal deployed software images, that's another piracy vector down. However, if all the machines are alike, but some don't come with the Office and some do, will they start to copy those post-install files and try to get them to work anyway?

Well... (1)

christurkel (520220) | more than 7 years ago | (#19679241)

Look at this way: if something goes wrong with your MS PC they can't tell you to call XXX company you purchased it from in attempt to hide the blame.

Well (3, Interesting)

also-rr (980579) | more than 7 years ago | (#19679245)

Given that Dell has started selling Ubuntu, and Intel has written real OSS 3D drivers for it's hardware (along with decent wifi drivers, making laptop support trivial for many, many people) maybe they think that any goodwill which previously kept them out of the hardware business is no longer an issue.

MS vs Apple, round eleven million... (1)

sammy baby (14909) | more than 7 years ago | (#19679249)

Is it only a question of time before Microsoft starts to compete directly with the likes of Dell and HP?


And also, what would that mean to their competition with Apple? Don't forget that a few years ago, Apple tried allowing 3rd parties to manufacture Mac hardware, and later decided that they wanted to maintain exclusive control of the platform. We still hear people talk about how "Apple is a hardware company, Microsoft is a software company," or "Apple can only maintain quality in their drivers / operating system because they have control over the hardware platform".

I guess we'll see what happens when Microsoft has their own reference platform to compare it against...

Re:MS vs Apple, round eleven million... (1)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 7 years ago | (#19679525)

This is the answer. My question is will it come in turd brown and was the codename for it: IQune?

zut alors! (0, Flamebait)

rodentia (102779) | more than 7 years ago | (#19679261)


Is it only a question of time before Microsoft starts to [become Apple]?

hmm (1)

nomadic (141991) | more than 7 years ago | (#19679263)

After Microsoft mice and keyboards, then the XBOX and Zune, Microsoft is increasingly becoming a hardware vendor. Is it only a question of time before Microsoft starts to compete directly with the likes of Dell and HP?

I think that will not happen anytime in the foreseeable future. Besides making them even more liable to government intrusion regarding monopolies (and I think MS realizes that the next administration, whether republican or democrat, probably won't be as anti-anti-monopoly fanatic as this one), they're going to run into a huge amount of opposition from the larger manufacturers. I think there's a reason they never introduced a mouse-and-keyboard for the Xbox, and that's because they don't want to annoy their biggest customers.

Retaliation (1)

HangingChad (677530) | more than 7 years ago | (#19679297)

This is MSFT thumbing their nose at Dell selling Linux boxes. Oh, yeah? We'll show you, we'll sell PC's! Starting in India is just a shot over Dell's bow. Hinting that they could always start competing directly here in the US.

If I were Dell, I wouldn't be worried. MSFT won't be any better at selling hardware than they are at anything else.

Re:Retaliation (2, Insightful)

LynnwoodRooster (966895) | more than 7 years ago | (#19679523)

If I were Dell, I wouldn't be worried. MSFT won't be any better at selling hardware than they are at anything else.

Meaning they'll just make another billion dollars of net profit each month? Such a failure...

Re:Retaliation (1)

kiwimate (458274) | more than 7 years ago | (#19679741)

If I were Dell, I wouldn't be worried. MSFT won't be any better at selling hardware than they are at anything else.

Seems to me Microsoft has been wildly successful at selling software so far, whatever you think about the quality of that software or the manner in which they sell it.

blue screen? (1)

jhutchens (1115547) | more than 7 years ago | (#19679307)

can i get a blue screen of death with the microsoft logo on it please?

Wintel? (4, Insightful)

Brian Gordon (987471) | more than 7 years ago | (#19679321)

What happened to the MS/Intel alliance of old? Microsoft getting annoyed at Intel making chips for Apple?

All directions at once (5, Funny)

glas_gow (961896) | more than 7 years ago | (#19679339)

Microsoft is simultaneously going in all directions, which is identical to going nowhere fast.

Re:All directions at once (3, Insightful)

jbrannon (881627) | more than 7 years ago | (#19679513)

Microsoft is simultaneously going in all directions, which is identical to going nowhere fast.
I believe that's called "growing".

Growing? (2, Interesting)

Tony (765) | more than 7 years ago | (#19679789)

I believe that's called "growing".

I believe they call that, "Flailing."

Like a whale on the beach.

Make Windows Like the Mac (1)

MSTCrow5429 (642744) | more than 7 years ago | (#19679351)

Maybe MS wants to be like Apple when it comes to tying the hardware with the OS.

ISLAM IS THE CANCER!!! NUKES ARE THE ANSWER!!! (-1, Offtopic)

heil_hitler_88 (1121687) | more than 7 years ago | (#19679375)

Muhammad's army of madmen rode out of the deserts of Arabia. They raped/conquered and enslaved the minds of all the people in the area and to this day more than 1.2 billion people have been infected with the mental disease we know as Islam.

I urge my fellow Americans to boycott all Muslim businesses and write your congressmen to stop the billions of dollars in foreign aid to Muslim countries, stop all future Muslim immigration, and BAN ISLAM. Now before you start ignorantly screaming "freedom of religion", Islam is unconstitutional, and let me explain why. Islam is a supremacist political party disguised as a religion, which discriminates against non-Muslims, women and homosexuals. The main goal of this totalitarian system is worldwide domination under Islamic law; and Islamic law is a real fun time: Muslim countries are constantly hanging women for adultery or "honor" and executing homosexuals just for being gay, and murdering Jews just for being Jewish. Women can't vote or equally testify in court and millions of Middle-Eastern Muslim women get their clitoris cut off by the age of 14. Islam is clearly unconstitutional, and if we can't ban it, then we need to change our constitution. The constitution should not be a suicide pact. Don't buy that bullshit that liberals try to sell, saying that Islam is in any way peaceful. People who blow themselves up and mutilate their daughters vaginas are obviously suffering from a mental disease. Islam calls for the subjugation or death of non-believers. Not just Christians and Jews, but all non-Muslims are at danger due to this plague on humanity. Christian schoolgirls get bombed/decapitated in Indonesia, Christian nuns get stabbed and churches burned in Egypt, Buddhists get their heads cut off in southern Thailand, Hindus beaten to death in Kashmir, black Christians castrated and put into slavery in Sudan... the list goes on forever.

In less than 50 years the Army of Muhammad conquered and enslaved people all across Africa to Asia, and even conquered Spain for 800 years. The Arab slave trade was the first slave trade, and even exists to this day in secret in places like Egypt and Saudi Arabia, two "close allies" of the United States.

Muhammad means The Praised One in Arabic. "The Praised One" was under the control of demons for 23 years of his life. Although nobody knows his real name, he is called the "Rasool" or Prophet. He is also referred to as al-insan al-kamil, meaning the perfect man. According to the muslims, their idea of a perfect man was one who raped little girls and decapitated Jews.

Not only was Muhammad a thief, pedophile and a rapist... he was also a mass murderer.

And if you think you can legitimately refute this claim, you are eligible to win $50,000:

http://www.faithfreedom.org/challenge.htm [faithfreedom.org]

According to the demon worshippers, "Allah" is the one true God. Now Allah is pretty much Satan, but Muslims have been convinced that he is God. The pedophile and mass murderer known as Muhammad (may pig shit cover him) was a completely delusional psychopath, and Allah was his alter-ego who revealed the Koran to him in a series of revelations. So when Muhammed heard voices in his head, it was the word of God. And the way they eventually wrote it down is said to be the literal words of God. Changing a comma would be blasphemy. Here are some examples of what Muslims consider the actual words of God:

* Make war on them until idolatry shall cease and God's religion shall reign supreme." (8:39)

* "God revealed His will to the angels, saying: 'I shall be with you. Give courage to the believers. I shall cast terror into the hearts of the infidels. Strike off their heads, strike off the very tips of their fingers!' " (8:12)

* "When the sacred months are over slay the idolaters wherever you find them. Arrest them, besiege them, and lie in ambush everywhere for them. If they repent and take to prayer and render the alms levy, allow them to go their way. God is forgiving and merciful." (9:5)

* "Prophet, make war on the unbelievers and the hypocrites and deal rigorously with them. Hell shall be their home an evil fate." (9:73)

* "Believers, make war on the infidels who dwell around you. Deal firmly with them. Know that God is with the righteous." (9:123)

* "When you meet the unbelievers in the battlefield strike off their heads and, when you have laid them low, bind your captives firmly. Then grant them their freedom or take a ransom from them, until War shall lay down her burdens." (47:4)

* "Muhammad is God's apostle. Those who follow him are ruthless to the unbelievers but merciful to one another."(48:29)

The difference between normal Muslims and terrorists is comparable to the difference between HIV and AIDS. There are only two types of Muslims: terrorists and potential terrorists. Normal Muslims can become violent just from reading the Quran.

Since 1973 we have handed over more than 10 TRILLION dollars to O.P.E.C (Organized Petroleum Exporting Cartel) for oil sales. That is the largest willing transfer of wealth in history. Armed with modern technology (none of which they invented) and those trillions of dollars (none of which they earned), I doubt it will take another 1300 years for them to take over the rest of the world.

Enough of this bullshit.
Destroy Mecca!

The MS PC (1)

realmolo (574068) | more than 7 years ago | (#19679409)

I honestly would *like* to see a Microsoft PC. But not one that ran standard Windows.

What they need to do is take something like the Xbox 360 (something that will plug into an HDTV, basically), and put a whole new, incompatible "Microsoft PC-only" version of Windows on it. Basically, a "clean" version of Windows that abandons backward compatibility entirely, and only runs on their own hardware.

Then, port Office and Internet Explorer to the new platform. Sell it for a few hundred bucks.

They *must* have thought of this. I wonder if it will ever happen.

Re:The MS PC (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19679625)

I honestly would *like* to see a Microsoft PC. But not one that ran standard Windows.

What they need to do is take something like the Xbox 360 (something that will plug into an HDTV, basically), and put a whole new, incompatible "Microsoft PC-only" version of Windows on it. Basically, a "clean" version of Windows that abandons backward compatibility entirely, and only runs on their own hardware.

Then, port Office and Internet Explorer to the new platform. Sell it for a few hundred bucks.

They *must* have thought of this. I wonder if it will ever happen.


Genius! And maybe for a name... They could call it... hmm.. maybe "WebTV"?

I'll take one please (1)

Aqua_boy17 (962670) | more than 7 years ago | (#19679435)

But only if I can get it in Zune brown.

M$ UR DAYZ R NUMBURD (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19679455)

ubuntoo iz gud enuff 4 ppl lyke me

Microsoft PC EULA (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19679477)

I can't wait to see the EULA printed on the PC box, it would contain stuff like.

1. No 'unauthorized' components may be installed.
2. Unable to run 'unauthorized' software , such as Linux
3. Windows 'Hardware' Genuine Advantage

It will probably be full of proprietary hardware, incompatible with 99.9% of the other PC's out there. Special power connectors, special mainboards, 'special' videocards, etc.

The case will probably be welded shut. There is no need to upgrade, just buy a new 'usage license' when you need to, or an 'anytime upgrade'.

Don't expect to find a CD-Burner, or DVD-Writer. There is no need to backup your data, Windows-Live backup will take care of that..for a price.

The Next Step - "Just Add DRM" (3, Funny)

Valen0 (325388) | more than 7 years ago | (#19679485)

The next logical step is to "Just Add DRM". I can imagine the start up text now:

"There is nothing wrong with your computer. Do not attempt to restart the machine. We are now controlling its operation. We control the hardware and the software. We can deluge you with a thousand windows or expand one single image to crystal clarity - and beyond. We can shape your computing experience to anything our imagination can conceive. For the next session we will control all that you see and hear. You are about to experience the awe and mystery which reaches from the deepest inner mind to... The Microsoft Computer. Please stand by."

As for myself, I think I will pass on the Microsoft flavored Kool-Aid. I tend to get upset when machines start telling me that I can not do [function or feature] with the new [media type or gadget] that I bought because the MAFIAA thinks that disabling [function or feature] is in _their_ best interest.

Re:The Next Step - "Just Add DRM" (1)

bensonandhedges (229143) | more than 7 years ago | (#19679773)

Exactly was I was thinking... It'll be in a bios upgrade once they have 50% of the market, but at $525 they are going to have trouble against local dealers.

India's currency: the Rupee (1)

flydpnkrtn (114575) | more than 7 years ago | (#19679495)

No I'm not making this up. Pronounced like the coins in Zelda. I'm deployed to Iraq and talking with the Indian folks out here I rofl'd when I heard what their currency is.

Old man says: "You got computer!"

Re:India's currency: the Rupee (1)

JoeShmoe950 (605274) | more than 7 years ago | (#19679663)

You seriously didn't know this?

Re:India's currency: the Rupee (1)

flydpnkrtn (114575) | more than 7 years ago | (#19679911)

I'm American, therefore I know about the Euro and and the peso... I know what the peso is just 'cause I live in Arizona :-)

I just thought it was funny... picturing a little Link holding a computer over his head

Re:India's currency: the Rupee (1)

Jeek Elemental (976426) | more than 7 years ago | (#19679771)

Im almost certain India predates Zelda.

Zenith? Do I get a free robot with it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19679551)

That's all I can remember of Zenith, cool little simple robots. Oh and TVs from the 60's.

That's what Microsoft does (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19679591)

They move from market to market trying to crush everything and anything within it? Still Developing with Visual Studio? You better not be making anything that will remotely become a success or Microsoft will come in and crush you. I don't even know why they bother making dev tools anymore. They obviously want to brand any and every piece of software. It should come to no surprise that they are moving into hardware. Why not cell phones too.

Customer service (2, Funny)

Dancindan84 (1056246) | more than 7 years ago | (#19679601)

Is it only a question of time before Microsoft starts to compete directly with the likes of Dell and HP?
They're closer than you think. They've already got the same level of customer service.

More backdoors than a vegas whorehouse (1)

Joebert (946227) | more than 7 years ago | (#19679619)

Microsoft software and hardware in India ?

Brace yourselves for spam like you've never seen before.

Repeat of PepsiCo? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19679703)

This reminds me of PepsiCo when it owned KFC, Pizza Hut, and some other restaurants. All Coke had to do to sell to restaurants is ask "Do you want to fund your competitors by buying Coke?"

If PC manufacturers keep pushing PCs bundled with Windows, it looks like they're going to be funding a competing hardware vendor. OTOH, they probably started to realize this with Xbox I and never made any moves then, so maybe they are so 100% absolutely dependent on Microsoft that they can't see Microsoft's end game.

Question (1)

BlueLightSpecial (898144) | more than 7 years ago | (#19679719)

Wouldn't MS selling their own pc's force them to pull their software/make it more expensive to other vendors? Their messing with a world that could be easily imbalanced, a move into selling their own pc's could either make them a ton of money, or it could cause for a huge push for opensource/alt OSes from other major vendors and it'd be MS's downfall

Of course. (1)

thebonafortuna (1050016) | more than 7 years ago | (#19679769)

Yes, this is among the first steps Microsoft is taking to ensure a viable product in the future. While this may prove to be a mistake in a long run (and I seriously believe it will be), despite its dominant market share, Microsoft is finding itself pushed into the proverbial corner more and more by the likes of Apple...not Dell or HP.

Laugh all you want, but the simple fact of the matter is that part of why Apple machines run so well is because the operating system is custom built to work with certain hardware. If Microsoft weren't forced to support virtually every piece of hardware on the planet, they wouldn't have so many issues with their software. Essentially, if Windows were able to code to only a select few machines, you can rest assured Windows would be a faster, much more competent, far more efficient operating system.

However, producing their own hardware will most likely prove to be a mistake, at least in the long run. Although they have certain contracts with major manufacturers, (HP, Dell, Lenovo, etc.), those contracts will eventually expire. Although Apple Inc. is unlikely to open up their hardware in the near future, they will likely see an opportunity here to take advantage of the cracks opening in Microsoft's armor. Quite possibly, they will agree to license a version of OS (?) at this point, in order to continue increasing market share. This will not hurt them, as by signing an exclusive contract with say, Dell, they will still be able to code exclusively for certain hardware, all the while offering a cheaper alternative to those who may want to switch over to Apple's excellent OS, while at the same time not being forced to use their quirky hardware (I'm sorry, but Apple hardware seems to use the most delicate parts on the planet, and can be extremely annoying to deal with).

People have said it before, but I do believe we are finally seeing the permanent erosion of Microsoft's domination, especially with operating systems. They have become too bloated, and their is finally a viable alternative commercial product to contend with. Regardless of what you think of Apple and/or Microsoft, this will have both positive and negative effects. However, I believe we will continue to see more and more futile moves by Microsoft to retain what considerable power and influence they currently posses...problem is, they're being forced to fight on at least two major fronts they really have few practical advantages in anymore: services and software. Their services are being challenged by Google and IBM, their software by Apple (amongst many, many others). Microsoft's greatest problem is that these other companies are in many respects doing a better job than Microsoft, for reasons Microsoft will not soon be able to deal with or fix.

All that aside, I still prefer to deal with the devil you see (Microsoft) than the devil you don't (Google).

Re:Of course. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19680177)

That's why you see so many BSODs on Linux on x86. /sarcasm

If you open the case will it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19679917)

1) Blue Screen
2) Ask The case is open. Accept or Cancel
3) Invalidate the ELUA
4) Cause M$ to sue you for breaking their anti tamper patents
5) Issue a cease and desist DMCA warning.
6) etc etc etc

Yes, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19680061)

Huahuahauahuahau... ;-)

DOJ (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19680087)

Can M$ now sell a computer loaded with Media Player, Office, IE7, One Care, Desktop search, and some M$ video games and no get in trouble for being anti competitive?

Is this not what apple does. They make the hardware (or 3rd parties do) and they put there os on it along with preloaded software. some that they wrote and others that they did not.

Hmmmm (1)

baboonlogic (989195) | more than 7 years ago | (#19680109)

Could this be a response to these Gujarati dealers [slashdot.org] from India?

microHARD (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19680141)

so are there going to be 2 divisions of microsoft now? one for software (microsoft) and the other for hardware microHARD?

MS hardware products (1)

Kuvter (882697) | more than 7 years ago | (#19680175)

This may be a little off topic, but how does Microsoft's hardware fair in general?

My friend has an XBox360 and it seems to work just fine. The only problem I've seen is that when playing music from the iPod, the USB will read it, start playing what you tell it to, but if you come back to change the track it has to re-find the USB drive before you can.

What about the Zune, does that run smoothly, no blue screen? I don't own an MP3 player so I don't have a comparison to work with here.

What about their keyboard and mouse? I've always had Logitech mice and off brand keyboards and they've always worked for me. Any problems or happy stories about Microsoft ones?

Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...