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Microsoft Cuts Vista Price In 70 Countries

kdawson posted more than 6 years ago | from the defibrillation-paddles dept.

Windows 257

dforristall alerts us to an odd move by Microsoft: cutting the price of retail boxes of Vista in many markets. Analysts didn't see this one coming, and they are scratching their heads a bit over it; one called it "very unheard of." The price cuts vary by country — they're largest in the developing world where piracy levels are high — and they don't apply to OEM copies of Vista, which account for 90% of sales. "Gartner analyst Michael Silver said the move... is puzzling... [He] noted that the market for such upgrades is fairly limited. Those who bought XP in the fourth quarter of 2006 got a coupon for a free Vista upgrade, while most of those who have bought systems since then have gotten Vista. Machines purchased prior to 2006 probably aren't all that attractive as candidates for a Vista upgrade... 'The whole notion of upgrading PCs has sort of fallen by the wayside.'"

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257 comments

They need to drop the price of XP (5, Funny)

tritonman (998572) | more than 6 years ago | (#22600084)

THey need to drop the price of XP so I can buy it to replace my copy of Vista.

Re:They need to drop the price of XP (1)

calebt3 (1098475) | more than 6 years ago | (#22600210)

Nah. By now almost everyone has access to an XP disc.

Re:They need to drop the price of XP (1)

phillips321 (955784) | more than 6 years ago | (#22600446)

2 secs and i found this using my XP boxhttp://btjunkie.org/torrent/Windows-XP-Pro-Corp-SP3v3311-Integrated-no-crack-needed/43240fb114d34225bf1158fa49e64c63c4157966232b [btjunkie.org]

took much longer to find the same thing on Vista




only kidding, you seriously think i would use vista? let alone windows!

Re:They need to drop the price of XP (2, Informative)

TripMaster Monkey (862126) | more than 6 years ago | (#22600432)

Actually, there's no need to purchase a copy of XP to replace your Vista...you can usually talk the OEM into a free downgrade to XP...that's what my company does, as we're completely uninterested in inflicting this wretched excuse for an OS on our systems, users, and network.

Re:They need to drop the price of XP (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22600730)

I can't believe you can't scrape together enough for XP, that's just sad. Tell time start selling your body.

Re:They need to drop the price of XP (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22600780)

I am a Windows user simply because of the apps (and games) I've grown accustomed to using. But I beg of you Microsoft: Give me a blank desktop with nothing but icons to start my applications.

Seriously, if it is key to starting up the computer: Include it.

If it allows me to: Browse the internet, see pictures, play music, draw pictures, make movies, or any other activities that an installed application would do better: Leave it the frick out!

OS's should not be anything but OPERATING MY SYSTEM. Let me operate the applications please.

Re:They need to drop the price of XP (3, Insightful)

somersault (912633) | more than 6 years ago | (#22600972)

What's stopping you from getting rid of the unwanted icons on your desktop? I'm not an MS fan but I dunno what you're complaining about here - no OS that I've ever seen (well, apart from cut down stuff like the EEE PC) just has application icons and nothing else - you generally would have either the drives or a 'my computer' equivalent showing.

Most people generally find the ability to browse the internet, see pictures, play music etc quite useful. How exactly do you propose getting new apps onto your computer if you don't have some basic form of web browser anyway? Are you going to order everything on CD? Way to be traveling in the wrong direction..!

Oh, and Mac OS actually includes very good built in software for almost everything you said up there, apart from the drawing pictures (AFAIK). Personally I don't like iTunes though, so as well as Firefox and the GIMP, I downloaded VLC. I see no problem with any OS distribution including applications that can make the thing more useful though. If you don't want all that stuff in Windows, remove it in the Windows configuration bit in add/remove programs.

i know whats coming next (2, Insightful)

OrochimaruVoldemort (1248060) | more than 6 years ago | (#22600088)

vista sp1. that is the only reason retail prices would drop. on a side note, maybe now they will get some more sales

Re:i know whats coming next (5, Insightful)

ShieldW0lf (601553) | more than 6 years ago | (#22600442)

They got paid by large private and government interests to put Trusted Computing on everyones machines so they can engage in widespread information control. They would LIKE more money from the consumer, but they MUST achieve widespread deployment for this to be realized. If it's realized, they will have a power the likes of which has never been seen before on earth, and money will be the least of their concerns. If it's not, they will become a niche product. It's pretty obvious where their motives lie, and their actions are entirely sensible if you understand their motives.

Re:i know whats coming next (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22600532)

If it's realized, they will have a power the likes of which has never been seen before on earth, and money will be the least of their concerns.

Pinky: What are we going to do tonight, Brain?
Brain: The same thing we do every night, Pinky. TRY TO TAKE OVER THE WORLD!!

Re:i know whats coming next (3, Insightful)

marcello_dl (667940) | more than 6 years ago | (#22600826)

If I were representing big interests i wouldnt' bet much on MS. Nor on software. Hardware backdoors are better. Try and detect those in a multi layered nanometer scaled impossibly complex circuit.

Of course, naming a chipmaker INTEL doesn't help reassuring tinfoil hats :D

Re:i know whats coming next (3, Interesting)

h4rm0ny (722443) | more than 6 years ago | (#22601056)


I don't know why someone marked the parent as troll, but it's unfair as this is a reasonable explanation as it both fits the observed fact and there are groups with means and motive to do this. We also have previous instances of this sort of behaviour from these groups and of private companies complicity in such activity (including Microsoft). As to the other poster who discounted this because a hardware solution would make much more sense, that's hardly a solid counter-argument because a hardware solution would firstly be more difficult to implement, crossing multiple areas of hardware requirements and manufacturers in all probability (including manufacturers in countries such as Germany and China), we don't know what companies behind the scenes are amenable to aiding US spying efforts and a hardware solution seems likely to be less flexible.

This is not to say that this is the reasoning behind Microsoft's desperate attempt to get people to take up Vista. A private awareness that if they don't lock people into their O/S using the drm mechanisms in Vista, that they're in serious trouble. Could also be the reason. Or it could be multiple reasons. But certainly the parent shouldn't be modded a troll because it's a strong possibility. Installing subversive software on people's machines is one of the first things that I thought of when I read this article.

The price only matters... (2, Informative)

symbolset (646467) | more than 6 years ago | (#22600462)

if the product works.

Did they fix that? I thought not. Nothing to see here.

Modding myself down (1, Funny)

sm62704 (957197) | more than 6 years ago | (#22600590)

(offtopic, checking "no karma bonus" box)

No fair, you added two more people to your "foes" list making me not the only guy on it any more.

Now my feelings are hurt!

The whole idea of upgrading PCs??? (1, Insightful)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 6 years ago | (#22600114)

No the idea of upgrading to Vista has fallen by the wayside.
I think that Apple actually sells a lot of upgrades.
I have not upgraded to Vista because of the cost to benefit ratio. For me it would be a lot of cost and probably a negative benefit.

I did upgrade from 95 to 98. I upgraded from 98 to 2000. I then upgraded to XP after a while because of the lack of games that said they would run under 2000.
XP isn't bad. as far as windows goes.
Notice that I didn't get Me or Vista.

Re:The whole idea of upgrading PCs??? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22600174)

Speaking of your sig, that should be "Nazis" not "Nazi's".

Re:The whole idea of upgrading PCs??? (4, Funny)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 6 years ago | (#22600230)

Wooosh.

Re:The whole idea of upgrading PCs??? (1)

sm62704 (957197) | more than 6 years ago | (#22600796)

Wooosh.

Ironically and comically, that applies to your post as well. Or should I say "apply's"? ;)

Re:The whole idea of upgrading PCs??? (0, Redundant)

plague3106 (71849) | more than 6 years ago | (#22600494)

I think that Apple actually sells a lot of upgrades.

Can you back that up with some numbers, such as % of apple users that buy OS upgrades?

I have not upgraded to Vista because of the cost to benefit ratio. For me it would be a lot of cost and probably a negative benefit.

Probably a negative benefit? Maybe you should try it [microsoft.com] . Personally I like the new features of Vista, and wouldn't want to go back to XP. I only have one computer that's not running Vista, and that's a laptop from 01 or 02 and I haven't checked specs.

Re:The whole idea of upgrading PCs??? (0, Troll)

Jaysyn (203771) | more than 6 years ago | (#22600788)

I have tried it & it's beyond awful. It's like they gave a 5 year old some crack & then told him to design a GUI.

Re:The whole idea of upgrading PCs??? (1)

plague3106 (71849) | more than 6 years ago | (#22600912)

You know you can go to Windows classic UI right?

Re:The whole idea of upgrading PCs??? (0, Troll)

Jaysyn (203771) | more than 6 years ago | (#22600930)

Yeah, makes it look familiar, but doesn't make it any more user friendly.

Re:The whole idea of upgrading PCs??? (1)

plague3106 (71849) | more than 6 years ago | (#22600980)

I take it XP isn't user friendly in your opinion? Because really not much has changed between XP and Vista.

Re:The whole idea of upgrading PCs??? (3, Interesting)

WeeLad (588414) | more than 6 years ago | (#22600994)

I've only had two experiences with Vista. Neither one prolonged. In the first, my brother was showing me the really cool 3d window chooser and how he could scroll through it with the mouse wheel. Then he tried to show me a game, which he had previously installed and played, but which broke because UAC got turned back on somehow and forbid him from using it. But at least he could choose windows in a stylish manner.


The other was a Microsoft presentation of Powershell. They invited some of us Unix people, presumably to humble us or get us to see the light. "I don't know why this is so slow" was repeated by the presenter a few times.


Re:The whole idea of upgrading PCs??? (3, Informative)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 6 years ago | (#22600900)

From what I remember they did the same thing with windows Me. nobody was buying it and they were desperate to sell it so they lowered the price drastically.

People still Ignored it with the low prices. I have a real retail copy matted and framed in my office as incredibly few people have ever seen one.

This is aimed at power users... (5, Informative)

tjstork (137384) | more than 6 years ago | (#22600148)

I have a dual Opteron with a fairly decent graphics controller that would be an ideal candidate for Vista x64 Ultimate. But, for about $400 cheaper, (or $200 if you get the system builder edition), I downloaded Ubuntu and it works great.

Taken together, Microsoft's actions of the last few weeks : decreasing the price of Vista, giving away Visual Studio to Students, publishing specifications, all point towards an effort to attract developers to their platform. Even the channel partnerships that I railed about earlier are structured to attract developers. Clearly, Microsoft knows something that we don't know, and, I think it is that Linux development is starting to reach a critical mass for them to be really concerned about it. I wonder how much trouble Microsoft realizes it is in.

There is a demographic factor going on as well. A lot of we formerly reliable Windows zealots are now in our 30s and 40s, and suddenly money that would be spent on graphics cards and Windows upgrades is now getting plowed into our over-priced houses and our children. It's like, I would have stayed up in line to get Vista Ultimate the day it came out, but instead, I bought diapers, soy milk and a thomas the tank engine train set for my son. Having jonesed for some sort of an upgrade to my PC, I went with Ubuntu instead, and its pretty satisfying.

Linux has hit that point where, it may not be the best in terms of a consumer operating system, but its often good enough, and installing it just works.

Re:This is aimed at power users... (5, Insightful)

Jason Levine (196982) | more than 6 years ago | (#22600228)

Linux has hit that point where, it may not be the best in terms of a consumer operating system, but its often good enough, and installing it just works.

That statement there might be the scariest thing for Microsoft. Microsoft pretty much based their entire business around "good enough." If Linux is "good enough" also and has the added benefit of being free, then that will take sales away from Microsoft. That combines with Microsoft's main competition (their own older versions which are "good enough" for most people) to make for a really bad situation for Microsoft to be in.

Re:This is aimed at power users... (5, Insightful)

aslvrstn (1047588) | more than 6 years ago | (#22600480)

But what percent of people EVER install an operating system? Microsoft has the advantage of being "good enough" to not have people reinstall another operating system over top of them. That's all they need. Linux, however, needs to be "better enough" to force people to reinstall, or have someone reinstall, their OS.

Re:This is aimed at power users... (2, Insightful)

domatic (1128127) | more than 6 years ago | (#22600558)

Not necessarily. Linux is supplied with things like EEE PCs and we'll be seeing it on more and more phones and portable devices. It isn't going to storm big desktop PCs and full size laptops anytime soon but nonetheless devices capable of running general Linux apps are falling into more and more consumer hands. Furthermore, so-called "Linux Desktop" apps are becoming ever more polished and finding their way onto Windows installs. A multitude commonly using such apps would be very frightening for Microsoft. It sets up a situation where the next new computer might not need to run MS. It's what MS did to the old-line IT vendors as a young feisty company and a situation is developing where it could be done to them.

Re:This is aimed at power users... (2, Insightful)

sm62704 (957197) | more than 6 years ago | (#22600696)

Linux, however, needs to be "better enough" to force people to reinstall

It already is "better enough"; at least, the distro I'm using is. Unlike MS It's secure. Unlike MS it's stable. Unlike MS I can have the thing boot in exactly the state I left it in, with all the programs I was running when I shut it off running when I start it back up. Those are just a few things and there are a whole lot more advantages to Linux over Windows.

What Linux needs is for non-Linux users to be shown the advantages.

Re:This is aimed at power users... (1)

aslvrstn (1047588) | more than 6 years ago | (#22600778)

You're absolutely right. I was just assuming /.ers would know that it was "better enough" and translate it to "make everyone else see that it's 'better enough'." ;-)

Re:This is aimed at power users... (1)

Yvanhoe (564877) | more than 6 years ago | (#22600946)

Apparently the 10% of users who buy Vista non-OEM licenses.

Note also that in the corporate world, many people don't install their OS, they get it installed by the IT guy. A pointy-haired boss may want to try Linux, he'll just call an IT guy and ask him for it.

Re:This is aimed at power users... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22600676)

As a person who has been in the industry about as long as Microsoft, I can honestly confirm that their entire business model was originally based on "very cheap and good enough". Later on, they relied on the fact that "everybody uses it". This made sense, as the original PCs were nothing special from a performance point of view. In the beginning, the IBM name was enough to create a de-facto standard.

From the very beginning, there were better alternatives to MS-DOS. Problem was, they were expensive and not viable on low-end hardware. Microsoft's attempts to move upscale have been a mixed bag. Apple did a better job [eventually] on the desktop, and Linux took over the low end of the spectrum (along with a huge threat on the server side and the possibility to go upscale on the desktop as well).

This brings us to where we are today -- a scary time to be Microsoft. As far as pricing is concerned, how low do they need to go if Linux is free? Is low pricing of any use against OS X? I doubt it.

It may be impossible for MS to maintain compatibility with the installed base AND go upscale at the same time. Either way, they are vulnerable to attack from competitors on all sides. From the customer point of view: If you have money to spend, OS X is great. If not, Linux is cheaper. Who needs Vista at any price?

Well done. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22600438)

Yawn...let's see:
1. Baseless speculation that the evil, evil M$ is sinking...check
2. Swipe at Vista...check
3. Pointless ad for specific Linux distribution...check
4. More baseless speculation that Linux will overtake M$ based upon poster's singular experience...check

Give this man some mod points, he's saying all the right things!

I don't think so (4, Interesting)

geekoid (135745) | more than 6 years ago | (#22600510)

"I think it is that Linux development is starting to reach a critical mass"

Maybe, but I haven't seen a large trend towards that through the industry.

What I think is happening is that MS as a place to work has been stagnent in the last few years, and MS needs good developers.

There is no opportunity to get rich anymore, there reputation stinks, they have been cutting back on developer perks, but still expect 60+hours a week.

Ballmer is right in that it's about the developers, but MS isn't handling it's transition from skyrocketed company to, a strong but steady market force very well. This is typical. Developers seem more like a commodity that can be swapped around by Accounts. Which is fine,if accountants are tempered with good upper management that backs the developers concerns.

The top management may be deluded and think MS got the great developers it did in the early 90's because it's a great place to work. Instead of a great place to get rich.

I have said this for years, MS will go to an existing OS and brand their GUI on it, or die. You can not turn out a good solid OS in 10 years of development, you also need 10 years of in the market maturity.

I was astounded when Apple did it. Man, that blew me away. It's a good move that will keep you from reinventing the wheel.

Re:This is aimed at power users... (4, Insightful)

TrekCycling (468080) | more than 6 years ago | (#22600526)

I think there is something else going on with that demographic you mentioned earlier that's also germane. If that power user demographic played games they're not gaming as often on a PC. Their kid is playing a DS (tons of those have been sold), they're playing a 360 or a Wii. That demographic (I say that because my friends and I are in it) are largely buying cheap computers and running Ubuntu and then using the money we might have spent on Vista and a new graphics card on a new video game system.

In fact, you could make a pretty solid argument that Microsoft's success with the XBox has severely undercut the PC market. Take out a large chunk of gamers who are no longer upgrading their PCs to play the latest game and you're left with a few enthusiasts and everyone else is running a computer that's "just good enough". Vista is completely unnecessary. Oh, and they did a good job with XP, honestly. Good enough that most people seemingly see no reason to switch. Even if it's given to them.

Re:This is aimed at power users... (1)

UnknownSoldier (67820) | more than 6 years ago | (#22601096)

As a game dev, I totally concur. The gaming market has shifted to consoles, and to causal gaming. In the 90's upgrading your system was fun. In the 00's there are less and less games I want to play, and the money is being spent elsewhere -- family, or other recreations / hobbies.

For gamers, the one BIG advantage consoles have is that "stuff just works." I don't have to worry about getting a new video card (or drivers), or any other upgrades (cpu/ram.) I think one of the biggest frustrations is playing PC Ports where the controls are just abysmal.

The only real big hold outs are Strategy games (real-time or not), where a standard mouse+keyboard is not standard on consoles yet. Once the console manufactors realize I _don't_t want a sepearet propietary interface for every periphal, but want it standardized like USB, then that will "barrier" will fall to.

Re:This is aimed at power users... (1)

plague3106 (71849) | more than 6 years ago | (#22600562)

Enough of the $400 figure. Its a bit more than half [pricegrabber.com] that amount. That's after a few seconds of searching; I was able to find a Full version for $165. OEM versions can be had for even less.

So you didn't save as much, and good luck if you ever want to use wireless with that Ubuntu computer. Price isn't the only thing you should consider when buying an OS. Not saying you mad a bad choice or anything, but you used at least one bad point of information to make that decision, and for me I'd rather pay than spend time trying to for Linux to work with various hardware / software.

Re:This is aimed at power users... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22600742)

So you didn't save as much, and good luck if you ever want to use wireless with that Ubuntu computer.

Quit trolling. Wireless works fine on my Xubuntu thinkpad, Presario and latitude. Dell, ASUS, and now HP are all selling Linux loaded laptops with Wireless support. Tell me again how wireless doesn't work?

$165 is for a qualified upgrade. That doesn't include Win9x or Win2000 users. They would pay the full price of $400.

Re:This is aimed at power users... (1)

rolfc (842110) | more than 6 years ago | (#22600752)

I am running Wireless on my thinkpad with ubuntu. I dont waste a lot of time with making software run.

Wireless Ubuntu Works (4, Informative)

tjstork (137384) | more than 6 years ago | (#22600810)

So you didn't save as much, and good luck if you ever want to use wireless with that Ubuntu computer.

I am wireless with the Ubuntu computer. I didn't have to do anything. When I installed Ubuntu, I got the little wireless icon on my upper right hand corner, hit connect... to my wireless network, and it completely worked, just like the little wireless icon on my Windows XP does.

Re:This is aimed at power users... (1)

FunWithKnives (775464) | more than 6 years ago | (#22600850)

... good luck if you ever want to use wireless with that Ubuntu computer...

Are you kidding me? Since at least Ubuntu 6.06 LTS, I have not had a problem with wireless, and this is not based on an experience with just one computer. Two desktops and a laptop with internal 802.11a/b/g have all worked fine. In fact, I am using the wireless on my laptop with Kubuntu 7.04 to post this comment.

While there may be a some wireless adapters which might still need NDIS Wrapper, the vast majority now have adequate drivers. You are vastly overstating the issue, either way. This was a problem three years ago. Now it has largely been taken care of.

Re:This is aimed at power users... (1)

plague3106 (71849) | more than 6 years ago | (#22600612)

I only got to your first paragrah before I repled.

Taken together, Microsoft's actions of the last few weeks : decreasing the price of Vista, giving away Visual Studio to Students, publishing specifications, all point towards an effort to attract developers to their platform. Even the channel partnerships that I railed about earlier are structured to attract developers. Clearly, Microsoft knows something that we don't know, and, I think it is that Linux development is starting to reach a critical mass for them to be really concerned about it. I wonder how much trouble Microsoft realizes it is in.

None of that is anything new. Fee or almost no cost versions of various MS products have been available to students in college for years now. Why would they ever stop trying to attract developers to their platform?

There is a demographic factor going on as well. A lot of we formerly reliable Windows zealots are now in our 30s and 40s, and suddenly money that would be spent on graphics cards and Windows upgrades is now getting plowed into our over-priced houses and our children. It's like, I would have stayed up in line to get Vista Ultimate the day it came out, but instead, I bought diapers, soy milk and a thomas the tank engine train set for my son. Having jonesed for some sort of an upgrade to my PC, I went with Ubuntu instead, and its pretty satisfying.

Well, if you're that hard up that a few hunderd dollars will screw you, it sounds like you have problems managing your money.

Linux has hit that point where, it may not be the best in terms of a consumer operating system, but its often good enough, and installing it just works.

Well, that's not been my experience, and why I went out and bough SBS 2003 and Vista for my computers.

Re:This is aimed at power users... (1)

tjstork (137384) | more than 6 years ago | (#22600902)

Well, if you're that hard up that a few hunderd dollars will screw you, it sounds like you have problems managing your money

Maybe I do. But I fail to see in the list of fiscal priorities, why an operating system of all things is something that I should pay that much money for. I mean, if Linux costs me a $1 to download, and Vista is $400 list, then, is Vista 400 times better than Linux? No, its not. It doesn't use 400 times less memory. It doesn't make my computer run 400 times faster. It doesn't make my computer have 400 times the features. In fact, Ubuntu comes out of the box with MORE stuff than Vista does, because a Linux distro will give you all of the applications and features that are available to Linux. Granted, OpenOffice sucks compared to MS Office, but, Ubuntu gives you -everything-, even if it is not as good.

Re:This is aimed at power users... (1)

Sinkael (1089531) | more than 6 years ago | (#22600936)

A few hundred bucks can be a lot of money with a family. I have seven computers and that few hundred dollars starts to add up when you multiply it by the number of computers in the home. I seriously doubt I am all that unique in the amount of computers I have running, the computer is becoming much like the television before it. Remember the scene from Back to the Future where Michael J. Fox tells the kids he has two T.V.'s in his house and the kid is just amazed, well it's the same things. Right now running I have, 2 x Gaming machines running Windows XP 64 bit edition ( each has 4+ gigs of RAM) 2 x School Machines running Ubuntu (my kids are home schooled) 1 x Media Computer hooked up to my T.V. running WindowsXP MC 1 x Laptop for work running Windows XP Pro (Used for VPN etc) 1 x Ubuntu Box used for a Router I just bought Vista for the gaming machines for DX10. Now if I was to switch to a full Windows environment, we are looking at some serious dough and before you say that if I can afford seven computers I should be able to splurge on the software for em, well here is the thing, I only buy two computers every 2-3 years. The old systems get recycled into new uses. The point is, at 150 bucks a pop, 1050 is the price of a entirely new system and that is just too much money for me to spend to upgrade all my systems. If it wasn't for DX10, I wouldn't be moving to Vista at all. If Microsoft would offer Vista for 250 bucks and up to 5 installs, I would be more then happy to buy it. Just a side note, I don't pirate windows either, each copy I use is bought and paid for.

Re:This is aimed at power users... (1)

Fear the Clam (230933) | more than 6 years ago | (#22600908)

...Windows zealots

Oh, man, you had me going right up until then.

microsoft could give it away free (0, Troll)

FudRucker (866063) | more than 6 years ago | (#22600158)

and i still would not use it...

Re:microsoft could give it away free (1)

PawNtheSandman (1238854) | more than 6 years ago | (#22600246)

Microsoft gave me several copies for free (Thanks Club Live) and I was lucky to sell them on Craigslist for half their retail.

Re:microsoft could give it away free (1)

TripMaster Monkey (862126) | more than 6 years ago | (#22600274)

I actually have free access to it. I suppose that eventually I'll have to bite the bullet and start using it, so I can more effectively support my users when we upgrade them, but since there's no plans for that at the moment, I somehow keep coming up with excuses to put off the install for myself.

Re:microsoft could give it away free (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22600286)

Hell, they could pay me and I wouldn't go back.

If Vista was free and you had to pay £50 or £100 for Ubuntu, I would shell out for Ubuntu without question. A choice between free XP and pay-for Ubuntu would be tougher, but in the end I'd probably go Tux. Linux is just so much easier than Windows, it would be more than worth the money in wasted time/ blood pressure problems avoided.

Oh yeah (2, Insightful)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 6 years ago | (#22600186)

My computer used to be considered near the top of the pile...2.2 GHz Athlon64 overclocked to 2.7, 2 gigs of Corsair XMS DDR-400, a bios-modded x800, Dell 2005FPW (1680X1050)...even though for games coming out now, it's largely unusable (mainly due to the video card), it runs things like Battlefield 2 and World of Warcraft flawlessly. Seeing as most of my gaming has been done on consoles the past few years, I haven't had a need to upgrade my computer. Spore is actually what is going to cause me to take the dive and do it...but prior to that, I have no reason to.

My system can still browse the net with tons of tabs open, winamp playing, word open, and a few of other things. It's definitely no slouch, and (once again) were it not for spore I still wouldn't plan on doing anything to it.

The advances in speed were much greater in the late '90s/early 00's than they are now...granted, a top notch computer equal in monetary value of my computer when it was new are much faster than what I am using, what I am using is still a fairly decent machine...excellent, if you consider I don't play games on it that are more than two years young.

It's true. It's getting harder and harder to keep folks on the constant upgrade path. I don't know if that's because of changes in the age demographic and levels of disposable income, or what it is...all I know is that I'm MUCH less inclined to drop money every year into my tower than I used to be, even though I can afford it just as easy (if not easier...I'm not living at home like I was 4 years ago, but I'm working full time which I wasn't 4 years ago either. I turn 24 in April, for reference)

Re:Oh yeah (1)

Simulant (528590) | more than 6 years ago | (#22600490)

Those are more less the same specs I have. If you get a ~$200 video card (9600GT) and a 1280x1024 monitor, you'll still be able to play all the latest games at med-high quality. Works for me. Even Crysis plays well and looks good. A 9600GT is slight better than my card, the 384MB 8800 GTS.

Re:Oh yeah (4, Insightful)

cordsie (565171) | more than 6 years ago | (#22600504)

This is absolutely correct, and it's almost as if the entire OS/hardware industry is grinding to a halt for these reasons.
Though the possibilities of what you can do on a computer are theoretically limitless, but in practice there's now a small set of functionality (web access, email, office type stuff, or media manipulation apps) for which 99% of people need computers for. Most of what we have is good enough. Over the past twenty years a lot of the advancement has been due to improvements in graphics, which led to directly obvious improvments in usability, and vice versa, but this has plateaued at what we have now. Nobody has come up with any convicing 3D GUI designs that have been demonstrated to be any better or more efficient than where we already are.
Even on the gaming front, consoles appear to be slowly but surely taking that role away from the PC. The endless cycle of nvidia-ATI upgrades is getting old, and I've got better things to spend my money on.
Advancement these days appears to be mostly in server side apps and web-distributed content, and it's as if we've gone full circle back to the days of the dumb terminal. If you're an average user, and your machine keeps working, why do you need to upgrade?
You don't, end of story.

Re:Oh yeah (1)

plague3106 (71849) | more than 6 years ago | (#22600630)

My computer used to be considered near the top of the pile...2.2 GHz Athlon64 overclocked to 2.7, 2 gigs of Corsair XMS DDR-400, a bios-modded x800

Huh? No, that's not true when we're up to 3 - 4 Ghz and two or more cores, and DDR 3 is starting to trickle out.

Re:Oh yeah (1)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 6 years ago | (#22600764)

And for the time when I built that computer, I would typically have one of the most if not the most powerful computer at any LAN that I went to...some of which had 20 people or more at them.

That used to be more or less top notch...and with the modded bios on the VIVO-enabled x800 I had, it performed exactly like its more expensive counterpart. Compared to new stuff today, yes, it pales in comparison...but it was nearly unbeatable for 6 months after I bought it, and it wasn't until recently that I can't play new games on it (and that's mainly due to the video card's shader support etc...or lack thereof)

still waiting (4, Funny)

TCFOO (876339) | more than 6 years ago | (#22600188)

I'm still waiting for Microsoft to pay people to upgrade to Vista. Ever check the resource consumption on the display models, half the resources are being used just to display the desktop.

Re:still waiting (1, Informative)

duncan3dc (1228744) | more than 6 years ago | (#22600482)

I see you've done sound research on Vista before making your "Funny" comment.

I would actually expect more than half the resources to be used up, if SuperFetch was doing it's job. Which it does do, and very well I might add.

Don't like it? Turn it off.

Don't know anything about a subject? STFU

Re:still waiting (1, Redundant)

geekoid (135745) | more than 6 years ago | (#22600568)

Man, Vista is doing so bad the suc^H^H^H customer who bought it are getting defensive!

I am used to the primary argument against Linux is that ion order to get it to work well, you ahve to 'fiddle with it'. Now the answer supporting Vista is that if you want it to work well, fiddle with it. Adjust default setting, turn off Aero, customize Aero, wait for new printer drivers; which MAY be coming out.

Re:still waiting (0, Troll)

duncan3dc (1228744) | more than 6 years ago | (#22600658)

I presume you are implying I bought it. This makes you an idiot sir. I dislike Vista as much as the next person but resent people jumping on the bandwagon to look cool by mocking what others are. The Vista backlash wouldn't be half as bad if it wasn't for these people.

My answer was not "supporting Vista" but advocating the spread of bullshit. Which you seem to be a fond supporter of, as my comments were not the solution to get vista to work well. Vista's SuperFetch works fine, when you need memory it will free some for you and when you're not using it then it will use it.

Re:still waiting (0, Offtopic)

duncan3dc (1228744) | more than 6 years ago | (#22600920)

Wow, this modding is so accurate. So to get 'Insightful' or 'Funny' I just slag Vista? I'll have to remember that next time I try to bring forward a fair argument.

Re:still waiting (1)

prefect42 (141309) | more than 6 years ago | (#22601082)

I think you're missing the point. Unused memory is wasted memory, given how quick you can free it, and how slow disk is. I see this on my linux box:

Mem: 8178828k total, 8125980k used, 52848k free, 258096k buffers
Swap: 8388600k total, 312k used, 8388288k free, 7385240k cached

I'm quite happy I've only got 50 Mbytes free.

If you want lots of free memory, take it out and put it on your desk to look at.

Why on earth were they surprised? (4, Informative)

sheldon (2322) | more than 6 years ago | (#22600208)

In an interview, newly minted Windows consumer marketing vice president Brad Brooks said that Microsoft had been testing lower prices over the past few months and was surprised to find that the amount of revenue lost was more than made up for by an increase in the number of PC buyers willing to shell out for an upgrade.


Didn't they learn this lesson with the Student/Teacher version of Office?

Duh

Re:Why on earth were they surprised? (1)

truthsearch (249536) | more than 6 years ago | (#22600554)

It's funny that the vice president of consumer marketing was surprised by something taught in economics 101. Lower the price and the number of sales go up. Shocking!

They were actually surprised to learn they were charging too much. Unbelievable.

Re:Why on earth were they surprised? (4, Insightful)

orlanz (882574) | more than 6 years ago | (#22600576)

They are surprised because, as a monopoly, they didn't think fair market economics would show up on their line graphs.

Hmmm.....Hey Microsoft! (1)

8127972 (73495) | more than 6 years ago | (#22600218)

How about cutting the prices of the OEM licenses so that it moves more computers pre-installed with Vista too? Oh wait. That's not going to happen as that's how you make money. So IMHO, this means that you won't miss the cash that you lose due to these price cuts.

Nothing to see here. Move along.

Re:Hmmm.....Hey Microsoft! (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 6 years ago | (#22600698)

Except it's not too expensive for OEMs. If the off the shelf price was the same as the OEM price, they would ahve moved a lot moer units. Many pople look at it, but there computer is still good enough. everything else you do to upgrade a computer is coming down in price. why isn't the OS?

really, your going to put 150+ into your current computer, is the OS really the best place to put it? Add to that the possibility that it might fubar your current set up?

To entice people, MS needs to sell 1 disk for 50 bucks. WHen people go to install it, it detacts and recommends a version to the user. If they want to upgrade later due to a system improvement, it should just let them. I suspect if they had done that, all the major problems would have been taken acre of withing a year. At least all there 3rd party issue.

Instead they went with a dying sales model.

And then there is PR. even I could have handled the release of Vista with better PR.

It is common knowledge that MS sin't any good until SP 3. Right or wrong, MS needs to fight there own history.

I would ahve had an SP 1 rweady to go at launch, and put it out in 2 months. During the two months an team would be creqting updates(non SP) for the bugs that will be coming in. during the first 2 months.
ANothernteam would ahve been deciding what will go into SP 2(year after release). Then finish polishing for SP3, whiich I would send through the mail to all customers that registerd with an address. as well as make it available through bit torrent(get with the times.)

Overall, I would expect my sales to start high, dip and then climb back up.

I would have been more hardcore about getting 64 bit out.

Re:Hmmm.....Hey Microsoft! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22600866)

I recall reading a while ago that you could go from vista home basic to vista home premium by paying the different to microsoft and getting a new license key, but I'm too lazy to look it up.

The math on this (2, Funny)

Butisol (994224) | more than 6 years ago | (#22600278)

A slightly smaller number multiplied by zero still equals zero.

Re:The math on this (1)

sm62704 (957197) | more than 6 years ago | (#22600714)

And a slightly larger number divided by zero will still crash your program!

Re:The math on this (1)

duncan3dc (1228744) | more than 6 years ago | (#22601028)

#DIV/0!

I wonder if (1, Interesting)

Roadmaster (96317) | more than 6 years ago | (#22600288)

great so now all the "early" (2 years+) adopters got screwed, paying more for a lousy product to begin with. I wonder if they'll give a credit to those early adopters, like Apple did when they lowered the price for the iPhone.

hahahahah (1)

feld (980784) | more than 6 years ago | (#22600650)

whhoooooooooooooeeeeeeee!

that was a good one there fella

you shore would be a purdy good comedian

Re:I wonder if (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22601046)

great so now all the "early" (2 years+) adopters got screwed, paying more for a lousy product to begin with. I wonder if they'll give a credit to those early adopters, like Apple did when they lowered the price for the iPhone.

Not a chance. Windows users have been conditioned to think getting shit on is normal.

Not enough (5, Insightful)

stoolpigeon (454276) | more than 6 years ago | (#22600302)

When Vista Ultimate upgrade [amazon.com] costs almost $200 and Kubuntu 7.10 full [amazon.com] costs $12 (if you don't feel like just downloading it) - it seems reasonable that some prices are going to have to come down somehwere.

Re:Not enough (1)

sm62704 (957197) | more than 6 years ago | (#22600762)

MS vs Linux is like RIAA vs indies: it's damned hard to compete with "free". Considering the SCO debacle, it looks like MS and the RIAA are going the same lawyerly route.

Who do you want to sue today? How about your own customers!

That makes sense since consumers are MS employees (2, Interesting)

FromTheAir (938543) | more than 6 years ago | (#22600308)

I think Microsoft is doing it out of good faith since so many consumers paid money to participate in Microsoft product development. After a lot of work and headache by customers helping Microsoft debug their Vista OS which resulted in SP1. Which is really the first instance of Vista that could come close to a production release.

I still thank Microsoft should be paying people to help debug there software. In some ways they are smart getting people to pay to work for them.

True other third parties contribute to technical problems.

Collective debugging and product development, which sounds a lot like open source, should result in Free software but I am not sure how that fits into Microsoft's business model.

Remember it is all good and a process of evolution, and everything happens for an intelligent reason.

Woot, I need to become an an analyst (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 6 years ago | (#22600378)

I totally called it, again.

So What do I need to do to be an analyst? Get a degree in statistics? take some logic course? DO I need a masters?

I'm sure only qualified people would be an analyst~

Not puzzling at all (2, Insightful)

truthsearch (249536) | more than 6 years ago | (#22600382)

Gartner analyst Michael Silver said the move... is puzzling... [He] noted that the market for such upgrades is fairly limited. Those who bought XP in the fourth quarter of 2006 got a coupon for a free Vista upgrade, while most of those who have bought systems since then have gotten Vista. Machines purchased prior to 2006 probably aren't all that attractive as candidates for a Vista upgrade...


And that's why it makes sense. Dropping the price will not affect Microsoft's revenue. Yet they'll sell a few extra copies. They're hoping to sell it to people who are otherwise upgrading with unlicensed copies. Plus they probably think it'll help their public image.

Of course they could have just made a better product in the first place and not dropped the price, but we'll leave that discussion to other threads.

hardware upgrades (3, Informative)

esocid (946821) | more than 6 years ago | (#22600390)

Machines purchased prior to 2006 probably aren't all that attractive as candidates for a Vista upgrade. "I guess at the end of the day anything that makes Vista a little bit more accessible is probably a good thing," he said, but added that a cut in the price computer makers pay would have a far bigger impact, given new PC licenses account for 80 percent of Vista sales. "The whole notion of upgrading PCs has sort of fallen by the wayside."
While that may apply to Joe Blows who aren't tech savvy, I wouldn't say that it applies to all customers. Those who actually build (assemble) their own computers know the importance of hardware upgrades. I recently acquired my brother's old setup (AMD X2 4200+) with a 7900GTOC, which is a pretty good upgrade from my old CPU/mobo/GPU as well as 3 more gigs of memory, but rather than try out the 64 bit version of Vista (which I was tempted to do) it just didn't seem worth it to me with all the lack of hardware drivers, and software compatibility issues so I just did a fresh install of XP Pro (with fedora 8 on the 1st partition) rather than deal with the headache of trying to fix any issues that would arise.
What I think makes the brunt of those new sales is that people who have the money to shell out for what the salesman at best buy tells them to get, will also shell out for the newest thing, which in this case is vista in terms of OSs. I will personally feel fine using XP until Vista's issues are either resolved or it's put in the ground.

Comparison to Apple (3, Interesting)

je ne sais quoi (987177) | more than 6 years ago | (#22600396)

Lately I've been seeing a lot of criticism point at Apple when they do the same thing Microsoft does. Let's turn it around, eh? When Apple cut the cost of the iPhone, quite a few people were screaming bloody murder about Steve Jobs and his evilness. So where is the outrage over the Vista price cut? Where is Bill Gates promising to send a rebate to all the people who "overpaid" for their copy of Vista? I'm not trolling here, I suspect the reason is that MS waited just long enough for the sensationalism to fade before they dropped the Vista price whereas Apple didn't wait long enough. Since I haven't bought either of these products, I'm going to have to rely on others who have...

Re:Comparison to Apple (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22600458)

"Where is Bill Gates promising to send a rebate to all the people who "overpaid" for their copy of Vista?"

Yep.....trolling.

Tag him & bag him, boys.

Apple(s and Oranges) (1)

esocid (946821) | more than 6 years ago | (#22600724)

From my point of view, it's because I don't care about the iPhone. It's an overpriced gadget that does stuff that I don't really need. My phone does what I need it to do. Whereas I actually use the winblows OSs, and considered using vista. I also think you're comparing apples and oranges here. If Apple had done the same with Leopard I think people would have grabbed on to it, just the same as with Vista, but Leopard has been pretty stable (except for one upgrade about a month ago my roommate had problems with) and hasn't got such the flux of bad press that vista has. I'm even considering using a partition to try out Leopard.

Re:Comparison to Apple (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 6 years ago | (#22600734)

People ahve higher expectation of Apple then they do of MS.

Let's not forget MS and Apple are in different business.

an Apple / Dell comparison would be better.

Re:Comparison to Apple (1)

DAldredge (2353) | more than 6 years ago | (#22600738)

How long has Vista been out? How long had the iphone been out when the price was cut?

Re:Comparison to Apple (1)

lbgator (1208974) | more than 6 years ago | (#22600784)

The difference between the iPhone and this is that most people get OEMed into Vista. As this price cut doesn't apply to OEM - there is no reason for most Vista customers to be outraged.

Well... no reason aside from the fact that they paid for Vista. Zing!!

Upgrade or repurpose? (2, Insightful)

urcreepyneighbor (1171755) | more than 6 years ago | (#22600404)

'The whole notion of upgrading PCs has sort of fallen by the wayside.'
Instead of upgrading most of the old(er) boxes I acquire, I simply repurpose them. Could be something as simple as dedicating a 486 box to playing abandonware.

Did I mention I'm a hoarder? ;)

Generational Computers (1)

Dareth (47614) | more than 6 years ago | (#22601048)

I still have my old AMD K5 166 mhz, my AMD K7 750 mhz, and my "more modern, laugh* AMD 1.4 ghz computer.

Each has a purpose and a place in my computer eco system. Each one was my main computer rig for a period of time, and each was tweaked until very stable. The oldest even saw use with my younger brother for a good time after I was on to my next computer.

Sometimes it is nice to pull out the old Dungeon Keeper or even Betrayal at Krondor and Doom I & II and remember the good times from the past. Gameplay over graphics.

I hope my daughter will enjoy these computers in the future, and have a better appreciation of how far computers have progressed in a relatively short time.

One of this products (0, Troll)

jkro (1103265) | more than 6 years ago | (#22600424)

Vista is one of these products that one is better without that with it. No matter how much it costs. Any other OS is better than it. Even XP is better but I am afraid that not for long as the SP3 is about to be released.

Americans and EU should wait until (0)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 6 years ago | (#22600456)

MS drops the price to what is charged in China; $5. Even then, the chinese consider that too much. But ignoring that, it seems very unfair that Americans and EU pay SO MANY TIMES more.

Re:Americans and EU should wait until (2, Funny)

Shados (741919) | more than 6 years ago | (#22600564)

it makes sense on an economy of scale... people who make 50 cents an hour can't buy a 300$ OS. The thing thats unfair, is that its not completly why those price drops are there. It feels like its rewarding piracy to me.

How can you then blame people for pirating software, when you show them that if they keep doing it, they'll get a 80% discount on legit copies?

Re:Americans and EU should wait until (1)

richlv (778496) | more than 6 years ago | (#22600748)

but how legal are such price differences in light of different international treaties ? can a user from europe pruchase th $5 copy in china and use it ?
i vaguely remember some talks about such price differences being shady/partially illegal, but i can't remember in what light did i read that and where.

Is it illegal? NOT A CHANCE. (1)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 6 years ago | (#22600794)

You buy, it is yours. But companies like MS and groups like RIAA will say otherwise. The real issue would be that I seriously doubt that the chinese version will include any western languages, save esperanto (which is really not a western language).

Re:Americans and EU should wait until (1)

mrbcs (737902) | more than 6 years ago | (#22601006)

Price has nothing to do with the "value" of the product. The price will rise according to the market. If they could get $1000 a copy, they would sell it for that.

Best example of this is a boom town, like up in the tar sands. See what people are paying for everyday items compared to some other remote location that's not in the middle of an oil boom.

Re:Americans and EU should wait until (2, Funny)

Spudtrooper (1073512) | more than 6 years ago | (#22600622)

The Chinese may get it for $5, but they also have to live in China.

Office for Mac (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22600588)

"While much of the sales were for the new Office 2007, Swenson said just over 20 percent of all boxed copies of Office were Office for Mac. Swenson credited the large number of people switching to Macs as part of the reason for the spike in Mac Office sales."

This tidbit about Office sales is also interesting. I guess a significant fraction of people who abandon Windows for Mac systems still pay Microsoft for Office, so it isn't all bad for Microsoft even if people switch.

Not just "unheard of"... (1)

srl100 (820165) | more than 6 years ago | (#22600744)

...but "very unheard of".

from the article: (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 6 years ago | (#22600808)

"version used to move from XP or another copy of Vista. "

They are competing with themselves, and need to slash prices. Market force at work.

"surprised to find that the amount of revenue lost was more than made up for by an increase in the number of PC buyers willing to shell out for an upgrade."

you're kidding me, right? that's not un common. You can sell a newspaper for a dime and sell 100 of them, cut it to a nickel and you will sell 300 of them.(adjust number for inflation)
I mean, this is a known market factor. maybe they need to replace their CFO.

"Brooks also pointed to the increase in sales Microsoft saw when it cut the price to computer makers for Windows XP Media Center Edition"

So contrary to the top of the article, they have done this before.

Re:from the article: (1)

ubrgeek (679399) | more than 6 years ago | (#22601094)

You can sell a newspaper for a dime and sell 100 of them, cut it to a nickel and you will sell 300 of them.(adjust number for inflation)

True, as newspapers don't make money on subscriptions. If you give them out, however, you must sell at least 50% of your circulation numbers (or maybe 51%, I don't remember. Been a long time since I worked for one) you have to change what your tell advertisers what your official circulation is and thus affect ad revenue.

All of that said, I'm not sure why the price cut is a surprise. It's marketing: Draws attention back to Vista, shows MS is doing something in an effort to reduce piracy (which will make board members happy) and could _possibly_ add to the size of the user base, thus letting them issue another press release.

Not odd at all (4, Interesting)

gilesjuk (604902) | more than 6 years ago | (#22600852)

Vista costs twice as much in the UK as it does in the US.

New meaning to an old adage (1)

MeMeMeMe (1073430) | more than 6 years ago | (#22601066)

They almost can't give it away?
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