Linked by David Adams on Fri 2nd Mar 2012 15:55 UTC, submitted by sawboss
Windows By all early reports, Windows 8 is going to be a good operating system. Microsoft's hegemony may be crumbling in a mobile computing onslaught, but its core empire remains undimmed. However, whereas Windows 7 had three versions, Windows 8 will apparently be ballooning to 9 versions.
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Dun' matter.
by Thom_Holwerda on Fri 2nd Mar 2012 16:05 UTC
Thom_Holwerda
Member since:
2005-06-29

It's becoming a red herring, really. Nobody buys a boxed copy, and new computers all ship with the same version: Home Premium. Everything else will only be seen by those who actually really need it (businesses and geeks).

As much as I'd like them to offer one, singular version, I've never heard anyone outside of our geek circle give two shits about this.

Edited 2012-03-02 16:05 UTC

Reply Score: 6

RE: Dun' matter.
by Kroc on Fri 2nd Mar 2012 16:10 UTC in reply to "Dun' matter."
Kroc Member since:
2005-11-10

It does matter when they arbitrarily remove and cripple the OS solely for the purpose of differentiating the versions. What physical limitation is there about Starter edition that makes it impossible to change the wallpaper, and that the SHA1 of the default wallpaper is encoded into shell32.dll so that you can’t swap the default wallpaper file?

Also, Lion comes with full disk encryption now. Do home users not need this feature? What kind of excuse do Microsoft have for that?

Reply Score: 18

v RE[2]: Dun' matter.
by Hiev on Fri 2nd Mar 2012 16:12 UTC in reply to "RE: Dun' matter."
RE[2]: Dun' matter.
by Thom_Holwerda on Fri 2nd Mar 2012 16:18 UTC in reply to "RE: Dun' matter."
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Apple is a hardware company.

Microsoft is a software company.

Everything else follows from that.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Dun' matter.
by randy7376 on Sat 3rd Mar 2012 01:42 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Dun' matter."
randy7376 Member since:
2005-08-08

Apple is a hardware company.

Microsoft is a software company.

Everything else follows from that.


Microsoft is a marketing company first and a software company second.

Reply Score: 9

RE[4]: Dun' matter.
by Carewolf on Sat 3rd Mar 2012 11:59 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Dun' matter."
Carewolf Member since:
2005-09-08

Apple depends on marketing much more than Microsoft does. In fact I don't think Microsoft could make a successful marketing campaign if their life depended on it.

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Dun' matter.
by sukru on Fri 2nd Mar 2012 16:24 UTC in reply to "RE: Dun' matter."
sukru Member since:
2006-11-19

It is basic economics. If people are willing to pay more for your product, you should enable them to do so.

By segmenting the features (like restricting Media Center to higher editions), they enable customers to pay more for more features.

It's like going to a theme park (like Universal Studios), and paying more for front of line passes. The park will still do the same thing every day (i.e.: the cost is fixed), but some will pay more, some less. And they also provide cheaper options (coupons), so that who are not able to afford will still be locked in to the product (starter edition).

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Dun' matter.
by cmost on Sun 4th Mar 2012 11:11 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Dun' matter."
cmost Member since:
2006-07-16

I would agree with you, however, you're forgetting something important. People aren't simply paying more for the features they want with higher Windows versions. That would only be true if Microsoft sold a single base version of Windows and then provided supplemental add-on packs with additional features. Instead, by fragmenting Windows, Microsoft forces users to pay for a perfectly good license of a crippled version of Windows (read Windows Starter Edition) then they have to pay AGAIN to upgrade that to a functional version of Windows. In the future, if they find they need Domain or other corporate features,then they have to pay for ANOTHER license for a still higher edition of Windows. Microsoft is double and triple dipping and laughing all the way to the bank. And users are too ignorant of what's really going on to be outraged.

Reply Score: 8

RE[2]: Dun' matter.
by Jack Burton on Fri 2nd Mar 2012 17:55 UTC in reply to "RE: Dun' matter."
Jack Burton Member since:
2005-07-06

It does matter when they arbitrarily remove and cripple the OS solely for the purpose of differentiating the versions. What physical limitation is there about Starter edition that makes it impossible to change the wallpaper, and that the SHA1 of the default wallpaper is encoded into shell32.dll so that you can’t swap the default wallpaper file?



It's a pretty standard business practice. IBM started doing this eons ago with server hardware.
SAN vendors do this regularily (want more features from your iron? Pay more bucks and they'll unlock the feature).
When you buy a QLogic Fibre Channel switch you have 16 physical ports, but only some are enabled, depending on how much you paid. Want more ports ? Pay a bit more.
They intentionally cripple the features solely for the purpose of differentiating the price.
For hardware it sounds even more weird than for software, but it works like this.

Reply Score: 0

RE[2]: Dun' matter. - full disk encryption
by jabbotts on Fri 2nd Mar 2012 19:33 UTC in reply to "RE: Dun' matter."
jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

Truecrypt is free; and beats the shit out of what the premium windows versions ship with.

Reply Score: 6

Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

Technically this is true, and for people like me and you it works fine once set up properly.

For the average user, it can be a nightmare. I recently recommended it to my dad when he asked about full disk encryption (he's a member of the tinfoil hat brigade, sadly). He is more adept than the average user, for example his laptop has two hard drive bays and he uses Norton Ghost to maintain a redundant backup scheme. However, Truecrypt was simply over his head. He now plans to upgrade from XP to Win7 Ultimate for BitLocker; he's been looking for that last killer feature to push him to 7 and that was it.

Simple, transparent one-step disk encryption as offered by Microsoft, Ubuntu* and Mac OS X exists for people that don't want to fiddle with learning something like Truecrypt, simple as that Free software may seem to me and you.


*I know Ubuntu only encrypts the Home folder by default, but you can use the Alternate install disc to enable full disk encryption.

Reply Score: 3

jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

With Debian, I'm actually going encrypted LVM. For added tin-foil protection, one could put /boot on a removable SD kept in one's wallet or keychain. Debian's setup may well be outside the average user's unattended abilities though.

Bitlocker.. I have a distrust of microsoft which I believe is well earned. There may well be no bitlocker backdoors but I'm suspicious. Also, if domain administrator can recover user bitlocker keys then there is already a big whole in it.. that kind of recovery is what backups are for.

Truecrypt I've not left a user to setup on there own but the setup wizard seems to be pretty adequate. The NSA/FBI's lack of success is a pretty strong test of it's strength. The open development model limits potential for backdoors and bugs. I'd personally say that the benefits greatly outweigh sitting with a user the first time they set it up.

Each to there own though. I also think there are other killer features that justify the win7 upgrade (the backup alone if not real 64bit support) so at least he's getting off XP.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Dun' matter.
by lucas_maximus on Sat 3rd Mar 2012 16:45 UTC in reply to "RE: Dun' matter."
lucas_maximus Member since:
2009-08-18

It does matter when they arbitrarily remove and cripple the OS solely for the purpose of differentiating the versions. What physical limitation is there about Starter edition that makes it impossible to change the wallpaper, and that the SHA1 of the default wallpaper is encoded into shell32.dll so that you can’t swap the default wallpaper file?

Also, Lion comes with full disk encryption now. Do home users not need this feature? What kind of excuse do Microsoft have for that?


Dude it is their software, they can choose to price release it however they want.

Don't like it ... don't buy it.

Edited 2012-03-03 16:49 UTC

Reply Score: 0

RE[2]: Dun' matter.
by mattymoo on Sun 4th Mar 2012 23:00 UTC in reply to "RE: Dun' matter."
mattymoo Member since:
2011-12-29

How come nobody gets all angsty and accuses BMW of arbitrarily crippling the base models of their cars? It is a perfectly valid business decision to provide different levels of value-addition for a price premium.

Reply Score: 0

RE[3]: Dun' matter.
by zlynx on Tue 6th Mar 2012 20:55 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Dun' matter."
zlynx Member since:
2005-07-20

It is a little bit different because with a cheaper car it was originally built to a limited specification.

If BMW shipped a cheaper model car and called it a 6 cylinder engine, but it was really an 8 cylinder engine with two filled with concrete, I think people would be equally outraged.

If BMW shipped cheaper cars that were limited only by the engine computer, and you had to pay more in order to exceed 70 mph, people would also be angry.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Dun' matter.
by ilovebeer on Fri 2nd Mar 2012 17:16 UTC in reply to "Dun' matter."
ilovebeer Member since:
2011-08-08

As much as I'd like them to offer one, singular version, I've never heard anyone outside of our geek circle give two shits about this.

Why on earth would they offer one singular version? First of all, they don't have customers with identical needs. For people who need less, why wouldn't you offer those people a trimmed down version at lower cost?

Second, why do you THINK companies provide multiple versions of what is essentially the same product? Because in business you provide customers willing to pay more, something to pay more for. This is not rocket science, it's common practice by countless companies around the world. Referring to it as "old tricks" is absurd. It amazes me how many people don't seem to understand for-profit business at all.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Dun' matter. - identical needs
by jabbotts on Fri 2nd Mar 2012 19:56 UTC in reply to "RE: Dun' matter."
jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06


Why on earth would they offer one singular version? First of all, they don't have customers with identical needs. For people who need less, why wouldn't you offer those people a trimmed down version...


The "everybody has different needs" is a crap excuse. It's not rocket science to provide a custom install which lets the user choose only what applies to there different needs. This excuse belongs in the field scaring birds away from the crops.


Because in business you provide customers willing to pay more, something to pay more for.


Bingo. There's your huckleberry. The maximum that one can milk the market for. What price-point will carefully balance maximum profits with minimum buyer rejection. You make it sound like it's done for the benefit of the buyer though; "give them something to pay more for" as if we're looking for an excuse to hand over more of our earnings. Maybe government taxes are a privilege we can somehow increase?

I do get why it's done; profit spike pays for development cycle and finances short term help-desk support along with short term updates, units sold drops off so new version is announced with different coloured shiny lights to seem needed and new profit spike starts the cycle over again. Lest we forget corporate law which dictates that shareholder equity trump customer benefit in any decision.

For me the question is more about what happened to cost+reasonablemarket. Why does the market allow this to be cost+asmuchaswecantakeyoufor? Especially in the software market where all scarcity is artificial. Once development costs are paid back, your looking at 0 cost per unit plus 1$ for distribution media and packaging, less if you stick to digital distribution. They could easily make development costs back plus reasonable profits after that. But no, we need to pay $100+ for an OS. (and some thought 40$ for a Dos install was high markup)

Reply Score: 6

RJay75 Member since:
2010-05-18

MS is a company and trying to maximize their profits. No one should deny them of that regardless of how other companies price there products. But also it isn't just MS trying to milk as much as they can from customers. I've seen it over and over of businesses haggling with price versus features when buy anything.

If MS were to have one price point and product for windows you may have just as many people complaining about paying for features they would never use. Regardless of the price a business that will use a machine for just browsing the web, email creation and in house software that requires actual hardware versus a terminal solution will complain about having to pay the same price as a full workstation.

It isn't just MS doing this either. Many CAD/ERP Systems... package version are priced at different price points. Often times they use the same installation media but your serial id controls what features are enabled or not. CNC controlled equipment is even worse because you pay for different hardware and software combinations.

And most of the reasons why is someone at some point and time tried to negotiate a lower price for using a reduced set of features.

Edited 2012-03-02 21:46 UTC

Reply Score: 1

jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06


If MS were to have one price point and product for windows you may have just as many people complaining about paying for features they would never use.


That would indicate that the single sku was recognizably overpriced to begin with. A customizable install combined with reasonable price point would not result in these complaints.

But then, I also recognized that MS is a company and that "what the market will tolerate" pricing is not limited to MS. Yes they are a company in the business of manufacturing profits. No surprises there at all but that shouldn't stop us consumers from recognizing the size of the shaft they are offering.

Reply Score: 2

BeamishBoy Member since:
2010-10-27

The "everybody has different needs" is a crap excuse. It's not rocket science to provide a custom install which lets the user choose only what applies to there different needs. This excuse belongs in the field scaring birds away from the crops.


"Everybody has different needs" ain't a crap excuse at all; it's just not the whole excuse. It would be far more accurate to say "Everybody has different needs and wants."

The people who want more features in their particular version of Windows should reasonably expect to pay more for the privilege. This really isn't rocket science.

Edited 2012-03-02 23:10 UTC

Reply Score: 1

ilovebeer Member since:
2011-08-08


Why on earth would they offer one singular version? First of all, they don't have customers with identical needs. For people who need less, why wouldn't you offer those people a trimmed down version...


The "everybody has different needs" is a crap excuse. It's not rocket science to provide a custom install which lets the user choose only what applies to there different needs. This excuse belongs in the field scaring birds away from the crops.

You wrongly assume that all features are pluggable. What you're failing to realize is that some feature may require core changes in order to function properly, and that may require other changes to prevent breakage in unrelated areas.

I will tell you right now, the different Windows versions are not simply builds with different build configuration arrangements.

For me the question is more about what happened to cost+reasonablemarket. Why does the market allow this to be cost+asmuchaswecantakeyoufor? Especially in the software market where all scarcity is artificial. Once development costs are paid back, your looking at 0 cost per unit plus 1$ for distribution media and packaging, less if you stick to digital distribution. They could easily make development costs back plus reasonable profits after that. But no, we need to pay $100+ for an OS. (and some thought 40$ for a Dos install was high markup)

I'm not sure why you think there's $0 cost per unit and $1 for distribution and packaging. Running a business in the real world costs money, even after the cost of development has been recouped. Believe it or not, Windows pricing is not outrageous. They are not 'raping' their customers at point-of-sale.

If nothing else, we live in a world that revolves around economics. The idea of everything being free or absurdly cheap is very alluring. But, it's far from realistic.

Reply Score: 2

Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

the different Windows versions are not simply builds with different build configuration arrangements.


The only build that I can see that would be significantly different is ARM. It's not 1995 anymore, we have modern tools to ensure exactly that the OS can be modular. If that makes charging different prices for different modules rape is a different story but you'd be kidding yourself if you don't think MS made 8 modular enough to enable different editions with ease.

absurdly cheap is very alluring.


I thought that's why we have sweatshops.

Reply Score: 3

ilovebeer Member since:
2011-08-08

The only build that I can see that would be significantly different is ARM. It's not 1995 anymore, we have modern tools to ensure exactly that the OS can be modular. If that makes charging different prices for different modules rape is a different story but you'd be kidding yourself if you don't think MS made 8 modular enough to enable different editions with ease.

Windows versions are not created with a bunch of plugin modules -- at least not according to the people I know who work in that division.

absurdly cheap is very alluring.

I thought that's why we have sweatshops.

Using sweatshops doesn't eliminate the cost of running a business.

Reply Score: 2

Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

ilovebeer,

"I'm not sure why you think there's $0 cost per unit and $1 for distribution and packaging. Running a business in the real world costs money, even after the cost of development has been recouped. Believe it or not, Windows pricing is not outrageous. They are not 'raping' their customers at point-of-sale."

He was talking about marginal costs, and as far as development goes he was right.

If it costs X to build (whatever that amount may be), then every dollar of revenue above X is pure profit with zero additional developer costs. Of course we're only talking about development costs and not sales or marketing, but the OP already explicitly said that.

Reply Score: 2

jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

If the added features are not "plugable" then there is something broken with the OS architecture to begin with. They could easily have designed the "value add" features to be more plugable. I honestly don't believe the difference between Win7 Home, Win7 Pro and Win7 Ultimate are as great as the "plugable is hard" theory would suggest.

They could easily offer Win7 Workstation and Win7 Server both with more customizable install options to support individual needs if the business objective was the maximize benefit for the customer not maximize profit. It is purely to provide synthetic differences for the justification of multiple sku price points; get each target customer for as much profit margin as that cross-section will tolerate.

Yeah, I know.. it's not going to change any time soon and MS isn't the only company doing it.

Reply Score: 2

jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

the 0$ cost thing. I actually suggested cost + reasonable marketup versus cost + maximum margin. $0 cost per unit after development costs are paid back.. fair enough, I'll accept that this is an exaggeration. I will keep to the opinion that after development is paid off, the per unit cost is significantly lower then what the retail price remains at. The price of Win7 Ultimate is no where near the cost of stamping a disk, slapping it in packaging plus the ongoing maintenance and support it needs. And that's not even considering the support contract business they run along side it.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Dun' matter.
by Drumhellar on Fri 2nd Mar 2012 18:37 UTC in reply to "Dun' matter."
Drumhellar Member since:
2005-07-12

Came here to say that. Glad to see it was also the first thing said.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Dun' matter.
by jessesmith on Fri 2nd Mar 2012 19:28 UTC in reply to "Dun' matter."
jessesmith Member since:
2010-03-11

Non-geek do care when they run up against features they don't have. Take, for example, Windows 7's ability to use legacy drivers. The feature is in the higher end edition, but not in the Home edition. This tends to tick off people who have been told Windows 7 will support their old printer/scanner/camera/whatever and then find out their edition doesn't come with the legacy feature. and the hardware vendor refuses to develop the proper drivers. Customers don't like to hear they have to either upgrade Windows, revert to XP or buy new equipment.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Dun' matter.
by malxau on Fri 2nd Mar 2012 20:20 UTC in reply to "Dun' matter."
malxau Member since:
2005-12-04

...new computers all ship with the same version: Home Premium...I've never heard anyone outside of our geek circle give two shits about this.


I think the problem this creates for MS is "unknown unknowns" - users who don't realize Windows is capable of doing something because they've never seen it. When that happens this strategy backfires for MS - people don't see the point in paying more for something without knowing the advantages, creating the perception that Mac (or Linux) can do something Windows "can't."

Reply Score: 4

RE: Dun' matter.
by arpan on Sat 3rd Mar 2012 01:07 UTC in reply to "Dun' matter."
arpan Member since:
2006-07-30

And that is the problem. Almost everybody gets a computer with Home Premium, and they have no idea that there is any other version of Windows.

And then later they see a friend using a Mac and see all the cool features they are missing, and instead of upgrading to a higher specced version, they decide that next time they will get a Mac.

Basically, creating so many versions, and crippling the versions that a lot of people use, is damaging to the Windows Brand.

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Dun' matter.
by Thom_Holwerda on Sat 3rd Mar 2012 01:08 UTC in reply to "RE: Dun' matter."
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Which cool features?

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Dun' matter.
by malxau on Sat 3rd Mar 2012 13:55 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Dun' matter."
malxau Member since:
2005-12-04

Which cool features?


No doubt everyone could make their own list, but:
1. Single user Terminal Services (OS X includes VNC based screen sharing);
2. Previous Versions (OS X includes Time Machine);
3. Full disk encryption (OS X includes FileVault);
(etc)

There's lots of them, but the UI is the worst part. It's not present but disabled, it doesn't give informative messages saying it's not available in a given addition. It's just silently not there. The user is left wondering _how_ to change Starter Edition wallpaper, and it's not clear at all that a different edition would allow/expose this differently.

Reply Score: 4

RE[4]: Dun' matter.
by Delgarde on Sun 4th Mar 2012 21:34 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Dun' matter."
Delgarde Member since:
2008-08-19

"Which cool features?


No doubt everyone could make their own list, but:
1. Single user Terminal Services (OS X includes VNC based screen sharing);
2. Previous Versions (OS X includes Time Machine);
3. Full disk encryption (OS X includes FileVault);
(etc)
"

Really? You think terminal services and disk encryption are interesting to the kind of person who bought a PC with one of the cheaper Windows versions pre-installed?

Reply Score: 4

RE[5]: Dun' matter.
by zlynx on Tue 6th Mar 2012 21:01 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Dun' matter."
zlynx Member since:
2005-07-20

Certainly.

Say that this person buys a tablet. Now they want to use their PC from the tablet. No problem! If that PC only had remote desktop...

Or perhaps they hear stories about thieves stealing laptops and raiding people's bank accounts through online banking, so they decide encryption is a good idea.

People don't need to be technical to decide these things are good ideas.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Dun' matter.
by arpan on Sun 4th Mar 2012 15:52 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Dun' matter."
arpan Member since:
2006-07-30

Oh, I don't know, useless stuff like automated backups?

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Dun' matter.
by daedalus on Mon 5th Mar 2012 08:37 UTC in reply to "RE: Dun' matter."
daedalus Member since:
2011-01-14

I seriously can't see anyone going and buying a Mac for a feature they could get by upgrading Windows. Have you any examples of such a feature? Terminal services was mentioned as an example - how many people do you really think wouldn't know about different versions of Windows, and yet would see a similar feature on a Mac and think "Wow! This is what I need!"?

Anyone I know who doesn't know of different Windows versions is also hard pushed to understand the difference between a limited user and a root user - if they do switch to a Mac, it would be because it's shiny and silvery (and probably faster than their crapware-infested Windows system), not because of some technical feature they don't understand and never heard of...

Reply Score: 1

RE: Dun' matter.
by Alfman on Sat 3rd Mar 2012 04:45 UTC in reply to "Dun' matter."
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

Thom Holwerda,

Dun' matter!?!? I realize that's partially tongue in check, but...my parents bought a computer with win7 home on it. I discovered that they routinely experienced a major problem - the desktop would lock for the last user using it when going into screen saver/hibernation. Then, when booting it up, other users could not get on. They could not "switch users", nor could they terminate the locked user's session.

So what did they do, you ask? All they could do, which was to hold down the power button for 4 seconds, and restart. I looked at it thinking that couldn't be right, but it turns out to be a common problem with that version. This is a moronic limitation by microsoft, but it just might be infuriating enough to convince users to upgrade. But the bundled version was seriously unfit for purpose.

The thing is, they upgraded from an XP home desktop which suffered no such limitation.

I disabled the screen saver passwords so at the very least they could log out normally without disrupting power.

Reply Score: 6

RE[2]: Dun' matter.
by redshift on Sat 3rd Mar 2012 16:07 UTC in reply to "RE: Dun' matter."
redshift Member since:
2006-05-06

So what did they do, you ask? All they could do, which was to hold down the power button for 4 seconds, and restart. I looked at it thinking that couldn't be right, but it turns out to be a common problem with that version. This is a moronic limitation by microsoft, but it just might be infuriating enough to convince users to upgrade. But the bundled version was seriously unfit for purpose.


Causing a situation were a user has to force power cycle the system on a regular basis can't be too good for the long term reliability of that system. I know NTFS has journaling... but I just would not be surprised if that would cause problem if you did it all the time.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Dun' matter.
by Neolander on Sun 4th Mar 2012 07:39 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Dun' matter."
Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

Causing a situation were a user has to force power cycle the system on a regular basis can't be too good for the long term reliability of that system. I know NTFS has journaling... but I just would not be surprised if that would cause problem if you did it all the time.

Actually, I'm not sure that NTFS has journaling of both metadata and file contents, as can be seen on Ext3 as an example.

The only things which are mentioned on NTFS' wikipedia page are metadata journaling and an optional atomic transaction feature that must be explicitly supported by software (read : used by nothing but a few core Windows services).

If this is all there is to NTFS journaling, then the contents of regular files will still likely end up badly botched after repeated power cycles. As an example, a friend who frequently experiences power outages recently encountered some weird problems with his web browser, which I suspect was caused by a corrupt cache that contained incorrect URLs since wiping browser caches solved the problem.

Edited 2012-03-04 07:52 UTC

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Dun' matter.
by MollyC on Sat 3rd Mar 2012 19:17 UTC in reply to "RE: Dun' matter."
MollyC Member since:
2006-07-04

Sounds like a bug to me.

I have used many Win 7 Home Premium computers, and that OS simply does not have the limitation you describe.

Maybe you're referring to WIn 7 Home Basic, which is only available in "emerging markets", but even that shoudl not have the limitation you describe. I've never used it, but such a limitation makes no sense. If that is indeed by design, then it is indeed horrible policy by MS wrt that version of the OS.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Dun' matter.
by Alfman on Sat 3rd Mar 2012 21:50 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Dun' matter."
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

MollyC,

"Maybe you're referring to WIn 7 Home Basic"

Yes.

"which is only available in 'emerging markets'"

Not so, unless you'd consider Staples and Walmart to be "emerging markets". ;) Maybe your referring to starter edition(*)?

"but even that shoudl not have the limitation you describe. I've never used it, but such a limitation makes no sense. If that is indeed by design, then it is indeed horrible policy by MS wrt that version of the OS."

Totally agree, it sucks. But...it is an incentive to upgrade for people who otherwise don't need more OS features.

* Edit: I see walmart sells Win7 Starter Edition in the US as well.

Edited 2012-03-03 22:09 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Dun' matter.
by Neolander on Sun 4th Mar 2012 07:49 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Dun' matter."
Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

"Maybe you're referring to WIn 7 Home Basic"

Yes.

"which is only available in 'emerging markets'"

Not so, unless you'd consider Staples and Walmart to be "emerging markets". ;) Maybe your referring to starter edition(*)?

Unlikely. Here in France, they sell it on netbooks.

Reply Score: 2

...
by Hiev on Fri 2nd Mar 2012 16:11 UTC
Hiev
Member since:
2005-09-27

I imagine the world 75 years from now some one selling on ebay the 9 unboxed version of Windows 8 for collectors, as valuable as the transformers.

Reply Score: 10

Old tricks ?
by Lennie on Fri 2nd Mar 2012 16:21 UTC
Lennie
Member since:
2007-09-22

When isn't Microsoft up to their old tricks ?

Maybe they aren't even old, they are the tricks they always use. :-)

Reply Score: 8

What, only one ARM version?
by canadianlinuxnerd on Fri 2nd Mar 2012 16:26 UTC
canadianlinuxnerd
Member since:
2006-06-14

The only thing that actually surprises me is that they have only the one ARM edition, I expected them to have at least 2 in order to allow differentiation in the mobile market, your know an ARM basic for low end tabs and phones and an ARM premium for high end devices. Seems like they've missed a pretty basic marketing trick there, surprising really, especially since their partner Nokia is in the process of phasing out Symbian and is going to need a low end offering. MS is usually pretty good at this stuff though, perhaps they'll launch further ARM versions later.

Reply Score: 6

a Windows for my Arm
by robmv on Fri 2nd Mar 2012 16:57 UTC
robmv
Member since:
2006-08-12

ARM version naming will fail. People will read that as a Tablet with Windows ARM edition, and will think "nice a Windows for my Arm that I can use on my new fancy tablet" and then try to run standard Windows applications and fail at that, returning it the next day

Reply Score: 4

RE: a Windows for my Arm
by viton on Sat 3rd Mar 2012 17:22 UTC in reply to "a Windows for my Arm"
viton Member since:
2005-08-09

use on my new fancy tablet
"fancy" tablet on x86? Unlikely

and then try to run standard Windows applications and fail at that
With ALL apps downloaded from the store or preinstalled,
they are guaranteed to run only compatible apps.

Reply Score: 3

Windows 7 Versions
by adamfink8 on Fri 2nd Mar 2012 17:03 UTC
adamfink8
Member since:
2012-03-02

I thought Windows 7 has 6 Versions or Editions.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Windows 7 Versions
by AirForge on Fri 2nd Mar 2012 18:42 UTC in reply to "Windows 7 Versions"
AirForge Member since:
2012-03-02

Correct

Windows 7 Starter
Windows 7 Home Basic
Windows 7 Home Premium
Windows 7 Professional
Windows 7 Ultimate
Windows 7 Enterprise

Vista had 4 Versions
XP had 2

Reply Score: 8

RE[2]: Windows 7 Versions
by phoenix on Fri 2nd Mar 2012 19:26 UTC in reply to "RE: Windows 7 Versions"
phoenix Member since:
2005-07-11

XP had 3. There was a Starter Edition released for Netbooks.

Reply Score: 5

RE[3]: Windows 7 Versions
by adler187 on Fri 2nd Mar 2012 20:48 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Windows 7 Versions"
adler187 Member since:
2008-06-12

You forgot a couple:

Windows XP Media Center Edition
Windows XP Tablet PC edition
Windows XP Professional x64
Windows XP 64 (for Itanium)

as well as the various K and N versions for the EU and Korea, without Windows Media Player and other software.

Reply Score: 4

RE[4]: Windows 7 Versions
by tanishaj on Sat 3rd Mar 2012 04:06 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Windows 7 Versions"
tanishaj Member since:
2010-12-22

You forgot a couple:

Windows XP Media Center Edition
Windows XP Tablet PC edition
Windows XP Professional x64
Windows XP 64 (for Itanium)

as well as the various K and N versions for the EU and Korea, without Windows Media Player and other software.


There was also "Windows for Legacy PCs". XP was not in the name but it was on the splash screen at boot and everywhere else. It was XP without the NULL driver to prevent server software from running.

Reply Score: 3

Comment by v_bobok
by v_bobok on Fri 2nd Mar 2012 18:08 UTC
v_bobok
Member since:
2008-08-01

Oh, to hell with that! Gimme one desktop version, one handheld (ARM) version and one server edition, that's it.

Reply Score: 1

So....
by elektrik on Fri 2nd Mar 2012 20:16 UTC
elektrik
Member since:
2006-04-18

So, I think I'll decide to get:

Windows 8 H ome Basic
Windows 8 A RM edition
Windows 8 P rofessional
Windows 8 E nterprise Eval
Windows 8 E nterprise

Then and only then will Microsoft be 'happy' ;-)

Edit: Spacing.

Edited 2012-03-02 20:17 UTC

Reply Score: 4

Tales from the Duck Side
by Moredhas on Fri 2nd Mar 2012 20:58 UTC
Moredhas
Member since:
2008-04-10

I was looking for an image of a very specific comic to link to, but it seems some charming rogue tried and failed, in the process of making the same point back in 2009.

http://www.osnews.com/permalink?342520

Reply Score: 2

I hate Microsoft's products
by RichterKuato on Fri 2nd Mar 2012 23:47 UTC
RichterKuato
Member since:
2010-05-14

They gimp their versions to get people to pay more. They design obsoletence into their software. So buying their products feels more like paying a service fee. They only innovate too keep their monopoly rather than to you know improve customer satisfaction. They keep putting more of these little checks in to their software to test if you're payed for it.

I wouldn't know any of this if I'd just bought a PC from the big computer companies like Dell, HP etc. But years ago when they were much more expensive I got one off Ebay. Which is how I first heard about Windows' licensing since the one that was installed was already in use. That's why if given the choice I'll buy a device that doesn't have Microsoft's software installed on it. Which in turn is why I don't like PC's.

Reply Score: 6

RE: I hate Microsoft's products
by Alfman on Sat 3rd Mar 2012 05:02 UTC in reply to "I hate Microsoft's products"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

RichterKuato,

"They gimp their versions to get people to pay more. They design obsoletence into their software."

Yes, that's where they cross the line into unethical territory in my opinion. (Not saying that they're alone, mind you).

It's one thing to leave out features which are in the higher versions like VPN security and network file sharing. But to actually spend *more* R&D to deliberately make it *worse* than it would have been, that's distasteful.

Reply Score: 4

What about "Quicktime Pro"?
by MollyC on Sat 3rd Mar 2012 19:21 UTC in reply to "I hate Microsoft's products"
MollyC Member since:
2006-07-04

Apple offers Quicktime Pro for which users have to pay to unlock "Pro" (give me a break) features of Quicktime Player. For years, one of those "pro" features users had to pay to unlock was simply the ability to play a video at full screen size. lol

It's not like MS is the only one that does "gimps" features to get users to pay to "ungimp" said features.

As for "building in obsolesence", Microsoft supports their software for long periods of time (too long, lots of the bashers say). Apple's policy is to support only the latest two iterations of OS X. If you have a version older than that, you get no support, no bug fixes, no security updates; can't even run the latest version of Safari. And Apple's policy regarding much of their OS X software (like iLife and iWork) is for their latest versions to run only on the most recent two OSX releases, arbitrarily so, just to force you to upgrade the OS in order to run the latest versions of those apps. Yet Apple gets a free pass from the "tech geek" crowd.


While MS supports XP for 14 years and gets villified for building in "obsolesence", Apple supports any given version of OSX for about 2 years only, and gets praised to the heights. Funny, that.

Edited 2012-03-03 19:29 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE: What about "Quicktime Pro"?
by jbicha on Sun 4th Mar 2012 18:10 UTC in reply to "What about "Quicktime Pro"?"
jbicha Member since:
2008-07-10

There is no QuickTime Pro X so your rant needs an upgrade.

Reply Score: 2

lucas_maximus Member since:
2009-08-18

His point still stands that many businesses do this but MS are the ones that get howled at.

Reply Score: 2

"Windows 8 MyHomework"
by rascal on Sat 3rd Mar 2012 00:26 UTC
rascal
Member since:
2012-03-03

ohh I wonder how long it will take to hear about this version?

Reply Score: 2

Windows 8 ARM = iOS
by MollyC on Sat 3rd Mar 2012 00:32 UTC
MollyC
Member since:
2006-07-04

The article cited and the summary say that Apple realeases only one OS. That is false. They release OS X and iOS. iOS would correspond to Windows 8 ARM. So let's either take Widnows 8 ARM out of the equation or add iOS to the equation. Having it both ways is a misrepresentation of reality, i.e. pro-Apple and/or anti-Microsoft spin.

I could say a lot more (like the lameness of listing an "Eval" version as if that will be offered to consumers, or the lameness of poking around in registries as if internal software settings directly correspond with what will eventually be offered to consumers), but at least get the Windows 8 ARM = iOS thing right.

Reply Score: 2

Apple's $30 price is an upgrade price
by MollyC on Sat 3rd Mar 2012 00:35 UTC
MollyC
Member since:
2006-07-04

Apple does not allow a user to install OS X on any hardware that did not have a previous version of Apple's OS on it at some time in the past. So all retail sales of OSX are effectively "upgrade" versions, and priced at "upgrade" prices.

Reply Score: 4

Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

Exactly right, and I really wonder why it took them until 10.6 to figure that out. Or was it that they simply felt they could no longer get away with duping their own rabid customers? After all, the bigger the Mac using community gets, the savvier they collectively become.

I also find it interesting that the price dropped around the time the OSX86 movement peaked. I can tell you from personal experience that I would much rather run OS X on a "real" Mac than even the most compatible homemade clone. I specifically sought out hardware that would be a near perfect match for the Developer Transition Kits, except I went for a Core 2 Duo board for future Snow Leopard compatibility. After weeks of struggling I finally ended up with a nice fake Mac. Then a little glitch here, a random reboot there, a kernel panic every few days...I was done. I was so ready for a "real" Mac I would have settled for another G4 mini.

I honestly think Apple was just fine with people trying OS X on their PCs; after all, the hardware is their real revenue stream, the OS is just a hefty selling point. They can price it at $5 just to cover the cost of overhead and they will be happy because that customer is entrenched as an iContent consumer for another 12-18 months...just in time to buy the latest iMac or MacBook!

Reply Score: 2

Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

Morgan,

"After weeks of struggling I finally ended up with a nice fake Mac. Then a little glitch here, a random reboot there, a kernel panic every few days..."

Many people build lin/win systems which don't crash that often. Reputable hardware is fairly reliable. The majority of crashes are caused by faulty software. It's always possible that it's the hardware, but if you bought good components with a correctly spec'ed power supply, then you'd need to have more evidence than MacOS crashing to convince me it's the hardware. What does memtest say?

Yes, I know someone might think that MacOS is reliable on apple hardware, therefor the other hardware must be faulty. But the fact is apple have the benefit of coding for a homogeneous product line and they needn't bother testing their code against a broader hardware base.

"I honestly think Apple was just fine with people trying OS X on their PCs; after all, the hardware is their real revenue stream, the OS is just a hefty selling point."

I think if Apple allowed MacOS on generic hardware then there would be a huge demand for it. Ultimately that would be great for their OS popularity, but bad for their PC products. People buy apple hardware because they want MacOS. Their new OS pricing would have to reflect lost hardware sales. Also, I imagine there's work involved before it'd be ready for generic use.

After killing Psystar though, I doubt this is in the deck. But if they did it then MacOS would be more within my price range; it'd offer a serious contender to the windows desktop monopoly for typical users.

Reply Score: 2

Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

Many people build lin/win systems which don't crash that often. Reputable hardware is fairly reliable. The majority of crashes are caused by faulty software. It's always possible that it's the hardware, but if you bought good components with a correctly spec'ed power supply, then you'd need to have more evidence than MacOS crashing to convince me it's the hardware. What does memtest say?


I think you missed my point; the hardware was rock-solid under Windows and GNU/Linux. Mac OS X was specifically designed for the hardware Apple commissioned for it, and having almost-but-not-quite-the-same hardware means having hacked drivers from the various OSX86 sites. Hacked drivers means reboots, hard crashes, and kernel panics. Apple knows this, and I think (as in pure conjecture on my part) that they were willing to look the other way when the individual geek installed OS X on non-Apple hardware purely because they knew it would be a less than stellar experience and therefore push the user towards "real" Macs. They didn't look the other way with Psystar because that company sought to profit from the near-compatibility of OS X on generic PCs.

I think if Apple allowed MacOS on generic hardware then there would be a huge demand for it. Ultimately that would be great for their OS popularity, but bad for their PC products. People buy apple hardware because they want MacOS. Their new OS pricing would have to reflect lost hardware sales. Also, I imagine there's work involved before it'd be ready for generic use.


Exactly. As most people know, they are a hardware and services company, not an OS company. They know they can't support every old PC configuration out there, but if a few hard-nosed geeks want to fuss around with OSX86 (therefore generating buzz and interest in OS X itself) Apple sees potential new customers. Sure, there are a few people who buy the $30 SL or Lion disc with the intention of building a $400 faux Mac for production use, but for every one of those there are a dozen* who might go on to buy the real thing.



*I completely made up that statistic, but it's conceivable.

Reply Score: 2

Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

Morgan,

"I think you missed my point; the hardware was rock-solid under Windows and GNU/Linux. Mac OS X was specifically designed for the hardware Apple commissioned for it, and having almost-but-not-quite-the-same hardware means having hacked drivers from the various OSX86 sites."

Oh I see. It's possible apple has an incentive to make OSX less stable on non-apple hardware, but that's pure conjecture, and I hope they wouldn't actually do that.

"They know they can't support every old PC configuration out there, but if a few hard-nosed geeks want to fuss around with OSX86".

I think it would be more than a "few hard-nosed geeks" though. Possibly a very significant proportion of home users would be interested if they were able to pick a mac OS based computer cheaply. Presumably they'd be sold in stores by hardware manufacturers who've certified their compatibility, so there shouldn't be unsupported hardware. I think it would be very popular, but it would risky if apple wanted to remain a "hardware company".

Reply Score: 2

Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

"They know they can't support every old PC configuration out there, but if a few hard-nosed geeks want to fuss around with OSX86".

I think it would be more than a "few hard-nosed geeks" though. Possibly a very significant proportion of home users would be interested if they were able to pick a mac OS based computer cheaply. Presumably they'd be sold in stores by hardware manufacturers who've certified their compatibility, so there shouldn't be unsupported hardware. I think it would be very popular, but it would risky if apple wanted to remain a "hardware company".

Considering that Apple have recently ditched their lowest-end MacBook line, only leaving the arguably inferior Air in a similar price range, I think it's fair to say that they are not interested in pumping less money from customers.

As my father says, "there is a bunch of reasons why I buy Macs, but price is not likely to be ever part of these".

Reply Score: 1

_txf_ Member since:
2008-03-17

After all, the bigger the Mac using community gets, the savvier they collectively become.


Actually, I think you have that backwards.

What is true, is that the rabid fanaticism gets somewhat more diluted...

Reply Score: 3

Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

I think I'll respectfully disagree on both points.

On the first, think about it this way: The more users you have, the more people you have asking questions about how things work, and the more people there are who have already solved that issue and can educate the askers. I know that the old saying "A person is smart, people are stupid" might apply in a lot of things, but in this case I think the hive mind grows in knowledge the bigger it gets.

On the second, I've noticed that the larger a fanbase grows the more rabid the fans become. Whether it's music fans or OS fans, they seem to feed off of one another's fervor.

Of course, the above sentiments are simply my take on things and I'm only one person, prone to being wrong.

Reply Score: 2

siraf72
Member since:
2006-02-22

Windows 8 - Hater Edition (everything is disabled)
Windows 8 - Fanboi Edition (ships with OS X)
Windows 8 - Enterprise Platinum Edition (Ships with S. Balmer's email address included)
Windows 8 - Gamer Edition Ultramax 2000 (Ships with S. Balmaer as master-chief bronze bust)

Reply Score: 2

Comment by ilovebeer
by ilovebeer on Sat 3rd Mar 2012 19:02 UTC
ilovebeer
Member since:
2011-08-08

Alfman, it's a bit foolish to cherry pick only the bits of the picture that suit your opinion. When you don't consider the full scope, you are not considering reality.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by ilovebeer
by Alfman on Sat 3rd Mar 2012 21:46 UTC in reply to "Comment by ilovebeer"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

ilovebeer,

"Alfman, it's a bit foolish to cherry pick only the bits of the picture that suit your opinion. When you don't consider the full scope, you are not considering reality."

Marginal costs aren't really an opinion so much as an economic principal. You should agree that after a certain point, software development costs stop growing in proportion to market size, right? If so, then you actually agree with the point being made. I hadn't denied that sales/marketing/other costs will continue to go up - they probably overtake development costs by a wide margin even.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by ilovebeer
by ilovebeer on Sat 3rd Mar 2012 22:34 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by ilovebeer"
ilovebeer Member since:
2011-08-08

Marginal costs aren't really an opinion so much as an economic principal. You should agree that after a certain point, software development costs stop growing in proportion to market size, right? If so, then you actually agree with the point being made. I hadn't denied that sales/marketing/other costs will continue to go up - they probably overtake development costs by a wide margin even.

Development costs continue as long as a product is being supported and not EOL. And again, it's foolish to cherry pick only those aspects which you _think_ count, and then claim the cost is $0 from then on when in reality that is simply not true. You can not make an accurate analysis of the whole picture by limiting yourself to only a small portion.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Comment by ilovebeer
by Alfman on Sat 3rd Mar 2012 23:28 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by ilovebeer"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

ilovebeer,

Do you really not understand marginal costs? We specifically said that *development costs* approach $0 per marginal sale because they do. It doesn't matter if it's being developed for 1M or 1B, the dev costs to develop a version is fixed. Even if there are rolling releases this cost would still be the same. Wikipedia has an article on it, if you are interested.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marginal_cost

Other costs may not go towards zero, but I specifically said that too so I don't know what your so upset about.

Edit: Anyway, I'm not interested in pursuing this conversation with you since I couldn't care less about the outcome and you refuse to take it seriously.

Edited 2012-03-03 23:38 UTC

Reply Score: 4

v RE[4]: Comment by ilovebeer
by ilovebeer on Sun 4th Mar 2012 01:53 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by ilovebeer"
It matters in one important way
by Moochman on Sun 4th Mar 2012 23:58 UTC
Moochman
Member since:
2005-07-06

Language packs. This is the one thing that really sucks about Vista and 7, that you actually need an Ultimate install (or a hack) to change the system language. This bites you in the ass in two scenarios: 1) You want to let a guest use e.g. English instead of <insert language here>. 2) You move to another country and buy a copy of Windows there, only to discover that you can't upgrade without making it a "clean" install.

Apple does this right. One version of the OS, all languages included by default. No install problems, and no issues changing languages system-wide with just a couple of mouse-clicks. But why make things easy when you can make them complicated, right?

Reply Score: 3

The Reason for all these Versions
by benali72 on Tue 6th Mar 2012 05:34 UTC
benali72
Member since:
2008-05-03

Any company with a monopoly tries to segment its market to maximize revenue from each market segment. That's why MS has all these versions ... it's classic monopoly behavior.

MS was effectively granted a monopoly in the U.S. when they lost the court case in 2001, but the court failed to apply effective remedies.

Reply Score: 1

Pirates
by kokara4a on Tue 6th Mar 2012 11:26 UTC
kokara4a
Member since:
2005-09-16

Pirates will still only use the Ultimate edition ;)

Reply Score: 1