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 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 Parent Score: 18

v RE[2]: Dun' matter.
by Hiev on Fri 2nd Mar 2012 16:12 in reply to "RE: Dun' matter."
RE[2]: Dun' matter.
by Thom_Holwerda on Fri 2nd Mar 2012 16:18 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 Parent Score: 1

RE[2]: Dun' matter.
by sukru on Fri 2nd Mar 2012 16:24 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 Parent Score: 1

RE[2]: Dun' matter.
by Jack Burton on Fri 2nd Mar 2012 17:55 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 Parent Score: 0

jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

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

Reply Parent Score: 6

RE[2]: Dun' matter.
by lucas_maximus on Sat 3rd Mar 2012 16:45 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 Parent Score: 0

RE[2]: Dun' matter.
by mattymoo on Sun 4th Mar 2012 23:00 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 Parent Score: 0

RE: Dun' matter.
by ilovebeer on Fri 2nd Mar 2012 17:16 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 Parent Score: 1

RE[2]: Dun' matter. - identical needs
by jabbotts on Fri 2nd Mar 2012 19:56 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 Parent Score: 6

RE: Dun' matter.
by Drumhellar on Fri 2nd Mar 2012 18:37 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 Parent Score: 2

RE: Dun' matter.
by jessesmith on Fri 2nd Mar 2012 19:28 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 Parent Score: 5

RE: Dun' matter.
by malxau on Fri 2nd Mar 2012 20:20 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 Parent Score: 4

RE: Dun' matter.
by arpan on Sat 3rd Mar 2012 01:07 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 Parent Score: 5

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

Which cool features?

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[2]: Dun' matter.
by daedalus on Mon 5th Mar 2012 08:37 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 Parent Score: 1

RE: Dun' matter.
by Alfman on Sat 3rd Mar 2012 04:45 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 Parent Score: 6

RE[2]: Dun' matter.
by redshift on Sat 3rd Mar 2012 16:07 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 Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: Dun' matter.
by MollyC on Sat 3rd Mar 2012 19:17 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 Parent Score: 2