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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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 Parent 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 Parent 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 Parent 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 Parent 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 Parent 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 Parent Score: 3

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 Parent 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 Parent 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 Parent Score: 2