Home > Windows > Vista: Expect a Premium Push (with Premium Prices) Vista: Expect a Premium Push (with Premium Prices) Eugenia Loli 2006-04-18 Windows 24 Comments Microsoft still isn’t talking specifics regarding its Windows Vista pricing plans. But company watchers are predicting that Microsoft could reap big rewards from its planned premium edition push. About The Author Eugenia Loli Ex-programmer, ex-editor in chief at OSNews.com, now a visual artist/filmmaker. Follow me on Twitter @EugeniaLoli 24 Comments 2006-04-18 6:46 pm Pseudo Cyborg Call me be crazy, but I imagine all these tiers just confuse the general market consumer. They really should keep it simple and bring it back down to two options: Consumer (or Home) and Business. And I understand that Microsoft is a software company, but the premiums they charge for retail copies is just ridiculous. $150 for an OEM copy of XP Pro is a great and reasonable price point that they should stick to. I imagine they’d sell more (boxed retail) copies of their OS if it weren’t so ridiculously priced. The difference would be made and surpassed in volume. And don’t even get me started on their “Anytime Upgrade” proposal. That’s even more confusing to the general market consumer and just looks like they’re selling crippled software. Edited 2006-04-18 18:48 2006-04-18 7:21 pm vimh I don’t very many people will actually purchase an upgrade. Most people are going to get Vista when they purchase a computer. Of course all the computer manufactures will ship the low end version to cut costs so the user will end up having to purchase upgrades through MS to get all the bells and whistles. 2006-04-18 8:49 pm Pseudo Cyborg “Most people are going to get Vista when they purchase a computer.” Of course. But, as you say: “Of course all the computer manufactures will ship the low end version to cut costs so the user will end up having to purchase upgrades through MS to get all the bells and whistles.” And that’s what’s gonna get under people’s skin. There’ll be all this whoopla about the grand new features, and they might not even be included without an upgrade. 2006-04-18 7:25 pm Pelly It’s astonishing that many people believe they’re not paying for Windows when they purchase new system with WinXP pre-loaded & configured. Two coworkers were discussing this the other other day. One had ordered a new Dell system and commented that the price would have been much higher if, “he’d had to pay for WinXP.” I showed them some articles w/OEM pricing models, they were pretty astonished. They actually believed that OEMs ‘give’ away WinXP licenses (and eat the cost) to sell their systems and that the license was ‘free’ from the user perspective. Well, it is a transparent thing when OEMs hide the Windows license cost in the system pricing. I wonder if the OEMs are concerned with all the versions of Vista that will be available? Will new pricing models help or hinder them? 2006-04-18 8:50 pm mabhatter The goal is to help Microsoft here, what OEMs want is secondary. The “big” OEMs are Microsoft’s customers, the rest are “hassle”. They’ve made talk of reducing the number of resellers to reduce supporting them costs already. From pricing in the articles, I could see Microsoft changing the terms of the OEM agreements further for Vista. Most “piracy” is in the white box sector (local and online parts sales) which still accounts for about 20% of PC sales. That’s a big juicy target $$. With all the legal restrictions comming for Vista, I’m thinking that Microsoft will take away Vista from “white box” resellers completely execpt for retail boxes. With the “basic” version I could see Microsoft pushing the cost to the motherboard manufacturers (and most of them are OEMs anyway) it will be MS at the plant or the highway. And special features would be locked to the CD keyed to your hardware. Small stores could win because they can’t be accused of “piracy” anymore and windows is “cheaper” (hardware costs go up.. but boards are cheap enough to absorb the extra $30 cost, and it’s for everybody) Microsoft wins because they can play the “upgrade” game and hit the customers for forty or fifty bucks… directly into Microsoft’s pocket. They also now have their software on EVERY PC sold no matter how. Sure OEMs won’t have to install it…(getting rid of the monopolistic bootloader just ahead of the DOJ) but they’ll have paid for it anyway.. who’d want a free OS at that point? 2006-04-19 3:51 pm halfmanhalfamazing You see that with alot of things. People are so willing to pull the rug over their own eyes with alot of things. Take your paycheck for example. “I’m making 20 dollars per hour plus my employer is paying my benefits at my new job! Isn’t that great!?!” Whenever I hear something like that it’s like fingernails on a chalkboard. When I’ve explained that their paychecks without benefits would probably be 35 per hour, the reaction I got was not just astonishment but one of anger. But you’ve hit the nail on the head. You are paying for it one way or another. 2006-04-18 8:54 pm r2d2d3d4d5 Provided Vista Basic lets me run all my programs it sounds kind of appealing. MS can keep Vista Bloated (/Ultimate). 2006-04-18 9:56 pm Sodapop I’m just going to wait untill SP1 comes out for it because you guys all know it’s going to be jam packed full of bugs when it hits the shelves. And it looks like I can’t get the most basic version, it doesn’t include the new GUI. Guess I’ll have to get the Home Premium, upgrade of course, I’m not spending more than $100 on an OS. 2006-04-19 11:51 pm suryad There will be no SP1 becasue they are going to be releasing Vista R2 instead. 2006-04-19 1:14 am Jon Dough ….is the monetary cost of most GNU/Linux distros is zero. Oh, you may pay for the CD/DVD it’s burned to, or the bandwidth to download an ISO, but the distro itself is usually free. And there are any number of GNU/Linux distros that are newbie-friendly to someone accustomed to Microsoft products. So there’s no reason to be messing around with Microsoft’s overpriced OS’s anymore. 2006-04-19 2:15 am the__dude And there are any number of GNU/Linux distros that are newbie-friendly to someone accustomed to Microsoft products. So there’s no reason to be messing around with Microsoft’s overpriced OS’s anymore. ———— Every now and then I’ll install a dual boot to see if things have gotten better for me with Linux. Every time, its the same conclusion: Its ok, but I still can get work done easier, quicker, and with less hassles in Windows than I can with Linux. For many people there is pleanty of reason to run Windows. 2006-04-19 3:38 am LinuxRocks I am just the opposite. I have been using Linux for so long now that when I go into Windows to do anything besides play a game, I am lost. Nothing is where it is supposed to be. It takes me so long to get anything done its not even funny. I have been using Windows since 3.0 and Dos before that. But I got fed up with security issues and stability issues that I moved over to Linux about 8 years ago; never looked back. So, its possible for ANYONE to switch with a little training (Much like what you hat with Windows in the beginning). Vista? Naw, I don’t need that any more than I need a hole in the head. They can keep their OS and their computer Tax; I pay enough taxes to my state and government, no need to give a software vendor a tax to use a computer. I’m free and will always be free… 2006-04-19 8:51 am Angel--Fr@gzill@ !!! ” Every time, its the same conclusion: Its ok, but I still can get work done easier, quicker, and with less hassles in Windows than I can with Linux. For many people there is pleanty of reason to run Windows.” —- What you say is an absolutly biased assertion. You could say that playing poker is dull (if you do not know the rules…), that classical music is unbereable and always the same (if you are not educated in it..), that you prefer to play football in the beach than playing tennis in a ‘true’ tennis court (if you do not have the skills), that watching and historic Hollywood Film is better than reading an actual history book (if you believe that the Historic Hollywood Films have anything to do with true historic facts and you are not mentally prepared to read a thick book and find pleasure in it..) etc That’s to say: It all depends on the personal capacities and the environmnet in which you develop and move yourself! Only, that for most of the people the existant environmnet is the one of “Windows”. Therefore, they are so used to windows that many of them do not find sense in changing or find problmes to adapt to other Destop environments… I have tryied several OS with children, and what they like and learn quicker is what is nicer (eye candy), and has more games and entertaiment programs… They learn and use Linux perfectly in the absence of Windows and viceversa. And in many things they learn Linux quicker and better… I am tired of repeating that the hassles are in all OSs, but if there is an OS that has more hassles than the others, this one is Windows. Windows is not “Out of the Box”, and Windows is not “Desktop ready”. Only, that it happens to be the OS that the overwhelming majority uses and are used to, and because of that they find ‘plenty of reasons to use it…’ If MacOS X or many Linux Distros would be used by 90% of the computers users, they would find many reasons too not to change or use Windows and to stick with Linux or MacOS X (even to some other OSs like PC-BSD, DesktopBSD, OS2, BeOS …). But they do not know it yet… !!! Edited 2006-04-19 08:54 2006-04-19 9:16 am Wintermute Here we go again. Linux is not ready for mainstream adoption, let me tell you why. There are no distro that provide newbies with the same level of ease of use as windows. Some parts of the distro ecosystem, such as the DE’s have imho surpassed windows, however this does not mean that any Linux distro can provide an overall package as good windows. Consider hardware management in Linux. Give me a distro that can handle new hardware additions using a GUI as well windows. Let me give you an example, I use dialup ADSL (like regular DSL, but its not always on, you have to start a connection to get internet working) to connect to the internet. In windows the GUI wizard works perfect, no issues. In Mandriva, in theory the GUI should have worked even better as Mandriva actually had a connection profile for my ISP, but no luck. Internet did not work. Sure this problem could have been fixed by messing with CLI and config files. I am sorry I am not willing to waste my time like that, and I am sure the vast majority of windows users would support me. To succeed, a Linux distro will have to make sure that the GUI is as powerful as the CLI. Every function required for desktop operation should be accessible via GUI. Secondly, Linux still does not have a package management system that is suitable for most windows users. We all know why installers suck (windows users should know this much better than linux users), but one click .exe installation is the reality of the OS market. If you don’t like this approach why not combine it with repository approach via metadata in the package file. Something like autopackage but with more scope and much more features (lib and codec management via metadata – you know dynamic libs as default with static libs for compatibility issues). Linux distros also fail to help converts get used to the way it functions. I am sorry but, the file system structure on the vast majority of Linux distro’s is a mess. To succeed Linux distro should take the Gobolinux approach (also combined with ease of usa, GUI, a good package management system). An important issue ignored by is interoperability with windows. Why no provide a Wintools .exe package with file system drivers and a profile data collection utility. If the user uses firefox, this utility would copy some parts of the profile (cookies, bookmarks) and provide the user with an option to use this info when Firefox is first used. The same could be done with many other open source application. There is also a large segment of windows users that don’t care about OS politics and simply want to use windows for its convenience, you are not going to make them switch, they are willing to pay money to maintain this convenience. They like their overpriced windows and they are going to use it. Finally, there is the issue of IP. Due to IP law, Linux lacks a lot of goodies. Support for the newest hardware, drivers, multimedia playback (legal) and even browser plugins. While there is nothing that distro devs can do about this issue, these things aren’t going to make people convert to linux. IMHO, with the release of Vista, there won’t be any large scale migration to Linux. If anything the crucial point will come when KDE4 runs on windows. Then people will have an easy migration path – but would they bother migrating to another kernel if KDE on windows works just fine? 2006-04-19 1:25 am bullethead Listen. My brother insists on Windows. So I subscribed to the beta of Windows OneCare live. That’s $20 at the discounted rate for one year. To tell you how good it is, it disallowed firefox from connecting to the internet when the version # changed. Now I know that might be an “inconvenience” but to tell you the truth, from what I have seen from Microsoft pre-release software in the past 6 months is definite progess. I will buy Vista, and teh computers I buy next will come pre-installed with Vista. Their premium services will drive their way to more $$$ for Microsoft and their multimedia services and system protections services (on top of the default licenses) will push them ahead even more. People don’t realize that software costs money (especially in the proprietary world). I wish Microsoft the best, but at the same time I will be having fun with Fedora and Novell Desktop 10. To each his own I say, whatever floats your boat my friends. 2006-04-19 6:05 am g__t “We have a solid pricing plans! We have the hype! We even have the DRM! … well, er, yes, the product is still missing, but don’t mind!” Ok, now i’ll be fair with Microsoft, I really know why they are continuously delaying Vista: after years of pityful games bundled to the system (minesweeper and company) Vista will bring us new levels of user experience and come with a bundled copy Duke Nukem Forever! 2006-04-19 9:16 am kaiwai So true, very true. I’m running FreeBSD 6.0p6 right now, with KDE 3.5.2, all the bells and whistles, accomplishing the same things I would do if I ran Windows; I’m listening to my m4a collection using Noatun, surfing the net using Konqueror, Kopete for IM, Kmail for email and Knode for usenet. I’m set 🙂 Oh, and as for the iPod issue I was facing before; good news I found off slash dot, there is a move in reference to an opensource firmware for mp3 players ( http://www.rockbox.org/ ) – I’m going to wait till the next stable version is released, move all iPod accross to that, and re-rip my cd’s to ogg, then atleast I won’t be forever and a day held by the balls in regards to Apples inability to provide a decent level of support to those customers who use their iPods on non-MacOS X/Windows operating systems. As for these people who say, ‘I can do things in Windows with less hassle’ – interesting how these statements actually miss one key component, an example(s) that back up the assertion. Like I said, I’m running KDE right now on a fairly modern machine (Dell 8400/P4 3.2Ghz/512MB RAM) without any problems, accomplishing everything (and more) that I could do on Windows. 2006-04-19 9:49 am Wintermute And how much time did it take you to get FreeBSD running on a similar level to windows? Hell, just think how much knowledge of FreeBSD is required to get it to such a level? An average windows user isn’t going to waste his time to use FreeBSD just to get basic multimedia working. “As for these people who say, ‘I can do things in Windows with less hassle’ – interesting how these statements actually miss one key component, an example(s) that back up the assertion. ” You’re kidding right? Edited 2006-04-19 10:02 2006-04-19 11:15 am Angel--Fr@gzill@ !!! You do NOT want to get it… – “One click exe install” in Windows is still more difficult than “One click apt-get install”… If people were used to the Linux install system, they would find it easier than the Windows system. That is not to say that a one click system without insternet, woul not be desirable for linux too… A complete newbie is as lost in Windows as in Linux or whatever. Windows is not more intuitive than other OSs, on the contrary, is less… You make references to Windos, continuously… Why? Why you should reference everything to Windows??? I know people that have learn Linux from the start and do not need to use Windows for anything… And obviously, they find it easier than Windows. In my former post I explained that is not a question of Windows being better … , but a question of people being only used, in general, to Windows. Why do english drive on the “wrong” side of the road, and have the sterwheel in the “wrong” side too??? They do not think so, probably (althought they are wrong like in everything else… after all they are english ) Do they find it more useful? Probably. Do other people find it more difficult? sure. It is just a question of being used to… Besides MacOS,BeOS, MacOS X and many Linux have many aspects that are more “Desktop Ready” and “Out of the Box” than Windows… Hardware Recognition… Hardware Ready… You are kidding… Linux has much larger and better Hardware recognition out of the Box than Windows. Other issue is that some “key” drivers (Nvidia, Ati, some netcards, wireless..) have not the latest drivers ready for Linux, while they have it for Windows. Why? economies of scale is the answer… Ask the companies to make them quicker, but do not try to convince us that Windows is better than other OSs, because is not… It is simply different, and most people know just it, and no other OSs, but is neither better nor easier. It is simply the monopolistic standard! Easy hardware setting in a Distro? SuSe, PCLinux OS, Mepis… have easier hardware settings than Windows I use several OSs in my network, and I can compare it everyday… !!! Edited 2006-04-19 11:18 2006-04-19 1:07 pm g__t Hi, well, usually major linux distro comes out with a better out-of-the box bundle than “naked” Windows along with that (surprisingly horribly chosen) amount of crap software that usually is installed on Windows by OEM resellers. However, let’s make some examples as you asked: – I get to download my favourite cross platform, open source IDE (FPC+Lazarus) and I found that the Windows install is easier because my favourite distro (Suse) chosen to give some non standard names to some libraries and I have to download a lot of RPM to build an actually working IDE; moreover under windows I can use Win32 GUI libraries while under Linux it’s quite a mess to make the IDE correctly use anything more advanced than GTK; – my ATI 9700 video card drivers under Linux doesn’t offer 3D acceleration, so I got to download proprietary ATI drivers, installed them… and have an unusable system displaying a blank screen… what went wrong? Piece of cake for me since I’m accustomed to CLs from early ’90s and regulary administer OS/400 with it’s really powerful and complex CL, however, Average Joe would have fled from the Linux world for a while after such a result… – however, I prefer old arcade games to modern 3D games (so I’ll not bother you saying that usually games came out firstly for Windows then only some a bunch of them is ported to Linux or may made work under wine), so I had MAME working on my Windows partition imediately and I would be lying you if I say that setting up MAME under Linux was so easy. The example may continue with NVU, my favourite web authoring tool, that is cross platform and open source (not a closed source crap), that install easier unedr Windows than under Linux, or I may remember some years ago when on older distros Firefox (an icon of the open source movement) was not jet bundled and I had to call the installer from the command line instead having a nice icon that Average Joe would enjoy to click, or talk about making work Opera under Windows vs uder Linux, or older version of FPC that i had to install with a sh that regulary crashed if the path where I downloaded the application contained spaces, or even I may wonder why my PCMCIA crashes most Linux installer, or why my 2 years old wireless connectivity still doesn’t work under Linux. Under OSX most of those issues are not problems. Many of those problems are posed from closed source word (support to wmv and other closed formats, propietay drivers, policies about games and commercial software deployment…) but not all (as you may see, I strongly prefer open source software). On the other hand, now I have a cool Linux box, stable, secure and updated with a lot of software, and I prefer browse with those machine than with my Windows box, and I trust it for stability and security as my OSX box. However, many things were not as easy to obtain (and are not going to be reasonably as easy to obtain in short times) as under Windows or as under OSX and jet I doesn’t substitute my Windows box fully with my Linux box even if I prefer the second one for many tasks. 2006-04-19 1:17 pm Cellar Dweller I agree totally with your statements. I’ve only ever used Windows and know it inside and out. This is what I’ve learned and this is what I work on daily and hourly and I’m in the IT field and have to know it inside and out. I have Linux Fedora Core 5 and have had every version since it’s inception on another PC and I’m clueless with Linux but that doesn’t make it bad. I’ve only learned and used Windows and so have many other people, of course people will say it’s the way, but it’s because that’s what you know. People are afraid of change. Here is another example: My Aunt – knows nothing about computers or OS’s for that matter and she is a whiz with the MAC and OS X and (WHY, is this???) this is the only thing she’s ever learned. She was totally clueless on Windows. People will only know what they’ve learned. Since MS OS comes on every damn PC this is what people know. If Linux had an equal playing field you’d see people would love Linux over Windows and vice versa and the Mac OS for that matter and so on. This can be easily tested just by installing say Fedora Core 5 on your parents PC (Ones that have never used anything) and show them how to use the internet, get mail or send mail and do documents and spreadsheets etc. you will see they will love Linux and you can’t leave out the fact that everything I just mentioned is FREE. I love Windows but I can say Linux is JUST as good if not better in more ways than one. You will always have your fanboys screaming this and that just look at the big picture. It’s what you learn or what you know will always be what you say is best!!! The problem is there really is no argument that can be made one way or the other if you ONLY know one way… Edited 2006-04-19 13:22 2006-04-19 7:52 pm Wintermute I am not saying that Linux/BSD is not suitable for you. All I am saying is that you shouldn’t advertise the media readiness of *nix, when reality it is pain to get multimedia up and running. Anyway, let’s just wait and see what happens. If you are correct Vista will signify a noticable increase in desktop linux usage. If I am correct, nothing much will change in terms of marketshare. I didn’t mean to imply that windows is the best OS there is. There are loads of issues with windows. XP’s file manager sucks ass and its not extensible. The default desktop system is hard to modify and the only options is to use another shell. The way windows hides extensions and its multimedia preview system are a nightmare (previewing OGM files crashes if video preview is enabled). The fact that XP can’t handle SATA drives and acts unpredictably with regards to assigning drive letters (why use drive letters in the first place?). What I am saying is that the *nix world doesn’t really have what it takes to have a significant presence in the desktop arena. I am not talking about which OS is better. I am discussing why the vast majority of users will not choose *nix even though it free in terms of $$$. Call me ignorant, but what I say can be demonstaed in the real world. Consider the Mozilla Suite and Firefox. Both of them are much better that IE, and I would use them anyday over Internet Explorer. The difference is that Firefox achived success among the mainstream public while the Mozilla Suite did not. Mozilla didn’t gain popularity by showing the benefits of gecko or the extensions system. They did it by providing an alternative to IE. Linux world should do the same. 2006-04-19 5:50 pm tomcat Linux will NEVER catch on with desktop users. MS has first-mover advantage. I know it sucks … but it’s reality. Deal with it. 2006-04-19 6:57 pm kaiwai And how much time did it take you to get FreeBSD running on a similar level to windows? Hell, just think how much knowledge of FreeBSD is required to get it to such a level? An average windows user isn’t going to waste his time to use FreeBSD just to get basic multimedia working. How so? its as easy as following instructions; which I blogged: http://freebsd-diary.blogspot.com/ hardly steps which I would call ‘mind bogglingly difficult’. You’re kidding right? No I’m not; if I said ‘GWB is a moron’, obviously people will say, ‘yes, I agree, but at the same time, give us an example of this’; if I said, ‘Windows is less secure than zyx’, I’m sure there will be people who will ask, ‘well, back that up with some evidence’. Same goes with the assertion in reference to Windows and apparent superiority over Linux/FreeBSD/what have you.