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Microsoft Windows Vista Ultimate

Microsoft Office Professional 2007
Microsoft will be selling its latest operating system and office suite online for customers to download

Microsoft today detailed three new distribution methods for customers looking to buy, upgrade or license multiple copies of Windows Vista. One such method involves Microsoft selling a copy of its operating system via the Internet for the user to download onto his or her system, marking a first for the software giant.

Microsoft will make Windows Vista and Microsoft Office 2007 available for direct download via Windows Marketplace starting January 30 at suggested retail prices (but without the discs, packaging and manuals of the retail version). Windows Vista editions offered through Windows Marketplace will be available in English only, in either 32-bit or 64-bit versions. Windows Marketplace visitors also can find a wide variety of Windows-compatible hardware and software, including products carrying the Certified for Windows Vista logo.

Microsoft also detailed its Windows Anytime Upgrade program, a new option that allows customers to upgrade their existing edition of Windows Vista to a higher-grade edition by way of an online transaction. For example, if a Windows Vista Home Premium or Windows Vista Business user decides he or she wants more capability — perhaps to join his home PCs to secure domains at the office, or to experience the multimedia capabilities of Windows Vista on his work laptop — the user can click on the Windows Anytime Upgrade option in the Start menu, select the desired upgrade edition, purchase it online to secure a new digital key, and then follow the on-screen instructions to complete the upgrade. It was previously revealed that Microsoft would be shipping all versions of Vista on a single DVD, meaning that those who purchase the operating system on DVD will not have to download additional parts of the operating system for the upgrade.

The manufacturer's suggested retail prices to upgrade to more premium editions of Windows Vista are as follows: Home Basic to Home Premium $79, Home Basic to Ultimate $199, Home Premium to Ultimate $159 and Business to Ultimate $139.

The third part of Microsoft’s announcement today reveals a limited-time offer for customers who buy retail copies of Windows Vista Ultimate. From January 30 through June 30, the Windows Vista Family Discount will allow North American customers to license two additional copies of Windows Vista Home Premium for use on other PCs in the home at the reduced price of $49.99 each. Before completing the order online, customers will need to enter one valid full or upgrade Windows Vista Ultimate key from their retail boxed product. After eligibility is verified online, the customer can purchase licenses to install Windows Vista Home Premium on one or two additional Windows-based computers.

"With the consumer launch of Windows Vista so close, we're excited to announce three new ways to make the purchase and upgrade experience easier than ever," said Brad Brooks, general manager of Windows Client Marketing at Microsoft. "These new programs give our customers more flexibility and choice to ensure they get the edition that's right for them."



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Family Discount!
By Hydrofirex on 1/18/2007 2:41:45 PM , Rating: 3
I just want to say that I really like the family discount idea, and that I think that is an ideal and very equitable methodology for consumers with multiple computers in their homes.

I'm kind of sad to see them using it as an incentive to get people to upgrade early on in the Vista process as I really believe this could drive large scale adoption in the long term. One of my biggest concerns is the fact that I don't want to have to drop 200+ bucks for each one of the 3 PC's I run in my house. If I could purchase a copy of ultimate for my personal computer, then Home edition for 50 bucks on the other 2 computers, with an upgrade to media center edition for one, Microsoft will be getting a significant amount of money from me for this new OS, but I'll also feel like I'm getting a significant value since I'll be able to upgrade my entire home network.

It's amazing how fairer pricing makes piracy look undesirable from a consumer standpoint.

My only question is what if I'm upgrading to ultimate from XP? Does that program cover that as well?

Microsoft, if you can hear me, catering to users who want to run multiple machines in their homes is a good way to build loyaler customers, increase per household profitability, an decrease piracy. I'm hoping you're investigating this via this program, and that you continue with it!

HfX




RE: Family Discount!
By masteraleph on 1/18/2007 2:53:21 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
My only question is what if I'm upgrading to ultimate from XP? Does that program cover that as well?


Let's try reading the DT article carefully:

quote:
Before completing the order online, customers will need to enter one valid full or upgrade Windows Vista Ultimate key from their retail boxed product.


So according to all the news on it, yes. Buy a valid upgrade copy of Vista Ultimate (MSRP $259, amazon already has it at $250, presumably will be available for that or cheaper), input the key onto the website, and purchase licenses for $50 (note that the phrasing is ambiguous- it's not clear if that means that you'll have licenses/keys or whether there will be actual media involved). Total cost= $350 (which , amazingly, is cheaper than the MSRP for the full Vista Ultimate retail version). Also, note that this is Home Premium, which is the successor to MCE- media center is included.


RE: Family Discount!
By OrSin on 1/18/2007 3:18:09 PM , Rating: 2
Now if they did this for OEM verisaon i might bite. I'm get OEM Premuim with the new computer (the real reason to buy a prebuilt one for me). I wonder if they are lack and will let a OEM key get through :)

Also guys watch it for the E-bay copies. Some are OEM.


RE: Family Discount!
By Anonymous Freak on 1/18/2007 5:11:11 PM , Rating: 2
From something I read on some Microsoft site (sorry, can't find the link,) you will be able to upgrade OEM copies in place. So if you get OEM Home Basic on that craptacular new HP, and really want Ultimate, you can upgrade for the $759.33+first born or whatever they charge.


RE: Family Discount!
By Zandros on 1/18/2007 4:41:34 PM , Rating: 2
I'm assuming that you get two keys to Home Premium and you then use your purchased DVD-copy of Windows Vista to install Home Premium, since all different editions are on the same disk.


RE: Family Discount!
By tmok2007 on 1/18/2007 11:04:38 PM , Rating: 2
Something sounds stupid to me. You pay for one copy of Ultimate, and they allow you to purchase two additional licenses of Home Premium. That still doesn't allow me to run Remote Desktop among these machines, as this is a feature of the Ultimate but not the Premium. What they should do is to give a choice for these additional licenses to be Ultimate, Business, Premium, or Basic. They can charge accordingly, and that would be fair. To limit it only to Premium, that's unfortunate.


RE: Family Discount!
By jkresh on 1/19/2007 3:33:16 AM , Rating: 2
well if you want ultimate or business on all 3 I suspect you could just pay the upgrade price (from home premium to ultimate, or home premium to business) so each additional copy of ultimate would be 209 (159 + 50), which is a little bit better then the standard upgrade price (and a lot better then price for full editions).


RE: Family Discount!
By Christopher1 on 1/18/2007 11:44:28 PM , Rating: 2
You mean that they are going to allow you to buy licenses for OTHER computers, and let you use your same product number to install on them? Sign me up for that!

Seriously, that is one of the BEST freaking ideas Microsoft has ever had, and I hope they will continue it for the full life of Vista.


RE: Family Discount!
By mtnmanak on 1/18/2007 6:35:43 PM , Rating: 2
Okay, while this may seem like a good deal compared to Microsoft’s outrageous pricing, this “family plan” is still WAY overpriced.

First, why do we even have different versions? Shouldn’t there just be an operating system? Why gouge the consumer when all of the “features” of Ultimate should be just standard!

Consider Apple’s pricing for OS X. For $129, you get the entire package – multimedia, user interface, networking, AND a much better package of included applications. For $199, you get all that, plus a Family Pack that allows you to install the OS on FIVE computers. All for less than the price of one Vista Ultimate upgrade.

Unfortunately, Apple has been stupid enough to not allow their OS to be installed on any PC. IF that ever happens, I believe they will be a serious threat to MS. Apple’s OS is much better AND much less expensive. Plus, they upgrade it every 18-24 months vs. MS 5-6 year upgrade cycle. Even upgrading everytime Apple comes out with a new OS would cost about the same as 1 retail copy of Vista Ultimate.

Hopefully Apple figures this out and releases a version we can all use!


RE: Family Discount!
By Nocturnal on 1/18/2007 7:23:48 PM , Rating: 2
Well Microsoft has already established itself in the OS marketplace. Apple, obviously has, somewhat, too but I bet down the line, as Apple gets more popular and used more and more that we'll see a significant increase in the price of Apple's OS.


RE: Family Discount!
By PandaBear on 1/18/2007 8:03:14 PM , Rating: 2
I agree, OSX all of a sudden seems like a much better deal and now buying Apple seems like a reasonable choice (if you have an old XP or 2000 lying around).

Can't believe I said that, from someone that has hated apple for years on their strategy of overcharging.


RE: Family Discount!
By Ringold on 1/18/2007 8:16:30 PM , Rating: 2
They can afford to charge that little for an OS when they bend you over a barrel for their hardware. ;)


RE: Family Discount!
By Ringold on 1/18/2007 8:11:31 PM , Rating: 1
Why different versions? Spoken like a true Mac partisan; "hold my hand, daddy, I don't like choices." That, or perhaps the also common lack of business knowledge.

It's simple: The market is massive (Earth). Many people have different needs, and many different levels at which they'd pay for these different needs. If a company could charge every person at precisely the level they're willing pay for a given good/product, then they would. That's impossible. So Microsoft produces a range of products at a range of prices to satisfy as many different types of customers as possible to maximize sales/profit.

The choices really arent that complicated, but I'm sorry if two different flavors of just two true choices for most consumers (Home Premium or Ultimate)is a little taxing.


RE: Family Discount!
By masteraleph on 1/18/2007 8:28:35 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Unfortunately, Apple has been stupid enough to not allow their OS to be installed on any PC. IF that ever happens, I believe they will be a serious threat to MS. Apple’s OS is much better


Except that the majority of Windows crashes due to software are due to bad drivers. Little secret- either the same thing will happen with OSX, or else there won't be drivers for any number of devices. The reason why OSX is so stable is because it has a very limited number of drivers that can be used with it.

Apple has determined that at this point, it isn't a good idea economically to put OSX out as standalone software. They don't want to spend the money on support and infrastructure at this point, and you aren't in a position to correct that.

quote:
AND much less expensive. Plus, they upgrade it every 18-24 months vs. MS 5-6 year upgrade cycle. Even upgrading everytime Apple comes out with a new OS would cost about the same as 1 retail copy of Vista Ultimate.


Ding ding ding! You have it exactly. MS and OSX are, relatively speaking, the same price, if you buy at the beginning (or middle) of the cycle.

Finally, as to why they don't have a standard OS- it's because they've run profit models and have decided that they're currently where they want to be. Face it: the vast majority of consumer sales will be Home Premium (note that Dell has far more available models that come with MCE and don't have XP Home as a possibility than they do ones that default to XP Home, and that most of their models, even low end ones, come with 1GB of ram standard). The vast majority of small business and business oriented laptops will be on business. The ONLY reasons for needing ultimate are:

a) You like having a big e-penis
b) You need media center and remote desktop on the same PC
c) You need to join domains and remote desktop on the same PC.


RE: Family Discount!
By tmok2007 on 1/18/2007 11:22:01 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
b) You need media center and remote desktop on the same PC

And you think this is an unusual combination? It might be true if you only have one machine at home. If you have more than one machine and you have a home network, I bet you will eventually have a need for remote desktop. As for media center, I don't know why one would need more than one copy. It is probably in Microsoft's dream that everyone will be running MCE at every TV set that they have. Listen Microsoft, if you want MCE to be successful, it has to come in the form of a CableCard. As flat screen TVs are moving off the tabletop and up on the wall, the last thing that one wants is to have unsightly wires hanging from the TV to the MCE PC.


RE: Family Discount!
By Christopher1 on 1/18/2007 11:47:57 PM , Rating: 2
What is remote desktop anyway? Is it that feature where you can control a bunch of computers, from one?

That is a feature that personally, I would need! I am always having to connect to my parents PC to fix problems in it, and that would be a great feature for me to have with the baseline versions of Vista.


RE: Family Discount!
By Nekrik on 1/19/2007 12:24:15 AM , Rating: 2
"What is remote desktop anyway? Is it that feature where you can control a bunch of computers, from one?"

Yep, It's been built into the OS and free since 2000 (maybe NT?, I don't remember for certain). With Vista they updated the RDP protocol and I think it's pretty sweet. There are clients for Macs and I think Linux, there are also some pretty cool web based clients that let you manage multiple machines on the same page, I imagine now you can just create a tab for each machine (or will be able to shortly).


RE: Family Discount!
By masteraleph on 1/19/2007 8:02:04 AM , Rating: 2
Kind of. There are two parts: RDP server and RDP client. The computer that you are controlling is the RDP server, the computer you are connecting from needs the client. Home Premium does come with the client (so you could use it), but not the server (Business and Ultimate).

Note that XP Pro also has the RDP server function as well.


RE: Family Discount!
By jtesoro on 1/19/2007 8:52:08 PM , Rating: 2
Isn't it a bit strange if Home Premium has the RDP client, and Business and Ultimate have the server? It implies that the one with Home Premium has the "knowledgeable" user who needs to connect and manage the computers running the Business and Ultimate versions.


RE: Family Discount!
By Kazairl on 1/18/2007 8:44:14 PM , Rating: 2
Do you know what kind of hissy-fit the DOJ and EU would throw if MS started rolling in more and more applications into Windows? These are the people who threw a fit over IE being included for free. Also, there would be a host of anti-monopoly lawsuits filed by software companies whose functionality could be replaced by "free" applications rolled into Windows. That's probably why Windows by itself needs a add-in software program to play DVD movies.

Remember, Home Basic was a response to the EU demand that MS "protect consumers" by a
releasing a lower-cost version of Windows with LESS features (rolled eyes).



RE: Family Discount!
By masteraleph on 1/18/2007 11:02:20 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
That's probably why Windows by itself needs a add-in software program to play DVD movies.


Not with Home Premium and Ultimate they don't....:)


RE: Family Discount!
By bdiddyt on 1/19/2007 10:48:26 PM , Rating: 2
I would be interested to see what would happen if Microsoft decided not to sell Vista to the EU at all... Of course its not going to happen, but it would be cool to see the results.


RE: Family Discount!
By OCedHrt on 1/19/2007 3:48:48 AM , Rating: 2
Until you pay $129 for 10.1, 10.2, 10.3, 10.4, 10.5...

Oh wait, that's $645, and I've spent $0 since XP.


RE: Family Discount!
By Rayz on 1/19/2007 7:45:02 AM , Rating: 2
First, why do we even have different versions? Shouldn’t there just be an operating system? Why gouge the consumer when all of the “features” of Ultimate should be just standard!

Unlike Apple, MS has to support an almost infinite number of computer configurations from manufacturers that they have never even met. If they just released one version, then everyone would have to buy a high end machine just to get it to run.


Consider Apple’s pricing for OS X. For $129, you get the entire package – multimedia, user interface, networking, AND a much better package of included applications. For $199, you get all that, plus a Family Pack that allows you to install the OS on FIVE computers. All for less than the price of one Vista Ultimate upgrade.


Typically, Apple's software looks better, but is nowhere near as functional. Pages for example, has nowhere near the functionality of even the most basic edition of Office.
Apple's idea of a 'Media Centre' doesn't even support TV viewing and recording.
The other point is that is advantangeous for Apple to give you the OS for next to nothing, because they know that you have no choice but to buy their hardware to run it on. If MacOSX was not artificially constrained to run on just Mac boxes, then I wonder what they would be charging for it then?



A pleasant experience
By msva124 on 1/18/2007 3:13:51 PM , Rating: 2
Had to fire it up again yesterday to check compatibility with some stuff for work. On my old dinosaur, Pentium M 1.7 GHz with 1GB RAM, startup time was a mere 5m 30s. Kudos to MS for making this thing fast even on aging hardware.




RE: A pleasant experience
By Nekrik on 1/18/2007 3:52:57 PM , Rating: 2
While 5 minutes seems horrific there could be lot's of reasons for it. the Thinkpads had a wide variety of hardware configs, 32MB to 128MBs of video, 4200rpm to 7200rpm drives, is it running on battery power, is this the latest Vista release or one of the Beta releases? I saw drastic improvements in RC2 over the beta builds.

I'm not trying to hack on your post, but I've seen you mention this boot time in several thrreads but haven't seen the same behavior myself or reported by others with older hardware. Also, other modern OSes, such as newer versions of Suse and RH also lag on a few of my oldre machines but I expect it (but not 5 minutes, I'd re-install and if it happened again I'd look for different hardware).


RE: A pleasant experience
By msva124 on 1/18/2007 7:01:04 PM , Rating: 2
Okay, I will try installing Vista on a completely different machine with similar specs and measure the startup time. It could just be an isolated instance.

But it also could be a miscommunication in the way we define startup time. For me, it's not when I can start running programs. It's when all the startup programs and services have finished loading, and the CPU and hard drive usage are in the same state they would be at idle.


RE: A pleasant experience
By Nekrik on 1/18/2007 8:06:57 PM , Rating: 2
I agree with you on the point when you have fully booted, reaching the desktop isn't it. To me the system is idling, network is established, all services are loaded, etc. That said, it should be done on a relatively clean system, without third party apps configured to launch at boot, sync services, etc.

I just tried on an old Dimension GX240 with 1.7Ghz P4, 384MBs RAM, 32MB ATI128 Rage Pro, 5400RPM drive and it took ~4min 35seconds. It had a Vista system rating of 1 (cpu was rated at 2.4, video was 1, disc was 4.4). The 384MBs RAM was a big problem as it was paging like crazy.

Without a lot to go on I was suspecting you had a beta build, but that was just a guess, I had RC2 in my test above.

Not sure that any of this really helps, just throwing it out there, I've never used a centrino processor and don't know what their specs are like. My thought is that when most enterprises start to upgrade in a year or so the baseline hardware available at that time will perform pretty well.


RE: A pleasant experience
By Ringold on 1/18/2007 8:25:01 PM , Rating: 2
I think the RAM might've been a key constraint there.

With my laptop, which had 480mb after accounting for what gets set aside by the bios for video booted a good bit quicker than that. The extra 100mb RAM on such marginal systems like what we're looking at could be the difference there very easily.

And no, before you baselessly blame my good performance on an employer msva, I do NOT work for Microsoft. Never had a tech-related job in my life. Can't help it if I'm [H]ard...


RE: A pleasant experience
By msva124 on 1/18/2007 10:08:10 PM , Rating: 2
What startup time are you getting, what is your definition of startup time, what are your detailed system specs, what version of Vista do you have installed, and do you have any of the default startup programs (like sidebar) changed or disabled?


RE: A pleasant experience
By Ringold on 1/18/2007 10:30:05 PM , Rating: 2
I can't record it as I've put a legal copy of XP Pro back on, but it certainly wasn't in the realm of 4-5 minutes.

My definition of startup time is the same as yours, but I may have a slight time advantage as I'm a start-up nazi. Beyond antivirus I let almost nothing else (exception: Samurize) start with boot-up. I think I had Aero Basic turned on.. whatever the step below Aero Glass or whatever is, but not 98-style. None of this sidebar junk, not for a laptop.

More detailed specs, if it matters: Turion 64 ML-34 1.8ghz undervolted to .8v @ 800mhz, 480mb RAM for the system and 32mb for video, 5400rpm 60gb HD.

Indirect evidence for speedy boot time: I was taking notes from a lecture in World Religions and it crashed (I'd tweaked the voltages a bit too far the previous night apparently), rebooted. I was able to keep in memory what passed while I pulled Word 2007 (Beta) open.

I just timed it for XP Pro @ 1:18 sec boot time. Beta 1, I clearly remember, was slow and a RAM hog, but by the time Vista was at RC stage I was impressed; performance, including boot time and all office tasks seemed about equivalent. I can't speak of Vista gaming, as I've never tried it.

I can say with pretty strong confidence any sluggish performance isn't a Vista problem; more likely, a driver or configuration problem.

It also seems clear from the difference in boot times that the difference between 380mb and my 480mb is pretty large. 512 should be fine, though.


RE: A pleasant experience
By Ringold on 1/18/2007 10:44:07 PM , Rating: 2
http://arstechnica.com/guides/tweaks/vintagevista....

Their Gateway experience would probably be more like mine once two things are accounted for: my Turion64 probably gets more down per clock than does their 1.2ghz Tbird, and my RAM and disk didn't take near the thrashing theirs did -- likely because I ran Vista with more minimalist settings, while they state they were running Aero Glass "with all the fancy effects turned on".

Did you do an in-place upgrade? They note that their attempt to do so lead to results like yours. Their performance reached what we've experienced once they did a fresh install.


RE: A pleasant experience
By msva124 on 1/18/2007 10:18:31 PM , Rating: 2
What is your startup time with XP on that same machine? Less than 4min 35seconds, right?

I thought one of the touted improvements was faster boot time.


RE: A pleasant experience
By Nekrik on 1/19/2007 12:14:22 AM , Rating: 2
Booting XP on the same machine is definately faster, at least from a cold boot.

I hadn't really seen much of the MS selling points for Vista till you mentioned the faster boot time so I went and checked the Vista website to see what it had. I don't really see them pushing faster boot, except for laptops with a hybrid drives using what they're calling 'readydrive' and flash memory, they seem to just be leaving it out of the speal, they do tout faster overall performance. With it's fairly massive footprint I wouldn't really buy that it did boot faster, it simply has too much to move from disc into memory, and the sheer number of services is just disturbing. I have seen it recover from sleep much faster than XP, and overall operation (after it's booted) seems pretty responsive, but I've not done any real benchmarking. I've really not seen many OSes that add functionality and reduce boot times, putting Tiger on a G3 is painful, 95 or 98 boots way faster than XP, especially on less than 256 megs.

FWIW - I am trying to keep this on a boot perf discussion and not get into hacking on each other as that really seems pretty unproductive (though perf is off topic of the article). One thing I thought of trying just for sh1ts and giggles when I get time is to set up the USB readyboost to see if it helps on that GX240.


RE: A pleasant experience
By TomZ on 1/18/2007 4:10:55 PM , Rating: 2
I am running Vista Ultimate RTM on my 6-year old 850Mhz P3 laptop w/512MB RAM, and my boot time is much faster than that (1-2 minutes maybe). You have something wrong with your hardware, I would guess, or are you maybe using a Beta or RC release?


RE: A pleasant experience
By Ringold on 1/18/2007 5:18:05 PM , Rating: 2
I've got a Turion64-based laptop undervolted running at @800mhz, with 512mb (less -- some gets siphoned off to video), and I have much the same experience, especially when I played with more recent builds. I'm leaving XP Pro on it (I want it to stay legal, not worth placing Vista on it), but old hardware certainly can take it despite what detractors like to say.


RE: A pleasant experience
By msva124 on 1/18/2007 7:03:28 PM , Rating: 1
Maybe I don't work for Microsoft?


RE: A pleasant experience
By StevoLincolnite on 1/18/2007 10:37:31 PM , Rating: 3
I'm also running it on an 850 Coppermine-128.
512Mb of Ram, Radeon 9200SE. Its not the most joyful of experience, but its my test box to test the OS.
On the other hand my Pentium M 1.6Ghz @ 2.1Ghz, 1gb of ram, Radeon 9700Pro, And an upgraded 80gb Seagate 7200rpm drive.
And it runs without a hitch!
I don't think that the Dothan or Yonah and what no processors should have any problem running the game, I did a CPU benchmark against a friends celeron 2.8ghz @ 3.06Ghz And my Processor still wins hands down. And that machine was running Vista and playing Oblivion.
But none of the machines I've seen it run on have ever taken more than a Minuit or two to boot up, Anyhow the boot time doesn't bother me, Most people have they're computers turned on 24/7 anyway.


Ulimate over priced
By OrSin on 1/18/2007 2:22:39 PM , Rating: 5
Regardless of the price of MS software. There is no way the upgrade from priemeum to Ultimate should be $199. The feature set is just not thier.




RE: Ulimate over priced
By sotti on 1/18/2007 2:28:51 PM , Rating: 2
It's only $199 for home basic upgrade, and home basic doesn't even have aero.

It's $159 for home premium, but that is still overpriced for sure.

But it's $79 for basic to premium, so in a fair world, then home premium to ultimate should be $129.

Honestly it should be more like basic->$65->$50 or basic->ultimate $100

Since the jump from basic to premium is huge, aero, media center, ect.. and ultimate doesn't have that much useful stuff.


RE: Ulimate over priced
By TomZ on 1/18/2007 2:30:08 PM , Rating: 4
It's overpriced for you, but probably not for everyone else out there. Usually the "top" edition in anything carries some extra profit margin, and they count on a lot of people who can afford it to just buy the "best" (most expensive) edition, without really looking at its value.


RE: Ulimate over priced
By Brandon Hill (blog) on 1/18/2007 2:31:49 PM , Rating: 4
And Ultimate is only expected to account for 2% of the product mix.

http://www.dailytech.com/article.aspx?newsid=5139


RE: Ulimate over priced
By Micronite on 1/18/2007 9:19:21 PM , Rating: 2
Several studies have pointed out that consumers won't generally buy the "basic", "introductory", "value" versions of any product. They also generally won't go for the "super-dooper", "ultimate", "full-featured" versions. They'll always gravitate toward the "middle-of-the-road", "decently priced", "hey, this ain't so bad" versions.

Think about it... which version of stuff do you normally buy? Good, better, or best?


RE: Ulimate over priced
By Rayz on 1/19/2007 9:33:54 AM , Rating: 2
Best.

But I'm going to be more sensible this time ... :-|


RE: Ulimate over priced
By OrSin on 1/18/2007 2:39:13 PM , Rating: 2
My mistake Premium to Ulitmate still not worth the $159.
I guess i'm jsut going to lok for 3rd party desktop control software since thats the only feayre set i'm missing that i need.


Holy crap!
By Howard on 1/18/07, Rating: 0
RE: Holy crap!
By ChristopherO on 1/18/2007 2:39:26 PM , Rating: 2
That's the special version tech-editors use for their sites.

It features a grammar scrambler that automatically changes otherwise meaningful sentences into random, disjointed, gibberish.

It also has a magic spell-o-matic that takes perfectly normal words and adds random letters or digits.


RE: Holy crap!
By Chocolate Pi on 1/18/2007 5:30:34 PM , Rating: 2
Stop making fun of the INQ, we are above that here.


RE: Holy crap!
By careyd on 1/18/2007 5:40:52 PM , Rating: 1
I've been a heavy computer enthusiast a long time. I don't balk at high prices for software that's worth it. Lord knows I've spent literally hundreds of thousands of dollars on software just in the last 10 years. I'm also a market analyst. In my professional opinion, Microsoft have overpriced the entire Vista lineup by 33 percent or more. I think they are starting to realize this even now. Yet they cannot just slash retail prices as it would cause them to lose too much face. At this point, in order to move product and encourage widespread adoption, they are going to have to do more discounting and bundling and perhaps even do some rebates to bring a lot of converts on board. They will get their initial surge of early adopters, but behind that they really will be hurting for mainstream converts. Microsoft has a much larger strategy with Windows-powered Media Center marketing that simply cannot grow or succeed if they don't get widespread Vista adoption. Therefore, they ought to lower the barrier to entry in order to grow their installed base.


RE: Holy crap!
By Scrogneugneu on 1/18/2007 9:49:03 PM , Rating: 2
Oh, a market analyst. Finally, a chance to have a chat with one of them. So, how many years did you study to be able to analyze all this and come to the conclusion that

- Microsoft needs Vista to have a good adoption if they want to do anything based on Vista features
- Microsoft can have more adopters if they lower their prices
- Microsoft has set the price of it's OS too high for the value


Honestly, I don't see how someone could miss either points. Maybe we're all market analysts?


RE: Holy crap!
By Ringold on 1/18/2007 10:09:43 PM , Rating: 2
Just a guess, but if I'm not mistaken, a market analyst probably has a bachelors in either Finance or Economics. That likely means he can back up his statements with data and logic, where as unless you're one yourself you would have trouble. All three of your points, for example, had nothing to do with the price level Vista is currently at. It wouldn't be the first product sold in the economy to have a price that isn't tied to its value. In fact, I'd imagine price being on par with "value" (which varies by person) almost never occurs. Additionally, how would you, or most people, know if the price level isn't fine where it is? I dont -- businesses have apparently already adopted it faster than Microsoft expected. This guy (hopefully) has more than the mere suspicion you and I have.

Or he could be working for a hedge fund to spread negative sentiment about MSFT because they're short ten million shares. Who knows..


RE: Holy crap!
By Scrogneugneu on 1/18/2007 11:32:24 PM , Rating: 4
Microsoft actually made a lot of money selling Windows XP at much lower prices. The lower price for Vista matches the higher price for Windows XP. How come the new version has a price that higher? What's so new in Vista Home Basic to warrant that price increase? What the hell is going on with Ultimate, being twice as high? You're telling me that Microsoft can make huge profits by selling OS in the 100-200$ range, and then selling it in the 200-500$ range isn't overpriced? Value hasn't gone up that much, whoever you are. New OS, new drivers required (which aren't even developed yet, for the majority), new bugs to fix, old software refusing to work on the new system, and if you're a developer, maybe having to restart your application all over... yes, there are some new stuff in Vista, but the disadvantages are quite matching them for now. I don't see how the value could increase much with that, however the price did see an increase. Hence, the price/value ratio went down.


By any logic, anything requiring some features in Vista in order to work MUST rely on a widespread adoption of Vista. You can't get a new product out and expect it to sell very well if it requires another software to run, and that other software is nowhere to be found. Want an example? Say you developed a game for the PS3. No matter how good your game is, if there isn't much PS3 out there, your game can't sell very well.


And whatever sells at a price point, will sell more at a lower price point. This is an astonishingly easy thing to get from pretty much any experience in life, provided you live in a region where free market reigns. It's the basis of what is called a price war.


Do I really need a degree to get this? Lower price and especially interesting price/value ratio gives a higher adoption rate and enables a second product depending on the first to have a great life. I've always been mystified by what market analysts spew out. How in the world can they call that a job? Just anybody could do it. Don't tell me the only thing they do is provide data, because I can get to another website, gather the WinXP prices and the WinXP sales along with the Vista prices, and get back here to give you all the data you want.

Hey, I'm a market analyst!


RE: Holy crap!
By jtesoro on 1/19/2007 9:28:47 PM , Rating: 2
I'm guessing that what Ringold is saying is that market analysts (independent and those within Microsoft) have the capability to model the different factors to come up with the optimal business results.

For example:
- Do they go with lower prices (profit through volume or margin)?
- Is it worth it to try to saturate the market early or not?
- What's the effect of bundling on the bottom line?

These things barely scratch the surface of determining how to price products. Sometimes the output looks obvious, and sometimes it doesn't. We can question their decisions but it's hard to say flat out we're right and they're wrong when we don't know what their low-level assumptions and goals are.


RE: Holy crap!
By PrinceGaz on 1/18/2007 9:42:41 PM , Rating: 2
No we're not, and I found his comment highly amusing.


quick questions, can anyone answer?
By marvdmartian on 1/19/2007 10:10:06 AM , Rating: 3
1. If you opt for the downloadable windows/office, will they give you some sort of code (product key?) that, upon your computer crashing, will allow you to download and install the product again? Seems I'd rather have the disks, if they're not doing that (and who would pay as much for a downloaded version as they would for a hardcopy??).

2. Windows vista coming on a single dvd...... this is an honest question, simply because (I admit) I'm too ignorant to know the answer......but will a newly built computer be able to read from a dvd, without software installed to do so??

Also, I like the idea of a family upgrade, but MS should seriously consider not limiting the time period for it. I'd bet they'd sell more by keeping that around longer!




By Ringold on 1/20/2007 2:30:45 PM , Rating: 2
I'm just guessing but if you download it you'll likely have to burn it to DVD. Therefore, I suspect you could just as easily grab a virgin, untampered with copy off any bittorrent site and just install with your product key in the future if you had to reinstall and you'd thrown away your DVD.

I think for now retail is the best place to buy Vista. I like Steam for games, but I doubt MS will make it that easy. Plus, the Family Discount applies apparently only to retail.


Dangerous trends................
By crystal clear on 1/19/2007 5:24:05 AM , Rating: 2
Here are some aspects/points your article fails to discuss-


Quote-

Microsoft partners said the 2.5-Gbyte Vista code takes up to four hours to download over a high-speed Internet line and is aimed at consumers, not businesses. And relatively few users have enough horsepower or graphics capabilities on their existing PCs to support Vista or Office 2007, they said.

The policy signals Microsoft's full transition to electronic software distribution (ESD) methods. Though that currently means little to partners and system builders, which provide Windows and Office to businesses via licenses or through new PC purchases, some worry this direct relationship will eventually erode partners' influence and relationships with their customers.

Unquote-

*This shows MS is out of touch with the ordinary buyer/user.

*MS by going direct to the buyer will in the process-push aside its partners-who for years have closely worked with MS.
Its these partners, who know the market so well & have access to the ordinary buyer /user are bypassed-certainly
not good marketing policy.

Quote-

Windows Marketplace gives Microsoft a direct online relationship with customers and an opportunity to offer incentives to customers to buy and access solutions directly -- and bypass channel partners, according to some solution providers. Partners expressed outrage when Microsoft announced last year that it would allow customers, including small and midsize businesses, to easily upgrade to higher-end versions of Vista and Office by purchasing license keys online from Microsoft. The Windows Anytime program, and now Windows Marketplace, will erode the role of the channel over time, industry observers said.

Microsoft executives declined to be interviewed for this article. A company spokeswoman, however, issued a statement to CRN insisting the program won't impact channel partners. And Microsoft said it will offer Vista and Office 2007 at the suggested retail price. "Our goal is not to compete with our channel partners. Rather, we are offering a service to customers who want to obtain the software directly from Microsoft. We have been offering Microsoft products direct through the Product Information Center for many years with no visible impact on the channel," the statement said. "In addition, we plan to sell at list price, while channel partners are free to set end-user pricing as they see fit."

Quote-
But Microsoft has placed restrictions on which partners can participate in Windows Anytime and on Wednesday announced Windows Vista discounts for customers who buy multiple copies of Vista online. For example, only select OEMs and retail partners will be able to offer Windows Anytime Upgrade as online merchants, Microsoft said.

Unquote-

*"Microsoft executives declined to be interviewed for this article. "-this shows something is not OK.
By covering this bad intention with a statement is not convincing.

* "only select OEMs and retail partners will be able to offer Windows Anytime Upgrade as online merchants, Microsoft said."-
Why this restrictions?-This doesnt smell good.

Quote-
*"Microsoft has slowly been building the infrastructure to deliver complete software, for example, with Microsoft Anytime Upgrade. My belief is that the support that they are getting from tier-one OEMs such as HP and Dell, smaller OEMs and system builders for Anytime Upgrade is lukewarm," Toste said. "I believe Microsoft has received poor endorsement from their partners for these types of direct-marketing programs [and that] does not sit well for Redmond. They are taking matters into their own hands

*No explanation from MS or from any other source incl those commenting can down play or Ignore the Important ROLE of Partners play in the marketing chain.

Source-
http://www.crncanada.ca/content/software/partners-...






By EastCoast on 1/19/2007 12:00:30 PM , Rating: 2
Wow, you can download Vista at full price then they treat Vista as a Tier OS. Thats nothing more then Marketing 201 and people are eating it up, LOL. My old marketing teacher from college would have a field say with this1


By Staples on 1/18/2007 5:46:39 PM , Rating: 2
That would have been a helpful link.




By JSK on 1/19/2007 5:25:22 AM , Rating: 2
"The manufacturer's suggested retail prices to upgrade to more premium editions of Windows Vista are as follows: Home Basic to Home Premium $79, Home Basic to Ultimate $199, Home Premium to Ultimate $159 and Business to Ultimate $139."

Windows Vista Ultimate $399
Windows Vista Business $299
Windows Vista Home Premium $239
Windows Vista Home Basic $199

Is it me, or do some of the upgrade prices not make any sense? Shouldnt the upgrade to home premium be $40 vs 79? And should Business to Ultimate only be $100 vs $139?

Two of the upgrade prices "make sense" while the other two dont at all.

And here I thought Id update my free copy of Business to Ultimate "if", and I use that lightly, it was worth it. But even if the features are worth it, the price is a bit of a rip off to upgrade.




All reports put together
By crystal clear on 1/19/2007 5:46:06 AM , Rating: 2
Some heavy reading & good reference material.

Analyst Relations - Reports
A collection of reports published by leading independent analyst firms on, or including, Microsoft.

http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/itanalyst/defau...




Vanishing Points
By crystal clear on 1/19/2007 6:02:39 AM , Rating: 2
To celebrate the upcoming consumer release of Windows Vista™, Microsoft Corp. and AMD have launched “Vanishing Point,” the largest online and offline puzzle game in the world.

“Vanishing Point” raises the stakes in online games with tougher challenges, bigger rewards and events scheduled around the globe. Players worldwide are competing for nearly a half-million dollars in prizes, and the eventual winner will secure a ride into space courtesy of Rocketplane Limited Inc.

http://vanishingpointgame.com/




Wondering about the high pricing ...
By Rayz on 1/19/2007 8:00:56 AM , Rating: 2
I think Vista is pretty expensive, in some cases, scarily so, but I'm wondering if there are other players who've had a hand in this, besides Microsoft's marketing department.

Given the amount of time that it has taken to get Vista out the door, I imagine that MS' hardware partners weren't too happy and perhaps have asked for the high pricing to ensure that folk think twice about upgrading their old PC to run it.




It's simple
By Sungpooz on 1/19/2007 10:52:49 AM , Rating: 2
I agree with he who said Microsoft should only distribute the ultimate package and toss all the other versions because no matter if we have choices or not, wouldn't most people buy vista within a few years anyways?

All Microsoft has to do is start dropping support for XP, and then all 3rd party software/hardware manufacturers will most likely follow, and then everyone would be FORCED to get Vista. It's just an idea but I'm assuming the average American consumer doesn't know what Linux IS, less know how use it :/

Microsoft, just price Ultiamte for $300 and everyone will still buy it (reluctantly, and with complaints), but hey, isn't $$ what matters most?

Maybe Microsoft is trying to be nice, selling OS's for less than 300 bucks *pfft*. I'm debating whether to get Ultimate now or just find an alternative method... *cough*torrents*cough*


If Microsoft really wanted to do us all a favor, they'd price the Ultimate (rip-off) package at some set price and leave it at that with no more options.




This makes it easier
By Domicinator on 1/19/2007 12:09:04 PM , Rating: 2
I'm definitely buying Vista for my gaming machine right away (even though I may not install it right away) because I'm getting a good discount on it from a relative. But this news is good, because my laptop still has Windows 2000 on it, and I may want to put Vista on the laptop later too, even though there's no way it will be able to handle Aero or any of the other eye candy that Vista has. I would gladly pay $50 for an extra copy.




Upgrades...
By Seymourbbuts on 1/23/2007 12:20:36 AM , Rating: 2
Will the upgrade edition of Ultimate allow you to upgrade from XP or will you have to buy Home and go from there?




ALL VERSIONS OF VISTA OVERPRICED
By careyd on 1/18/07, Rating: -1
RE: ALL VERSIONS OF VISTA OVERPRICED
By Rayz on 1/19/2007 9:37:11 AM , Rating: 2
Most people will not buy it retail anyway; it'll come with their new PC.


"There's no chance that the iPhone is going to get any significant market share. No chance." -- Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer

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