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Microsoft is looking to counter low-cost Chromebooks running Chrome OS

According to Bloomberg, Microsoft will slash Windows 8.1 licensing fees by 70 percent for makers of low-cost (priced less than $250) computers and tablets. This means that licenses will now be priced at $15 instead of $50.
 
Microsoft has experienced slowing growth in the operating system market with Windows 8. As we reported earlier this month, sales of Windows 8 thus far have failed to live up to its predecessor, Windows 7.
 
In addition, customer reaction to Windows 8 has been tepid, forcing Microsoft to make changes to how users interact with the operating system via the already released Windows 8.1 and the upcoming Windows 8.1 Update 1.

 
On top of its own internal issues that it has to grapple with, Microsoft is also fighting another battle on the low-end of the PC market against Google and computers running Chrome OS. In fact, low-cost Chromebooks running Chrome OS were able to secure 21 percent of the U.S. notebook market during 2013.
 
While a license fee reduction for Windows 8.1 will cover the PC and notebook market, the next step may be to make even more drastic price cuts with Windows RT. The Verge reported in December that Microsoft could make Windows RT free to OEMs in an effort to combat iOS- and Android-based tablets.

Source: Bloomberg



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Windows 8.1 Pro
By mxnerd on 2/22/2014 11:54:35 AM , Rating: 2
At the same time, MS should cut the full pro version of Windows to $50. $199 is ridiculous.




RE: Windows 8.1 Pro
By name99 on 2/22/2014 12:45:44 PM , Rating: 1
Fat chance.
MS is eventually going to be riding the same path to irrelevance as IBM and SUN --- give up on the low-end and extract everything they can from businesses that can afford to pay more and have no choice. (Irrelevance doesn't mean poverty, it just means not interesting to you and me and the consumer market generally.)

Where things will get interesting is see how they try to handle the business low-end. They can afford to charge nothing to consumers because they're lost that battle anyway. But what happens when the schools, and the cash register vendors, and the guys who use a sea of Windows across their cubicle farms, tell them they're going to switch to ChromeBooks unless they get discounts?

Obsessing over the particulars of ChromeBooks is pointless. That's not the issue. The issue is that we now have THREE different but apparently viable models for competition to low-end Windows:

- ChromeBooks (ie laptop form factor, but everything is done through the browser. Wins are low complexity, more difficult for the user to screw up. Permanent audit if you want --- with security implication of that.)

- Genuine tablet (iOS or Android). This gives up the high bandwidth of laptop screen, pointing device, keyboard, but gives you higher mobility and a nicer form factor if you are standing, lying, basically anything but sitting at a desk. Good for many non-traditional uses (package delivery, doctors doing rounds).

- Android stuck in a laptop form factor. Hasn't happened yet (in part because Google wants to push the Chromebook remote server agenda) but it's only a matter of time. Gives you the laptop form factor advantages, plus unlike ChromeBook, you have the easier and more comfortable programming model of a C-like language running locally with only (if necessary) the occasional network calls.

Windows doesn't really have a plan against ANY of these. They have a confusing mishmash of bits and pieces, with no coherency. Half the company is saying "Please use Office in your browser and all our Google Apps like stuff". The other half is saying "Anything other than REAL Office (on a Windows machine, with Macros and 25 years of accumulated 'functionality' is garbage, whether it's Pages on OSX, Office on Win RT, or Google Apps".

Is the future of business everything on the cloud or everything local? Is it tablets or is it laptops?
Obviously the answer is all of the above. JUST as obviously (to everyone except MS) each of the above requires rather different UI metaphors. MS WILL NOT ACCEPT THIS --- so they keep shipping "it's a dessert topping and floor wax, with all the complexity of both and more" --- a worse product at higher cost.

Apple and Google are happy with different (sometimes slightly different, sometimes very different) UIs and realize the problem is to make a variety of different devices all work together seamlessly. ICloud is Apple's answer to this, Google doesn't have a single name, but has a similar answer and a similar goal. I was saying this three YEARS ago and MS still hasn't got the message. They're still stuck on a single UI, everywhere, and they're so obsessed with pushing this that they NEVER push the functionality that matters --- to what extent do different MS devices all work together as a seamless whole?
Just compare --- the first thing that happens when you open a new Mac is it asks if you want to restore your software/data world from your previous Mac, and if so, automatically moves everything over (with a variety of options, using direct hard drive or the network or a Time Machine backup). Likewise when you buy a new iOS device.
Even Windows 8 does nothing like this. It's insane --- buy a new Win8 PC and it does NOTHING to help you move your world from the previous PC. (Of course Apple DOES do this ha ha --- Bootcamp will do the same thing of copying over your world from your previous PC.)

MS appears to have no interest in the fact that you have a computing life outside the one computer you're sitting at right now. And I expect by the time they DO wake up to this fact and all its implications, they'll fsck up the integration across devices every bit as much as they fscked the UI across devices. Instead of starting with "what are useful scenarios for the user" they'll start with "what's the one true Windows way to do this across every device in the universe, and how can we force that on everyone regardless of how little sense it makes". Whether it's upgrading your Win Phone or your Windows Server, MS will give you the same set of options, which will be too complicated for the phone user, and way too simple for the Server user.


RE: Windows 8.1 Pro
By atechfan on 2/22/2014 3:15:02 PM , Rating: 4
You know why Windows doesn't clone your data and settings from another PC? Because there is third party software that does this and every time MS adds functionality to Windows they get accused of being "anti-competitive".


RE: Windows 8.1 Pro
By name99 on 2/22/2014 4:35:35 PM , Rating: 2
And THIS is the problem with the entire Windows eco-system. None of you (inside and outside the company) are ever willing to learn anything from anyone.
Not matter what anyone tells you, the response is never: "that's a good point, we should do better", it's always a list of excuses for why the rest of the world is too stupid to understand the perfection of Microsoft.


RE: Windows 8.1 Pro
By ppi on 2/22/2014 5:46:57 PM , Rating: 1
I would be inclined to agree with you were it not for the fact, that while I always bitch at M$ products (especially in a sense how they are bloated), the second I try to use something else I always run into some combination of:
- Limited functionality
- Crap/illogical UI
- Limited cooperation between apps
that makes me wish to go back to M$.

So far the only exception are web browsers.


RE: Windows 8.1 Pro
By Reclaimer77 on 2/22/2014 5:51:24 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
- Crap/illogical UI


lmao have you SEEN Windows 8!??


RE: Windows 8.1 Pro
By Reclaimer77 on 2/23/2014 5:31:01 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Not matter what anyone tells you, the response is never: "that's a good point, we should do better", it's always a list of excuses for why the rest of the world is too stupid to understand the perfection of Microsoft.


^^^^^^^^^^


RE: Windows 8.1 Pro
By atechfan on 2/23/2014 5:57:10 AM , Rating: 3
Wow, you got that from what I said? The point was that the ludicrous browser and media player anti-trust cases had left MS in a position that they could not include some basic functionality that Apple took for granted for fear of more slapping from the courts. It was not an excuse for MS, but a condemnation of government interference in business.


RE: Windows 8.1 Pro
By Reclaimer77 on 2/23/2014 6:09:17 AM , Rating: 1
I seriously doubt Microsoft offering a migration tool would invoke the wrath of Government agencies.

Seemed like a weak excuse to me, that's why he called you on it.


RE: Windows 8.1 Pro
By atechfan on 2/23/2014 2:05:51 PM , Rating: 2
I was going to post that you could migrate with Windows 8 and that MS has been more willing to risk government wrath, but I decided to fact check. It turns out that migration has been possible since Vista. I didn't know that, so the complaint that Windows PCs can't migrate is a bogus one. It can be done over USB, over a network, or using a flash stick.


RE: Windows 8.1 Pro
By superPC on 2/22/2014 5:20:10 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
- ChromeBooks (ie laptop form factor, but everything is done through the browser. Wins are low complexity, more difficult for the user to screw up. Permanent audit if you want --- with security implication of that.)

- Genuine tablet (iOS or Android). This gives up the high bandwidth of laptop screen, pointing device, keyboard, but gives you higher mobility and a nicer form factor if you are standing, lying, basically anything but sitting at a desk. Good for many non-traditional uses (package delivery, doctors doing rounds).

- Android stuck in a laptop form factor. Hasn't happened yet (in part because Google wants to push the Chromebook remote server agenda) but it's only a matter of time. Gives you the laptop form factor advantages, plus unlike ChromeBook, you have the easier and more comfortable programming model of a C-like language running locally with only (if necessary) the occasional network calls.


MS has answer for all of the above question and that is windows 8 (or its descendant). It has touch interface, it has desktop, it has internet (heck you can run chrome OS on it).

I know that you and a lot of people here think that MS should tear windows 8 apart. With different interface targeting different devices. Just remember that MS is a software company that makes profit from its software sales.
Google is primarily an advertising company. That’s where most of their profit comes from. They don’t care if they have 3-4 different OS, as long as people use their OS and services they can keep pushing ads to them.

Apple is a hardware company. The more OS and device tied to an OS they have, the better. They can sell more stuff to the same person.

MS is a software company. The more features their OS had, the more people would buy them. Simple as that


RE: Windows 8.1 Pro
By Reclaimer77 on 2/22/14, Rating: 0
RE: Windows 8.1 Pro
By compuser2010 on 2/23/2014 4:43:17 PM , Rating: 2
2000 Professional, XP Professional, and Vista Business were each $300. Vista Ultimate was $400 ($320 after SP1 released).

Not sure they're still available at retail, but 7 Professional was/is $300 and 7 Ultimate was/is $320.


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