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Microsoft Said to Cut Windows Price 70% to Counter Rivals
bill




msg:4647758
 10:38 am on Feb 22, 2014 (gmt 0)

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-02-22/microsoft-said-to-cut-windows-price-70-to-counter-rivals.html [bloomberg.com]

Microsoft Said to Cut Windows Price 70% to Counter Rivals

Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) is cutting the price of Windows 8.1 by 70 percent for makers of low-cost computers and tablets as they try to fend off cheaper rivals like Google Inc. (GOOG)ís Chromebooks, people familiar with the program said.

Manufacturers will be charged $15 to license Windows 8.1 and preinstall it on devices that retail for less than $250, instead of the usual fee of $50, said the people, who asked not to be named because the details arenít public.

 

graeme_p




msg:4647774
 11:28 am on Feb 22, 2014 (gmt 0)

I do not believe price is the problem: otherwise Windows 8 would be a success on high end tablets where the extra $35 (or less) is not a huge chunk of the cost.

They also risk creating a market for very cheap PCs, that will cannibalise current sales of more expensive ones.

superclown2




msg:4647800
 1:39 pm on Feb 22, 2014 (gmt 0)

I do not believe price is the problem: otherwise Windows 8 would be a success on high end tablets where the extra $35 (or less) is not a huge chunk of the cost.


I know a number of people who have bought computers with Windows 8 pre-installed and who have then paid good money for a copy of Windows 7 to replace it. Perhaps Microsoft should pay us to use it, rather than the other way round?

On the same subject; I have never seen one good reason why I should 'upgrade' (if that is the right word) from 7 to 8. If there is no good reason then why did they bring it out, and if there is perhaps they should sack their entire marketing department for failing to make it clear.

scooterdude




msg:4647802
 1:45 pm on Feb 22, 2014 (gmt 0)

I tried hardware sales, and I tell you price is always an issue. $35 per unit more scaled up into the 1000s can be the difference between profit and loss. Losses which can only be sustained for a while before ,,,

I don't like windows 8 on desktops an laptops, but on my windows phone, its the equal of my Iphone 5.

Infact, its great fun contrasting the 2, and they're both great little machines

drhowarddrfine




msg:4647814
 2:23 pm on Feb 22, 2014 (gmt 0)

Does Microsoft think price is the problem and not the product? If so, they have a real problem.

Samizdata




msg:4647838
 3:36 pm on Feb 22, 2014 (gmt 0)

I know a number of people who have bought computers with Windows 8 pre-installed and who have then paid good money for a copy of Windows 7 to replace it.

I don't like windows 8 on desktops an laptops

Installing free software such as Classic Shell gets rid of the ghastly Metro screen that so many people hate.

Meanwhile Microsoft continues to annoy its customers and is deservedly paying the price.

...

4serendipity




msg:4647861
 4:50 pm on Feb 22, 2014 (gmt 0)

I don't like windows 8 on desktops an laptops


I've been down on Windows for a number of years now. For the past decade most of my computers have been set up for dual windows/linux boot. As windows has become more and more bloated, I find myself using linux more and more. With my current computer, when I'm booted into windows, it feels like I'm using a computer that's at least a generation older due to the generally more sluggish performance of the OS.

Now if Adobe would just release a linux version of a couple of their key applications, I might never boot into windows again.

ogletree




msg:4648200
 10:42 pm on Feb 22, 2014 (gmt 0)

I just got a new laptop and I requested Windows 7. I really don't have the time to learn something new. I have tried Windows 8 and it is very annoying because nothing is where I think it should be. I also do not want to give up my desktop. They need to make a business version that does not use that stupid metro thing. Metro is for kids and tablets not business machines. Metro is a toy nothing more and there is no room for toys in business.

incrediBILL




msg:4648214
 12:12 am on Feb 23, 2014 (gmt 0)

Metro is a toy nothing more and there is no room for toys in business.


LOL

People once said the same about video graphics and business.

Then it was about color graphics and business.

Then it was about Windows and business.

The on;y problem I see is that Metro isn't integrated into the desktop and as a Windows programmer there's no good reason why it can't be except for MS's stubborn stance.

If Metro apps could switch into normal Windows and interact with the desktop, it would be cool as hell instead of annoying as hell.

Perhaps MS will come around, perhaps the desktop as we know it will die.

At any rate, at least MS has figured out their price point is killing competition at the lower price points and it's going to get ugly before it's all over.

tangor




msg:4648216
 12:23 am on Feb 23, 2014 (gmt 0)

Dropping the price will keep the OS moving forward... and there's a lot to like about Win8... only you can't SEE it. New security, load times, etc. And turning off all that Metro bling or learning a new heirarchy is a real PITA. So, this price cut is a big step... but will it be enough?

My stable:
1 DOS 6 (a real live 486 with 2mb ram)
2 Win XP Pro
2 Win7 Pro
1 Win8 Pro
1 Ubuntu

I have a number of legacy programs which I need to maintain for a few years longer... but as soon as I can get something else to do the same thing, or I can find the time to code it myself, I'll move. Most of my WORK is done on the Win7 machines. The XPs are company intranet/servers and the Win8 is, as the old song says: "Getting to know you, Getting to know all about you..."

IanCP




msg:4648263
 8:46 am on Feb 23, 2014 (gmt 0)

My personal real life, experience with Win 8 is I had decided I really needed a "new machine" up from Win XP.

Yes, early on in the piece, I took advantage of a Microsoft offer of a "cheap introductory upgrade offer" - then I decided upon my own new "custom built PC".

I'm truncating a long story. Worked seamlessly for me, every trepidation I had, disappeared quickly. Old software [NoteTab Pro 5, Paintshop Pro 5 as a few examples] all worked seamlessly with it.

XP on family laptops, and PC's is a pain. At 72 I still do community service work, they use Win 7 - but I suspect that's the configuration they use - as opposed to my choices.

Overall? I endorse Win 8 enthusiastically and NO, I don't have a rotten touch screen.

Win 8.1? Based upon reviews and the fact you're apparently "locked in" forever, I'm averse to an upgrade [FREE] to it.

Back on topic? Counter rivals? What rivals?

Aficionados can point to 101 alternatives, Joe Schmoe in the street works with what he/she gets in the package.

A perplexing story.

graeme_p




msg:4648265
 10:14 am on Feb 23, 2014 (gmt 0)

I don't like windows 8 on desktops an laptops, but on my windows phone, its the equal of my Iphone 5.


That is the result of a sound business decision.

People will by Windows on PCs regardless of how good (or not the product is). On mobile devices MS needs to give people a reason to choose Windows. Therefore they need to make Windows work well on mobile, and they need to worry about laptops.

atlrus




msg:4648413
 2:53 am on Feb 24, 2014 (gmt 0)

I have tried Windows 8 and it is very annoying because nothing is where I think it should be.


^THIS!

MS completely flipped the table on most users with Win8.

Imagine that tomorrow you wake up and your QWERTY keyboard is all scrambled. Yes, all the same symbols are still there, but not where you've known them to be. How fast would you be able to type?

Now you have to re-learn something, with which you were already very familiar and proficient, for no good reason!

Waste time better spent on productivity...Just so MS would come out with Win 9 and do another switcheroo on us... No, thanks.

IanCP




msg:4648420
 4:04 am on Feb 24, 2014 (gmt 0)

I must have a vastly different version of Windows 8, judging from some comments here.

Yep it's different. Yep I had to learn some work arounds - Self installed "Shutdown" and "Restart" being quite prominent among those.

For years since around about 1992, I was a well noted "hater" of Microsoft and their policies. This time around for me? They actually got it right.

As the expression goes:

"Your personal mileage might vary"

graeme_p




msg:4648466
 8:44 am on Feb 24, 2014 (gmt 0)

Some people will like any change, and some people will dislike it. Ubuntu got just as much criticism for Unity (the difference there is that you have plenty of choice if you do not like it).

There are still people who prefer XP, which is now 12 years old (even the last service pack was released 5 years ago). That is a very long time in software - with what other major piece of software would you prefer a 12 year old version? There is something wrong there.

ogletree




msg:4648666
 6:46 pm on Feb 24, 2014 (gmt 0)

I did find out there is a way to make windows 8 work just like windows 7. I might try that out.

Samizdata




msg:4648739
 9:47 pm on Feb 24, 2014 (gmt 0)

There are still people who prefer XP, which is now 12 years old (even the last service pack was released 5 years ago). That is a very long time in software - with what other major piece of software would you prefer a 12 year old version? There is something wrong there.

Unlike us nerdy types, the majority of computer users had their first experience with Windows XP.

They struggled to get used to it, and now struggle with any radical changes.

Similarly, countless millions already know how to drive a car.

Imagine how they would feel if the gearstick and pedals were suddenly moved around.

I have no doubt that Windows 8 is better than its predecessors "under the hood".

But that is not where people do the driving.

Not offering a "Classic Shell" option in Windows 8 was just dumb.

Only nerdy types know to download a third-party fix.

....

ning




msg:4648869
 11:19 am on Feb 25, 2014 (gmt 0)

Seems my change to Mac about 5 years ago was a wise decision.

graeme_p




msg:4648887
 1:21 pm on Feb 25, 2014 (gmt 0)

@Samizdata, a lot of people learned to use computers with earlier versions of Windows too, and they all upgraded to XP. When Windows 95 came out people queued to upgrade, even though it was radically different from previous versions of Windows - it was more like Unix with CDE than anything else I can think of that was available at the time.

I think MS actually gains by making Windows hard to learn. It makes people reluctant to switch as they assume that they will have to spend as much time getting used to another OS as they did learning Windows. I remember once suggesting that my boss bought a Mac for home use. He said he would not buy anything that was not exactly the same as his PC at work.

Samizdata




msg:4648916
 2:33 pm on Feb 25, 2014 (gmt 0)

a lot of people learned to use computers with earlier versions of Windows too, and they all upgraded to XP

Very few people used Windows 3.1 or earlier (and yes, I was one of them).

The interface differences between Win95, Win98, WinME, Win2000, WinXP, WinVista and Win7 were relatively minor.

The interface difference in Windows 8 is radical, and a lot of ordinary consumers loathe it.

They don't spend their money with a desire to retrain, they just want a new machine that works.

As the third-party fixes prove, Microsoft could easily have left in a "Classic" option.

Refusing to do so does not look like a "sound business decision" after a 70% price cut.

...

travelin cat




msg:4648935
 3:52 pm on Feb 25, 2014 (gmt 0)

Mac updates are now free. Could this have something to do with MS' decision to lower pricing? Granted we are talking apples and oranges (pun intended) but still, if a company is considering updating equipment, wouldn't free os updates make the Mac a more attractive choice?

IanCP




msg:4649030
 7:20 pm on Feb 25, 2014 (gmt 0)

Only nerdy types know to download a third-party fix

I've compiled a whole folder of them - including the most obvious ones "Shutdown", "Restart", and "Command Prompt" - pinned to the task bar.

Why one would find it necessary to do that will remain one of Microsoft's eternal mysteries. I can only assume the kids at Microsoft assume billions of people world-wide use tablets or whatever just as they do.

The desktop PC is a long way from dead. Businesses and government everywhere aren't going to operate with mini-sized touch screens.

Silly.

classifieds




msg:4650185
 12:14 am on Mar 1, 2014 (gmt 0)

@Samizdata that's been my problem with MS for years. It's not restricted to OSs, same thing has happened with MS-Office apps.

My term is "I drive the bus with the keypad" and each release of office and OSs rewire OR take away keystoke combinations that let me do things fast when I'm typing.

(yes, I'm a 52 year old computer geek - cobol, masm, asmb, etc).

I type a lot faster than I can stop and grab a mouse to reach the controls I need.

-j

incrediBILL




msg:4650251
 6:06 am on Mar 1, 2014 (gmt 0)

with what other major piece of software would you prefer a 12 year old version?


The cheapskates that prefer software that allow easy violation of the licensing agreement.

Win Vista/7/8 were all superior in every possible way to XP except they made it more difficult to cheat on licensing the product therefore they were bad and the squealing hasn't ended all this time later.

If people want free software they can use some version of Linux and shut their pie hole.

graeme_p




msg:4650311
 12:04 pm on Mar 1, 2014 (gmt 0)

Very few people used Windows 3.1


Just about everyone who works in an office and is over 37, and a good many a bit younger.

You may be right that Windows 8 was too big a change, but why have XP users not upgraded to Vista of Win 7 which do have a classic mode that, as far as I can remember, is very similar to XP's UI - and are a lot more modern and secure.

graeme_p




msg:4650317
 12:19 pm on Mar 1, 2014 (gmt 0)

@classifieds, with the popularity of quicksilver on Mac, and Linux desktops adding similar functionality, removing keyboard short-cuts is going in an interestingly different way to everyone else.

@incrediBill, I cannot understand why people are cheapskates about software. I do use entirely free software but that is because I prefer it - not because of the money (at least as far as anything I use heavily goes).

Samizdata




msg:4650346
 3:53 pm on Mar 1, 2014 (gmt 0)

Just about everyone who works in an office and is over 37

Accurate sales figures are hard to come by, but as far as I can tell Windows 95 sold more in its first year than all the earlier versions of Windows combined had done in the previous ten years.

And that was just the start of mainstream computer adoption.

I do not believe price is the problem

I would certainly agree with that.

...

incrediBILL




msg:4650467
 2:03 am on Mar 2, 2014 (gmt 0)

re:the Win 3.1 debate, I was the Manager of Windows Development at a division of Lotus through the Win 3.0/3.1 era and I can tell you this, just ONE very big company using our software rolled out 10K users on the network every time I released a new update.

That was just one of thousands of clients and many were very big names including several governments around the world.

Everyone I knew either used Win 3.1 or developed for it except for a few photographers and writers that clung to Macs because of the color management tools and fonts lacking in Windows at the time.

ogletree




msg:4650470
 2:16 am on Mar 2, 2014 (gmt 0)

I used to train blind people on Windows 3.1 with JAWS for windows.

A lot of people did use Windows 3.1 but it was a small percentage of the number of people that use Windows today. Also a large number of people using windows today were not born back then. Nobody under the age of 25 was alive then. I would even guess most people under 30 have never seen it except in a history lesson.

IanCP




msg:4650483
 3:19 am on Mar 2, 2014 (gmt 0)

Also a large number of people using windows today were not born back then. Nobody under the age of 25 was alive then. I would even guess most people under 30 have never seen it except in a history lesson

A sobering fact many of us are quick to forget!

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