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Re: 6 Versions of Vista - Are they nuts?

  • Subject: Re: 6 Versions of Vista - Are they nuts?
  • From: "Rex Ballard" <rex.ballard@xxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: 2 Mar 2006 11:40:02 -0800
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Roy Schestowitz wrote:
> __/ [ Rex Ballard ] on Monday 27 February 2006 14:28 \__
> > Microsoft is looking for ways to stem the growth of Linux and still
> > maintain as much revenue stream from Vista as possible.
> >
> > The cost of maintaining 5 different versions of Vista by a single
> > corporation/organization would be very expensive, so it's
> > understandable that Microsoft would want to release only one binary.
> I am not entirely sure that *cost* is the motive for subdivision. I presume
> that cost may be a separate factor altogether, which is why the BBC still
> chooses to mention just 6 editions.

Costs and politics.  Look at many of those versions and you see that
only 2-3 will be offered to the general public.  The "Starter" edition
was created for countries that choose between Linux and Pirating Vista
- because the prices of Full Vista are so high compared to income of
the general population.

Another one is simply sold with media programs and other bundleware
disabled - to satisfy a court order.  Customers have to specially
request this one, and most people will probably just opt for the
bundleware and then disable it themselves.

Home Basic - similar to XP Home edition - this is probably what most
OEM machines will offer as a default, then you can pay extra to get the
"Business Edition" features enabled - after-market.  It's actually a
brilliant move on Microsoft's part.  It cuts the OEMs out of the
enhanced licenses completely - allowing Microsoft to keep the profit on
the enhancements and to claim even greater license quantities.

> http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/4754462.stm (published hours ago)
> Microsoft are *not* adopting the Linux abnormal and ego-attributed
> fragmentation.

> Microsoft, in their defence, distribute Windows Vista in a
> rather additive form. It slaps them on the rear though as it makes Vista
> more confusing to the buyer and potentially more expensive too. Developers
> (software, Web, etc.) will no longer be able to target an individual Windows
> user with confidence as to tools available at hand. Forking is /always/ a
> bad idea if its avoidance is a possibility.

Actually, it's probably less confusing.  You go to a Microsoft web
site, give them your credit card and registration key, and you get
enabled to run more features and better software.

The Enterprise edition looks most interesting.  It looks like Microsoft
is offering this as their alternative to the "Support Contracts" - or
perhaps only in conjunction with their support contracts.

My guess is that Microsoft will be offering "support contracts" on all
of these services.  For a modest monthly fee, or a subscription to MSN,
you get the automatic update services.  This might create more
incentive to switch to Linux if the Microsoft price is to high, but it
gives Microsoft a revenue stream in the short run.

More likely, Microsoft will start cheap and keep increasing the price.
If you stop making payments, they can disable your computer until you
get caught up.

> > They want to keep countries like PRC, India, Malaysia, and Brazil -
> > which comprise a potential market of nearly 4 billion people - from
> > going to Linux - since this could lead to Linux becoming the market
> > leader in the global markets - how long before Western markets follow
> > suit?
> 4 billion? I must refute. It would take *many* years (decades?) before
> farmers in third-world countries have use for a computer. That said, The
> national economy will be unable to afford it.

> Given that China and India aggregates stand at about 2 billion (including the
> extremities, both young and the old), 4 billion is an over-inflation.

There are about 6.8 billion people on the planet, there are over 1.2
billion in India and over 1.8 billion in China, there are 300 million
in Brasil.

Over the next 10 years, some portion of those billions of people will
be able to afford some form of computer, and the question becomes -
will it be a Vista computer, legally licensed, a Pirated Windows/Vista
computer, or a Linux computer.  Microsoft is doing it's best to
increase the percentage of legally licensed Vista computers.

The Purchasing Power Index - a measure of goods that can be purchased
with median income - has been doubling every 2 years in the countries
I've listed.  The combination of huge populations and huge economic
growth make them markets worth considering.

> > They want to have something inexpensive that can be used by students,
> > teachers, and non-profit organisations - but have ways of preventing
> > functions needed by businesses.

At this point, Microsoft has the technology to figure out how each
machine is being used.  It may be more a matter of HOW systems are
managed and updated than anything else.

> I bet that Origami is intended to compete with the $100 laptop, either
> directly or indirectly. Others speculate that it was targetted at the iPod
> audience/addicts. Microsoft have wanted an iPod killer for quite some time.
> It ruins their media sales potential and gives Apple room to manoeuver. Many
> employees in the Redmond campus are using iPods themselves, which is bad
> reflection on self.

iPOD has demonstrated that it is not necessary to have Microsoft
Technology to get DRM.  Furthermore, Apple did a great job of
generating revenue and getting that revenue distributed fairly.  Had
Napster done this in the first place, there is the possibility that the
Media industry would be advocating Linux.  Unfortunately, the leaders
of Napster were grossly irresponsible and too many Linux users argued
in favor of pirating music and videos.

> I also suspect that this mysterious little gadget (to be announced and
> unveiled officially within 1-2 weeks) may be that "mobile phone to the
> poor", which Bill Gates mentioned a month back. *giggle*

There has been quite a bit of noise about making an <$100 Linux
machine.  Microsoft is in a race to get theirs out first.  Look what
palm did to the PDA Market.

> They will need to seriously re-model the Origami though, if they ever want to
> compete with the $100 laptop or Open Source-based 3G phones, mobile devices
> (PDA's) and tablets like the Nokia 770.

They managed to keep the Sharp Zaurus out of the United States.  This
was a PDA that ran Linux, and offered all of the major features of
Linux - in a very powerful PDA - I bought mine for $300 when it first
came out.  It was amazing.

> > They want a "Home" version which they can provide to the OEMs, those
> > wanting to upgrade to the "Professional" edition will need to pay an
> > extra fee.

> What if I work at home? Is that Business or Home? What should I pull off the
> shelf? What should I urge my 80-year-old grandpa to pick? Windows Vista? If
> so, which one? That's almost as bad as having 8 cars in the garage; one for
> each occasion.

It's probably like Windows XP Professional - if you want to use it with
dual-core, 64 bit, or with networks - and have support for security -
then you by Vista Business.

> > They want an "Enterprise" edition which can be bulk licensed for
> > corporations under a support contract.  Most of these are installed and
> > configured over a secured corporate network or VPN and the Activation
> > keys are not publicly disclosed.

This makes sense.  They have this for XP, and it's really great when
you have thousands of PCs and you have to image dozens, or even
hundreds of them every week.

> > They may also want to release a "VM Edition" which will be stripped
> > down to the functions required to run under VirtualPC, VMware, and Xen.
> > This version would not need as many bells and whistles and wouldn't
> > need to support every imaginable combination of hardware.  This could
> > be downloaded via the Web and installed using the activation key pasted
> > onto the laptop or desktop chassis.

YES!!  That is brilliant! :D

> 'Round lunchtime I pondered about the ability of Microsoft to fight piracy in
> this way. They could finally begin to pull back installation CD's, which are
> passed from hand to hand. As opposed to 2001, people nowadays have fast
> connections, especially in developed countries. Many people have downloaded
> their Service Packs over the Net as a matter of fact. What if Microsoft had
> customers install Office by paying the bill and downloading the file -- or
> even better -- having it directly injected and glued onto the system so that
> it cannot (trivially) be 'passed on'.

Microsoft tried pulling installation CDs.  It rally annoyed customers.
It was fine until you tried to clean up space by removing an installed
application - then you really needed those images.

Still, you have the right idea.  With broadband, it takes about 30
minutes to download the file.  The problem is that if your Windows
machine has gone into the trees- how do you get the new software?

Maybe a comprimize between the two.  Provide a free CD which can be
used to get the system functional enough to download the rest of the
system.  That's what Linspire does.

> Remember the golden rule: the day when Microsoft piracy ends is the day
> people will begin to digest and comprehend the true costs of commercial
> software (I never ever paid for software myself). That will immediately
> drive people away, to FOSS (what else?). In a sense, when you come to think
> of it, outside the enterprise (and often inside it too, especially in the
> East) piracy /serves/ commercial vendors. It makes lock-ins and
> dependencies-hungry systems more prevalent.

Software Piracy, Music Piracy, and Video Piracy are all examples of
ways that even very young children become very confused about ethics,
legality, right and wrong, and morality.  They begin to believe that
it's OK to steal some things, to do some things even though they are
illegal, and to ignore the law.  Then we wonder how we get Enron,
Martha Stuart, and WorldCom.

> Best wishes,
> Roy
> --
> Roy S. Schestowitz      | Vista: Windows XP with bling-bling, nothing else
> http://Schestowitz.com  |    SuSE Linux     |     PGP-Key: 0x74572E8E
>   3:30pm  up  11:41,  10 users,  load average: 0.34, 0.15, 0.20
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