Skip to comments.Microsoft Cuts Price for Boxed Vista
Posted on 02/29/2008 6:33:47 AM PST by raybbr
Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) will cut the price of some versions of Windows Vista, the software maker said late Thursday.
The move came a day after court filings revealed internal dissent over which Windows XP computers would be considered capable of running the new operating system - and a feeling on at least one executive's part that the company had "botched" the marketing of computers as "Vista Capable."
Only copies of the year-old operating system that are sold in boxes directly to consumers are affected by the price cuts - not the versions pre-loaded on personal computers. The cuts will range from 20 percent to 48 percent.
The reductions are to coincide with the late March release of Vista Service Pack 1, a collection of security fixes and other improvements.
Microsoft said the new prices will apply to the Home Premium and Ultimate versions of Vista, in both their full editions and the editions that upgrade an older or more basic operating system.
Both versions serve the tiny percentage of users who install an operating system on their own; most people get the latest version of Windows only when they buy a new PC.
Windows Vista's January 2007 launch was plagued by delays. To keep consumers buying PCs in the holiday season of 2006, Microsoft and PC makers promised free Vista upgrades later to shoppers who bought Windows XP computers.
At the launch, Microsoft was widely criticized for offering too many versions of the operating system - including Home Basic, which didn't have the snazzy new signature look called "Aero" - and for setting the price too high for the high-end versions.
Brad Brooks, a corporate vice president for Windows marketing at Microsoft, said in an interview that the company has since tested lower prices and found "product was moving much, much faster."
Brooks said he expects so many customers to buy Vista at the new prices that the price cuts will increase Microsoft's revenue, not subtract from it.
A federal judge recently said consumers could pursue a class action suit against Microsoft for labeling PCs as "Vista Capable," even though many were not powerful enough to run all of Vista's features, including the Aero interface.
Company e-mails produced in court chronicle Microsoft settling on a plan to market a wide range of XP-based PCs as "Vista Capable" after company officials realized in early 2006 that 30 percent or fewer of computers on the market could run the full-fledged version of Vista with Aero.
That realization apparently caused computer makers like Dell Inc. (DELL) to worry that people would stop buying PCs for almost a year - until Vista launched.
The e-mails also showed Microsoft lowering the bar for "Vista Capable" to protect Intel Corp. (INTC)'s sales of some widely used chips that weren't powerful enough for the full Vista experience.
Microsoft employee Anantha Kancherla was particularly blunt in his March 2006 response to a question about whether a certain PC configuration would be considered "Vista Capable."
"Based on objective criteria that exist today for "capable," even a piece of junk will qualify," he wrote. "For the sake of Vista customers, it will be a complete tragedy if we allowed it."
According to the e-mails, Jim Allchin, the executive in charge of Windows at the time, wasn't involved in the decision to brand a wide swath of XP computers as "Vista Capable."
Upon learning the details, Allchin wrote, "We really botched this."
Is Vista worth the tax it would cost when the price is cut in half?
I won’t be buying it.
It’s even not worth the blank DVD it’s burned onto.
They need to cut the size of VISTA in half!!!!
They need to scrap it and start over. I wiped Vista off and put XP back on.
Garde la Foi, mes amis! Nous nous sommes les sauveurs de la République! Maintenant et Toujours!
(Keep the Faith, my friends! We are the saviors of the Republic! Now and Forever!)
LonePalm, le Républicain du verre cassé (The Broken Glass Republican)
I upgraded Vista to XP a few weeks ago. A laptop I loathed is now a great working machine.
They should issue a ‘Vista to XP’ upgrade disk.
Wake me up when they offer at least $100 to take it off their hands.
Just about anything can run Vista Home Basic.
It takes a considerably more powerful computer to run the more advanced versions.
Computer manufacturers and vendors, which are who actually labeled the computers as Vista compatible, had access to vista so that they could test compatibility on their systems before claiming that they were "Vista compatible.
So why are consumers suing Microsoft rather than the computer vendors? The bought the "Vista Compatible" computers from those vendors, not from Microsoft.
If it runs Vista Home Basic, then it is Vista Compatible. If you want to run the top end, latest software and hardware, you need a more powerful computer. If you don't know enough to figure that out, then you should buy a computer from a reputable vendor that will tell you what you need to do what you want, and stand behind their product and accept a return if they don't deliver what they promise.
In my opinion Vista still has a long way to go before I would bother wasting my money on it. It has some interesting features, but XP suits my needs well enough for any purpose that Vista might suit them.
OEMs and customers themselves have some responsibility to be less dense than a rock. Minimum system requirements have never meant that if you have that system it will run that software well, and with all the features enabled.
Greedy trial lawyers have gotten way out of control under our screwed up court system.
I bought two laptops during the last year and demanded XP or no sale. I got XP Pro.
“Is Vista worth it at half the price?”
Oh I know, you have to dish out all the canned lines about how much it “sucks” and how you “upgraded” to XP, and I’m sure it makes you look really hip, but having actually used Vista and XP and OSX and Ubuntu, I haven’t seen any of this horrible(ness) that the same people keep repeating.
And most of the time their problems are with drivers and software, which is the fault of those companies that make those products.
DING, DING, DING, DING!
The Free Republic understatement of the day!
You should see what they've done to the General Aviation and Biomedical industries.....
Yeah, that's right. I always wanted a computer that I could only use MS software on. I didn't want to use my hp printer anyway. Sheesh.
I don't have Vista, btw. But, it would seem to me that with all the advances in technology and the virtual unlimited amount of money MS has that THEY could have provided a more stable, compatible system.
It's amazing to me how terrible this OS is compared to XP.
If I hadn't installed it on a new terrabyte drive, I'd yank it today and put my 400 gig XP disk back in. As it is, I'm going to play with it a little more.
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