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.
Any machine capable of running full-boat Vista will still run more quickly and responsively with XP or Windows 2003 on it. Vista is just a bloated, resource-intensive dog.
I’m with you (still using 98). I have one annoying problem. When I try to open movie files that I receive in e-mails, an error box appears that says, “STUDIO.EXE can not be found.” I can live with it. Whenever I see the windows logo on an attached file, I know that I cannot open it, so I just delete the message.
I’m not a Microsoft fan boy, but I agree with your assessment of this lawsuit.
“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 have Win XP running on an Athlon 64 box I put together and I won’t go to Vista. I have multi boot and can do XP 32; XP 64 and Ubuntu. I do XP 32 most often as my apps that I use most are on that partition.
I’ve been using Vista for four months on three machines. Works just fine.
The same complaints have been made here on FR all the way back to the "new" Windows 98.
Kobe Tai couldn't make some of these guys happy.
No, but it will make your Pentium 4 into one.
I have found Vista to be rather ho-hum. The added features are no great thing. They are much ado about nothing, including the security. I still get spyware in my testing, and I have had three naturally infected Vista boxen cross my bench so far- All that with UAC and all other safety features turned on.
Likewise, While everyone seem to be howling at the moon about major troubles, I have not found many problems either. A few peripherals needing driver updates, a few networking issues, particularly with wireless connections, but no really spectacular failures whatsoever.
My biggest impression is one of irritation, particularly wrt silly rearrangements of directory structures, renaming of control panel items, and useless changes to common tasks and operations designed to be more intuitive, I suppose, but succeeding only as a sure way to piss me off, and causing a lot more help desk type calls that seriously eat up my time.
We're happy fore you Bill, but the fact remains that vast numbers of people see no advantage over XP. Throw in the fact that it is infected with DRM and there's just no reason to use it. I hope they lose a ton of money and continue suffer humiliation as people refuse to "upgrade" and get it right next time, minus the DRM.
Speaking of indescribably bad software, has anyone else had a look at the software for Zune. No words in the language are adequate. You have to see it for youself.
I put Vista on this machine and still no problems.
Of course it will. That's been true of most every upgrade of Windows.
Vista's Aero offers some nice features. The desktop is much more scalable to different resolutions. There are lots of ways in which it is a little more aesthetically pleasing.
However, it takes more processing power to provide those features.
For top end systems, it's not a large portion of that system's processing power. For low end systems, it is very significant.
However, the processing power of computers being sold doubles roughly every 18 months.
If you're buying a new computer and Vista's features offer benefits that you want, buy it. If you have an older computer, I would recommend sticking with XP.
If you're buying a bargain, low end laptop with integrated video, I'd recommend staying away from Vista.
Consumers need to try and figure out what is best for them by educating themselves, or by finding someone more knowledgeable to help them.
However, people shouldn't be able to sue just because they bought something that didn't suit their needs, even though information that would have helped them make a better decision was available.
If Vista doesn't suit their needs, consumers should just not buy it. If a computer that comes with Vista on it isn't the best choice for them, they should buy a different one. If the retailer loads Vista on everything they sell for simplicity sake, buy from a different retailer. If that isn't a viable option, then I guess they will have to decide if they really want that particular computer bad enough to buy it with Vista, and then load a different OS on it later.
The choice should be theirs. However, they should NOT be able to sue simply because they didn't get the particular choice they wanted for the price they wanted.
You guy have this all wrong. This isn’t desperation. MS is offering this price reduction because the volume on Vista is so high the manufacturing costs have come down... :-)
Smartest thing anyone inflicted with Vista could do.
On the other hand, the clock works fairly well.
Every new(ish) OS MS has released has been bigger and more RAM hoggy while requiring larger and larger processors, thus creating the need for bigger and bigger power supplies and ENLARGING THE AVERAGE USER’S CARBON FOOTPRINT!!! BILL GATES AND MICROSOFT ARE DESTROYING THE WORLD!!!!
Vista has some features that I do like. I will probably go to it in a couple years once the bugs get worked out, and the hardware needed to run it well is relatively cheap.
However, it doesn't bother me that Microsoft is selling vista. I just feel no need to buy it at this point.
Ubuntu is a good OS as well. I run it on an older computer I have. However, I find that I run into a number of web sites that won't display properly with Firefox under Ubuntu. I also find that while some things are easy to set up on Ubuntu, others tend to be frustrating and time consuming.
Ubuntu is a step in the right direction for Linux desktop use, but it can't replace having XP for me.
Good idea. In preparation for buying a new system this year, I bought XP SP2. Now I can get a no OS system, thus getting what Vista is really worth. Without the hassle of reformatting.
Kind of a “Back to the Future” move for you, eh?
I'll buy Vista.
When NOTHING ELSE is available.
Just rebuilt 3 old home machines to upgrade them for the future, they all have XP Pro. VISTA is a dog on performance, especially file performance. It will be interesting if the VISTA SP1 will fix that issue. MS discontinues XP in June of 2008, so get it while it lasts or you will be stuck with VISTA.
HAHAHA! Oh, I had my C=64 stuffed full, with the ML Monitor and the extra RAM expansion, two floppy drives, and the (ugh) Thermal Ribbon color printer. Oh yeah, the Turbo ROM upgrade, too, and the (gasp) 300 bps modem.
My memory of it is fading, but I remember having a lot of fun with it. When a friend found a PC in the trash and I "upgraded" it to an XT, I tried to give the C=64 away, but by then, it was a fossil, and no one wanted it. I was unaware of the online Commodore Museum at the time, so it is in a landfill somewhere.
Actually, I kind of miss it. Paperclip III was quite a good WP Program.
It doesn’t help me. I am pricing a system now for the kids and getting the System Builder version of 64bit Vista Home Premium for $109.
Vista, Office 2007 and IE7 all combined aren't worth half any one of the boxes they came in.
And Yeah, yeah, yeah Mr. Microsoft salesman, I know even though I've been working on/using Microsoft products since DOS 2.0 I don't know what I'm doing and even though I have a brand spanking new computer it's all my fault for not wanting to shell out several more $100s of dollars to replace my other hardware & software that's older then 2 years with microsoft products. Vista is really great, I'm just bashing it because I'm lonely and just trying to fit in with all the strangers on the Internet I will never meet who claim they hate it. Just keep on telling yourself that...
Inflicted, Infected, Cursed (po-TA-to, po-ta-to)
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