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back to article Microsoft tosses Windows, Office discounts at XP holdouts

Microsoft has kicked off 2010 with steep discounts on copies of Windows 7 Professional and Office 2010 Professional for businesses still clinging to Windows XP and Office XP. Last week, the company announced that it has extended an existing half-off volume discount offer to small-and-medium-sized organizations running Windows XP …

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Pint

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So how much can I expect off the price of these shiny new packages if the latest MicroSoft stuff that my business uses is Win98 (or Win2K if there is no other way) and Office 97? How much will they pay me to take some of this bloatware off their hands?

i think I'll have a pint anyway!

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RW

Fist year?

Given how MS treats its customers, that sounds about right.

BTW, Gavin Clarke forgot about Linux which is, it appears, slowly but steadily encroaching on PC territory by those who care neither for the cheap hardware and horrible (both expensive and ill-conceived) software of MS Windows machines nor the expensive hardware and excellent software of Apple machines.

Linux is far from perfect, but it will sure save you a lot of money. It has its aggravations, no two ways about it, but so does Windows and so does OS/X.

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FAIL

Apple & Microsoft BOTH suck

I can't stand some of the stupid design decisions of either companies' GUIs, which is why I switched to Linux. Nothing to do with the price of anything. (and it runs just fine on cheap hardware, TYVM)

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Unhappy

Yep, time for another fist

I'd be the first to stick up for Linux -- this engineering firm has been Windows-free since 1999 -- but the unfortunate truth is that Microsoft Office still has such a stranglehold on corporate documentation that the latest version of Office is pretty much a requirement when dealing with clients. (And while Microsoft Word is truly a horrible DTP application, OpenOffice manages to be even worse.)

I wonder if our Windows XP VM installations are "qualifying copies" of Windows...

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Happy

MS will **st you alright!

Let's not forget the abomination that is Sharepoint! Let's take web standards and roughly agreed ideas on web apps and balls them so badly, that the old drug-dealer analogy becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy for MS!

Let's not even start on Silverlight and .Net, crimes against humanity!

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Gates Horns

QFT...

OpenOffice could be better. It has no outline tools to speak of, which is my number one gripe.

But apart from that, not being a prolific writer of letters, business correspondence or otherwise, nor a novelist, I find it more than enough. Of course, I do not find myself in a position where I have to exchange word compat files so this is not a problem for me.

I happen to like the outline facility of M$ though. And this is one thing I absolutely hate about OO.

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Grenade

God forbid anyone should forget Linux

I have a casio scientific calculator. It boots up in less than a second, never crashes, was dirt cheap and the batteries last for years.

Frak you M$soft, crApple and Whine-ux! Casio FTW!

Just one small issue..... neither it nor Linux will run any of my fecking applications, will they? So it's not going to "sure" save me any money at all, is it?

"It has its aggravations, no two ways about it" - yeah, right. Your post in this thread is a good example of one.

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Anonymous Coward

Save you money?

Have you done a feasability study on switching a large organisations infrastructure from Windows to Linux based? with 150+ machines It's certainatly not a free upgrade and for the first 3 or so years actually works out more expensive than the MS option when you consider everything. It's only after around 5 or 6 years running the Linux archatecture that you start to see worth while savings...But, and heres the kicker, that's only if you have a trouble free experience, which you wont...Once staff training costs have been taken into account most organisations will look at the total figure, the huge disruption to their business and tell the IT guy to fuck off.

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RE: Save you money ?

Micky 1 asks "Have you done a feasability study on switching a large organisations infrastructure from Windows to Linux based? with 150+ machines It's certainatly not a free upgrade and for the first 3 or so years actually works out more expensive than the MS option when you consider everything. It's only after around 5 or 6 years running the Linux archatecture that you start to see worth while savings."

Congratulations on demonstrating so clearly that Apples and Oranges are not the same, or even the same as Pears. Well as the expression goes "no sh** Sherlock", so there's costs involved with changing systems - that's such a surprise (not). I'd question your figures, but I don't have anything more accurate than yours so I'll leave people to make their own figures up. But really, the ONLY reason people like you are sticking with MS is because MS have done such a damn good job of stitching people up and luring them down the one way street of incompatibility that's so designed into the Windows/Office ecosystem.

I guess that after a decade or two of learning how to accept mediocrity as standard, it's hard to accept that things could be better. And if people like you had their way, things would never get better because without competition and innovation, nothing ever does improve.

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Pint

Discount?

Too bad they won't take half the price of RAM just to allow me to run their bloatware. No thanks, i'll stick with XP, OpenOffice and Fedora wherever possible

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Re: tossing

Dear MS,

Keep tossing, I'll tell you when to stop.

Regards,

The Filthy Bastard.

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W2K...

I'm still using Windows 2000...

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N2
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Thumb Up

Me too!

It does the job

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Pint

It certainly does!

As does Win98. Microsoft have yet to give, IMHO, a reasonable explanation as to why it wants us to "upgrade". 50% off a big load of money is still a pretty big load of money and, if the present kit does the job, then changing would seem to be silly.

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N2
Bronze badge

Discounts?

Thats all very well but if you have a network that does the job intended & runs your applications fine then how can change be justified?

After all Windows 2000/XP & Office 2000 do a perfectly good job without added cost or bloat.

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OpenOffice.org still cheaper than Office

And, I have yet to find a customer, business or home, that can't do their work in OpenOffice.org.

A no brainer IMO if you currently have Office 98/2000/XP/2003.

Plenty of online documentation now out there.

And you can contribute to the community directly to help improve it, rather than spend the time/money on a product you have little influence in.

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Unhappy

As the man said earlier....

.....MS Office has a stranglehold on the corp market.

For me this means MS Office at home as well. God knows I've *tried* to get along with OO, but the problem here is that it's *just* different enough to be really bloody annoying.

If it were the same, but with fewer "features" (aka: less bloat), I'd be happy with it. If it were completely different in its way of working, I could live with it. This almost-but-not-quite-Office feel that it has now drives me up the wall.

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.net 1.1 on Win7

I just checked last week with our ERP provider.

Their client isn't certified for Windows 7 yet.

I tried running it just to see what would happen.

Errored out on .net 1.1.

It appears it can be installed & maybe the client will run, but who would want to?

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Anonymous Coward

Why not just drop the damn prices overall???!!

People have raved on about the pros and cons of Windows for years - and Word, etc - when the real issue all along has been price and moronic anti-piracy restrictions which slowed the pirates hardly at all, and simply pee-ed off their paying customers. How many users of Linux started off, not pro-Linux, but simply anti-MS?

They reckon half the copies of Windows on the planet are pirated - possibly rising to 70% in the Asia. Like VHS and DVDs a low retail price would kill piracy at a stroke, and probably make the profit up in numbers.

The major problem with Windows - for years - hasn't been the coding or technology - we're all free to choose as we please - or should be, at least. But MS's obscene pricing structure warps the PC market, and removes choice - take it or leave it is the option most people face when buying a PC. From about 10% of the price of a new PC in the early 90s, Windows has risen to over a third of the cost of a budget PC.

If Windows (and Word) was £30-£40 a copy, I really do suggest that MS might make more money, simply because piracy wouldn't be worth the effort. And ordinary users might be tempted to buy new or alternate versions just to try them, rather than be offput by the ludicrous costs. The root cause of Windows piracy is MS's corporate greed.

One last thing ...

IMHO, any software - MS or otherwise - that is no longer fully supported by its publishers ought to lose its copyright by law. That might make MS and others think twice about railroading customers into new versions, and free software for open source support.

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Couldnt agree more

How they get away with charging for Windows NT 4.0 & 98 is beyond me

& Microsoft's exchange rate of $1 to £1 really gets on my tits

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Err...

"They reckon half the copies of Windows on the planet are pirated - possibly rising to 70% in the Asia. Like VHS and DVDs a low retail price would kill piracy at a stroke, and probably make the profit up in numbers."

Yeah, because low cost price for CDs and DVDs has resulted in the total elimination of internet piracy. </sarcasm> No, what will happen is that people will find another way to justify the wholesale piracy of other's works.

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Copyright

"IMHO, any software - MS or otherwise - that is no longer fully supported by its publishers ought to lose its copyright by law."

I nearly agreed, but actually I think your plan is flawed.

Firstly, pretty much *no* software (old or new) is fully supported, since the average EULA says "We offer no guarantees of fitness for purpose either now or in the future and we don't promise to fix any bugs ever.".

Secondly, there's the fact that software bought off-the-shelf (not through OEMs) is generally transferable, thereby creating a "second-hand value" for its original owner, which would be destroyed by the change you propose. It's one thing to destroy Microsoft's ability to make money out of stuff they no longer support, but quite another to destroy third parties' ability to make money by selling stuff they no longer use.

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Dead Vulture

Microsoft hears the heards of thin clients thundering over the horizon

Individual software for individual fat-clients running Windows? That's so 2009...in 2010+ we don't need no stinkin' fat clients (well, except for certain power-users). Normal IT users can be satisfied by thin clients, and Novell and Red Hat (and perhaps other Linux companies, such as Google) are just the people to fill that need.

Hence the fire-sale prices for MSOffice.

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Funny

My thin client at work runs MS software and an MS desktop, with MS servers serving it, so I don't really think that MS are going to be that bothered by Thin Client architecture.

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Bronze badge

When do I get a discount...

For REMOVING Windoze of Office from a new computer?

Shouldn't every computer come with such "rebates". It would be a really nice feature given the market. One of those nice netbooks at a $100 off as I reckon. Should be a requirement of a "pre-installed" operating system provided by a third party.

I am also advising a friend that OpenOffice is an alternative to the later versions of whatever Microsoft uses. He is willing to "try it out" to see if it fits the bill. Pretty simple to test-drive if you ask me. Of course, if it works, he will save a BUNCH on license fees on his XP machines which he has no intention of updating any time soon.

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Anonymous Coward

yeah right

roaming profiles on Windows 7 dont work right if you are running a mixed network.....

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Unhappy

OVS?

This all sounds wonderful, until I looked at what OVS was. Seems the 50% discount applies for the 1st year. Then you're on the MS licensing treadmill, paying every year to rent all that software. Doesn't look quite so impressive anymore.

I won't join thanks.

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Go

What I'm Talking About

I got Enterprise Professional versions of Office 2003, Office 2007, Office XP and Office for MAC through my former employer for $19.95 eaxh (USD of course).

XP Home Full and XP Pro upgrade for some similar discount ... can't remember exactly.

Those are real discounts. All other offerings are simply bull hockey.

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Linux

Linux is free*

* but there are hidden costs.

Windows is NOT free *

* and there are hidden costs as well.

Take your pick.

I'd rather have something I have full control of, truth be told.

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Stop

@ Quxy

"And while Microsoft Word is truly a horrible DTP application, OpenOffice manages to be even worse"

I can see the problem that you're having, Word is a 'Word processing' application, for DTP MS provides Microsoft 'Publisher'. Not great software I admit but it's a DTP app and you'll find it much easier to perform DTP tasks using it ;)

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Bronze badge

Not quite

The word processing features in Word have been made harder to use by the interference caused by the half-@r$€d implementation of DTP within the application.

There's technical problems (eg the invisible formatting markup for a paragraph sometimes magically disappears when you chose to delete the wrong word or carriage return) and there's user problems (people start focusing on layout too early on and it distracts from the content).

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Unhappy

LaTeX, anyone?

Rather than pointing the finger at users, I would make the observation that the focus on formatting to the exclusion of content is a fundamental design flaw in Word -- and, by extension, OpenOffice. One doesn't have to be as fastidious as Donald Knuth to notice that every change to Word's user interface has further encouraged users to lose sight of the logical structure of the text and to conflate this with superficial typographical elements.

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N2
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Subscription

Thats a bit worrying, they've got you by the bollocks to force you to 'upgrade' when ever the next heaving edition of bloat aka Orifice 2010 lumbers onto the shelves

No thanks

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Stop

Or Worst Still!!

"The discount, though, follows a year during which Microsoft discounted heavily on Windows 7 Home Premium to persuade consumers in general and students in particular to buy the new operating system - or PCs running it - rather than stick with Windows XP or - worse - go over to Apple."

Or worst still...... Move over to Linux..... ah sorry already have

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OS-free laptops

I recently bought one of those ebuyer.com no-OS laptops. It's great - very well made, 4GB RAM, Core Duo T6600, 1680x1050 display and only 350 quid delivered - prices are so low when there's no MS tax to pay. It works superbly with Ubuntu and OO, and the most satisfying thing is MS didn't get a penny:-)

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