back to article Discounts damage for Microsoft Windows 7 PC boost?

Things are looking up for PC manufacturers. The last three months of 2009 saw shipments of computers grow 22 per cent, while all - except Dell - enjoyed robust double-digit growth in the US and internationally according to Gartner. It was the strongest quarter of growth in seven years for sales of PCs, and it indicated a …

COMMENTS

This topic is closed for new posts.
Flame

Bastards, must die

Bought a new laptop a while ago. Came bundled with Windows, which I have absolutely no use for. Terrible waste of money on software I don't need, and can't even avoid buying.

8
0
FAIL

titular adornment

Well, you shouldn't have accepted the licence agreement then. You could have got your money back on the OS...

0
0
Silver badge

So...

...you rejected the EULA and claimed back the Microsoft Tax?

Or just buy a laptop from a different vendor which is either naked or has a different OS installed (and that does not necessarily mean Apple).

0
0
Silver badge

1% more market share needed

Apple's kit is not cheap, so there is no need for massive discounts to compete with them. If Linux has only 1% of the market share, why lose so much money to get it?

1
0
Silver badge

Which market?

In the home-consumer PC market I would be surprised to see Linux have more than 0.1%. But that is just part of the picture.

What do you think your cable/satellite/digital-tv decoder runs?

Your NAS?

Any number of other hi-tech doo-dahs?

Almost certainly some flavour of embedded Linux.

Also Linux has been getting a lot of press of late. MS's *fear* is that the public will wake up and realise that they do not need a new PC, what they need is an OS that isn't bloated and that can run quite happily on their existing kit. If that happens in any significant way, it will leak from the home into the workplace and then house of cards comes down.

That is the whole reason for the MS strategy.

1
0
Anonymous Coward

It's not surprising

that Windows 7sales are tied to overall demand for PCs. It is an unexpected consequence of the dominant position of Microsoft OS on the market. Windows has become like belly-button, it's way more difficult not to get one or to get rid of the one you got. With the exception of buying it with a new PC, very few people buy and upgrade Windows because the retail version is (perceived as being) expensive and also because the upgrade process is technically challenging for the large majority of users.

0
0
Silver badge
FAIL

Recovery lag

Type your comment here — plain text only, no HTML

One gets the impression that the Vista-debacle (both the OS itself and the hardware upgrade demands it imposed) can have done MS more damage than has hitherto been understood. It is possible that only after period of some years of positive experience with Win 7 via the OEM market (and it is a good OS) will there be any "customer excitement" about a new Windows system. In other words MS are going to have to accept perhaps that Win 7 is their "community service sentence" for the expensive abortion that was Vista and that only with Win 8 (assuming that it actually does deliver a "game changer" in the OS-market) will they have a chance of seeing the kind of earnings that (in their time) Win 95, 2k and XP gave them.

0
0
Ty
Jobs Halo

Hmm

Strange then how in the same period Mac sales rocketed even above their increased sales of the previous year.

Higher cost higher margin computers = healthy Apple

Low cost, mediocre crudware = dying PC vendors / Microsoft.

"Windows 7 will increase PC sales and take back Market share from Apple!" bleated Wndows zealots.

Ummm no, any Market share increases of PCs is down to huge numbers of cheap crappy low profit netbooks and bargain basement laptops. Low profit. Fail.

Apple are thrashing the PC industry around the face. Love it.

Get used to it, it's only just begun! :)

4
1
Anonymous Coward

We need a flashy beacon fanboi alert icon

And yet even Apple acknowledge the need to allow users to run Windows. Fail.

0
1
FAIL

Heh

I don't think you really understand. But it's ok, you go back to drawing pretty pictures on your Mac. I'll be playing games and, hopefully, enjoying some nice cheap hardware soon. The same hardware you use. Mintel-boy. If you foresee large companies with macs as each workstation and better yet.. servers. Then you are deeply, dangerously, deluded.

Saying "growth~" seems a bit retarded given we just went through a recession. Of course it's a lot of growth - people haven't bought any computers for the past 1.5 years. The growth spurt starts and ends here.

1
1
Gates Horns

Yawn

"But it's ok, you go back to drawing pretty pictures on your Mac. I'll be playing games and..." 'Nuff said - playing games. Some of us take our computing a little more seriously, which is why we avoid the stagnant train-wreck that is Windows.

You Windoze apologists with your £400 graphics cards have to resort to name-calling to make yourselves feel better when others make a conscious choice over the OS they want to use, as opposed to being herded along by Saint Ballmer and his band of car salesmen. You just can't stand people being different, can you?

My four-year-old Mac, with the latest OS, performs just as it did the day I got it. Now tell us how many times you've had to upgrade your cutting-edge gaming toy just to keep up with that stream of effluent from Redmond; then tell us how much more expensive Apple computers are, and how stupid we are for buying them.

"Retarded?" "Deeply, dangerously deluded?" Pathetic.

0
0
Ty
Jobs Halo

lol

*sigh*

I play loads of games on my Mac Pro. Mostly top PC games in fact, faster and smoother than you have seen on any PC at 2550x1600. Because my Mac is FLEXIBLE and not a software-limited malware-magnet you wasted your money on.

Yes Martin GROWTH. Go and look at the last year of APple financials. YOU sorry PC zealots may have been through a recession and FAILED. Apple GREW. You are in for a long, clearly unexpcted fall my son. Enjoy! *shakes head*

0
0
Ty
Jobs Halo

Oh dear

It's not a NEED it's a comfort blanket for Switchers who know no better and it gives unlimited flexibility to Mac users who prefer not to be restricted to Windows only security hell. You poor soul.

0
0
Silver badge
Flame

OEM damage

I should also add that the "Vista-experience" did critical damage to the OEM-market for reasons which were not _entirely_ MS' fault. There were an awful lot of pc-producers selling pcs as "Vista-ready" when in reality they were not up to running that OS in any kind of satisfactory way. I remember them selling Vista Home Premium preloaded on machines with screencards which couldn't cope with Aero and with 1Gb RAM installed ! Given that anything more than Vista Basic could only just be persuaded to get out of bed with that amount of RAM let alone do anything useful it is hardly surprising that there were _many_ disapointed customers (both private and business) in that most crucial of all markets.

0
0
Unhappy

bought but not used = sale but not success

I bought three copies, intending to upgrade three PCs.

However, its complete inability to work correctly with multiple monitors / DVI switching gear means that two of them are still sitting in their shrink-wrap and are likely to remain there until MS pull their fucking finger out and patch the issue.

http://social.answers.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/w7hardware/thread/84f41660-1933-4109-9b13-1ea8a1c27be7

Although MS will happily count these as successful sales, they aren't, as this will translate into lost sales - I'm the guy who will be leading a test team for any upgrade from XP to Windows 7 and my 6000+ PCs company uses multiple monitors as standard.

Also, on a personal note - I'm not likely to buy another OS from a company which is selling one that is currently not fit for purpose.

3
0

Windows is no more the point

People are certainly more price-sensitive than before, but, since they have no choice Windows can't be a criterium.

1
0
Anonymous Coward

Choice they do have now check out some of these

Choice they do have now check out some of these....

GNU/Linux - (very high quality in many distro's now for the novice user, biggest obstacles are; "If its free, it's crud (nothing further from the truth)", and "Which Distro to pick, ouch, TOO much choice!" Can run the gamut from minimal systems on 20 year-old hardware, to the latest 3-D eyecandy on a quad-core (or more). Really is getting its wind....

MacOS - A decent choice but subject to the same draconian encumbrances of proprietary systems, and a zealous "Use it my way of the highway", quite frankly its is built off (free and open) source of the next selection down which has eclipsed it in all but the eyecandy.

NetBSD - a UNIX based clone, but is getting up there with GNU/Linux in ease of use, installation and useage wise. Very good for servers. Have't used personally but witnessed first hand.

EComStation (OS2/Warp) - Commercial and proprietary but market share keeps them customer focused and support agile. OS2 Warp in its day of the mid-90's was superior to Win95 but unfortunately IBM's marketing was incompetent whereas M$'s was well....

Some that are getting REALLY good

Haiku (BeOS) - The old BeOS in the open source world. In Beta, I remember BeOS as being a multimedia capable system that made Mac's and Win9X look staid, it was like the Amiga brought alive on the x86. Sadly M$ steamrolled them into oblivion (like so many others), but the code base is here and being worked on.

ReactOS - A clean room reverse engineered Win2K/XP OS to meet all the API's. In alpha but already promising. Probably its code is a lot cleaner that of its subject, and hopefully wihout nearly the same number of chinks for malware....it is open source so the code-base is probably well-scrubbed

FreeDOS - DOS on steroids to support more recent processers, TCP/IP, multitasking, good for niche type installations.

and there's still MORE out there....

So there's plenty of choices and many are actually better, yes there will be a little bit of a learning curve, but going from WinXP to Ubuntu and CentOS (a LINUX distro I now use as the main OS and home and work, respectively) had perhaps slightly more than going to Windows Vista/7 which I have had to learn (groan...) but this has paid off in spades.....

0
0

ultimate?

"instead of versions of the Ultimate SKUs"

sales of ultimate versions are miniscule, probably even for retail sales of windows (which are miniscule in comparision to the OEM market)

MS makes its money on volume sales of home premium to OEMs, and volume sales of business to companies

0
0
Gold badge

Ultimate?

Actually, given that Ultimate costs only a tenner more than Pro in the wacky world of Se7en, I'm wondering WTF Pro is for? That's the sort of additional cost, taken as a percentage of the price, that I'll take on the offchance that I might possibly find a use for one of the features one day.

The thing that miffs me most about Se7en versions is that only the retail ones come in both 32 and 64 bit with the one license. Since I'm looking to go 64 but want the option to fall back if necessary, it means that for the first time in years I'm going to have to lash out on a retail copy rather than an OEM one. Damn.

0
0
Thumb Up

Strong Sales

My little IT company has been busy selling dozens of HP PCs in the last few months, so the article is correct - except for one thing...all of the PCs we shipped were downgraded to XP.

We have not sold a single PC with Vista or Windows 7 installed. ALL XP!!!

1
0
Linux

It's worse than that

If it's true that consumers are finally choosing PCs based on the real functionality and cost of the whole package rather than being taken in by expensive, glossy advertising then MS has a lot more worrying to do.

It would signal that the forced upgrades which generate most of their profits have been spotted for what they are. Consumers have already refused to replace a working albeit old system (XP) when the new systems (Vista/Win7) don't do anything new of any real significance or relevance to them. In future, new OS or apps will need to be much better and find real new functionality and added value if they are to be popular. A few tweaks and a glossy new look simply won't do it anymore unless the upgrade is free.

Growth in netbooks was an obvious trend. Now people have got used to the idea of cheap, basic but capable small PCs it will be harder to persuade them to go for something bigger and more expensive. They have seen that a cheap netbook can do what they need.

If consumers really do start to understand that general desktop applications and operating systems are commodity wares and that high prices cannot be justified, they will have much less resistance to trying new (to them) and cheaper alternatives to the whole Windows platform. With the current free software alternatives being so good, maybe a time of massive desktop Linux growth really is approaching at last.

4
1
Silver badge
Thumb Down

Pump priming

Microsoft has taken such a bath with Vista that it had to do something dramatic with Windows 7 and an extensive advertising campaign and price discounts certainly fit that bill.

Rest assured that Microsoft is making a profit with every licence sold but they are probably more interested in the longer term - upselling to those who bought the basic licence and getting USD 150 per install instead of USD 1. I'm not sure how they actually plan to do this - from what I've seen there is no reason to upgrade Windows 7 - but I'm sure they've thought about it. Obviously one of the things will be to reach critical mass for the .NET framework so that all programs run only on Vista / Windows 7 and thus pull the ladder up. Windows 7 itself is good enough to run fine on netbooks and displace XP and OEMs will be happy to go along with any strategy which makes their life easier. For the moment, however, I think they will be happy with the corporate welcome of Windows 7 and the continued server growth.

But how does Windows 7 tie into their online strategy? Will we need the premium version to use Office online? Will it get me more storage space, etc?

0
0

Windows and Marketshare

All of this points to what should have been recognized by pundits ages ago: Microsoft's OS dominance wasn't because of superior marketing or superior product. It was price. With all those competing computer makers pushing prices lower and lower, Apple's Macintosh languished at a premium price that consumer's just couldn't justify spending.

1
0
Linux

New laptop 4 me

I've just bought a new laptop. A HP one. It comes with Windows 7 but don't ask me which version. I didn't look and don't care as it will not be staying on there. I will be putting Linux on it, probably Fedora.

I have emailed HP asking about a refund for Windows but I doubt I will hear back from them. Basically have been ripped off to the tune of £70+, adding to Microsofts profit for something I don't use and will never use. I will forward details to the EU but then I doubt nothing will be done. I had heard about a year back they were investigating the OEM contracts with Microsoft, but never had it confirmed.

I have looked at the pure Linux laptops but unfortunately they are just too expensive for me.

4
0
Linux

I got a netbook for Xmas...

...was thinking about getting a refund from Acer, but I don't think the $5 - $15 for XP would be worth the hassle (you have to send it back to them). Kiss my @$$ MS.

0
0
Silver badge

No rip-off

You chose the HP - why simply not choose to by a laptop without Windows? Yes, it is possible. And no, I do not mean Apple.

0
0
Silver badge

*spang*

I really should read posts properly....

0
0
Gates Horns

Or could it just be...

...that us consumers have heard the bullshit too many times and have finally got wise. Lets face it the newest fiasco with Internet Explorer isn't helping. Who wants an operating system that's got problems with security time after time after time, especially when more of our lives are being stored on our computers.

I'll take an Apple please or failing that a Linux based PC - they may not be completely secure but they seem to be a hell of a lot better than that frigging Windows based crap.

3
1
Gold badge

A mature marketplace

People now realise that if their computer can render near believable landscapes in games, encode video quickly and play blu ray that something simple like an OS should easily run on the hardware they have.

It's a tough sell to get people to upgrade their hardware now. They're more likely to wear it into the ground before getting another one.

People don't have systems with ugly CRTs they want to off load either.

0
0
Paris Hilton

Let's bottom line this here for Dell...

If you do not treat your customers like shit, you would sell more. ESPECIALLY at pre-sales. Period.

(To be fair, Dell did get my customer's Mini 10 to him almost 10 days before originally estimated.)

But I still made several sales over Christmas because Dell's pre-sales ineptitude.

Paris, whatever.

0
0
WTF?

sls

I've read that headline over and over again and it still doesn't make any sense.

0
0

Real world called...

I've been recently asked by one of our employees if I can get him something better than that Windows-crap he got now on his current work laptop...

...he is now running OpenSuSE. It is really only a platform for running Citrix client but so was his Windows.

I'm in a very good situation where I can give people almost anything I like as long as they can do their work. There are no real corporate policy telling me that we use Windows.

Morale from this short story is... if Windows wasn't bundled there wouldn't be only 1% Linux... there wouuld be probably 10%.

1
1
Silver badge
FAIL

so lets see if I've got this right

Microsoft bully computer vendors so you can't buy a computer without windoze, and they /still/ have to discount W7 to bribe people into trying it. Just how bad can it be?

1
0

Mature markets

In the automobile sector it is well recognised that low-cost items have a smaller profit margin than high-cost items. This has to be done because if the choice is between buying an expensive city car (as a second-car run-around, or student car etc) and buying a second-hand car or just carrying on with what you already have, many consumers will not buy the new car. MS have realised that if they want those at the lower end of Middle-class disposable income to buy their OS via a netbook, or if they want them to buy an upgrade OS for the household's secondary PC, it has to be cheap. In this new low spec computer sector, the choice isn't between MacOS, Linux or MS - it's between buying a cheap OS or not buying an OS at all. In this case, a discounted price isn't money lost from a full price sale; it's money made from a sale that otherwise wouldn't exist.

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Oh woe is micros~1

Given that they're still running obscene margins and have a pretty hoard to dwell on, no sympathy from me. Especially not since they continue to steal other people's limelight by pushing "inventions" at the press that someone with a lesser marketeering organisation has already perfected but didn't manage to draw the press' attention. That, and atrociously bad advertising, seems to be their core business.

0
0
Grenade

Windows 7 upgrade?

Microsoft, Intel, and the rest have a long road ahead of them convincing anyone to replace PC's that are working. I'm going to add a new hard drive to my desktop and keep it moving. There are no compelling applications (including games) that require me to replace my desktop. My laptop is another matter. A year after getting a low end Acer, the black painted surfaces are showing through and the battery no longer charges to full. No more Acer for me. Maybe a netbook. Sorry Microsoft. Not in this to make you rich. Not upgrading to Win7 any time soon, as my desktop Vista is working fine.

0
0
Gold badge
Jobs Horns

Windows has competition!

"If Linux has only 1% of the market share, why lose so much money to get it?"

Because that was Microsoft FUD -- they picked brick-and-mortar stores that sell 0 or 1 linux model, and asked them what the netbook sales were like. It seems when covering ALL netbook sales that Linux share is closer to 40%!

So this article was interesting, it seems to simply ignore that Windows has any competition, while it does. The article seems to imply they are knocking the cost off low-end Windows 7 (and continuing to sell XP) just to knock $40 or $50 off the total cost of a netbook and reap the extra sales from having netbooks cost $40 less. Not so. They are selling low-end 7 and XP so cheap because Linux is a viable alternative, it runs better and costs less... and when the choice was a $225 ubuntu netbook or a $325 Windows one, most people are not willing to pay $100 just for Windows, whereas now the price difference is more like $40. Microsoft's greatest fear is for people to start regularly using non-Windows systems, realize they are good, and not be tied to Windows any more. MacOS is a worry but it's tied to a single line of expensive computers; Linux is cheap and runs on anything.

2
0
k d
Pint

Waaaay too expensive for what you get

1) OK, so I have XP. If someone said you could either upgrade to 7, or have $120 of beer, which would you have? It's a no brainer. What does 7 give me that XP doesn't? Nothing. I have read a lot about 7, and can't think of anything off the top of my head that 7 has that XP doesn't.

2) My 2yr old laptop runs fine, but is prob only worth $100-$200 if I tried to sell it. So why would I pay $120 to upgrade to 7?

3) Hardware is so cheap now that Win7 is now one of the most expensive components of a new system. So if someone says I could either have Ultimate, or have Home Premium and $100 of beer, which would I have? Again, a no brainer. What does Ultimate give me that Premium doesn't? Even less than 7 gives me over XP. Nothing plus the feeling of being a ripped off victim loser.

4) When 4GB laptop ram chips become cheap, I would be willing to pay $10 or $20 to upgrade to a 64 bit 7. But only because I run a custom made app, that is pushing the boundaries of 3.3GB.

Beer please.

0
0
This topic is closed for new posts.

Forums