Maybe not flawed...Vista ring a bell?
While I think that Steve Balmer is a complete moron, I wouldn't say M$'s new discount pricing is flawed, at least for western (developed) markets. More on that in a minute. Why? Because under Balmer's watch M$ screwed everyone, customers and partners alike, with the Vista abomination and it will take a long time before that fiasco is forgotten. Don't forget, discounting cures a lot of ills. What else could they do, especially in this global recession?
I think the second reason they're having to lower prices is that Windows 7 is only evolutionary and not revolutionary. It does have some nice new features to make mundane chores a bit easier but M$ apparently concentrated on speed and efficiency, not new eye candy nor dazzling new apps. which would surely help sales. The only down side I've noticed so far is Internet Explorer 8. What a POS!!! It just locks up completely periodically. And the ironic thing is that it is a disaster on MSN hosted websites where it is supposed to be the bees knees. Go figure.
Other than Internet Exploder 8 being crappy I think they've learned a little bit since Vista. I've been using Windows 7 for quite a while now, first the beta and now the release candidate. It's even faster than my WinXP installation and runs cooler with less CPU and GPU cycles on the same computer. I don't dual boot, I just swap out hard drive trays to switch between them so the installations are completely independent. And yes, I do monitor temps and CPU/GPU loading to keep my trusty aging laptop running smoothly. Is Windows 7 compelling enough to finally uproot all the diehard WinXP users? Only time will tell.
Let's talk about pricing for emerging or developing nations. I'm an American expat living in Thailand and it is considered a developing nation. Piracy of Windows, movie DVD's, and even pharmceuticals is common because of flawed pricing policies by especially U.S. corporations. The upper end salary for the average Thai is less than $300 U.S. dollars/week but more commonly it is closer to $200. Even if you could buy low end Windows 7 without trade-in for the discounted price of $79.99, much less $119.99, it wouldn't help much. It is just way beyond what these people are willing or able to pay. Of course, Thailand is just one of many emerging nations requiring ultra low prices to gain market share. Is it really worth it?
Ah, the trials and tribulations of global commerce. One suggestion is to get rid of Ballmer. What an idiot!!!!
Jimbo in Thailand