back to article Redmond slashing Win8, Office OEM rates for small devices

Microsoft is reportedly offering its OEM partners discounted rates on its Windows 8 and Office 2013 software, in a move designed to encourage production of more Windows-powered tablets and ultraportables. As to just how low Redmond is willing to go, however, and what kinds of devices qualify for the discounts, reports vary. …

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  1. Tom 35 Silver badge

    despite Microsoft offering customers deep discounts on Windows 8 upgrades

    If they had included a "default to desktop with start menu" option (no some 3rd party fix) I might be intrested. But as it is I would not give them 50 cents for their Frankenstine in a dress Operating system.

    I just had to RDP into a machine to fix something and I was about ready to shoot something.

    1. Neil Greatorex
      Headmaster

      Re: despite Microsoft offering customers deep discounts on Windows 8 upgrades

      Quite how you used "Reliable Datagram Protocol" to remote to a PC is beyond me.

      Terminal Services is not RDP!

      1. GrantB
        Holmes

        Re: despite Microsoft offering customers deep discounts on Windows 8 upgrades

        Pedantic and wrong.

        Terminal Services is the.. service (the hint is in the name) that Microsoft give to the service which accepts remote connections.

        'Remote Desktop Connection' application from Microsoft (sitting on my Win7 task-bar right now) is the application that makes connections (the hint is in the name) to a machine running Terminal Services via the Remote Desktop Protocol.

        So the original poster was quite correct. They RDP'd to a box in the same way we FTP files - using a File Transfer Protocol. The actual client and server details are unimportant, compared to the protocol being used.

        And while I haven't had to RDP to a W8 box yet (on the basis that I am actually yet to see a Win8 box actually being used), I can just imagine it would indeed be rage inducing.

        1. Neil Greatorex

          Re: despite Microsoft offering customers deep discounts on Windows 8 upgrades

          @ GrantB

          Pedantic - maybe.

          Wrong - Not.

          RDP: See RFC 908 (1984)

          "MS" RDP is a proprietary protocol running over port 3389 (Terminal Services)

          My keyboard is probably older than you. I hate revisionist twats.

          1. This post has been deleted by its author

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: despite Microsoft offering customers deep discounts on Windows 8 upgrades

            " RDP: See RFC 908 (1984)

            "MS" RDP is a proprietary protocol running over port 3389 (Terminal Services) "

            You made an assumption about which protocol he was talking about and were supercilious about it. The assumption was incorrect - you were indeed wrong. The old "But but but <insert reference to RFC here>" routine just makes you look like a dick who can't accept having his errors pointed out to him. Or, indeed, accept that he's made them. The biggest problem you have here, I think, is that you let your desire to be a pedant blind you to context. The revisionist twats comment is just childish.

            1. Paul Shirley

              Re: despite Microsoft offering customers deep discounts on Windows 8 upgrades

              Pedants really need to remind themselves that MS have a long history of giving new names to old things, so they can 'own' them. Bring your MS<->rest of world phrase book to any MS story.

              It's a practice IBM pioneered... so another thing MS didn't invent but 'borrowed' ;)

            2. Neil Greatorex

              Re: despite Microsoft offering customers deep discounts on Windows 8 upgrades

              The revisionist twats comment is just childish.

              But worth every penny.

              Oh, and I'm not anonymous. You twat.

          3. Rob Moir

            Re: despite Microsoft offering customers deep discounts on Windows 8 upgrades

            Yes, this is clearly the first time in the history of computing that a TLA has been recycled so it's perfectly reasonable to jump into the stance you've picked with both feet </sarcasm>

          4. Keep Refrigerated

            Re: despite Microsoft offering customers deep discounts on Windows 8 upgrades

            El Reg really needs a shovel icon!

    2. Shagbag
      Headmaster

      Dr Frankenstein

      Dr Victor Frankenstein was the creator of the monster and not the monster referred to in Mary Shelley's classic.

      1. Brangdon

        Re: Dr Frankenstein

        True. Are you saying that Dr Frankenstein looked good in a dress?

  2. K Silver badge
    Linux

    Windows RT has not exactly been a resounding success...

    Not suprised, RT is basically the bastard child and no use to anyone.. Consumers are not interested cause they can get Android tablets for 50% the cost, while it useless for business as it can't be joined to a domain.

    1. big_D Silver badge

      Re: Windows RT has not exactly been a resounding success...

      And you can get an Atom based Windows 8 tablet with similar performance, same battery life and all Windows software available...

    2. Rob Moir

      Re: Windows RT has not exactly been a resounding success...

      The domain thing surprised the heck out of me. Microsoft are playing catch-up and by throwing away domain membership and the manageability that comes with it, they're throwing away one of the areas where they hold an advantage with business and education customers. This product was designed to fail.

  3. Herby Silver badge

    Well MSFT needs some $$$ to...

    ...pay for the advert that has all the kids dancing around clicking keyboards to slabs. Last I looked the commercial touts that and the fact you can flip from screen to screen.

    Not much else is shown (could it be that you can't much else?).

    If you want to do any "real" work on a W8 slab, you might as well get a lappy (which is what many have already decided I suspect).

    1. RyokuMas Silver badge

      Re: Well MSFT needs some $$$ to...

      "you might as well get a lappy" - and this is what it comes down to.

      Developers and geeks don't really do tablets. Yes, we may tinker a bit, but to actually do anything of meaningful value, you need a "proper machine".

      Managers are the people who do tablets in a big way. And since they're all about swanking it up in front of their peers, they need to be seen as "cool".

      And Microsoft has not been cool for a long time - too much muddy water under that bridge.

      The only way Microsoft has into the tablet market is the long game - make something a bit different that eventually proves to be as good an option (if not better) than everything else. At this point in time, it's difficult to see how the Surface may be that device.

      I'm not saying that Microsoft should dump the Surface - not yet at any rate. But by rushing to try and grab a slice of the slab/phone action, they've gone off half-cocked with a desktop OS that is a bit too different and lacking in key familiar features, and a mobile counterpart that could have used a bit more thought.

      Personally, I hope it catches on (eventually) - I've got a nasty feeling that a Google-controlled IT monopoly would be even worse than Microsoft...

  4. ACcc
    FAIL

    Hmmm

    While Iagree the RT version of Windows 8 doesn't seen set up for business and to expensive for home use compared to android or even ios devices, I'm not even sure win 8 as a full x86/64 system works for business as you can't add anything app-wise to the touchy-feely side of it without a Microsoft account, which I'm sure we'll go down well in business.

    As a personal OS it's not too bad, but the fact you need to integrate everything to as hotmail or live account is quite annoying, but gets really irritating when installed as a test machine on a domain.

    1. Jordan Davenport

      Re: Hmmm

      Shortly before Christmas, I set up a laptop a friend got for her ~10-year-old daughter. The mother wanted it to be ready for her out of the box so she didn't have to configure it, aside from adding a few personal accounts. The OEM had included several Windows Store apps that weren't their own, but I found absolutely no way to install other things she would use without tying it to a Microsoft account. I tried a few Google searches but found nothing relevant.

      It's not as if I wanted to pirate anything - the apps were all freeware. I just wanted to pre-install the Windows Store version of Skype, the Amazon Kindle application to complement her Kindle Fire, a few game demos, the freeware Microsoft games, and a few other things. Yeah, that didn't happen. I ended up installing the desktop version of Skype and tried to make Metro as easy to use for her as possible, grouping things like Office and removing uninstall links that got dumped to the start screen.

      So far, she's not had any troubles with it. It seems kids are more willing to adapt to new things than adults though.

      1. MysteryGuy
        Thumb Down

        Re: Hmmm

        > So far, she's not had any troubles with it. It seems kids are more willing to adapt to new

        > things than adults though.

        Yes, a child might think Windows 8 is fine. But I suspect their needs and perspective might be a little different from an adult with years of experience performing real productive work...

    2. dogged
      Boffin

      Re: Hmmm

      @ACcc

      you can't add anything app-wise to the touchy-feely side of it without a Microsoft account

      Businesses which happen to be MS shops can host their own app stores in System Center(sic).

      Details here.

      http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/jj822984.aspx

      1. dogged
        Trollface

        Re: Hmmm

        downvoted because Eadon?

  5. Old Painless
    FAIL

    ..verry funny article...

    ..I laughed the most when it said "the full power of windows".....

    i used Window 8 today for the first time and it made me laugh like a drain at the poor arsehole who was almost in tears just trying to find somewhere he could type "cmd".....

    1. Neil Greatorex

      Re: ..verry funny article...

      Now I despise Microsoft as much as the next man, but your comment really takes the biscuit.....

      It's rather akin to the poor arsehole trying to make a cup of tea who was in tears because the gas cooker wouldn't fill his kettle with water.

      Eadon datchoo?

      1. Silverburn
        Thumb Down

        Re: ..verry funny article...@ Neil.

        Have you used TIFKAM? particularly on a nontouch PC? There are so many fundamental interface/UI fails it beggars belief.

        To extend the gas cooker analogy...TIKFAM is a gas cooker that has the main ignite control hidden down the side of the cooker, the gas control dials are hidden under flaps, which themselves have no visible means of operation, and you can only use one hob at a time, unless you lift up the cooker top surface, and attach your own hobs underneath. And there are absolutely no labels or instructions on anything.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: ..verry funny article...@ Neil.

          Works fine for me - took me about 10 minutes to find how to access everything I needed and discover all the different menu options on Win8. My young kids have no issues either. Maybe you should stick to a CLI based gas cooker?

      2. RyokuMas Silver badge

        Re: ..verry funny article...

        Hate to say it, but Old Painless has a point.

        I installed Win8 a while back. Personally, I don't mind using it (although my machine does have a nasty tendency to crash every now and then while in hibernation), but without the keyboard and desktop shortcuts, I can see how it would get very frustrating, very quickly.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: ..verry funny article...

          Crash in hibernation in Win8 = update your BIOS.

    2. reno79

      Re: ..verry funny article...

      can't find command prompt?

      right click in the bottom right corner. Honestly if you can't work out some of the shortcuts just because you cannot spend five minutes on google then ... well I don't need to finish that sentence. Every iteration of every operating system comes with new tools, new shortcuts, and new omissions, just spend a while doing some research and people can stop whining.

      1. Rob Moir

        Re: ..verry funny article...

        The point is that if you *have* to spend five minutes on google to figure out how to do basic tasks because the interface is so user-hostile, then that's a problem.

      2. fishdog
        FAIL

        Re: ..verry funny article...

        funny you should mention research.

        Here's what the professional UI researchers have to say:

        "The situation is much worse on regular PCs, particularly for knowledge workers doing productivity tasks in the office. This used to be Microsoft's core audience, and it has now thrown the old customer base under the bus by designing an operating system that removes a powerful PC's benefits in order to work better on smaller devices.

        The underlying problem is the idea of recycling a single software UI for two very different classes of hardware devices. It would have been much better to have two different designs: one for mobile and tablets, and one for the PC.

        I understand why Microsoft likes the marketing message of "One Windows, Everywhere." But this strategy is wrong for users."

        http://www.nngroup.com/articles/windows-8-disappointing-usability/

  6. banjomike
    FAIL

    free copies of Office 2013

    that would a free copy of the product that can only EVER be installed on ONE device ONCE and never ever again. Mad, just mad.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: free copies of Office 2013

      Please do try to keep up. MS have put their tails between their legs on that one, too.

      Maybe's MS's next desperation move will be to copy Apple's desperation watchaPod.

      1. banjomike
        FAIL

        Re: free copies of Office 2013

        You keep up. The copy you get with a new PC is not covered by that revision.

        "The license terms for OEM copies of Office that are purchased with a new PC remain unchanged; OEM copies cannot be transferred except with the PC itself."

        1. Zola

          Re: free copies of Office 2013

          You keep up. The copy you get with a new PC is not covered by that revision.

          Which is fair enough when talking about OEM copies supplied with hardware, of course the software should be tied to the hardware. You can re-install the software too, as often as you like, just restore the system image. On the same hardware.

          However buying Office separately is a completely different kettle of fish, and Microsoft have now done the sensible thing and revised their licensing terms for standalone purchases.

          1. banjomike
            FAIL

            Re: free copies of Office 2013

            The "OEM copies supplied with hardware" is still paid for by the user.

            Restoring the system image will lose every change you have made to the system since first delivery. Or are you proposing making a full system image weekly or daily to compensate for dumb MS policies/ In any case hardware still fails outside of warranty and with the OEM version of Office you are screwed.

  7. Zola

    Samsung cancels WIndows RT tablet in Europe

    due to lack of interest - not sure this move will help much.

    the verge.com

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "For its part, Microsoft has remained mum, with a spokesman offering only, "As we've said before, Windows 8 was built to scale across all sizes of PCs and tablets – large and small. We continue to work with partners to ensure that Windows is available across a diverse range of devices.""

    Queue the lawsuits; price fixing, monopolistic practices, etc.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    HHopefullyy MS is listening (and learning) and will offer something by SP1.

  10. Mikel
    FAIL

    Retreat on all fronts

    Office, Windows, Azure downtime. Bing going nowhere. Windows Phone dropping share to 3%. Is anything clicking right for them anywhere?

    Meanwhile Apple's selling more devices per day than all of the Windows ecosystem vendors, and the sum of Android vendors is doing over twice that.

    Somewhere in Redmond a tall sweaty man needs a hug.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Retreat on all fronts

      Actually Windows Phone market share of sales has climbed to 6% - http://crave.cnet.co.uk/mobiles/windows-phone-snatches-uk-sales-from-android-50010517/

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    1. nordwars
      Windows

      Re: Windows Cash Cow on death row

      MS competed with its partners because its partners had not made any innovative AND good hardware for years (apart from Asus, coming up with new and successful form factors like eeePC and Transformer).

      It must have been so sad for MS to see the bloated, slow moving and unmotivated PC makers do such a shite job while Apple was able to control things themselves and produce attractive hardware that people could fall in love with. I'm not surprised they wanted to motivate (embarrass) their industry by showing them how it's possible to innovate on their first attempt at a hybrid (whether you like it or not, the Surface is novel). It's not a betrayal, it's a kick up the backside, a "could do better".

      With partners like that, who needs enemies? I hope most of the old players fail, leaving a handful of innovators producing compelling products (Samsung, Asus, MS themselves, and someone else).

      1. Mikel

        Re: Windows Cash Cow on death row

        @nordwars - This is called blame the victim. These victims know what's coming for them now if they don't develop a Plan B. Hence the HP Chromebook and Android Slate 7.

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    2. RyokuMas Silver badge

      Re: Windows Cash Cow on death row

      Disregarding the last comment about public feeling towards TIFKAM...

      I agree.

      Microsoft's model cannot work in the current environment - the market has moved on as it always does, and they must adapt to survive or die.

      It feels like there has been a lot of panic-driven decisions - a sudden realisation of the market shift, followed by an "oh shit" reaction to try and grab a slice of the action. But there have been a few "right moves" as well - Android support for Azure, endorsement of Monogame for example.

      Despite their... colourful history, Microsoft can still live to fight another day - but not as we know them now. And there's a lot of work they need to do - starting right now - if they're going to achieve it.

    3. Michael Kean
      IT Angle

      Re: Windows Cash Cow on death row

      "1) Windows too fat and power hungry to run on cheap hardware"

      Windows 2000 ran nicely even with 64MB of RAM. What went wrong?? :)

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  12. Dan 55 Silver badge
    Happy

    Windows 9 here we come

    They're going to have to make it not do stupid stuff when you swipe the trackpad, a trackpad is not a touchscreen so the gestures make no sense.

    They're going to have to fix the UI abortion when not using the touchscreen in desktop mode (bring back the Start menu, etc...).

    They're going to have to have another sit down and think about how context switching works (probably just run TIFKAM apps on the desktop unless the device is in tablet profile).

    And they're going to have to have to do the opposite for Windows RT - unnobble domains, enable the desktop mode for more than just Office, allow any ARM compiled apps to run Windows RT, maybe put in an x86 emulator for legacy apps.

    That's the problem they got themselves into as they marketed Windows as one thing across two different device profiles and two different architectures and they've now got to deliver on that promise. Had they marketed Windows RT under another name and thought a little more about how Windows 8 should work they wouldn't be in this mess.

  13. ElsieEffsee

    Cut the price as far as you want

    My main PC is an IMac

    My current tablet is an iPad

    My next tablet will be Android

    If I ever want a laptop I would buy a Macbook

    For gaming I have a quad core W7 PC running Steam that should laste years.

    I used to love Windows but the more they get into this unified interface metro cobblers the more I dislike it so no matter how cheap (and nasty) these devices are my wallet is staying closed.

    1. Silverburn

      Re: Cut the price as far as you want

      Similarly:

      My main PC is an IMac

      My office app is OO & iworks

      My photoediting app is Apeture

      My browser is firefox

      My email client is imail

      My current tablet is an iPad

      My current phones are iphone and Galaxy Note 1.

      For gaming I have a PS3

      My PC runs my turbo trainer, and is win7. I have a XP VM, but haven't opened or needed it in 6 months. I don't even have an MS mouse or keyboard.

      I haven't bought anything new from MS in many, many months, nor do I see any reason to in the future either. Worse still - I build my family's IT the same way, and MS won't be getting any future business from them either.

      This is MS's problem - all traditional *consumer* revenue channels are drying up, as educated people (and their families) find better and/or cheaper alternatives. And with win8/TIKFAM, now the corporates are starting to think that way too.

      1. jason 7
        Happy

        Re: Cut the price as far as you want

        Main PC - Windows

        Main Laptop - Chromebook

        Main Phone - Android

        Tablet - Blackberry Playbook

        I like to spread it around. I like them all. They work just fine for me. Price is the overriding factor on my choices these days. It's not so much that I'm using Windows less, it's that I now have more equipment choices to do work on.

        Five years ago it would have been PC and Laptop only. Now I have a range of weapons in my armoury.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Cut the price as far as you want

      My Home Main PC is triple boot Kubuntu (Main use), Windows 7 (Games), Windows 8 (Software Testing)

      My Home Development Laptop is Windows 7 Pro ( because I have to test stuff on IE sigh )

      My Home diagnostics notebook is kubuntu ( used for networking diagnostics )

      My Phone is LG P990 CyanogenMod 10.1 (Android 4.22) ( using hardly any Google services as they are evil too, and sometime give you some choice)

      My Webserver is Ubuntu server based

      My Work Development Laptop is Windows 7 (coding)

      I may get an Android tablet in the future but my body will be cold before an Apple product enters my household. Despite how much I hate Microsoft, I hate Apple more and I am certainly not in love with Google either.

      If I had the choice of moving to Linux development for my work I would.

      Also beware the windows 8 upgrade that says “Keep Nothing” (I did not get caught but I bet some will)

  14. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
    Joke

    Screen size == price?

    "According to Taiwanese tech site DigiTimes, makers of touchscreen notebooks with 11.6-inch and smaller screens can now buy Windows 8 licenses for $20 less than the previous list price. What's more, devices with screen diagonals of 10.8 inches or less qualify for the discounted Windows licenses plus free copies of Office 2013."

    This is a rather innovative pricing structure!

    Maybe I could trade in my 21" screen for a 17" screen and get a discount on a Win8 license too?

    On the other hand, this might be seen as illegal discrimination under EU law (other jurisdictions are available) as smaller screens may not be usable by older users whose eyesight isn't what it was or, worse!!,discrimination against those with inherent eyesight disabilities.

  15. PeterM42
    FAIL

    To sell rubbish.......

    ......you have to drop the price.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: To sell rubbish.......

      That must be why Linux and Libre Office are both free!

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