What if Microsoft gave Vista away for free?

Discussion in 'NZ Computing' started by Waylon Kenning, Oct 8, 2005.

  1. An article describing Vista as being a loss-leader

    http://www.osnews.com/story.php?news_id=11913

    Here's the second part:

    If Vista were a free product, hordes of us would upgrade immediately.
    It would take a load off of Microsoft with respect to activation and
    piracy. It would open the door to charge for support and updates in a
    subscription based fashion, it would blow all TCO arguments out of the
    water, it would make a financial dent in many competitors charging for
    their products, and it would accomplish the biggest goal of all: it
    would set up the vast majority with a Windows platform on which they
    could then deploy Office and all the new goodies and initiatives -
    those mentioned above and new ones, like Microsoft Accounting,
    Microsoft CRM, and more. And most of all, with its ability to
    integrate so well with Microsoft Active Directory, it would be a real
    driving factor to buy Windows Server. Of course, Vista could only be
    free for the home desktop, the server counterpart would still run
    about 800 bucks, which is "chump change" to most companies. In fact,
    as a variation of that, the license could vary: free for home use, but
    a cost for commercial use. Or maybe free for home use, 50 Vista
    desktop CALs with each server license. The terms could vary, but once
    the desktop cost is out of the equation, the customer base exists.

    At this point, Microsoft could be a little creative and maybe optimize
    Vista to run newer applications. Hey, if you could HAVE Vista but had
    to spend a few hundred bucks for Office 12 to get real whiz-bang
    performance, that seems like a good value, right? "It's certainly
    cheaper than training your employees to use Linux and OpenOffice.org,
    and it really doesn't cost much when amortized over a few years. In
    fact, monthly, my profit & loss statement shows virtually nothing - a
    few dollars. And boy, Office 12 runs so much faster than Office XP, I
    really should upgrade the rest of the workstations." Never mind the
    eventual upgrade costs to Office, this is a "right now" solution.

    Though most of these tech sites have lots of very vocally pro-Linux
    and pro-Apple visitors, statistics reveal that the vast majority are
    still running Windows, even if just from work. How many would upgrade
    to Vista if it were available as a free download? If you could
    download an ISO of Vista "Home Basic," wouldn't you? Maybe that would
    even drive you to upgrade to Vista "Home Premium." Or maybe they give
    away "Home Premium," but it requires a subscription to keep the
    additional features active. There are a hundred ways to spin this into
    "a great deal for everyone."

    Most importantly, a free Vista would go a long way towards repairing
    the image of Microsoft as an evil empire. Their campaign to be more
    "open" is everywhere - their file formats have gone from binary to
    XML, they have begun releasing open-source code (even to
    Sourceforge!), and they have committed to supporting new features in
    IE7[2], such as additional PNG support, extended CSS2 support, and
    RSS. Microsoft is very concerned about their image, and their attempts
    to alter the way they are perceived have been met with varying levels
    of success. This, I think, is a home run.

    I recognize that the likelihood of a free Vista is pretty much nil -
    stockholders would never stand for a missed revenue stream, even if it
    meant a much better position in the long run, and Gates and Ballmer
    are not likely to let 5 years of development walk out the door with no
    profit. But it seems to me as though there's a lot to be gained. As a
    strategic company, they ought to be thinking that what we lose today,
    we make up for tomorrow by building a greater persistent user base, an
    even greater presence, and incidentally, a much greater fan base. I
    find myself thinking that it's not terrible to sacrifice some
    temporary flux the present to cement a more pervasive future; it
    probably extends the Microsoft dominance for some time. All empires
    may eventually crumble, but if the empire morphed itself into a new
    entity, it might extend its life indefinitely in new ways. And hey,
    Microsoft, if you're listening, $100 million in marketing can't buy
    the press that the announcement would get you.

    [2] Many believe that Microsoft's support for CSS is still
    insufficient, beyond not supporting the ACID2 test. However, you can't
    take away the fact that additional support is still very welcome and
    will make the web a better place for developers.
    --
    Cheers,

    Waylon Kenning.
     
    Waylon Kenning, Oct 8, 2005
    #1
    1. Advertising

  2. "Waylon Kenning" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > An article describing Vista as being a loss-leader
    >
    > http://www.osnews.com/story.php?news_id=11913
    >
    > Here's the second part:
    >
    > If Vista were a free product, hordes of us would upgrade immediately.
    > It would take a load off of Microsoft with respect to activation and
    > piracy. It would open the door to charge for support and updates in a
    > subscription based fashion, it would blow all TCO arguments out of the
    > water, it would make a financial dent in many competitors charging for
    > their products, and it would accomplish the biggest goal of all: it
    > would set up the vast majority with a Windows platform on which they
    > could then deploy Office and all the new goodies and initiatives -
    > those mentioned above and new ones, like Microsoft Accounting,
    > Microsoft CRM, and more. And most of all, with its ability to
    > integrate so well with Microsoft Active Directory, it would be a real
    > driving factor to buy Windows Server. Of course, Vista could only be
    > free for the home desktop, the server counterpart would still run
    > about 800 bucks, which is "chump change" to most companies. In fact,
    > as a variation of that, the license could vary: free for home use, but
    > a cost for commercial use. Or maybe free for home use, 50 Vista
    > desktop CALs with each server license. The terms could vary, but once
    > the desktop cost is out of the equation, the customer base exists.
    >
    > At this point, Microsoft could be a little creative and maybe optimize
    > Vista to run newer applications. Hey, if you could HAVE Vista but had
    > to spend a few hundred bucks for Office 12 to get real whiz-bang
    > performance, that seems like a good value, right? "It's certainly
    > cheaper than training your employees to use Linux and OpenOffice.org,
    > and it really doesn't cost much when amortized over a few years. In
    > fact, monthly, my profit & loss statement shows virtually nothing - a
    > few dollars. And boy, Office 12 runs so much faster than Office XP, I
    > really should upgrade the rest of the workstations." Never mind the
    > eventual upgrade costs to Office, this is a "right now" solution.
    >
    > Though most of these tech sites have lots of very vocally pro-Linux
    > and pro-Apple visitors, statistics reveal that the vast majority are
    > still running Windows, even if just from work. How many would upgrade
    > to Vista if it were available as a free download? If you could
    > download an ISO of Vista "Home Basic," wouldn't you? Maybe that would
    > even drive you to upgrade to Vista "Home Premium." Or maybe they give
    > away "Home Premium," but it requires a subscription to keep the
    > additional features active. There are a hundred ways to spin this into
    > "a great deal for everyone."
    >
    > Most importantly, a free Vista would go a long way towards repairing
    > the image of Microsoft as an evil empire. Their campaign to be more
    > "open" is everywhere - their file formats have gone from binary to
    > XML, they have begun releasing open-source code (even to
    > Sourceforge!), and they have committed to supporting new features in
    > IE7[2], such as additional PNG support, extended CSS2 support, and
    > RSS. Microsoft is very concerned about their image, and their attempts
    > to alter the way they are perceived have been met with varying levels
    > of success. This, I think, is a home run.
    >
    > I recognize that the likelihood of a free Vista is pretty much nil -
    > stockholders would never stand for a missed revenue stream, even if it
    > meant a much better position in the long run, and Gates and Ballmer
    > are not likely to let 5 years of development walk out the door with no
    > profit. But it seems to me as though there's a lot to be gained. As a
    > strategic company, they ought to be thinking that what we lose today,
    > we make up for tomorrow by building a greater persistent user base, an
    > even greater presence, and incidentally, a much greater fan base. I
    > find myself thinking that it's not terrible to sacrifice some
    > temporary flux the present to cement a more pervasive future; it
    > probably extends the Microsoft dominance for some time. All empires
    > may eventually crumble, but if the empire morphed itself into a new
    > entity, it might extend its life indefinitely in new ways. And hey,
    > Microsoft, if you're listening, $100 million in marketing can't buy
    > the press that the announcement would get you.
    >
    > [2] Many believe that Microsoft's support for CSS is still
    > insufficient, beyond not supporting the ACID2 test. However, you can't
    > take away the fact that additional support is still very welcome and
    > will make the web a better place for developers.
    > --
    > Cheers,
    >
    > Waylon Kenning.


    Or, microsoft would go bust.
     
    news.xtra.co.nz, Oct 8, 2005
    #2
    1. Advertising

  3. Waylon Kenning

    Rob J Guest

    In article <>,
    says...

    > Most importantly, a free Vista would go a long way towards repairing
    > the image of Microsoft as an evil empire. Their campaign to be more
    > "open" is everywhere - their file formats have gone from binary to
    > XML, they have begun releasing open-source code (even to
    > Sourceforge!), and they have committed to supporting new features in
    > IE7[2], such as additional PNG support, extended CSS2 support, and
    > RSS. Microsoft is very concerned about their image, and their attempts
    > to alter the way they are perceived have been met with varying levels
    > of success. This, I think, is a home run.


    No brain no pain.

    As soon as MS makes a major product such as Vista free they are accused
    of monopoly power squeezing competitors out of the marketplace just like
    they did when IE was introduced free against Netscape which then cost $
    to buy.

    These guys want a buck both ways.
     
    Rob J, Oct 11, 2005
    #3
  4. On Wed, 12 Oct 2005 01:26:40 +1300, someone purporting to be Rob J didst
    scrawl:

    > In article <>,
    > says...

    *SNIP*
    > As soon as MS makes a major product such as Vista free they are accused
    > of monopoly power squeezing competitors out of the marketplace just like
    > they did when IE was introduced free against Netscape which then cost $
    > to buy.
    >
    > These guys want a buck both ways.


    No, we want Microsoft to play on the same field as everyone else. That
    means not leveraging a dominant market position to enhance sales of other
    parts of your product portfolio.
    The Microsoft Tax, whereby an OEM gets stung for a Windows licence even if
    a box goes out of the factor without Windows, is but one of their numerous
    ways of making it difficult for others to compete.

    Competition means both sides putting in a similar degree of effort. MS
    don't compete anymore, by that definition. Look at what it took to get
    improvements to IE: a browser that was merrily chewing its way through
    IE's market share.

    --
    Matthew Poole
    "Don't use force. Get a bigger hammer."
     
    Matthew Poole, Oct 11, 2005
    #4
  5. Waylon Kenning

    Guest

    Matthew Poole wrote:
    > MS
    > don't compete anymore, by that definition. Look at what it took to get
    > improvements to IE: a browser that was merrily chewing its way through
    > IE's market share.


    You will find that most companies wont do further development until
    they have to, why bother if you already have ~100% of the market.
     
    , Oct 11, 2005
    #5
  6. "Matthew Poole" <> wrote in message
    news:p...
    > On Wed, 12 Oct 2005 01:26:40 +1300, someone purporting to be Rob J didst
    > scrawl:
    >
    >> In article <>,
    >> says...

    > *SNIP*
    >> As soon as MS makes a major product such as Vista free they are accused
    >> of monopoly power squeezing competitors out of the marketplace just like
    >> they did when IE was introduced free against Netscape which then cost $
    >> to buy.
    >>
    >> These guys want a buck both ways.

    >
    > No, we want Microsoft to play on the same field as everyone else. That
    > means not leveraging a dominant market position to enhance sales of other
    > parts of your product portfolio.
    > The Microsoft Tax, whereby an OEM gets stung for a Windows licence even if
    > a box goes out of the factor without Windows, is but one of their numerous
    > ways of making it difficult for others to compete.
    >
    > Competition means both sides putting in a similar degree of effort. MS
    > don't compete anymore, by that definition. Look at what it took to get
    > improvements to IE: a browser that was merrily chewing its way through
    > IE's market share.
    >
    > --
    > Matthew Poole
    > "Don't use force. Get a bigger hammer."
    >


    Sorry Matthew, I can't let you get away with factually incorrect post. The
    OEM licensing scheme you mention above was called "per processor" licensing
    and was banned under the 1994 Microsoft / US Dept of Justice consent decree.
    FWIW, I spent five years running Microsoft NZ's OEM business and can tell
    you that the lack of desktop and notebook PC's shipping with a pre-installed
    Linux OS is nothing to do with Microsoft's licensing and everything to do
    with two fundamental issues:

    * relative lack of customer demand
    * number of OS variants + driver issues + lack of certified hardware =
    higher sales and support costs = lower profits

    By the way, IANAL but I am 99% sure that giving Vista away for free would
    also fall foul of one or more of the Microsoft / US Dept of Justice consent
    decrees

    Brett Roberts
    Microsoft NZ

    ** this post is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights
    **
     
    Brett Roberts, Oct 11, 2005
    #6
  7. Waylon Kenning

    Don Hills Guest

    In article <>,
    "Brett Roberts" <> wrote:
    >
    >Sorry Matthew, I can't let you get away with factually incorrect post.


    Sorry Brett, I can't let you get away with a factually incorrect post.

    Let's take it section by section:

    >"Matthew Poole" <> wrote in message
    >news:p...
    >> The Microsoft Tax, whereby an OEM gets stung for a Windows licence even if
    >> a box goes out of the factor without Windows, is but one of their numerous
    >> ways of making it difficult for others to compete.


    You replied:

    >The OEM licensing scheme you mention above was called "per processor" licensing
    >and was banned under the 1994 Microsoft / US Dept of Justice consent decree.


    By your own admission, he was correct in that such a licensing scheme did
    exist. It effectively still does exist, though not under that name.
    Right, so that part is not factually incorrect. Next:

    He said:

    >> No, we want Microsoft to play on the same field as everyone else. That
    >> means not leveraging a dominant market position to enhance sales of other
    >> parts of your product portfolio.
    >>


    You replied:

    >FWIW, I spent five years running Microsoft NZ's OEM business and can tell
    >you that the lack of desktop and notebook PC's shipping with a pre-installed
    >Linux OS is nothing to do with Microsoft's licensing and everything to do
    >with two fundamental issues:
    >
    >* relative lack of customer demand
    >* number of OS variants + driver issues + lack of certified hardware =
    >higher sales and support costs = lower profits


    Yes, but why are those issues significant? Before answering, I suggest you
    (and Matthew) read "Big Blue", by Richard Thomas DeLamarter. (See below.)

    >> Competition means both sides putting in a similar degree of effort. MS
    >> don't compete anymore, by that definition. Look at what it took to get
    >> improvements to IE: a browser that was merrily chewing its way through
    >> IE's market share.


    That is SOP for any large company (and many small ones), not just Microsoft.
    So again, not factually incorrect.

    >By the way, IANAL but I am 99% sure that giving Vista away for free would
    >also fall foul of one or more of the Microsoft / US Dept of Justice consent
    >decrees


    Very probably.


    I've just read "Big Blue". It's the story behind IBM's monopolisation of the
    IT market and the techniques it used to do so. The author was a senior
    exconomist for the US Govt for 8 years of the 1969 antitrust case against
    IBM.

    As I read the introduction to the book I became aware that, simply by
    exchanging the word "Microsoft" for the word "IBM", it would apply as
    exactly to Microsoft as it had to IBM. Anyone studying the recent antitrust
    cases against Microsoft and the company's current behaviour (and, in fact,
    looking for an indication of what it is likely to do next) would do well to
    read this book.

    Although the author may be discounted as having an agenda - I got the
    impression that he felt that the Govt's last-minute dismissal of the case
    was politically motivated - I found his numbers and supporting evidence
    added up. (And so they should, they came from impeccable sources including
    IBM's own records obtained for the trial). The book also explained several
    things I saw and read while working at IBM that had puzzled me at the time.

    --
    Don Hills (dmhills at attglobaldotnet) Wellington, New Zealand
    "New interface closely resembles Presentation Manager,
    preparing you for the wonders of OS/2!"
    -- Advertisement on the box for Microsoft Windows 2.11 for 286
     
    Don Hills, Oct 12, 2005
    #7
  8. Waylon Kenning

    Rob J Guest

    In article <>,
    says...
    > On Wed, 12 Oct 2005 01:26:40 +1300, someone purporting to be Rob J didst
    > scrawl:
    >
    > > In article <>,
    > > says...

    > *SNIP*
    > > As soon as MS makes a major product such as Vista free they are accused
    > > of monopoly power squeezing competitors out of the marketplace just like
    > > they did when IE was introduced free against Netscape which then cost $
    > > to buy.
    > >
    > > These guys want a buck both ways.

    >
    > No, we want Microsoft to play on the same field as everyone else. That
    > means not leveraging a dominant market position to enhance sales of other
    > parts of your product portfolio.
    > The Microsoft Tax, whereby an OEM gets stung for a Windows licence even if
    > a box goes out of the factor without Windows, is but one of their numerous
    > ways of making it difficult for others to compete.


    It's a form of exclusive licensing, quite legal in NZ and practised by a
    number of companies.

    > Competition means both sides putting in a similar degree of effort. MS
    > don't compete anymore, by that definition. Look at what it took to get
    > improvements to IE: a browser that was merrily chewing its way through
    > IE's market share.


    Cobblers, Mozilla has scarcely made a dent in IE.
     
    Rob J, Oct 12, 2005
    #8
  9. On Wed, 12 Oct 2005 22:03:15 +1300, someone purporting to be Rob J didst
    scrawl:

    > In article <>,
    > says...

    *SNIP*
    > It's a form of exclusive licensing, quite legal in NZ and practised by a
    > number of companies.
    >

    When you have 90+% of a market, the rules are a little different.
    Exclusive licencing may be legal, but not if it allows you to exert
    monopoly influence. 90-something percent IS a monopoly, Rob, regardless of
    what you may think.

    >> Competition means both sides putting in a similar degree of effort. MS
    >> don't compete anymore, by that definition. Look at what it took to get
    >> improvements to IE: a browser that was merrily chewing its way through
    >> IE's market share.

    >
    > Cobblers, Mozilla has scarcely made a dent in IE.


    Enough of a dent for MS to actually produce another version of IE. That's
    all that matters. If it weren't for Firefox, IE6 would've been the last
    stand-alone version and anyone who wanted tabbed-browsing, popup blocking,
    PNG-compliance, and CSS-compliance (though that's still a maybe) would
    have had to upgrade to Vista. Or do you deny that MS have reversed their
    position on IE6 being the last stand-alone version?

    --
    Matthew Poole
    "Don't use force. Get a bigger hammer."
     
    Matthew Poole, Oct 12, 2005
    #9
  10. Waylon Kenning

    Rob J Guest

    In article <>,
    says...
    > On Wed, 12 Oct 2005 22:03:15 +1300, someone purporting to be Rob J didst
    > scrawl:
    >
    > > In article <>,
    > > says...

    > *SNIP*
    > > It's a form of exclusive licensing, quite legal in NZ and practised by a
    > > number of companies.
    > >

    > When you have 90+% of a market, the rules are a little different.
    > Exclusive licencing may be legal, but not if it allows you to exert
    > monopoly influence. 90-something percent IS a monopoly, Rob, regardless of
    > what you may think.


    No it isn't. A monopoly is when you have 100% of the market, not 90%.

    >
    > >> Competition means both sides putting in a similar degree of effort. MS
    > >> don't compete anymore, by that definition. Look at what it took to get
    > >> improvements to IE: a browser that was merrily chewing its way through
    > >> IE's market share.

    > >
    > > Cobblers, Mozilla has scarcely made a dent in IE.

    >
    > Enough of a dent for MS to actually produce another version of IE.


    MS produced another version of IE. FF took a tiny bit of market share.
    Two coincidental events. Can you really prove they are not? NO.
     
    Rob J, Oct 12, 2005
    #10
  11. <snip>

    >
    > Sorry Brett, I can't let you get away with a factually incorrect post.
    >
    > Let's take it section by section:
    >
    >>"Matthew Poole" <> wrote in message
    >>news:p...
    >>> The Microsoft Tax, whereby an OEM gets stung for a Windows licence even
    >>> if
    >>> a box goes out of the factor without Windows, is but one of their
    >>> numerous
    >>> ways of making it difficult for others to compete.

    >
    > You replied:
    >
    >>The OEM licensing scheme you mention above was called "per processor"
    >>licensing
    >>and was banned under the 1994 Microsoft / US Dept of Justice consent
    >>decree.

    >
    > By your own admission, he was correct in that such a licensing scheme did
    > exist. It effectively still does exist, though not under that name.
    > Right, so that part is not factually incorrect. Next:


    <snip>

    Sorry Don, I can't let you get away with a factually incorrect post.

    Per-processor OS licensing was made illegal under US federal law in 1994
    although the licensing scheme itself was dropped prior to then. It does NOT
    effectively still exist and I've seen enough OEM license agreements to be
    able to tell you that it is categorically spelled out in each and every one
    that the OEM is under *no* obligation to ship Windows on every PC they
    build. The story you are repeating is factually incorrect.

    --
    Brett Roberts
    Microsoft NZ

    ** this post is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights
    **
     
    Brett Roberts, Oct 12, 2005
    #11
  12. In article <>, Rob J <> wrote:
    >In article <>,
    >says...
    >> On Wed, 12 Oct 2005 22:03:15 +1300, someone purporting to be Rob J didst
    >> scrawl:
    >> > In article <>,
    >> > says...

    >> *SNIP*
    >> > It's a form of exclusive licensing, quite legal in NZ and practised by a
    >> > number of companies.
    >> >

    >> When you have 90+% of a market, the rules are a little different.
    >> Exclusive licencing may be legal, but not if it allows you to exert
    >> monopoly influence. 90-something percent IS a monopoly, Rob, regardless of
    >> what you may think.

    >
    >No it isn't. A monopoly is when you have 100% of the market, not 90%.


    You control a company when you control 50 % (plus a bit :) )of the shares.
    You have effective control at a lower level than that (IIRC somewhere around
    40 %).
    While the term "monopoly" is strictly speaking 100 %, you sure have an
    "effective monopoly at levels lower than 100. What that level is may be open
    to argument, but 90 % sounds like "effective monopoly" to me )

    >> >> Competition means both sides putting in a similar degree of effort. MS
    >> >> don't compete anymore, by that definition. Look at what it took to get
    >> >> improvements to IE: a browser that was merrily chewing its way through
    >> >> IE's market share.
    >> >
    >> > Cobblers, Mozilla has scarcely made a dent in IE.

    >>
    >> Enough of a dent for MS to actually produce another version of IE.

    >
    >MS produced another version of IE. FF took a tiny bit of market share.
    >Two coincidental events. Can you really prove they are not? NO.


    Likewise you cannot prove they are unrelated and must therefore allow the
    possibility :)




    Bruce

    ----------------------------------------
    I believe you find life such a problem because you think there are the good
    people and the bad people. You're wrong, of course. There are, always and
    only, the bad people, but some of them are on opposite sides.

    Lord Vetinari in Guards ! Guards ! - Terry Pratchett

    Caution ===== followups may have been changed to relevant groups
    (if there were any)
     
    Bruce Sinclair, Oct 13, 2005
    #12
  13. Waylon Kenning

    shannon Guest

    Brett Roberts wrote:
    > <snip>
    >
    >>Sorry Brett, I can't let you get away with a factually incorrect post.
    >>
    >>Let's take it section by section:
    >>
    >>
    >>>"Matthew Poole" <> wrote in message
    >>>news:p...
    >>>
    >>>>The Microsoft Tax, whereby an OEM gets stung for a Windows licence even
    >>>>if
    >>>>a box goes out of the factor without Windows, is but one of their
    >>>>numerous
    >>>>ways of making it difficult for others to compete.

    >>
    >>You replied:
    >>
    >>
    >>>The OEM licensing scheme you mention above was called "per processor"
    >>>licensing
    >>>and was banned under the 1994 Microsoft / US Dept of Justice consent
    >>>decree.

    >>
    >>By your own admission, he was correct in that such a licensing scheme did
    >>exist. It effectively still does exist, though not under that name.
    >>Right, so that part is not factually incorrect. Next:

    >
    >
    > <snip>
    >
    > Sorry Don, I can't let you get away with a factually incorrect post.
    >
    > Per-processor OS licensing was made illegal under US federal law in 1994
    > although the licensing scheme itself was dropped prior to then. It does NOT
    > effectively still exist and I've seen enough OEM license agreements to be
    > able to tell you that it is categorically spelled out in each and every one
    > that the OEM is under *no* obligation to ship Windows on every PC they
    > build. The story you are repeating is factually incorrect.
    >


    Does Microsoft offer any rebates or loyalty incentive schemes to OEMs
    who do ?
     
    shannon, Oct 13, 2005
    #13
  14. >>>
    >>>>The Microsoft Tax, whereby an OEM gets stung for a Windows licence even
    >>>>if
    >>>>a box goes out of the factor without Windows, is but one of their
    >>>>numerous
    >>>>ways of making it difficult for others to compete.

    >>
    >>You replied:

    >
    > Sorry Don, I can't let you get away with a factually incorrect post.
    >
    > Per-processor OS licensing was made illegal under US federal law in 1994
    > although the licensing scheme itself was dropped prior to then. It does NOT
    > effectively still exist and I've seen enough OEM license agreements to be
    > able to tell you that it is categorically spelled out in each and every one
    > that the OEM is under *no* obligation to ship Windows on every PC they
    > build. The story you are repeating is factually incorrect.
    >


    How easy is it then to buy a laptop without Windows on it, with a
    corresponding price reduction? This has more to do with the OEM, but
    Microsoft in turn benefits from it.
     
    MaximumDamage, Oct 13, 2005
    #14
  15. "shannon" <> wrote in message news:434da56c$...
    > Brett Roberts wrote:
    >> <snip>
    >>
    >>>Sorry Brett, I can't let you get away with a factually incorrect post.
    >>>
    >>>Let's take it section by section:
    >>>
    >>>
    >>>>"Matthew Poole" <> wrote in message
    >>>>news:p...
    >>>>
    >>>>>The Microsoft Tax, whereby an OEM gets stung for a Windows licence even
    >>>>>if
    >>>>>a box goes out of the factor without Windows, is but one of their
    >>>>>numerous
    >>>>>ways of making it difficult for others to compete.
    >>>
    >>>You replied:
    >>>
    >>>
    >>>>The OEM licensing scheme you mention above was called "per processor"
    >>>>licensing
    >>>>and was banned under the 1994 Microsoft / US Dept of Justice consent
    >>>>decree.
    >>>
    >>>By your own admission, he was correct in that such a licensing scheme did
    >>>exist. It effectively still does exist, though not under that name.
    >>>Right, so that part is not factually incorrect. Next:

    >>
    >>
    >> <snip>
    >>
    >> Sorry Don, I can't let you get away with a factually incorrect post.
    >>
    >> Per-processor OS licensing was made illegal under US federal law in 1994
    >> although the licensing scheme itself was dropped prior to then. It does
    >> NOT effectively still exist and I've seen enough OEM license agreements
    >> to be able to tell you that it is categorically spelled out in each and
    >> every one that the OEM is under *no* obligation to ship Windows on every
    >> PC they build. The story you are repeating is factually incorrect.
    >>

    >
    > Does Microsoft offer any rebates or loyalty incentive schemes to OEMs who
    > do ?


    In a word: "no". When I was in the OEM division all rebates and promotions
    had to be approved by our Law and Corporate Affairs people to ensure that
    they adhered to all applicable US federal laws (including, of course,
    consent decrees), Washington state law and NZ laws. Failing to go through
    this process was grounds for automatic dismissal. It's probably got tougher
    since then :)

    --
    Brett Roberts
    Microsoft NZ

    ** this post is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights
    **
     
    Brett Roberts, Oct 13, 2005
    #15
  16. "MaximumDamage" <> wrote in message
    news:dik9n3$bus$...
    >>>>
    >>>>>The Microsoft Tax, whereby an OEM gets stung for a Windows licence even
    >>>>>if
    >>>>>a box goes out of the factor without Windows, is but one of their
    >>>>>numerous
    >>>>>ways of making it difficult for others to compete.
    >>>
    >>>You replied:

    >>
    >> Sorry Don, I can't let you get away with a factually incorrect post.
    >>
    >> Per-processor OS licensing was made illegal under US federal law in 1994
    >> although the licensing scheme itself was dropped prior to then. It does
    >> NOT effectively still exist and I've seen enough OEM license agreements
    >> to be able to tell you that it is categorically spelled out in each and
    >> every one that the OEM is under *no* obligation to ship Windows on every
    >> PC they build. The story you are repeating is factually incorrect.
    >>

    >
    > How easy is it then to buy a laptop without Windows on it, with a
    > corresponding price reduction? This has more to do with the OEM, but
    > Microsoft in turn benefits from it.



    No doubt we do but inferring that's it's Microsoft's "fault" when, in fact,
    it's anything but isn't going to solve the problem. To make progress in this
    area Linux-on-the-desktop advocates need to stop with the conspiracy
    theories and work through that list in my original post. By the way, even
    the smallest of OEM's, buying small quantities and without having to commit
    to any sort of volume, can provide OEM Windows at a price which is
    *substantially* less than the "full package product" retail prices I often
    see quoted in nz.comp. For example, the system builder up the road from me
    is currently charging $136+gst for Windows XP Home and $216+gst for Windows
    XP Pro.

    One last thing, can you imagine the difficulties in building and testing a
    PC without installing an operating system ? It's even worse for notebooks.
    How do you make sure the mousepad, wireless chipset and screen etc all work
    OK ? How do you know it's going to boot up when the buyer installs their
    favourite Linux distro on it ? And what if it's one they've "modified" a
    little ? How about if they want to install BeOS ? or MS-DOS ?

    So, if you're the OEM and you're thinking about shipping "blank" PC's how
    do you ensure the inevitable support issues don't eat into your profits ?
    Easy: you raise the price of the hardware to cover the risk or you sell it
    without any warranty. The latter is a legal minefield and the former is what
    I've seen most OEM's, large and small, do in this situation. The majority of
    them however avoid the issue entirely. I can't say I blame them. Now, if
    those fundamental issues I touched on above were fixed, it might be an
    entirely different situation....

    --
    Brett Roberts
    Microsoft NZ

    ** this post is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights
    **
     
    Brett Roberts, Oct 13, 2005
    #16
  17. Waylon Kenning

    Shane Guest

    On Thu, 13 Oct 2005 13:08:12 +1300, shannon wrote:

    > Brett Roberts wrote:
    >> <snip>
    >>
    >>>Sorry Brett, I can't let you get away with a factually incorrect post.
    >>>
    >>>Let's take it section by section:
    >>>
    >>>
    >>>>"Matthew Poole" <> wrote in message
    >>>>news:p...
    >>>>
    >>>>>The Microsoft Tax, whereby an OEM gets stung for a Windows licence even
    >>>>>if
    >>>>>a box goes out of the factor without Windows, is but one of their
    >>>>>numerous
    >>>>>ways of making it difficult for others to compete.
    >>>
    >>>You replied:
    >>>
    >>>
    >>>>The OEM licensing scheme you mention above was called "per processor"
    >>>>licensing
    >>>>and was banned under the 1994 Microsoft / US Dept of Justice consent
    >>>>decree.
    >>>
    >>>By your own admission, he was correct in that such a licensing scheme did
    >>>exist. It effectively still does exist, though not under that name.
    >>>Right, so that part is not factually incorrect. Next:

    >>
    >>
    >> <snip>
    >>
    >> Sorry Don, I can't let you get away with a factually incorrect post.
    >>
    >> Per-processor OS licensing was made illegal under US federal law in 1994
    >> although the licensing scheme itself was dropped prior to then. It does NOT
    >> effectively still exist and I've seen enough OEM license agreements to be
    >> able to tell you that it is categorically spelled out in each and every one
    >> that the OEM is under *no* obligation to ship Windows on every PC they
    >> build. The story you are repeating is factually incorrect.
    >>

    >
    > Does Microsoft offer any rebates or loyalty incentive schemes to OEMs
    > who do ?


    I rang Acer to find out if they will sell a laptop in NZ without an OS, or
    with Linux the guy told me (and Im quoting) that it was ILLEGAL for him to
    sell a laptop without an OS
    Now Im sure thats not Acers official word but Im screwed if I can find a
    manufacturer/distributer in NZ that will provide a
    laptop without an OS I mean.. seriously.. wtf would I do with windows on a
    machine? and its not like I can recover the cost of windows by reselling
    it (OEM Licensing would prohibit that)


    --
    Hardware, n.: The parts of a computer system that can be kicked

    The best way to get the right answer on usenet is to post the wrong one.
     
    Shane, Oct 13, 2005
    #17
  18. Waylon Kenning

    Shane Guest

    On Thu, 13 Oct 2005 14:48:29 +1300, Brett Roberts wrote:

    >
    > "shannon" <> wrote in message news:434da56c$...
    >> Brett Roberts wrote:
    >>> <snip>
    >>>
    >>>>Sorry Brett, I can't let you get away with a factually incorrect post.
    >>>>
    >>>>Let's take it section by section:
    >>>>
    >>>>
    >>>>>"Matthew Poole" <> wrote in message
    >>>>>news:p...
    >>>>>
    >>>>>>The Microsoft Tax, whereby an OEM gets stung for a Windows licence even
    >>>>>>if
    >>>>>>a box goes out of the factor without Windows, is but one of their
    >>>>>>numerous
    >>>>>>ways of making it difficult for others to compete.
    >>>>
    >>>>You replied:
    >>>>
    >>>>
    >>>>>The OEM licensing scheme you mention above was called "per processor"
    >>>>>licensing
    >>>>>and was banned under the 1994 Microsoft / US Dept of Justice consent
    >>>>>decree.
    >>>>
    >>>>By your own admission, he was correct in that such a licensing scheme did
    >>>>exist. It effectively still does exist, though not under that name.
    >>>>Right, so that part is not factually incorrect. Next:
    >>>
    >>>
    >>> <snip>
    >>>
    >>> Sorry Don, I can't let you get away with a factually incorrect post.
    >>>
    >>> Per-processor OS licensing was made illegal under US federal law in 1994
    >>> although the licensing scheme itself was dropped prior to then. It does
    >>> NOT effectively still exist and I've seen enough OEM license agreements
    >>> to be able to tell you that it is categorically spelled out in each and
    >>> every one that the OEM is under *no* obligation to ship Windows on every
    >>> PC they build. The story you are repeating is factually incorrect.
    >>>

    >>
    >> Does Microsoft offer any rebates or loyalty incentive schemes to OEMs who
    >> do ?

    >
    > In a word: "no". When I was in the OEM division all rebates and promotions
    > had to be approved by our Law and Corporate Affairs people to ensure that
    > they adhered to all applicable US federal laws (including, of course,
    > consent decrees), Washington state law and NZ laws. Failing to go through
    > this process was grounds for automatic dismissal. It's probably got tougher
    > since then :)


    Name one company that supplies laptops in new zealand without an OS, or
    with Linux, and doesnt charge me for windows



    --
    Hardware, n.: The parts of a computer system that can be kicked

    The best way to get the right answer on usenet is to post the wrong one.
     
    Shane, Oct 13, 2005
    #18
  19. Waylon Kenning

    Don Hills Guest

    In article <>,
    "Brett Roberts" <> wrote:
    >
    > ... it is categorically spelled out in each and every one
    >that the OEM is under *no* obligation to ship Windows on every PC they
    >build.


    Then answer this one very carefully, if I were assembling, say, 1000 PCs per
    month in NZ, which of your current offerings would result in the lowest OS
    cost per system? On that licence, how would the volume be calculated? On
    boxes shipped or licences shipped?

    --
    Don Hills (dmhills at attglobaldotnet) Wellington, New Zealand
    "New interface closely resembles Presentation Manager,
    preparing you for the wonders of OS/2!"
    -- Advertisement on the box for Microsoft Windows 2.11 for 286
     
    Don Hills, Oct 13, 2005
    #19
  20. On Thu, 13 Oct 2005 15:48:29 +1300, someone purporting to be Brett Roberts
    didst scrawl:

    >
    > "shannon" <> wrote in message news:434da56c$...

    *SNIP*
    >> Does Microsoft offer any rebates or loyalty incentive schemes to OEMs who
    >> do ?
    > > In a word: "no". When I was in the OEM division all rebates and
    > > promotions

    > had to be approved by our Law and Corporate Affairs people to ensure
    > that they adhered to all applicable US federal laws (including, of
    > course, consent decrees), Washington state law and NZ laws. Failing to
    > go through this process was grounds for automatic dismissal. It's
    > probably got tougher since then :)


    Brett, I have been meaning to reply to your e-mail. I'll get there
    eventually, and will take you up on that phone call :)
    Why is it utterly impossible to buy a big-name laptop without an OS? You
    can't buy them from IBM (who would be my first suspect for making the
    offer), HP/Compaq, Acer, Asus, Toshiba, or any of the other usual
    suspects. I find it incredibly difficult to understand why it is
    effectively unable to be done. When I last bought a laptop, I asked about
    returning Windows since I didn't want it. I was told that it couldn't be
    done, and rejection of the Windows licence meant that I wasn't allowed to
    buy the laptop. Obviously I didn't care THAT much, but I would've loved to
    have taken it through the legal system and had it determined just how far
    up the food chain that stance originates.

    --
    Matthew Poole
    "Don't use force. Get a bigger hammer."
     
    Matthew Poole, Oct 13, 2005
    #20
    1. Advertising

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