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Microsoft to push Vista incentives

updated 04:50 pm EDT, Mon August 21, 2006

MS, Vista incentives

Microsoft said it will request that PC makers offer upgrade incentives to shoppers in an effort to avoid slow holiday sales. Retailers worry that sales of systems loaded with Windows XP will slip in the fourth quarter of 2006 prior to the launch of Windows Vista, which is slated for shipment for consumers in January of 2007, according to a report from Taipei. Customers will likely hold out for PCs bundled with the new operating system, rather than make a purchase prior to Vista's release with Windows XP pre-loaded on the computer. "We'll encourage our partners to provide incentives to promote the sales," said Alex Huang, regional director of Greater China for Microsoft. PC shoppers who buy a system in the fourth quarter of 2006 are to receive a coupon good for an upgrade to Windows Vista, once it is available.

Microsoft prompted PC makers to accent Vista in late July, handing out how-to kits depicting "accelerated curves" as well as "purposeful contrast" featuring preferred colors of "Obsidian" black and "Ice" white. Industry watchers predict that the software giant could experience major complications in its attempts to transform the PC ecosystem, however, since many hardware manufacturers depend on their own style and design in a market that already holds tight margins.

Windows Vista has experienced numerous setbacks throughout its development cycle, and was even scrapped to be restarted from scratch on one occasion. Rumors circulated in July that Vista could see yet another delay before the product finally launches. Paul Thurrott -- the author of more than a dozen books about Microsoft's operating system and an active beta tester of Vista -- said Microsoft's handling of Windows Vista has been "abysmal," and stated that the company is collapsing under its own weight.

Apple is planning to ship Mac OS X Leopard around the same time as Windows Vista next spring, and recently unveiled several new features of the operating system during a preview at its World Wide Developers Conference (WWDC) in San Francisco, along with two new Intel-based Mac systems to complete its transition to the Intel architecture ahead of schedule.




by MacNN Staff

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  1. jarod

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    LOL

    What a joke. Purchase a PC today because its hasta la vista, vista tomorrow!

  1. kw99

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    PC users

    tend to NOT want to do major OS upgrades. I don't think this will work. But if it does spur sales, there will be some major support issues once Vista is actually released and consumers try to overhaul the OS. Microsoft will no doubt leave this support to the PC vendors. But imagine if Vista gets delayed for another extra six months. Those coupons better not have an expiration dates

  1. LouZer

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    No surprise

    They've done this before, all the way back to windows 95.

    But if it does spur sales, there will be some major support issues once Vista is actually released and consumers try to overhaul the OS. Microsoft will no doubt leave this support to the PC vendors

    Why will there be major support issues? The hardware being sold today should have no problem being run under Vista. Its the older hardware that will be a major issue. That's what takes the OS to get out, all that older hardware and software support (unlike Apple, who makes both sides of the widget, not to mention having users who'll suck up to anything they do, MS can't just say "We're not going to support such and such hardware..." or "Hey, that software won't work anymore, you need to upgrade". Especially considering that if MS did come out and say that, all you folks would be "Haha, MS can't even support that" or, even worse, "Just goes to show you how MS is a monopoly, they can just say "We're not supporting that" and the consumers loses!")

  1. kw99

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Re: No surprise

    > They've done this before, all the way back to windows 95.

    And it's been an ordeal since then... Apple only has to test its newest Mac OS X installer with a few dozen Mac configurations. Microsoft has to account for thousands of different configurations, and they certainly can't test them all. There will be problems. Microsoft will barely get Vista out the door in usable condition; how much time do you think it will have devoted to "upgrade" installation process?

    > Why will there be major support issues?

    I think you answered your own question in your post...

  1. LouZer

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Re: no surprise

    And it's been an ordeal since then... Apple only has to test its newest Mac OS X installer with a few dozen Mac configurations.

    And not only that, but they can arbitrarily just say "Man, we don't have the time to test this on those G4 towers. Let's just say they're no longer supported" and, boom, less support issues.

    We are sooooo lucky that we have no choices who to buy our computers from if we want to use OS X! Sure they're more expensive, and you're limited to the type of computer you can get to just a handful, but, wow, they look so good! That's all that's important!

    And this is just another reason why we'll never see clones and OS X supporting non-Apple hardware. I just don't think Apple has the desire/wish/ability to support any large set of hardware (h***, they have enough trouble trying to get their OS to work with the hardware they make)

  1. Chris Paveglio

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    re: louzer

    Well you now have more choices with Apple hardware than PCs: on one MacPro you could run OS X, Unix, multiple Linuxii, Windows, and even some OS9-OS7 (Parallels or emulation). All without much hassle. Can't say that for most PCs.

    But really, for Apple to truly move forward, support for older stuff has to be cut someday. Imagine if Apple, like MS, had to write OSX to support all the way back to a Performa. (!?) We'd never see the OS (or apps) make improvements.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Re: louzer

    Well you now have more choices with Apple hardware than PCs: on one MacPro you could run OS X, Unix, multiple Linuxii, Windows, and even some OS9-OS7 (Parallels or emulation). All without much hassle. Can't say that for most PCs.

    So you look at choices as "How many OS's can I run?", which, by the way, except for OS X, you can everytyhing else, and moreso, on other Intel hardware. And OS9-7 only runs if you use emulation that emulates some old, old, old Mac, nothing of a newer state (so old PPC OS 9 software won't run).

    Most people look at choices as "Where can I buy the most computer for my $$$ that offers what I need." If you look at that choice, Apple offers, well, 5 choices (6 with xserve). If you want anything that could possibly grow with you (I know, no one EVER updates a computer!), you automatically get down to two choices, and they start at $2000 (if you get a base macbook pro). Some people look at choice to even easier things like "Hey, do I want a camera on my computer?" (if not, you're down to a mini or a Mac Pro).

    But really, for Apple to truly move forward, support for older stuff has to be cut someday. Imagine if Apple, like MS, had to write OSX to support all the way back to a Performa. (!?) We'd never see the OS (or apps) make improvements.

    Well, my first question is "Why not?" If your OS starts with a decent base and you don't keep changing it, you don't have to keep the OS updated all the time to support older hardware, it already supports it! And its already been proven that apple just arbitrarily stops support. Beige G3s can still run Tiger, through the use of a little 3rd party utility. Why did apple kill support, then? Because its easier and cheaper. Why support your loyal customers when you can con them into buying new computers.

  1. kw99

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    When apple drops support

    for older hardware, I think it is a careful compromise between four factors:

    * User Experience - Capability of the older hardware to efficiently run the new OS. * Sales of Macs - "Encourage" its user base to buy a new Mac. * Cost of Support - With how many Macs configs do we need to test and support new software releases? * Adoption of latest OS - Maximize the number of users upgrading to the latest version.

    All things considered, I think Apple has made smart business decisions. While it would be nice to see my G3 iMac supported forever, I don't want Apple mired in legacy hardware support. Microsoft makes its money from sales of Windows licenses. It wants to support as much legacy hardware as possible to maximize sales. Apple makes some money from selling Mac OS X "in a shrink-wrapped box," but most of its Mac-based revenue comes from selling Mac hardware. This difference is apparent in when comparing Vista to Leopard.

    Someone once told me that Apple would be buried because Microsoft and its Windows "ecosystem" vastly out-numbered what Apple could muster, in terms of development resources. That person was wrong...

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