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Dell starts preloading movies on PCs

updated 12:45 pm EDT, Tue September 30, 2008

Dell Preloading Movies

Dell today took a new approach to selling PCs on Tuesday by announcing a movie pre-load service for some of its PCs. Starting with Iron Man, the Inspiron 1525 notebook and XPS 420/630 can optionally carry a strictly digital copy of a movie along with special features, such as the bonus mini-feature included with the inaugural title. The company doesn't provide specific technical details but explains that the movie can be shared primarily through Windows Media Extender devices such as the Xbox 360 and can't be burned to DVD.

The Texas PC maker doesn't plan to limit its catalog of movies to one studio but says it will focus on very high-profile or classic movies rather than try to fill out an entire catalog. Iron Man carries $20 pricing similar to a DVD, though the company hasn't said whether this is likely to change with different titles.

Dell's move is relatively new to the industry and so far has only seen a significant competing effort from Sony, which for awhile pre-loaded a free Spider-man movie from its own studio to help drive computer sales. The news arrives just as PC makers have seen slowing sales as a result of a poor US economy and have had to increasingly rely on lower prices and now unique features to attract customers.

Conspiciously, Apple has so far opted against bundling music or videos with its own computers as an incentive, in part due to the success of the iTunes Store and built-in access to downloads through the company's default software.

by MacNN Staff



  1. TomSawyer

    Joined: Dec 1969


    You'd have to be

    either a really big fan or an idiot to buy a computer just to get a movie. It would be kinda like buying a car just to get a free tank of gas.

  1. eldarkus

    Joined: Dec 1969


    re: TomSaywer

    100% Perfect analogy!!

  1. jmonty12

    Joined: Dec 1969


    And it's FREE!

    Yeah, and it's not like the movie is free. You just are paying more for the computer. However in this case you can't burn it to DVD, so you don't have as much flexibility with it. Fail.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Re: TomSawyer

    Well, no one is anticipating you're buying a laptop to get a free movie. Even Dell doesn't think that.

    What this is called is "incentives", a reason to buy something that you're thinking of buying or not buying. For example, you're thinking of buying a new MacBook sometime this year. All of a sudden, Apple throws in a $50 iTunes gift card. Well, that might make you go "Hey, since I'm planning on buying it, let me get this now, so I get the card!".

    Plus, you get the advantage of showing off a service that someone might then say "Hey, this is cool. I'll think I'll get more movies!".

    Companies do the same with rebates. Car companies were offering free gas for a year with the purchase of a car. Someone must think its worth it.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Re: And it's free

    Yeah, and it's not like the movie is free. You just are paying more for the computer. However in this case you can't burn it to DVD, so you don't have as much flexibility with it. Fail.

    Well, where does anyone say it is free? It's an optional feature.

    So not being able to burn it to DVD makes it a failure? Wow, better not tell the Mac faithful that videos on the iTMS can't be burned to DVD either. Panic might spread and drop the Apple stock even farther down the hill.

  1. jdonahoe

    Joined: Dec 1969


    I wouldn't pay $20

    I wouldn't pay $20 for a downloaded movie when I can get the same movie on DVD with the digital version for less in a store. I'm sorry, music is one thing, but paying full DVD price for a temporary digital copy from Apple or Dell is a joke. Who has that kind of disposable income?

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Did anyone else notice that the movie comes with 'special features'? Even Apple hasn't figured that part out yet...

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