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View Full Version : Why is Vista Business/Ultimate required on low-end graphics laptops?



blastus
March 22nd, 2009, 06:38 PM
I've noticed something that appears to be consistent among laptop manufacturers and resellers. If you want a reasonably powerful laptop with an integrated Intel graphics video card, the laptop almost always comes with Vista Business/Ultimate. This is annoying because not only do Vista Business/Ultimate have no practical features a home user would use for work-related activities, it adds considerably to the cost of the laptop. If someone can name one feature, just one feature that a user would use in Vista Business/Ultimate for work-related stuff that they couldn't do within (or without) Vista Home Premium then I'd like to hear it.

I've even seen some laptops, Dell Canada, in particular, where Vista Home Premium 32bit is included in the price, but if you configure the laptop for more than 4GB of RAM, they force you to pay more for Vista Home Business 64bit. Like on the cheapest Studio 17 laptop. The only choice of OS is Vista Home Premium 32bit (included in Price) or Vista Ultimate 64bit (an extra $140) If you to try to continue with more than 4GB of RAM with Vista Home Premium you get the following notice...


The Operating System you have selected supports a maximum of 4 GB Memory. Please change your memory selection to 4 GBs or less or your Operating System to a 64-bit.

I've come to accept that I'll have to get a laptop with Vista Home Premium, but now I see my choices are even more limited. It appears Vista Business/Ultimate and even XP Professional are being foisted on the marketplace. And the Ubuntu laptop that Dell Canada offers, the XPS M1330, is significantly higher (like hundreds of dollars more) than the equivalent Windows laptops. I'm not going to spend several hundred more just to get Ubuntu on a laptop when I'm going to re-install the OS myself anyway. Even if the Ubuntu laptop was a mere $100 more I would get it, but the XPS 1530 isn't even offered with Ubuntu.

It looks like we might have to wait another 10 years or so before we get some real choices for laptops in Canada. :(

Mehall
March 22nd, 2009, 06:45 PM
Basic OS stuff.

If you have 4GB of RAM or more, a 32bit OS can't use it all. It uses about 3.5GB max, thats why they force you to get a 64-bit OS

blastus
March 22nd, 2009, 06:51 PM
Basic OS stuff.

If you have 4GB of RAM or more, a 32bit OS can't use it all. It uses about 3.5GB max, thats why they force you to get a 64-bit OS

I know that. But there exists a Vista Home Premium 64bit version. I think you misread my post.

Skripka
March 22nd, 2009, 06:52 PM
Basic OS stuff.

If you have 4GB of RAM or more, a 32bit OS can't use it all. It uses about 3.5GB max, thats why they force you to get a 64-bit OS

Actually-the OPs question was, Why when you need a 64-bit OS do OEMs force you to get the most expensive editions of Windows-that you probably don't need anyway?

Mehall
March 22nd, 2009, 06:57 PM
Oh, sorry, didn't think there was a 64-bit Home Premium.

I guess they assume that if you're using 4GB ram or more, you want the "performace" versions or something.

MasterNetra
March 22nd, 2009, 06:58 PM
I've noticed something that appears to be consistent among laptop manufacturers and resellers. If you want a reasonably powerful laptop with an integrated Intel graphics video card, the laptop almost always comes with Vista Business/Ultimate. This is annoying because not only do Vista Business/Ultimate have no practical features a home user would use for work-related activities, it adds considerably to the cost of the laptop. If someone can name one feature, just one feature that a user would use in Vista Business/Ultimate for work-related stuff that they couldn't do within (or without) Vista Home Premium then I'd like to hear it.

I've even seen some laptops, Dell Canada, in particular, where Vista Home Premium 32bit is included in the price, but if you configure the laptop for more than 4GB of RAM, they force you to pay more for Vista Home Business 64bit. Like on the cheapest Studio 17 laptop. The only choice of OS is Vista Home Premium 32bit (included in Price) or Vista Ultimate 64bit (an extra $140) If you to try to continue with more than 4GB of RAM with Vista Home Premium you get the following notice...



I've come to accept that I'll have to get a laptop with Vista Home Premium, but now I see my choices are even more limited. It appears Vista Business/Ultimate and even XP Professional are being foisted on the marketplace. And the Ubuntu laptop that Dell Canada offers, the XPS M1330, is significantly higher (like hundreds of dollars more) than the equivalent Windows laptops. I'm not going to spend several hundred more just to get Ubuntu on a laptop when I'm going to re-install the OS myself anyway. Even if the Ubuntu laptop was a mere $100 more I would get it, but the XPS 1530 isn't even offered with Ubuntu.

It looks like we might have to wait another 10 years or so before we get some real choices for laptops in Canada. :(

They do it to charge you more. And frankly they're not suppose to charge you for Ubuntu anyway so the Labtop should cost less with Ubuntu.

Mehall
March 22nd, 2009, 07:11 PM
They do it to charge you more. And frankly they're not suppose to charge you for Ubuntu anyway so the Labtop should cost less with Ubuntu.

Installation costs.

And nobody argue that XP / Vista have to be installed too, it's two diff systems.

And tbh, they can do what they like.

I'm more worried about what happens when MS merge w/ Dell as is rumoured.

joey-elijah
March 22nd, 2009, 07:14 PM
Installation costs.


I'm more worried about what happens when MS merge w/ Dell as is rumoured.

Wow? That's the first i've heard of that - link? sources?

blastus
March 22nd, 2009, 07:16 PM
If you factor in the fact that the Ubuntu CPU is lower and the hard drive is half the size of the Windows laptop, the Ubuntu laptop costs well over $200 more than the Windows laptop.


Ubuntu Laptop XPS M1330 ($1349):

Intel Core 2 Duo T7500
4GB Shared Dual Channel DDR2 @ 667 Mhz
160GB SATA 5400RPM
128MB NVIDIA GeForce 8400M GS


Windows Laptop XPS M1330 ($1270 - $71 discount = $1199)

Intel Core 2 Duo T8100
4GB Shared Dual Channel DDR2 @ 667 Mhz
320GB SATA 5400RPM
128MB NVIDIA GeForce 8400M GS

brokenLockpick
March 22nd, 2009, 07:17 PM
This is like asking why many car companies force "packages" on customers instead of letting them chose only the options they like.

Recently I've been twice shocked by different dealers. I've been told that one can't have cruise control with a manual gearbox, which may be true for said manufacturer but I currently own a manual vehicle with cruise control so it's possible to make them that way.

The only other option I've ever cared about was heated seats as it gets quite cold where I live, but heated seats are almost always part of a "cold weather package" or "premium package" which add thousands rather than hundreds to the price of the car.

I think the reason computer manufacturers do the same sort of thing is similarly motivated. On one hand, the average consumer doesn't know enough to realize that they are being taken, and further people have obviously been softened up to being bullied around when purchasing cars so why not assume they'll put up with it on other purchases that are customizable with options.

I'm sure there are lots of industries that work this way at this point.

Skripka
March 22nd, 2009, 07:20 PM
If you factor in the fact that the Ubuntu CPU is lower and the hard drive is half the size of the Windows laptop, the Ubuntu laptop costs well over $200 more than the Windows laptop.

There's a reason for this.


OEMs have lots of deals with companies dealing out crapware and bloatware, and they get paid lots of money to put said crap/bloatware on machines--lowering the price to the consumer considerably.

Such crapware is not written for Linux-ergo the deal don't happen, ergo it costs more.

blastus
March 22nd, 2009, 07:25 PM
I think the reason computer manufacturers do the same sort of thing is similarly motivated. On one hand, the average consumer doesn't know enough to realize that they are being taken, and further people have obviously been softened up to being bullied around when purchasing cars so why not assume they'll put up with it on other purchases that are customizable with options.

I'm sure there are lots of industries that work this way at this point.

That's true. I can't help but think though that Microsoft suggested/recommended that manufacturers like Dell and other sell laptops the way they do. You see that so-and-so manufacturer *recommends* this or that when you know they are just following Microsoft's cookie-cutter.

blastus
March 22nd, 2009, 07:27 PM
There's a reason for this.


OEMs have lots of deals with companies dealing out crapware and bloatware, and they get paid lots of money to put said crap/bloatware on machines--lowering the price to the consumer considerably.

Such crapware is not written for Linux-ergo the deal don't happen, ergo it costs more.

I didn't think about that. Do you think they make more from the crapware than from Windows licenses?

Mehall
March 22nd, 2009, 07:28 PM
Wow? That's the first i've heard of that - link? sources?

Rumour and conjecture.

Some have said it could be announced as soon as April, so my best guess would be either Win7 RC, or WIn7 RTM announcement if it's happening.

It IS purely rumour, nothing near as strong as the thoughts on Big Blue/SUN Microsystems.

brokenLockpick
March 22nd, 2009, 07:35 PM
That's true. I can't help but think though that Microsoft suggested/recommended that manufacturers like Dell and other sell laptops the way they do. You see that so-and-so manufacturer *recommends* this or that when you know they are just following Microsoft's cookie-cutter.

I'd rather lean more towards the idea that they net more money with a more expensive version of windows. As in, they charge 140 for the upgrade, but only pay (just picking a number) $30 more for the upgraded liscence. Similar to how apple charges 450 for a TB drive when anyone can easily see that the price of a TB drive is way lower than that, and installing an extra HDD is very easy in the macpro case.

tsali
March 22nd, 2009, 09:03 PM
OEMs pay/make little on the OS license. Therefore, deletion of OEM Windows doesn't represent a significant cost reduction and also explains why Ubuntu machines cost about the same.

Also, there are quite a few features that Vista Ultimate offers that regular users would find very useful...e.g. Complete System Backup and Remote Access.

Vista Ultimate also ships with all the "power user" tools that are left out of Home and Business versions.

Therefore, it is reasonable to surmise that a company who is selling a "power user's computer" would assume that it should be loaded with a "power user's OS"

To compare the systems: http://www.microsoft.com/windows/windows-vista/compare-editions/default.aspx

blastus
March 22nd, 2009, 09:13 PM
OEMs pay/make little on the OS license. Therefore, deletion of OEM Windows doesn't represent a significant cost reduction and also explains why Ubuntu machines cost about the same.

Also, there are quite a few features that Vista Ultimate offers that regular users would find very useful...e.g. Complete System Backup and Remote Access.

Vista Ultimate also ships with all the "power user" tools that are left out of Home and Business versions.

Therefore, it is reasonable to surmise that a company who is selling a "power user's computer" would assume that it should be loaded with a "power user's OS"

To compare the systems: http://www.microsoft.com/windows/windows-vista/compare-editions/default.aspx

If anybody is a power user it is a software developer. I am a software developer and I have no use for complete system backup, remote access (why would I need to remotely access my laptop when I VPN into work?), or any other *power tools* when I can download any such tool off the web for free. It's a marketing ploy plain and simple. In reality, no-one needs those things.

What I need is a powerful machine that supports virtualization, a large amount of memory (4GB+) for running piggish .NET and Java applications and servers, and a large amount of storage space.

cmat
March 22nd, 2009, 09:47 PM
Wow? That's the first i've heard of that - link? sources?

It was apparently a myth. All the research I've done points in that direction.

Mehall
March 22nd, 2009, 10:06 PM
It was apparently a myth. All the research I've done points in that direction.

I said above: rumour and conjecture. That's all.

Onoskelis
March 22nd, 2009, 10:44 PM
I wish we had the option of purchasing a laptop without any operating system.

Then you can just load Ubuntu on to it yourself.

blastus
March 22nd, 2009, 11:01 PM
I wish we had the option of purchasing a laptop without any operating system.

Then you can just load Ubuntu on to it yourself.

That would be ideal. However, Microsoft has aggressively campaigned against manufacturers who sell any kind of computer without an OS. It is doubtful we will see any laptops in the next decade being sold without operating systems.

tsali
March 22nd, 2009, 11:52 PM
If anybody is a power user it is a software developer. I am a software developer and I have no use for complete system backup, remote access (why would I need to remotely access my laptop when I VPN into work?), or any other *power tools* when I can download any such tool off the web for free. It's a marketing ploy plain and simple. In reality, no-one needs those things.


I suppose I am a no one then, because I routinely rely on them. I also have a copy of Home Premium on another machine and I find those tools that you "download off the web" to be less stable and usually more difficult to use.

Because YOU don't find a use for those features doesn't mean that there aren't thousands of others who do.

My copy of Home Premium has Media Center built in. I don't use it, therefor it must be worthless and simply a marketing ploy, eh?

blastus
March 23rd, 2009, 12:25 AM
I suppose I am a no one then, because I routinely rely on them. I also have a copy of Home Premium on another machine and I find those tools that you "download off the web" to be less stable and usually more difficult to use.

Because YOU don't find a use for those features doesn't mean that there aren't thousands of others who do.

My copy of Home Premium has Media Center built in. I don't use it, therefor it must be worthless and simply a marketing ploy, eh?

If you use it then that's great. For me, I don't think those things are worth a whopping extra $140. My original point was that with some laptops there is no real choice and one that I looked at you had the choice of Vista Premium 32bit or Vista Ultimate 64bit which made getting a machine with more than 4GB far more expensive because the Ultimate version was $140 more and I need more than 4GB of RAM.

But as others have pointed out, manufacturers do that to make money. Manufacturer recommendations have no credence or grounding in reality and yes, it does boil down to a marketing gimmick. Until Microsoft loses more marketshare, way more marketshare, I don't think we will have a lot more choices for laptops in the near future.

suitedaces
March 23rd, 2009, 12:48 AM
I've only skimmed through the thread, so apologies if I'm repeating a point. I think it's because of the lack of buying power the companies like system 75 et al have compared to the large companies selling Windows laptops - I sincerely doubt they are making a fortune from the sales. That and the possibility that some of them have to buy the laptops with Vista and then install Ubuntu on top of that, which of course entails the same base price, plus the cost of doing that, plus other business costs.

Though I admit it is disappointing having to pay more.

MasterNetra
March 23rd, 2009, 12:51 AM
Installation costs.

And nobody argue that XP / Vista have to be installed too, it's two diff systems.

And tbh, they can do what they like.

I'm more worried about what happens when MS merge w/ Dell as is rumoured.

Then we go to System76 :p

Mehall
March 23rd, 2009, 01:00 AM
Then we go to System76 :p

ebuyer.co.uk for me. I'm building my own, next time I need a desktop. Laptop? HP haven't burned me too badly with this one, imo. Yes, it had Vista on it, but it's Dual-core, has an nVidia chipset, and 2GB of RAM, and I got it all for 350 6 months ago!

DirtDawg
March 23rd, 2009, 01:05 AM
If you factor in the fact that the Ubuntu CPU is lower and the hard drive is half the size of the Windows laptop, the Ubuntu laptop costs well over $200 more than the Windows laptop.

Wow, that is really astonishing.

Redache
March 23rd, 2009, 02:42 AM
I'm more worried about what happens when MS merge w/ Dell as is rumoured.

The Problem With a Deal Like that is that it would never pass Competition Law. If Microsoft bought out one of the world's largest PC manufacturers, then it would become a dominant entity in both Hardware and Software. I REALLY can't see any Government allowing such a deal to take place.

The worrying thing is that the rumour is probably fairly accurate as this is Mr Ballmer in full Idiot Monkey mode. That man will ruin the computing industry with his ignorance and foul play.