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View Full Version : Windows $3 pricing: "kill open source off at its roots"



BoneKracker
April 24th, 2007, 07:14 AM
Steve Vaughn-Nichols writes in his Linux-Watch column that Microsoft is offering Windows for $3 in selected markets as a means to "kill open source off at its roots".

http://www.linux-watch.com/news/NS6409071283.html

NikoC
April 24th, 2007, 07:17 AM
Still more expensive than free :)
And in developing countries 3$ is still a lot of money...

BoneKracker
April 24th, 2007, 07:20 AM
Maybe if the paid them $30 for each copy they install...

karellen
April 24th, 2007, 07:29 AM
microsoft starts to feel shiver down his spine....
but anyway I think competition is good

jackmc
April 24th, 2007, 08:09 AM
microsoft starts to feel shiver down his spine....
but anyway I think competition is good

Thats right, it will further drive development of alternatives. I wonder what sort of support MS will offer on their "bargain basement" version :confused:

karellen
April 24th, 2007, 08:19 AM
Thats right, it will further drive development of alternatives. I wonder what sort of support MS will offer on their "bargain basement" version :confused:

"pay us more and we'll not sue you" :lolflag:

Stickymaddness
April 24th, 2007, 08:32 AM
*Shiver* What a chilling thought -> The bargin windows version!

mozetti
April 24th, 2007, 08:59 AM
This is FUD. The last place we should be seeing FUD is in Linux-oriented sites. Yes, it's a marketing plan to get these countries to buy into MS software -- if they get people using MS software now, then they can build a user base.

This is no different than what Ubuntu and other Linux-variants are doing in making easy-to-use desktop Linux distros to build a Linux user base. Taking a step back and looking at it, this is what any company is supposed to do -- generate customers. The second part of this is that right now most of these countries are using pirated versions of MS software already, so this move isn't really going to have a big impact of FOSS anyway. It's just MS trying to get some money for their software in places that are using it for free anyway.

When Southwest Airlines/RyanAir sell rock-bottom airline tickets for local routes, are they trying to "kill off local private air carriers" or are they trying to succeed in the marketplace and maximize shareholder value?

Jeez, is it too much to ask people to think critically about what they're reading? Just because someone says it doesn't make it true. Any company should be trying to obtain customers from their competitors.

B0rsuk
April 24th, 2007, 09:02 AM
This guy is just a troll, and a misinformed one. You may recall what he said about Debian 4.0 - basically factual errors.

Linux already won the price competition. For huge number of people windows is free, because they pirate it. They won't notice any difference. Even Microsoft officials said they'd rather see Windows pirated than people using alternative operating systems.

Linux already survived the competition with $0 priced Windows, why would this make a difference ?

karellen
April 24th, 2007, 09:04 AM
This is FUD. The last place we should be seeing FUD is in Linux-oriented sites. Yes, it's a marketing plan to get these countries to buy into MS software -- if they get people using MS software now, then they can build a user base.

This is no different than what Ubuntu and other Linux-variants are doing in making easy-to-use desktop Linux distros to build a Linux user base. Taking a step back and looking at it, this is what any company is supposed to do -- generate customers. The second part of this is that right now most of these countries are using pirated versions of MS software already, so this move isn't really going to have a big impact of FOSS anyway. It's just MS trying to get some money for their software in places that are using it for free anyway.

When Southwest Airlines/RyanAir sell rock-bottom airline tickets for local routes, are they trying to "kill off local private air carriers" or are they trying to succeed in the marketplace and maximize shareholder value?

Jeez, is it too much to ask people to think critically about what they're reading? Just because someone says it doesn't make it true. Any company should be trying to obtain customers from their competitors.

of course, who says not? that is what "free market" means. but do you mind me having a different opinion about company X or Y or Z?...

Somenoob
April 24th, 2007, 09:11 AM
In developed countries this could never be. "Unlimited Potential" is it just me or is Microsoft annoyingly using those words too much?

BoneKracker
April 24th, 2007, 09:13 AM
Jeez, is it too much to ask people to think critically about what they're reading
Who exactly are you saying is not thinking critically? Me? The author? One of the other people who posted?

The author's take on the situation did seem to be a bit emotional. While the M$ move might be FUD, we shouldn't be afraid to discuss such things here. I don't think anyone in this thread (except you) responded to the author's language with fear, uncertainty or doubt.

I think his reaction is entertaining. I think the move by M$ is quite relevant to Ubuntu, given Ubuntu's apparent purpose of providing a globally available operating system. And I think it's interesting that they chose China as the place to announce it. The Chinese Linux (Red Flag) has hit some major milestones recently.

mozetti
April 24th, 2007, 09:32 AM
of course, who says not? that is what "free market" means. but do you mind me having a different opinion about company X or Y or Z?...

You can have any opinion of a company that you want. It still doesn't change the fact that the linked article is FUD and as B0rsuk mentioned, Linux survived when Windows was $0 and pirated, so making it $3 and legit isn't really going to make a difference.


The author's take on the situation did seem to be a bit emotional. While the M$ move might be FUD, we shouldn't be afraid to discuss such things here.

I wasn't saying the MS move was FUD, the linked article was FUD and I laid out the reasons why in my initial post. Regarding thinking critically, it wasn't aimed at anyone in particular other than the author of the linked article. Between the comments from B0rsuk that I referenced above and the reasons I gave in my original post, it's really, really hard to come to the author's conclusion unless you have an agenda.

steven8
April 24th, 2007, 09:39 AM
You can have any opinion of a company that you want. It still doesn't change the fact that the linked article is FUD and as B0rsuk mentioned, Linux survived when Windows was $0 and pirated, so making it $3 and legit isn't really going to make a difference.



I wasn't saying the MS move was FUD, the linked article was FUD and I laid out the reasons why in my initial post. Regarding thinking critically, it wasn't aimed at anyone in particular other than the author of the linked article. Between the comments from B0rsuk that I referenced above and the reasons I gave in my original post, it's really, really hard to come to the author's conclusion unless you have an agenda.

MS also has an agenda. And part of that agenda is to maintain it's monopoly on the market. Using any means it can.

BoneKracker
April 24th, 2007, 09:52 AM
I wasn't saying the MS move was FUD, the linked article was FUD and I laid out the reasons why in my initial post. Regarding thinking critically, it wasn't aimed at anyone in particular other than the author of the linked article. Between the comments from B0rsuk that I referenced above and the reasons I gave in my original post, it's really, really hard to come to the author's conclusion unless you have an agenda.

Okay. I get you. This is healthy discussion and what I was trying to get at. Is his take on this the right one, and if he's over-reacting (or otherwise has an agenda - which is a good point) what's the right take.

The agenda point. I've noticed recently that the big-time bloggers seem to say some very controversial, perhaps even fallacious things about Linux, FOSS, Microsoft, etc. I think the reason may be just for the hits. If their performance (or even financial reward) depends on hits, then spouting controversial statements about a topic that people are emotionally invested in is one way to get them.

Think about the stupid pop-ups and ads that ask something ridiculous like, "Do you think Hillary Clinton would make a good President? Yes No ". People are forever clicking on these things. And then there they go, off to some site.

I like Linus' take on M$. He said something like, "I wonder how they will like competing with someone who doesn't care."

use a name
April 24th, 2007, 10:24 AM
I like Linus' take on M$. He said something like, "I wonder how they will like competing with someone who doesn't care."

:-D That's a real good point indeed.

On the other hand, it is frustrating that windows users, using the $0 version or other versions, just can't open your documents because they haven't upgraded to OO yet. The sole reason is that they don't know as a result of the endless MS doctrine. (Ok, a bit exagerated, but you get my point.)

But actually, I don't care either. Ok, my feelings say something else, but rationally, I really don't care. Then again, I'm not in need of that one app that's only available to windows users, just because other platforms are not taken seriously, because of their 'small' userbase.

steven8
April 24th, 2007, 10:28 AM
just can't open your documents because they haven't upgraded to OO yet

Thing is, people think MS Word, and office apps come with windows just as Open Office comes with Ubuntu. They don't know.

Jiraiya_sama
April 24th, 2007, 10:41 AM
Actually, from what I remember, this applies to schools only, and the government of the country is the only who can get this deal. The terms are that they must supply a newly bought computer to be eligible for this deal. Many people are saying it's not aiming directly at FOSS, but rather the one laptop per child project, which would have the side-effect of spreading FOSS.

Stone123
April 24th, 2007, 10:52 AM
:P This is in countries where Windows costs 0 $ for gouverment and personal use . This is where they havent inforced copy right laws. So buying windows for $3 or geting one for free changes nothing.

mozetti
April 24th, 2007, 10:54 AM
Actually, from what I remember, this applies to schools only, and the government of the country is the only who can get this deal. The terms are that they must supply a newly bought computer to be eligible for this deal. Many people are saying it's not aiming directly at FOSS, but rather the one laptop per child project, which would have the side-effect of spreading FOSS.

You are correct.

karellen
April 24th, 2007, 10:56 AM
You can have any opinion of a company that you want. It still doesn't change the fact that the linked article is FUD and as B0rsuk mentioned, Linux survived when Windows was $0 and pirated, so making it $3 and legit isn't really going to make a difference.



I wasn't saying the MS move was FUD, the linked article was FUD and I laid out the reasons why in my initial post. Regarding thinking critically, it wasn't aimed at anyone in particular other than the author of the linked article. Between the comments from B0rsuk that I referenced above and the reasons I gave in my original post, it's really, really hard to come to the author's conclusion unless you have an agenda.

did I say that linux will die because of $3 windows?...I see that "FUD" is a very fancy word (as I don't want to say an "umbrella term"). I just said that I consider the article interesting, that I believe ms feels some kind of pressure/need to relaunch itself on poor markets and that competition is something good for the end user/consumer. That's all. No need for false interpretations as I know exactly what I meant

B0rsuk
April 24th, 2007, 11:08 AM
I would be more concerned about $3 Windows for governments, because they may not get away with pirating so easily, but it's still not such a big deal. $3 Windows for students doesn't matter, because students are among the people who pirate the most anyway.

I would start to worry if they offered discounts in enterprise/business segment, because that's clearly where dollar cost of Windows matters and - if low enough - could stop people from considering Linux. Not that Linux doesn't have other advantages, but many (business, especially) people aren't bright enough to look past price difference.

BoneKracker
April 24th, 2007, 11:26 AM
The reason it's important, and the reason the author was talking about attacking the "roots", is that targeting technologically nascent organizations and people (developing nations and children) is a way of establishing a first-come advantage.

We are creatures of momentum.

Go back in time to the late 1980's. Few people are actually PC users. The Mac is pretty popular. Business use Unix and mainframes as much as they use desktops. Then the U.S. Government starts to put PCs on their desks. This had a huge, cascading impact. They went, of course, with the cheap option. At that time, it was DOS. Then Windows.

Not that they were alone, but they tipped the scales. In 1995, I was working for a "Big 6" consulting firm that had standardized on Macs around 1992. During my time there, they had Macs and PCs co-existing, painfully. Then around 1997 they got rid of all the Macs. The major reason, "we have to standardize, and we should be using what our clients are using". One of our biggest clients was the U.S. Government. We were just a sample; add the entire military-industrial-complex (all the Lockheed-Martins, the Boeings, the General Dynamics), and all of the many-many service providers and contractors that work directly or indirectly for the government (everything from construction companies to law firms to think-tanks) and you've got an influential ecosystem, all standardizing on Microsoft Word and Microsoft Mail.

Java didn't exist, and early attempts and cross-platform compatible code largely fizzled out (Omins7, PowerBuilder, etc.).

Meanwhile, Microsoft failed to get entrenched in the schools, because the Apple was orders of magnitude more intuitive. And they never forgot that mistake.

If there is one group of users for whom the FOSS model makes complete sense, it is governments. In fact, there is no excuse for any government anywhere NOT to be using it. It is the socially and economically responsible thing to do in so many ways. If there is another group, it is public-service organizations like schools and libraries. And M$ knows this. It was the U.S. Government that put together the POSIX specification to begin with, because they WANTED open systems. The added advantage of capturing the schools is that you "hook `em while they're young" (like American tobacco and liquor companies). M$ is hanging on right now (with Vista) due to momentum. They want more momentum (in new markets) so they can hang on some more. Lower profit margin, larger volume, you can still grow your total profit.

Microsoft is in denial. The only good long-term strategy is to create Open Windows. Open up the platform and join the FOSS movement. This will require a complete change of business model, but there are lots of companies in the information technology ecosystem that are not simply software vendors.

mozetti
April 24th, 2007, 12:20 PM
did I say that linux will die because of $3 windows?...I see that "FUD" is a very fancy word (as I don't want to say an "umbrella term"). I just said that I consider the article interesting, that I believe ms feels some kind of pressure/need to relaunch itself on poor markets and that competition is something good for the end user/consumer. That's all. No need for false interpretations as I know exactly what I meant

Dude, you're smoking crack. I pointed out that the linked article was spreading "Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt" (FUD), falsely, as shown in my discussion. For some reason, you perceived that as telling you that you can't have your own opinion. I'm not sure how you got there, and I never tried to interpret what you said in the first place.

3rdalbum
April 24th, 2007, 12:53 PM
Are these the same "selected markets" where Windows Starter Edition is sold in? I don't suppose Starter Edition would be the $3 one? Because then that's $1 per window you're allowed to have up on your screen at any one time!

BoneKracker
April 24th, 2007, 07:50 PM
That's the whole point. It's like crack dealer's giving people their first couple of hits for free (since we're on the subject of smoking crack already). Then, by the time you realize you're going to need more, they want you pay for it, but it's harder to get off of it than to just go ahead and pay.