Answer for:

Vista Ultimate

Message 18 of 21

View entire thread
0 Votes

- but only because even THEY recognized that their plan was beyond the amount that even the unthinking and unknowing would accept. After all, people are PAYING to use this stuff!

Piracy is a problem they have mainly brought upon themselves, so they should 'suck it up' and pay the price for that themselves - not expect the customer to bear the burden.

Why do I say they have brought it upon themselves?

1. Grossly overpricing software for the home market

2. Failing to provide home versions of important software... Works was their chance to do this right - and they made all the formats incompatible with Office! This at a time when Word was $500!! All people wanted to do was interoperate with the stuff they used at the office...

3. Ridiculous restrictions on the usage allowed of the software you actually purchase. For what REASON do they insist that OEM versions stay with a computer? Must you leave the gas tank full when you junk a car? If you have paid for what makes it go, you should be OK to use that on whatever you want.... ONE AT A TIME. That is common sense.

4. Price again. People are fully aware that whatever R & D costs they may have are recovered over MILLIONS and MILLIONS of copies - so what possible reason can there be for charging hundreds of $$ for a $2 CD package? When the hardware to run it on is less money than the OS - something is wrong (hint - it isn't the price of the hardware)

5. Failure to recognize reality: Guess what - because an illicit copy of your software is being used DOES NOT MAKE IT A LOST SALE. Always by far the greatest proportion of people pirating stuff are those who CANNOT and/or WILL NOT buy it regardless. They do NOT represent a lost sale, and no lock-up mechanism will change that.

6. Presenting customers and pirates with a challenge: What they have done with these increasingly annoying intrusions on legitimate customers is provide a challenge to those so inclined to 'beat the system'. While this is splendid entertainment - it is hardly creating any value for the company. If there is nothing to 'beat', a lot of talented people will leave it alone, and not be involved in illegal distribution.

So - what should they do about this? At this point I think the only recovery they CAN make is to split the Home and Business models more thoroughly. Drop the OEM distinction - and stop insisting that hardware should not be sold without an OS.

The HOME version of software should retain all the glitz (Aero for instance - although disableable when necessary or by choice) - but as little of the BUSINESS functionality as necessary. For instance, peer-to-peer networking support only. No support for remote desktops, or networked printers (other than connected to a peer). If you need those things - then you can pay the business edition prices. I am sure there are other items that can be 'engineered' effectively to differentiate - but I can't think of them right now :) Then - Home edition - $60-$70. Business edition as priced now. Upgrade path - the difference. Restrictions on moving from computer to computer - none, as long as only ONE computer can run it. Any computer from which it is removed must be disabled, or provided with an alternative OS only..

These measures - along perhaps with 'Bonus Packs' for extra functionality - would go a longggg way towards removing the incentive for people to pirate. In fact I suspect that a LOT of people would actually 'legalize' themselves if the price were related to value. You would also get a lot of people upgrading from previous versions to XP level if the price were in line with value. On top of that, the perception of MS as nothing but a great sucking maw of greed would quickly be replaced with a perception of a software giant that thinks about its customers once again...

Well - worth $.02?