Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Windows Vista - Grape Flavor

I am sure you have all heard by now about the next version of Windows, “Windows Vista” coming in 7 different versions.  It is kind of funny that just last week I was day dreaming about what I would do if was suddenly in charge of Microsoft. No, really I was. I think I had read some anti-Microsoft post or new article somewhere and was thinking about the bad rap they get. I was trying to think of what I would do if I was in charge of changing that.  One of the things I thought of was that I would get rid of two version of Windows XP.  It just confuses people and makes Microsoft look like a bunch of greedy bastards.  

Imagine my surprise when just a few days later they announced that there will be SEVEN different versions of Windows Vista.  

1. Starter Edition
2. Home Basic Edition
3. Home Premium Edition
4. Windows Vista Professional Edition
5. Small Business Edition
6. Enterprise Edition
7. Ultimate Edition

Go read the details of each edition over at Ars Technica and then try to imagine your Mom standing in front of a shelf full of different versions of Windows trying to figure it out which version she should buy.  

Imagine the poor Microsoft Tech Support phone guy who now has to try and get Grandpa Fred to tell him which version of Windows he is running and then try to explain to him that version doesn’t support that feature and that he need to upgrade to another version.

John Dvorak over at has an article on how Microsoft Should Confuse the Market More.  I really think he is on to something with the Microsoft Vista Porn Edition.

Seriously, what the hell are they thinking?!  This is the reason everybody hates them.  It isn’t like the different features of each edition are actual physical things that cost more to put into one version or another. Including some feature or other doesn’t make the box bigger or weigh more. It is digital content, it cost money to develop but once it’s created it can be put into every version for the same price.  The only reason to have different versions is to try and see if they can get squeeze some people into paying a little more.  Yes, I understand that the main goal of a business is to make money. But why don’t any of them ever see the benefit of doing the right thing.  They spend millions on marketing but then continue to act in such a way that makes them all look like evil jack-asses.  They don’t even see the marketing value of not looking like evil jack-asses.

I think right now Bill Gates should send out a press release that says, “I just read the memo on the 7 different versions and personally hauled out and shot the marketing vice president that came up with this stupid idea. There will be one version (well two if you count that damn European version that doesn’t include the media player.)”

I think if he did that, all the anti-Microsoft ill it would stave off would actually wind up making them more money in the end, even including the high profile murder trial for him having shot that marketing jerk.    


Steve said...

I think Ed Bott covers most of why this is mostly a non-issue for consumers.

Oh, and my mom (and most people's less tech savvy relatives) won't be standing in front of shelf of Windows versions: Last I heard, the overwhelming majority of people get their next version of Windows pre-installed on a new computer. If she was going to upgrade, and I'd be roped into doing it. :D

Joseph the Fourth said...

He does do a pretty good job. One of the reader comments from Peter Near says what I was trying to get at much better than I did. The fact that most people don't even have a clue that there are multiple versions of XP let alone know which one they have on their computer.

And Ed's reply has a host of valid points too. It really does come down to 3 version for regular people. But I still say that is 2 versions to many.

And yes my mom would also get her next version of Windows with her next computer and if she was going to upgrade the only reason I wouldn't get roped into doing it myelf is that I am a very long way from Vegas.

Anonymous said...

Tech mom is not going to have a problem. Know nothing mom isn't going to know the diffence and will run into the same problems between home and pro XP except more.

The mom in between is my biggest concern. She's sharp enough to notice in the store and on the dell websites that she has a choice between operating systems, but not the knowledge to make the right choice.