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Microsoft Businesses The Almighty Buck Hardware

Microsoft to Sell PCs, Starting in India 233

Posted by Zonk
from the no-red-rings-on-these-i-hope dept.
kripkenstein writes "According to an Ars Technica report Microsoft will begin selling complete PCs, for the first time in the company's history. The program is aimed at customers in India. 'Dubbed the IQ PC, the machines will cost RS21,000 (about $525), are manufactured in partnership with Zenith, and will sport AMD Athlon CPUs. ... In some ways, the move to sell hardware is a natural extension of Microsoft's low-cost Windows initiative ... It may also be a response to projects like Intel's Classmate PC and the OLPC XO.' The Ars Technica summary is careful to state that they seriously doubt this will lead to Microsoft selling PCs in the US, yet the question must be asked: After Microsoft mice and keyboards, then the XBOX and Zune, Microsoft is increasingly becoming a hardware vendor. Is it only a question of time before Microsoft starts to compete directly with the likes of Dell and HP?"
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Microsoft to Sell PCs, Starting in India

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  • by bmecoli (963615) on Thursday June 28, 2007 @01:35PM (#19679099)
    I mean the best place to sell PCs would be the place where all the tech support is, right?
    • by sconeu (64226) on Thursday June 28, 2007 @01:41PM (#19679199) Homepage Journal
      And this is the argument as to why MS won't sell PCs in the US.

      They won't be able to foist off level 1 tech support onto the vendor, as *they* would be the vendor.
      • And this is the argument as to why MS won't sell PCs in the US.

        Oh, I thought "Antitrust lawsuits" was the argument as to why MS won't sell PCs in the US.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by sconeu (64226)
          Since when has the Antitrust settlement stopped MS from doing anything?
    • by Rob T Firefly (844560) on Thursday June 28, 2007 @02:29PM (#19679933) Homepage Journal
      You would think so, but it turns out the Indian customers' tech support line will be answered by some underpaid guy in New York who speaks broken Hindi with a Brooklyn accent.
    • When someone calls for support on their brand new IQ PC they will be able to understand them...

      I can't wait until all of the other corporations start following Microsofts lead and "offshores" their customer bases.

    • Zenith? (Score:3, Informative)

      by alcmaeon (684971)
      Am I the only one here who didn't know Zenith still existed?
      • by Kalriath (849904)
        Wait... like, Zenith Data Systems? With the tree logo?

        Holy crap. They're oooold.
  • Good for them... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by chris098 (536090) on Thursday June 28, 2007 @01:35PM (#19679103) Homepage
    This really is just an extension of Microsoft's business model. From the article:

    Aimed primarily at students...

    If they can get students hooked to MS products when they're young, especially in these developing countries where the alternative may be Linux, then it's likely these students will continue using Microsoft later on in life, because they're familiar with it. It's a clever move, and really, I'm surprised it took Microsoft so long to start doing this.
    • by sconeu (64226)
      Based on posts in comp.lang.c++, they're already hooked... and on VS6.
    • This really is just an extension of Microsoft's business model.

      Yeah, but shouldn't they change their name from Microsoft to Microhard ?

      Um... wait... nevermind.
      • by aflat362 (601039)
        Also - I think that since they are no longer a tiny company maybe they should be "MegaHard"
    • Get the equipment into schools, then sell the software, and watch kids graduate expecting Apple gear. If I were Microsoft, I'd put ISOs of all their hardware and OSs on the main site for this reason.
      • This post was not intended to bait or upset anyone. It's an analysis of a successful business tactic and one, were I Microsoft, I'd apply.

        On one of the mailing lists I'm on, there was chatter today about business actions that don't increase profits but might make the company's position healthier. I can't prove that giving away software makes more money by getting people familiar with it, but I know that all the kids growing up using Apple //s looked more favorably on Apple than others.
    • If they can get students hooked to MS products when they're young, especially in these developing countries where the alternative may be Linux

      Like the OLPC. Which is why MS is making this (for them) drastic move. Watch for them to offer PCs in other developing countries where the OLPC has gotten orders.
    • This really is just an extension of Microsoft's business model.

      They're going to release a product, leverage their OS monopoly to drive everyone else out of business, establish a monopoly, and then stop development?

      Seriously, though, this would really piss me off if i were running Dell, HP, etc.

    • It's a clever move, and really, I'm surprised it took Microsoft so long to start doing this.

      Here's my take on this, and I've been noticing more and more what Microsoft's been doing and it suddenly makes sense now that I see this article. Microsoft has always played it safe. They're the pussies of the computer industry, and they could see how hard it would be to control/maintain the hardware *and* the software, a la Apple, SUN or IBM. Like the various UNIX-based software companies, they took known concepts and applied them to other peoples' hardware. To IBM: we'll sell you a DOS if you put it

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by brewstate (1018558)
      I believe RJ Reynolds, Winston, and Marlboro got in trouble for similar tactics the difference was the level of the crash.
    • by Myopic (18616)
      Agreed. Just look how well it worked for Apple.
    • If they can get students hooked to MS products when they're young
      Yeah, but don't pushers usually make the first one free? Man, Microsoft can even make the pusher-man look good!
    • This really is just an extension of Microsoft's business model.

      This is a stupid move on their part, and if it spreads to the rest of the company, it will be their end. Just like Sun.

      Most software isn't commodity. You can't easily replace one piece of software with another without folks complaining. Hardware (unless it's top of the line) is commodity---corps compete on price, and price alone. There's virtually no insentive for someone to spend more on another branded hardware, 'cause it's all the same cheap
      • Look at the runaway success of both XBox versions.... you miss that if you LOCK the software so the only way to get it is to buy hardware, then you make much more profit, because people will pay for hardware. Apple does this. Nintendo does this. Note that there's not a good project that plays Xbox 1 games on regular PCs even though they've go 5x the computing power on the SAME architecture... MS took commodity hardware and locked it down for both systems.

        on the other hand, hardware development will sta

  • by slazzy (864185) on Thursday June 28, 2007 @01:36PM (#19679113) Homepage
    Time for hardware vendors to start selling more PCs preloaded with Linux. Why sell Windows when Microsoft is your competition?
    • by CastrTroy (595695) on Thursday June 28, 2007 @01:46PM (#19679259) Homepage
      Seriously. It's not a good idea for MS to mess with their distribution channel. With Dell starting to see Ubuntu, it's not a good idea to give the vendors and more reason to push Linux on their customers.
      • by timeOday (582209)
        Seems odd to me, too. If Microsoft is going to subsidize loss-leader PCs to make sure Windows preinstalls are the norm in India like they are here, why not just bribe the OEMs who sell there to preinstall Windows?
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          why not just bribe the OEMs who sell there to preinstall Windows?
          ...like they do here in the U.S., I presume you mean. Because unlike in the U.S., Microsoft can't bribe the politicians as easily in other countries. Why do you think the E.U. is giving Microsoft such a hard time? The U.S. government doesn't give Microsoft such a hard time because Microsoft bought and paid for a whole lot of politicians.
          • by CastrTroy (595695)
            It seems like the entire US government is completely bought. Microsoft, RIAA/MPAA, Health Insurance companies, and all the other lobbyists have basically got the entire governemnt wrapped around their little finger. Don't the American people want to put a stop to this. It isn't good that corporations can just give unlimited amounts of money (or any at all) to politicians just to get their way. Corporations aren't a voting entity, they shouldn't be allowed to sponsor politicians.
            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by bobcat7677 (561727)
              [Slightly off topic rant from an American...International readers please excuse me.]

              Politicians shouldn't be allowed to receive funds, air ads, or otherwise "campaign" for election. We should receive notification of whom has "thrown in their hat", have the opportunity to see them participate in fair debates to base our votes on. Level the playing field so we can elect the best candidate regardless of their social or economic circumstances. Instead of having media blitz races where the candidate with th
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by jellomizer (103300) *
      Competition != Mortal Enemies.
      Adobe doesn't stop making products for Apple just because Apple has competing software. Same with Adobe not making software for Microsoft because Microsoft sells competing software. Unless Microsoft starts giving their PC some unfare advantage over the other ones. Then HP and Dells will compete with Microsoft on the Hardware end and will be partners on the software side. If microsoft tries to hard to monopolize the PC market that could leave an opening Linux and Apple. (App
      • Competition != Mortal Enemies.

        M$ is abnormal [slashdot.org]. The company does not act like a sociopath because that's the way big organizations are, it acts like one because the people running it are sociopaths.

      • "Same with Adobe not making software for Microsoft because Microsoft sells competing software."

        There's a key difference between those relations and the relationships between Microsoft and OEM's. Here's your example in the context of Microsoft/OEM relationships:

        Let's pretend that Microsoft makes a plugin for Adobe Photoshop. Let's also pretend that Adobe Photoshop is largely useless (from a sales perspective) without this plugin, and Adobe cannot sell copies of Photoshop without it. The profit margin on t
    • by Yvanhoe (564877)
      Well if I were a PC vendor, the first question I would be asking to myself is "Will one day MS voluntarily break its OS to only work correctly on MS computers ?" like it did to enter in so many market. Doing it now would be an incredibly stupid move but if/when they manage to get a decent market share, this could indeed by a tempting strategy for them.
  • by Ngarrang (1023425) on Thursday June 28, 2007 @01:36PM (#19679131) Journal
    Sun and Apple have made quite a good bit of business with this model. I am more surprised that Microsoft did not try this years ago.
    • by shaitand (626655) on Thursday June 28, 2007 @02:03PM (#19679511) Journal
      'Sun and Apple have made quite a good bit of business with this model. I am more surprised that Microsoft did not try this years ago.'

      I'm not, Microsoft's profits have dwarfed those of Sun and Apple combined and have relied on NOT doing this. Don't you think Microsoft selling PC's without paying themselves any licensing costs is going to have the likes of Dell and HP jumping the Microsoft ship faster than you can blink?

      You would have to be crazy to promote windows when Microsoft has an inside edge on windows that assures nobody will have a computer that runs as well as those from Microsoft. Microsoft can do anything they want, including intentionally altering windows in ways that will cause it to misbehave on competitor hardware. This is a conflict of interest so glaring that is insane.

      MS might get away with India... or not if the hardware companies are bright. But if MS takes this very far you will see a great deal more HP and Dell support for Linux and customization of Linux to work perfectly with their own hardware.
      • by Ngarrang (1023425)

        I'm not, Microsoft's profits have dwarfed those of Sun and Apple combined and have relied on NOT doing this. Don't you think Microsoft selling PC's without paying themselves any licensing costs is going to have the likes of Dell and HP jumping the Microsoft ship faster than you can blink?

        Dell and HP cannot afford to jump a ship that forms the basis of their economics. Even if Microsoft were successful, it wouldn't mean that EVERYONE would jump to buying from Microsoft. There is room for many competitors.

        You would have to be crazy to promote windows when Microsoft has an inside edge on windows that assures nobody will have a computer that runs as well as those from Microsoft. Microsoft can do anything they want, including intentionally altering windows in ways that will cause it to misbehave on competitor hardware. This is a conflict of interest so glaring that is insane.

        Microsoft would not hamstring their own OS because they could never hope to compete with the output capability of Dell, et al. Microsoft wants their OS to run EVERYWHERE. They do need another source of income, though. The advent of Vista is proving to Microsoft this very point. Vista

        • by shaitand (626655)
          'forms the basis of their economics'

          Nonsense, Dell and HP are in the business of selling computers. Linux is a very viable computer operating system. What would happen if Dell and HP/Compaq stopped offering windows based PC's tomorrow and only offered Linux based PC's? People wouldn't stop buying PC's, 3 months from now I doubt Dell and HP would be behind, actually their sales would probably be higher. Windows sales on the other hand would plummet. Microsoft needs hardware manufacturers to pre-load their op
      • Microsoft's profits have dwarfed those of Sun and Apple combined and have relied on NOT [selling PCs themselves].

        That is the generally assumed truth. Yet, I am starting to doubt it in recent years, and perhaps so does Microsoft.

        The tipping point was the XBOX. Previously, Microsoft were adamant on their 'software-only' position (even in the portable music player market, which left it wide open for Apple, in retrospect). Then with the XBOX they changed that, and apparently it is starting to work well. Th

        • by shaitand (626655)
          'stop selling Windows on their computers? Not going to happen.'

          They will if they are smart. Remember, we aren't talking about a minor element in the windows empire. The major PC vendors ARE the pillars the hold the empire up. Dell and HP only need a viable operating system, there is no particular reason it needs to be windows.

          'once established as basically the only operating system vendor for PCs, Microsoft can then branch off into selling PCs, and capturing even more profits.'

          And that is exactly what will
    • by Hawthorne01 (575586) on Thursday June 28, 2007 @02:24PM (#19679855)
      They did [wikipedia.org]. It did ok overseas, not so well in the U.S.
    • by DrYak (748999)

      I am more surprised that Microsoft did not try this years ago.

      If they had produced MS-Box instead of being a OS only vendor, CP/M or some Unix would have been the dominant OS, and Microsoft Box would only have less than 10% market share like Sun and Apple. Or would have flunked like most of the company that sold integrated hardware+OS solution during the 80s and 90s.

      Microsoft rose during the 90s because one could install their OSes (first DOS, then Windows) on any of the then dominating platform (x86 PC-clo

    • by fermion (181285)
      Except that profits on the $525 are insignificant compared to the profits generated on the machines sold by Sun and Apple.

      Add to this that MS has consistently shown that it cannot produce a complex hardware product that people will pay a real premium for, and we see another effort to flood a market with intentions of creating a monopoly.


  • but at least they're already selling linux ;)

    (OK, technically not selling, but intel is one of the bigger investors in linux, right up there with redhat, novell, IBM).
  • Microsoft sells hardware in pretty much the same fashion they sell everything outside the Windows and Office teams: They pay a company to produce the goods and then slap the Microsoft label on them. The only difference between hardware and software in this regard is that, historically, Microsoft has bought software vendors outright versus simply being a continuous customer to the hardware vendors.
  • by number6x (626555) on Thursday June 28, 2007 @01:37PM (#19679149)

    For Years Microsoft has been neutral to OEM's. Could this move drive a further wedge between leading PC vendors and MS?

    Is it a sign that Microsoft understands it cannot require OEM's to stop from selling alternate OS's and must enter the PC market itself?

    Or is MS just licensing its brand name to go on the outside of the computer and making money for very little cost (something MS is good at)?

    • by megaditto (982598)
      That $500+ PC they will be selling will probably cost them under $200 to produce and distribute.

      Since they cannot make their money selling OS licenses in India, they will make that $300 per PC the way Apple does it now: by selling overpriced hardware.
    • Or is MS just licensing its brand name to go on the outside of the computer...

      That's exactly what they are doing. Except they don't get their monopoly-standard ROI.

      What's more interesting is there are OEM's with a global presence that would be happy to do a deal (ex. Acer) Heck there are probably Indian versions of Dell that do a fine job. Still, Microsoft has to do the deal on their own... Very mysterious indeed.

      Microsoft has a long history of stealing their customers lunches and eating it right in fron
  • long term.... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by apodyopsis (1048476) on Thursday June 28, 2007 @01:39PM (#19679173)
    Will this prompt the big manufacturers to ship more Linux PCs?

    The natural suspicion is that this will eventually lead to whole PCs elsewhere in the world and not for just academics/students. Long term Dell, Gateway and the crowd should be eyeing this carefully I should think.

    The writers may doubt it, but even in the FA "..if Microsoft sees success in India, similar partnerships may be forged in other emerging markets".
  • Microsoft using AMD processors... this makes me feel as conflicted as when I hear Al Qaida's operating strategy described as "open source terrorism;" the geek part of me says "yay!" but then the adult part says "oh, crap."
  • by Speare (84249) on Thursday June 28, 2007 @01:42PM (#19679225) Homepage Journal

    It's simple, really. If the market doesn't see software as a product, but rather sees software as inseparable or an ephemeral customization of the hardware "appliance," then the only way to make a profit on software is to bundle it and make profits on the hardware it's installed.

    Rarely do people copy a completed MS Word installation from one machine to another. They copy an installer. If there's no installer, there's one piracy vector down. If all the machines have equal deployed software images, that's another piracy vector down. However, if all the machines are alike, but some don't come with the Office and some do, will they start to copy those post-install files and try to get them to work anyway?

  • Look at this way: if something goes wrong with your MS PC they can't tell you to call XXX company you purchased it from in attempt to hide the blame.
  • Well (Score:4, Interesting)

    by also-rr (980579) on Thursday June 28, 2007 @01:45PM (#19679245) Homepage
    Given that Dell has started selling Ubuntu, and Intel has written real OSS 3D drivers for it's hardware (along with decent wifi drivers, making laptop support trivial for many, many people) maybe they think that any goodwill which previously kept them out of the hardware business is no longer an issue.
  • Is it only a question of time before Microsoft starts to compete directly with the likes of Dell and HP?

    And also, what would that mean to their competition with Apple? Don't forget that a few years ago, Apple tried allowing 3rd parties to manufacture Mac hardware, and later decided that they wanted to maintain exclusive control of the platform. We still hear people talk about how "Apple is a hardware company, Microsoft is a software company," or "Apple can only maintain quality in their drivers / operating

  • by nomadic (141991)
    After Microsoft mice and keyboards, then the XBOX and Zune, Microsoft is increasingly becoming a hardware vendor. Is it only a question of time before Microsoft starts to compete directly with the likes of Dell and HP?

    I think that will not happen anytime in the foreseeable future. Besides making them even more liable to government intrusion regarding monopolies (and I think MS realizes that the next administration, whether republican or democrat, probably won't be as anti-anti-monopoly fanatic as this o
  • This is MSFT thumbing their nose at Dell selling Linux boxes. Oh, yeah? We'll show you, we'll sell PC's! Starting in India is just a shot over Dell's bow. Hinting that they could always start competing directly here in the US.

    If I were Dell, I wouldn't be worried. MSFT won't be any better at selling hardware than they are at anything else.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      If I were Dell, I wouldn't be worried. MSFT won't be any better at selling hardware than they are at anything else.

      Meaning they'll just make another billion dollars of net profit each month? Such a failure...

    • by kiwimate (458274)
      If I were Dell, I wouldn't be worried. MSFT won't be any better at selling hardware than they are at anything else.

      Seems to me Microsoft has been wildly successful at selling software so far, whatever you think about the quality of that software or the manner in which they sell it.
  • Wintel? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Brian Gordon (987471) on Thursday June 28, 2007 @01:50PM (#19679321)
    What happened to the MS/Intel alliance of old? Microsoft getting annoyed at Intel making chips for Apple?
    • Re:Wintel? (Score:4, Informative)

      by EjectButton (618561) on Thursday June 28, 2007 @09:27PM (#19684775)

      What happened to the MS/Intel alliance of old? Microsoft getting annoyed at Intel making chips for Apple?

      Apple has nothing to do with this, Intel is fairly opportunistic and they see there is a significant potential for Linux growth over the next few years and having Intel hardware be the hardware of choice due to superior driver support can only help them. They have traditionally provided fairly good hardware support for Linux on the server side of things for obvious reasons, it appears that this is now being pushed out to more desktop/notebook oriented hardware. Most likely in anticipation of desktop Linux growth, especially in the corporate/government universe.
      As far as a MS/Intel alliance, there has not been one to speak of for several years now. It's not that Intel is above collusion or dirty tricks, for example there was that deal they struck with Skype a while back trying to get Skype crippled on AMD processors. It's just that Intel, and many other hardware companies have felt for years that Microsoft is holding them back.

      From Microsoft's perspective they have been in a position where most computer users in the world have to pay them a "Microsoft tax" if they want to or not, so the less things change the better because any radical hardware or usage changes (the internet) can only hurt Microsoft rather than help them. This clashes with the goals of most hardware companies, which are to one-up the other hardware companies and crank out new hardware revisions constantly to keep people in the habit of upgrading every year. Graphics processor capabilities have been advancing at an incredible rate the last few years, this is largely because gamers are constantly looking at upcoming games and thinking to themselves "man I'm going to need a new video card when that comes out". What would be an equivalent event for replacing the rest of the hardware in the computer? Perhaps the release of a new operating system, though this doesn't really work when it takes Microsoft 5 years and lots of delays between each version of Windows with only marginal changes, most of which have scared the corporate/government customers away from upgrading.

      There has been bad blood between Intel and Microsoft for many years now, if you want further evidence here is an interview from late 2005 with Avram Miller Intel's "Vice President and Director of Corporate Business Development" from 1984-1999 http://www.pbs.org/cringely/nerdtv/transcripts/008 .html [pbs.org]

      Avram:I think another problem was the company was, I think, intimidated by Microsoft. It's easy to be intimidated by Microsoft. Microsoft is intimidating. And I think that many times Intel would have liked to have done something, but Microsoft didn't like it and Intel was basically a little bit afraid of Microsoft.

      Bob: I talked to an Intel guy who told me that they were Microsoft's bitch.

      Avram: Well, that might be a way to describe it. I wouldn't describe it exactly like that. One of the issues in this was that if you're a software company, you're used to selling upgrades. There really isn't an upgrade for a micro-processor. So, you need to try to push faster and faster the applications that use the power. And in the beginning, the companies were more aligned that way, but over time, they became less aligned that way.

      Here is an example from another former Intel executive who testified against Microsoft in the anti-trust trial http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steven_McGeady [wikipedia.org]

      * McGeady testified that Microsoft feared competition from Intel's software development: At an August 2, 1995 meeting Bill Gates allegedly threatened to terminate Windows support for Intel's new microprocessors unless they were able to "get alignment" between Intel and MS on Intel's Internet and communications soft

  • by glas_gow (961896) on Thursday June 28, 2007 @01:51PM (#19679339)
    Microsoft is simultaneously going in all directions, which is identical to going nowhere fast.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by jbrannon (881627)

      Microsoft is simultaneously going in all directions, which is identical to going nowhere fast.
      I believe that's called "growing".
      • Growing? (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Tony (765)
        I believe that's called "growing".

        I believe they call that, "Flailing."

        Like a whale on the beach.
  • Maybe MS wants to be like Apple when it comes to tying the hardware with the OS.
  • I honestly would *like* to see a Microsoft PC. But not one that ran standard Windows.

    What they need to do is take something like the Xbox 360 (something that will plug into an HDTV, basically), and put a whole new, incompatible "Microsoft PC-only" version of Windows on it. Basically, a "clean" version of Windows that abandons backward compatibility entirely, and only runs on their own hardware.

    Then, port Office and Internet Explorer to the new platform. Sell it for a few hundred bucks.

    They *must* have thoug
  • But only if I can get it in Zune brown.
  • by Valen0 (325388) <valen@@@escom...us> on Thursday June 28, 2007 @02:02PM (#19679485)
    The next logical step is to "Just Add DRM". I can imagine the start up text now:

    "There is nothing wrong with your computer. Do not attempt to restart the machine. We are now controlling its operation. We control the hardware and the software. We can deluge you with a thousand windows or expand one single image to crystal clarity - and beyond. We can shape your computing experience to anything our imagination can conceive. For the next session we will control all that you see and hear. You are about to experience the awe and mystery which reaches from the deepest inner mind to... The Microsoft Computer. Please stand by."

    As for myself, I think I will pass on the Microsoft flavored Kool-Aid. I tend to get upset when machines start telling me that I can not do [function or feature] with the new [media type or gadget] that I bought because the MAFIAA thinks that disabling [function or feature] is in _their_ best interest.
  • No I'm not making this up. Pronounced like the coins in Zelda. I'm deployed to Iraq and talking with the Indian folks out here I rofl'd when I heard what their currency is.

    Old man says: "You got computer!"
    • You seriously didn't know this?
      • I'm American, therefore I know about the Euro and and the peso... I know what the peso is just 'cause I live in Arizona :-)

        I just thought it was funny... picturing a little Link holding a computer over his head
    • No offense, really, but I have to repeat what JoeShmoe950 asked. You really didn't know what India's currency is?

      Dear Lord, what has our education system come to?

      For some more currency fun, watch "The Princess Bride" again (I'm assuming you already have seen it, or you should have) and see if you can identify the two currencies referenced in it.
  • Is it only a question of time before Microsoft starts to compete directly with the likes of Dell and HP?
    They're closer than you think. They've already got the same level of customer service.
  • Microsoft software and hardware in India ?

    Brace yourselves for spam like you've never seen before.
  • Waste of Time (Score:3, Insightful)

    by jshriverWVU (810740) on Thursday June 28, 2007 @02:57PM (#19680355)
    The hardware market for low-middle level consumer PC's is dead. No one really makes any money of selling the hardware, it's selling it and making a few pennies on the bundled software and the service agreements.

    Guess MS can make at least $100 per machine, because unlike OEM's they have to pay $0 for the Window OS. That's a better margin than the Dells of the world. Plus they can control the numbers (we sold 10k machines all with Vista).

  • I could be wrong, but I thought there was some conspiracy between Microsoft and Intel--like Windows acted differently when it saw that a "genuine Intel" processor was in use. The few bits I can find on this blame Intel, but it seems like Microsoft would have to be in there somehow for this to work (perhaps I just don't know enough about compilers).
  • by suv4x4 (956391)
    So what would be the killer feature of the IQ PC? Lemme guess: it's brown.
  • INR 21K is tad too expensive... by about $20 or so. If you're amazed by this statement, please keep in mind that Indian market is extremely price sensitive and PC market is dominated by unorganized neighborhood "PC assemblers" whose neck you can go and grab if the PC "doesn't work".

    Now about students, let me tell you, they are not in "need" of a computer. It's something nice to have, but often not a necessity by any stretch. FYI, even programmable/graphing calculators are banned even at university level, an
  • by theolein (316044) on Thursday June 28, 2007 @03:42PM (#19681041) Journal
    This programme has most probably nothing to do with Microsoft selling hardware, but rather Microsoft trying to muscle in on the extreme low end market before it grows so big and full of low cost Linux machines that Microsoft has no chance. Microsoft will most likley use these lowish cost machines plus Vista starter edition (plus bucket loads of arm twisting, bribes and plain threats) to get authorities in developing country to stick with Vista Pirated Edition, since that is what will happen with the machines 5 minutes after they're powered on in any case. Microsoft is not going after Dell, Lenovo, or HP just yet.

    However, Microsoft, you can bet your sweet fat arse, would love to build its own machines, so as to especially attempt to beat Apple at its own game of hardware/software integration. This is obvious. Vista copied so many features out of OSX (yay transparent windows and shadows, the calender, Windows Mail instead of Outlook Express, the gadgets in the sidebar, UAC and numerous things) in a transparent attempt to stop users drifting away from MS crapware to Apple. Microsoft entered the portable music player market ONLY because Apple was laughing so hard at Bill Gates every time he started up some new version of MSN music, claiming it would be an iPod killer. The zune may be a joke, but you can bet that MS will work on improving it to try and get it ready for the legendary 3rd revision, by which time MS products are expected to be better than the competition.

    You can bet Micrsoft would build its own PCs in a heartbeat to counter Apple if it could. MS is scared silly by Apple. The iPhone is not going to help the fear in Redmond much either, because it is guaranteed to be a huge success compared to MSs Dumbphones. Expect MS to dump HTC and release its own phone in about two or three years.

    The only thing stopping MS from making its own PCs is the fact that that is honestly, the only real MS success story. Windows, Office and the Server Windows is where MS makes its money. If MS were to frolic too hard with making its own PCs in the US and Europe, you can bet that Linux would be on the front page of HP and Dells sites tomorrow and that you would have to actually look at who would sell you Windows anymore. (Yes, I'm exagerating, but the OEMs will become OELinux pretty soon, since they would not be able to compete with MS.)

    MS would stand to lose vast amounts of marketshare, and they'd still lose, beause no matter how well their machines sold, Apple, in a tight corner, would only have to start selling OSX to OEMs to really bust Redmonds balls.

    (rereading this, I wonder just how desperate Ballmer and Bill the dweeb really are?)
    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      This programme has most probably nothing to do with Microsoft selling hardware, but rather Microsoft trying to muscle in on the extreme low end market before it grows so big and full of low cost Linux machines that Microsoft has no chance.

      At $500 they already have no chance. That's at least $200 too much for an ultra-low-cost PC, and I'm talking with an LCD. 15" for that price, but they're available. Maybe not in India, yet, but give it time.

  • How long before It becomes AMD / M$ / ATI vs APPLE / INTEL / NVIDIA?
  • I have no idea if MS would actually do this in the US, but if they did we would see Trusted Computing on all of them to an extreme.

    A major part of current Vista sales are for older machines (and even new ones), that lack the required hardware for Trusted Computing style security, if they had required this hardware to run Vista it would have sold far less than it has.

  • because they won't have to incur the OEM cost to
    include windows with each PC, they'll be able to sell
    their PCs for an amount less than what they charge OEMs
    to include windows -- all else being equal, it should
    give them slightly better margins per unit.

  • Makes business sence (Score:3, Interesting)

    by nurb432 (527695) on Thursday June 28, 2007 @06:22PM (#19683195) Homepage Journal
    If they can start selling enough pcs to take over the market, they can get rid of all those pesky resellers that always want discounts, and try to sell 'bare' hardware against Microsoft's wishes.

    If they are the only game in town, you cant avoid the microsoft tax..

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