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Fujitsu Offers Free Laptop Upgrades For Life 166

Posted by samzenpus
from the one's-all-you-need dept.
Barence writes "Fujitsu Siemens is offering its customers free laptop upgrades for life with its Lifebook4Life scheme. Customers buying a Fujitsu Siemens Lifebook will be offered a free upgrade three years after their original purchase, and every subsequent three years for the rest of their life — as long as they purchase an extended three-year warranty. Customers will have to hope inflation stays low, though: the value of each new notebook cannot exceed the value of the previous one, adjusted 10% for inflation. Fujitsu says the scheme is profitable, and a raft of small print ensures plenty of people will find they've excluded themselves from the scheme for all sorts of reasons."
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Fujitsu Offers Free Laptop Upgrades For Life

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  • Right... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Schraegstrichpunkt (931443) on Thursday November 27, 2008 @09:20AM (#25908139) Homepage

    "Free laptop upgrades for life"... sounds like "unlimited bandwidth" and "Plays4Sure".

    No thanks.

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      A phrase comes to mind. "fucked for life"

    • I have to agree (Score:5, Insightful)

      by a302b (585285) on Thursday November 27, 2008 @09:52AM (#25908275)
      From TFA:

      This offer is far from comprehensive, though, as it excludes case cracks, small numbers of dead pixels, broken keys, smashed screens, software issues, virus infections or failed batteries that are older than one year.

      Basically, the normal wear and tear of a laptop is excluded. This seems particularly negligent regarding failed batteries, as I've noticed that most laptops become almost unusable after a few years. Even with a RAM upgrade after 3 years, it is unlikely to last much longer than that, especially if broken keys and worn out batteries aren't included. (Are batteries even designed to last that long?

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by wvmarle (1070040)

        Most batteries simply loose capacity over time. I have heard a number of 30% per year capacity loss for many rechargeable batteries, even when the battery is not in use. After about three years most batteries simply need replacement.

        My four-year-old iBook is still doing about two hours on a battery charge, I'm impressed. Only 60% capacity loss after all those years.

        • Re:I have to agree (Score:5, Informative)

          by mmxsaro (187943) on Thursday November 27, 2008 @10:45AM (#25908531) Homepage

          A lot of people don't understand that it's heat that kills a battery (and not "overcharging", let's talk about Lithium Ion for now). My Dell 700m batteries (2) each hold a charge of 5 hours after 4 years of usage. How's this possible, you may ask? I seldom charge the battery while using the laptop. I usually run it off A/C with the battery removed, and then at night, I put the battery back in and let it charge while the machine is powered off. This method has worked for me and my father very well.

          Manufacturer's won't tell you that, especially since a killer profit is to be made for post-sales accessories.

          • by aliquis (678370)

            I didn't knew if having it connected mattered or not so I've always had mine in, didn't thought it would be crappy so fast (first laptop.)

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by mgblst (80109)

            Did you know there is a disadvantage to doing this with the new MacBook Pros. They run 30% slower without the battery in them, by design.

          • by AncientPC (951874)

            I'm going to have to call BS on this claim.

            Li-ion cells lose capacity for two reasons:
            1) Time [wikipedia.org].

            At room temperature a Li-ion cell will lose 20% capacity / year at room temperature. The capacity loss is related to temperature, so you can increase your battery's life by sticking your laptop batteries in a freezer bag and shoving it in the freezer.

            Likewise, this is why manufacturing companies and OEMs have to keep service stock as low as possible because you are losing money by having battery packs sitting on s

            • by AncientPC (951874)

              I know it's poor form to reply to your own posts, but I forgot another bit of information.

              While removing it may increasing the pack's life span by distancing it from a heat source, if your laptop is plugged in, the laptop will prioritize running off AC instead of battery.

              Most charging processes are to do a quick charge up to 75-85% of max capacity, and then trickle charge to max.

              Lenovo has added a new feature in which it will only charge if battery levels drop below 90% capacity, presumably to reduce minima

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by Hal_Porter (817932)

          A lot of it depends on temperature

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lithium-ion_battery#Storage_temperature_and_charge [wikipedia.org]

          Assuming you keep your laptop plugged in so it is charged 100%

          When you use a laptop it warms up so it dies at 35-40% per year, when it is off and at room temperature maybe 20%. A 40% charged battery in the fridge will only lose 2% per year.

          • by ozphx (1061292)

            *shrug* A laptop becomes comparatively crap at a rate of about 50% per year ;)

            Two years and I'm going to be heaving it out, or replacing my existing media center box (which is perm-powered).

            • I wonder if you could buy one now, and then buy another in a 1.5 years. Then in another 1.5 years after that, claim the new laptop from the first deal, and then claim the second a 1.5 years after that. So that gives a 3 year gap between each upgrade for each laptop, but you still get a new laptop every 1.5 years.

        • by aliquis (678370)

          I doubt my Macbook Pro do 30 minutes after a year.

          NiMH and NiCd don't lose storage capacity nearly that fast, the charge drop over time but if you recharge them they become very good again. While NiMH have got better storage nowadays NiCd still keep the voltage longer which may be beneficial for some devices.

          • by leenks (906881)

            My Macbook is 18 months old and I easily get 4 hours out of it, sometimes more. The battery has never been out of the thing either.

            You must be doing something wrong .

            NiCd do lose storage, particularly if they are "fast charged" as this encourages heat and crystal build up

            • by aliquis (678370)

              I checked battery quality on mine, 14 months old and 27% capacity.

              I haven't done the calibrating stuff but it seems like it knows it has lowered anyway so. I guess the occasional running out of juice has been enough, or something.

              But then I have never got 4 hours, more like 1 because I always have the browser going and Safari and Flash sucks donkey balls.

              But it's probably more like less then 30 minutes of surfing now...

              I don't do anything wrong, lithium-ion suck, Safari suck, Flash suck, hot MBP suck.

        • Firstly I know it is off-topic but the word is 'lose' saying 'loose' makes you sound like a fucking moron. Secondly are you honestly claiming that your iBook battery lasted for 10 hours when you bought it new 4 years ago?
      • Re:I have to agree (Score:5, Interesting)

        by jg (16880) on Thursday November 27, 2008 @10:51AM (#25908573) Homepage

        Batteries are a big profit center for companies. One of the things we worked hard on the OLPC to achieve is extended battery life.

        You can trade somewhat lower capacity for longevity. Basically, if you are charging the battery, and take it to full charge, you are in fact damaging the battery slightly. So we don't fully charge the battery, so we can get many, many more cycles out of them (we use LiFE, batteries as well, which are much safer than LiIon.

        So that extra 10% or so of "run-time" ensures you'll wear out the battery quite quickly, and you'll buy expensive batteries for the life of the laptop.

        So you see marketing on how long your laptop will run, but not how long the battery will last.
        In our case, the kids may be literally days or weeks from anywhere you might ship replacement batteries to (presuming they aren't stolen on the way), even if they or their school could afford to replace them.

        One of the parts of a low power machine such as ours is that our batteries can be much smaller and cheaper as well, if they do need replacement (or you want a spare).

        • LiFE batteries? (Score:3, Informative)

          by Comboman (895500)

          we use LiFE, batteries as well, which are much safer than LiIon

          I'm assuming you mean lithium iron sulfide (LiFeS) or lithium iron disulfide (LiFeS2)? I had a hell of a time finding any information on them, since Googling "LiFE" & "battery" gets you hundreds of hits about "battery life", even with quotes around "LiFE". Does anyone know a way to force Google to respect mixed upper/lower case search terms?

          • Well I selected "lithium iron sulfide" from your post and right clicked, selected "Search Google for" and got a raft of information on the things.

            Doesn't really answer your question, but it gets you there.
          • The battery in my OLPC just says "Rechargeable Li-Fe Battery". It's not specific about being either of the alternatives you suggest.

        • You can trade somewhat lower capacity for longevity. Basically, if you are charging the battery, and take it to full charge, you are in fact damaging the battery slightly. So we don't fully charge the battery, so we can get many, many more cycles out of them (we use LiFE, batteries as well, which are much safer than LiIon.

          Yes, LiFEPO4 looks very nice. While the capacity is still somewhat below that of traditional LiIon batteries, it seems to have much better longevity too.

          Another advantage is that it does n

          • by ozphx (1061292)

            The other advantage of LiFE IIRC is that they are 1.5v instead of the rather crappy 1.2 from other rechargables... which means my otherwise awesome thrustmaster wireless gamepad will actually run off them instead of gobbling non-rechargeables at a staggering rate.

        • by arth1 (260657)

          Batteries are a big profit center for companies. One of the things we worked hard on the OLPC to achieve is extended battery life.

          You can trade somewhat lower capacity for longevity. Basically, if you are charging the battery, and take it to full charge, you are in fact damaging the battery slightly. So we don't fully charge the battery, so we can get many, many more cycles out of them (we use LiFE, batteries as well, which are much safer than LiIon.

          While this may be true for the "get one" and machines used

      • Re:I have to agree (Score:5, Informative)

        by Crias (1388217) on Thursday November 27, 2008 @11:06AM (#25908693)

        From TFA:

        This offer is far from comprehensive, though, as it excludes case cracks, small numbers of dead pixels, broken keys, smashed screens, software issues, virus infections or failed batteries that are older than one year.

        Basically, the normal wear and tear of a laptop is excluded. This seems particularly negligent regarding failed batteries, as I've noticed that most laptops become almost unusable after a few years. Even with a RAM upgrade after 3 years, it is unlikely to last much longer than that, especially if broken keys and worn out batteries aren't included. (Are batteries even designed to last that long?

        Man, you've taken the article out of context. You're implying that what you're describing relates to the Lifebook4Life program - it does not.

        For anyone too lazy to read, here's what they -actually- said.

        From TFA:

        The company is also launching another interesting scheme with its Esprimo range, offering a complete refund of the original sales price if the customer needs to send the notebook back to Fujitsu Siemens for any repairs.

        This offer is far from comprehensive, though, as it excludes case cracks, small numbers of dead pixels, broken keys, smashed screens, software issues, virus infections or failed batteries that are older than one year.

        They're offering full refund on the -first- sign of trouble. It's only fair that they exclude normal wear and tear. No company can make money by giving you back all your money every 3 years because you cracked the case, come on!

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Lonewolf666 (259450)

        Li-ion batteries with cobalt oxide cathode (the most popular type in laptops now) are known for losing their capacity over a few years, even when unused.
        But there are some other chemistries the laptop vendors could use, at the expense of somewhat less capacity.

      • I bought my Dell laptop (Inspiron 5100) in June 2004. I bought an extra battery, and the laptop could last 7-8 hours total, which was perfect for my notetaking and homework doing and internet browsing in school.

        Fast forward to now, 4+ years later. Both batteries still last close to the original longevity, 3 hours. They didn't die, they didn't discharge, they don't only last for 30 minutes - they still last 3 hours last time I tested about a couple of months ago.

      • I think you should re-read the article.

        That paragraph is for the _second_ deal they are offering.

        The company is also launching another interesting scheme with its Esprimo range, offering a complete refund of the original sales price if the customer needs to send the notebook back to Fujitsu Siemens for any repairs.

      • I'm typing this on a 6 year old fujitsu laptop, never replaced the main battery, and while it only gets 4 hours instead of 6 it is still quite functional. Their power cords are crap however.

      • by aliquis (678370)

        You don't design a battery to have shitty life length, the technology used just happen to make that a fact.

        Li-Ion batteries lose around 20% of the capacity per year if you're lucky (storing at around 40% charge in nice conditions) but most seem to be able to handle around 500 charges which is kind of nothing when it comes to a laptop, so yes, the battery will work like shit real soon.

        That's why I will never care about battery time unless it gets really good, it's shit in any case and you still need a power

      • by mikael (484)

        Look at the prices for spare components like hard disk drives, LCD backlight inverters, cooling fan assemblies, laptop closed detection switches - each of these is likely to need replacing/upgrading during a three-year period.

        If only "approved" components are allowed, then there is going to be a considerable markup.

        If these notebooks have wireless broadband, then they could also profit from these services. Some mobile network operators are giving away a free laptop with a three-year mobile broadband contrac

    • by Cyberax (705495)

      Well, the possible solution is to incorporate some radioactive elements into notebook's casing. They'll keep you warm, glowing and will surely guarantee that this notebook will last through the rest of your life.

  • by x1n933k (966581) on Thursday November 27, 2008 @09:21AM (#25908145) Homepage

    It's a scam, that's awefully direct:

    "Fujitsu says the scheme is profitable, and a raft of small print ensures plenty of people will find they've excluded themselves from the scheme for all sorts of reasons."

    Or this a case of another bad summary...

    [J]

    • by Ksempac (934247) on Thursday November 27, 2008 @09:26AM (#25908169)
      Bad summary indeed : Exact quote from TFA :

      A Fujitsu Siemens spokesperson assured PC Pro today that the scheme is a profitable venture, once the sale of future warranties and upgrades is taken into account. Only Fujitsu Siemens modifications are allowed, so upgrading with cheap third-party RAM is out of the question.

      I can understand that overpriced hardware upgrades can make up for the lack of sales. And they wouldn't be the first ones to offer these kind of upgrades.

      • by Kent Recal (714863) on Thursday November 27, 2008 @09:58AM (#25908311)

        What stops me from running my notebook with third-party RAM for 3 years and swapping the original RAM back in only on the day that I return the lappy for "upgrade"?

        No, I think the real kicker is this:

        Customers will have to hope that the UK manages to avoid high levels of inflation, though; the value of each new notebook cannot exceed the value of the previous one, adjusted 10% for inflation.

        The "value"? You mean the price? Hmm. Who sets the price? Oh, right, Fujitsu Siemens. So I suspect 3 years down the road you'll be offered an upgrade laptop that is complete crap, but at the same they'll offer you to upgrade to something worthwhile for "a small additional fee".

        • What stops me from running my notebook with third-party RAM for 3 years and swapping the original RAM back in only on the day that I return the lappy for upgrade?

          Hmm, it wouldn't be all that hard to code something into the BIOS that would log hardware changes in a special place.

          Alternately perhaps they could just have it reject non-permitted RAM. My last HP refused to boot when I replaced the cruddy broadcomm 802.11b miniPCI card with an Intel, but it didn't mind when I used a slightly-less cruddy HP broad

        • Or maybe they're simply banking on making such crappy hardware no-one will want another of their laptops three years down the line.
          • by mehtajr (718558)
            Or banking on no longer being in the consumer laptop business, and using this as a scheme to extra a bit more money before they exit.
        • You want to pay for a $100 laptop now and get a $200 laptop in 3 years?

        • by ceoyoyo (59147)

          Those clever little intrusion stickers inside the case.

          Sir, it appears you've made some unauthorized upgrades....

        • Nothing. You bought the RAM. Unless you damaged the board putting it in, what do they care? You not only bought a laptop from them, but you're paying them up front for your next one.

  • by rimcrazy (146022) on Thursday November 27, 2008 @09:25AM (#25908165)

    OK, so am I the only one surprised at this, and given their HUGE market share, who in their right mind would want one?

    • by nstrom (152310) on Thursday November 27, 2008 @09:28AM (#25908177)

      Fujitsu Siemens [wikipedia.org] as a collaboration sells only to Europe/Middle East/Africa, not the US. I don't think this laptop or offer is available in the US.

      • by nbert (785663)
        Since Siemens is leaving the joint venture I guess that Fujitsu will unify their product lines. So this offer will either be very short-lived or they'll bring it to all countries soon (third option is that they will only offer it in EMEA regions, which wouldn't make much sense IMO).

        BTW: Siemens should get rid of the remaining IT-related divisions and focus on things they are good at (like steam turbines).
    • OK, so am I the only one surprised at this

      I have one from the late 90's. P133, massive 2gb drive. Bought at CompUSA.
      It still runs, mostly.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Tastecicles (1153671)

        I have a Stylistic 3500 slate. It's only a 500 Celeron but it's a stonker of a machine for what it is. Given that I purchased it secondhand four years ago, Fujitsu weren't hesitant to replace the panel when the touch sensor expired for no charge save shipping. Nice one, FS!

    • by IAN (30)

      OK, so am I the only one surprised at this, and given their HUGE market share, who in their right mind would want one?

      Not only that, the Fujitsu-Siemens joint venture is reportedly breaking apart [channelregister.co.uk]. What that means for the future of FS laptops remains to be seen. I for one would be wary of that kind of deal.

  • The small print (Score:5, Informative)

    by troll8901 (1397145) <troll8901@gmail.com> on Thursday November 27, 2008 @09:29AM (#25908181) Journal

    Hit any of these, and you'll get excluded permanently.

    • fail to register within 21 days of purchase
    • lost receipt
    • fail to take an upgrade

    From TFA:

    If customers fail to register their notebook within 21 days of purchase, they lose out, and if the initial sales receipt is lost then they will not be able to claim a replacement notebook. If at any point a customer fails to take an upgrade, then they will also be ineligible for any future laptops.

  • by Rogerborg (306625) on Thursday November 27, 2008 @09:30AM (#25908191) Homepage
    This is designed to get money up front on the basis that most purchasers will be ineligible to benefit from it. Thus it takes money from the lazy and stupid which can be used to benefit smarter people. I have no problem with you^W them subsidising me^W us.
  • Fujitsu's market share is so astronomically large.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      What do you mean? Here in Europe, many consumers do have Fujitsu-Siemens computers. It seems to be one of the most popular brands. At my local supermarket they sell many models of that brand. Even here at the office (where all laptops are HP), the workstations are Fujitsu-Siemens. Heck, we just got a new VM server and it was Fujitsu-Siemens.

      Fujitsu-Siemens is huge.

      • by BKX (5066)

        Yes, but in the US nobody even knows about Fujitsu Siemens. Hell, I wasn't even aware that they made laptops. Furthermore, the brand name would just turn people off. I mean, it sounds like a camera just got done bukkakeing on somebody.

        • it sounds like a camera just got done bukkakeing on somebody.

          How does Konica-Minolta sound to you then?

          Siemens is a well known European brand, Fujitsu is a well known Japanese brand... It's simply a combination of both....

          • by BKX (5066)

            I don't think you got the joke. Siemens is pronounced the same way as semen. That is jizz. Cum. Spooge. It was supposed to be punny.

            (And, yes, in real life, that is the way it's pronounced. It's not like Simon's.)

  • Free (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Dunbal (464142) on Thursday November 27, 2008 @09:43AM (#25908241)

    "Customers ... will be offered a free upgrade ... as long as they purchase"

          The complete ignorance of the majority of people where money is concerned is what has us in this whole financial crisis. It's NOT FREE IF YOU HAVE TO PAY SOMETHING, DAMMIT. At best this is a "membership" or "subscription" deal that has lots of strings attached to make sure it's very easy for you NOT to get your upgrades (like say losing the original receipt or not registering within 21 days (from TFA)), and forces you to pay an undetermined amount for the rest of your life to the manufacturer.

          Reading the fine print you will probably find out that they can change the price or cancel the plan whenever they want without notice. And of course what guarantee do you have that your "replacement" will be a competitive model?

    • Re:Free (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Drakkenmensch (1255800) on Thursday November 27, 2008 @10:15AM (#25908383)

      Reading the fine print you will probably find out that they can change the price or cancel the plan whenever they want without notice. And of course what guarantee do you have that your "replacement" will be a competitive model?

      Fujitsu did state that they calculated that their plan would be profitable. That should have been the first clue right there.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by YrWrstNtmr (564987)
        Fujitsu did state that they calculated that their plan would be profitable. That should have been the first clue right there.

        Newsflash - Selling computers is profitable. I this gets a few more sales that would have otherwise gone to HP or Dell, then profitable it may be. So what?
        Or is 'profit' a bad word nowadays?
        • by Dunbal (464142)

          No one says they can't try to make a buck, and there's nothing really dishonest here.

          Of course, expect your "replacement" to be the bottom of the barrel, and expect your fees to go up. I'm sure it's all in that fine print somewhere.

          Then again, you could keep your money and do something with it in the meantime. It's your choice.

        • by jonbryce (703250)

          Well the only computer manufacturers who consistently make a profit from making computers are Apple and Dell. Apple because they charge premium prices, and Dell because they cut costs to the bone.

      • Re:Free (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Kjella (173770) on Thursday November 27, 2008 @11:56AM (#25909095) Homepage

        Fujitsu did state that they calculated that their plan would be profitable. That should have been the first clue right there.

        If companies do something that loses money, there's usually something even worse at work. Long story short, it's a loyalty program which pretty much ensures that if you buy this, your next laptop will also be a Fujitsu. Since it's a use it or lose it scheme you'd be a fool not to use if you got it, you can almost call it a guaranteed sale three years from now which they get paid today. If you look at it from the company's perspective, that's good even if the margins are the same as they get paid ahead of product, predictable delivery quantities and if they'd done it sooner they could have gotten people to commit money they wouldn't have spent three years down the line during a recession. All of that without any evil plans to scam people out of it through ineligibility.

        I really don't see how it's compelling to the customer though.
        1. It commits you to replacing in three years, even though you might not want to (use it until it breaks)
        2. It commits you to a Fujitsu, even if others have more compelling offers / feature sets
        3. It locks you to a price range, even though computers grow cheaper and your needs/income change

        Three years... if I think intervals that'd be like: high school - early student - grad student - just employed - regular worker, so over the last 12 years I'd say my needs and financial status have changed massively. If I take the scary option and add "unemployed" as the next one (though I don't fear for my job at the moment) then that's another 3+3 years (reemployed) with big changes. There'd better be a damn good reason for me to commit to anything three years from now.

    • And to apply your theory to the latest mobile phone disinformation that is spreading like wildfire.

      rant_mode_on

      For example, on quite a many sites there is news like this:

      Huge headline on a gadget/geek site: "Whoa! Phone X will cost only $200!".

      Then later in the text you come across that you have to take 2 year subscription and a monthly plan which is like 10x the price of the phone.

      Then some time later:

      Huge headline on a gadget/geek site: "OMG, Phone Y will cost only $100! Half the price of Phone X." Even t

  • by gapagos (1264716) on Thursday November 27, 2008 @10:11AM (#25908365)

    How many of us really need to buy a new laptop every 3 years?
    I had my macbook for 3 years, and I plan to use it for at least 3 more years, if not more.
    Granted, I upgraded the HD, but even I could have lived without that upgrade.

    I find it sad that we encourage a society of constant consumption and constant waste of perfectly good computer equipment.
    Ok, a 3-year old laptop may not be able to play Crysis in Extreme Graphics Quality, but most people do not use a laptop for those purposes, and most people who play games use a desktop anyway.

    Computers are extremely difficult to recycle, because they mix so many kind of parts (metal, plastic...) and can contain toxic elements. (such as batteries)

    I find it outrageous that still to this day we are trying to find new reasons for people to throw away their computers instead of actually encouraging them to KEEP THEM.

    And yes you can always donate your computer to charity. But I don't see anywhere in TFA that the company prepared any step to help its customers into doing that.

    • by jc42 (318812) on Thursday November 27, 2008 @11:22AM (#25908817) Homepage Journal

      I find it outrageous that still to this day we are trying to find new reasons for people to throw away their computers instead of actually encouraging them to KEEP THEM.

      But what else could you possibly get from a system that judges a company solely on its sales? Our economic system provides strong incentives to build products that break in as short a time as possible, and can't be repaired, so you must buy a new one. Complain all you like (and we all do), but unless you're doing something to reward a company for durability, you're not solving the problem.

      And yes you can always donate your computer to charity.

      Doesn't this machine come with MS windows? We've already discussed the fact that, if you donate a Windows machine, the license for the software probably doesn't transfer along with it. Yes, I know the MS PR people claim that they have a way to transfer licenses. But I have a number of friends working for charitable organizations who will tell you about the grief and wasted time from trying to get permission to legally run the software. Mostly, they failed at this, and either paid the retail price for a license, or more often they just trashed the hardware. If you go to the web site for MS's Microsoft Open License for Charities [microsoft.com], you'll see that they don't actually talk about transferring the original license. The site tells you how to purchase licenses at a special price.

      So if you donate your computer to charity, you may be sticking that charity with the expense of a software license.

      • So if you donate your computer to charity, you may be sticking that charity with the expense of a software license.

        God forbid a charity case should be forced to run Linux!

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Kjella (173770)

        But what else could you possibly get from a system that judges a company solely on its sales? Our economic system provides strong incentives to build products that break in as short a time as possible, and can't be repaired, so you must buy a new one. Complain all you like (and we all do), but unless you're doing something to reward a company for durability, you're not solving the problem.

        My parents had their old washing machine for ~25 years with minor repairs. When it was time to get a new one of course the old company didn't exist, the were probably long gone and dead because they had no resales. It doesn't really fit well into either personal compensation plans nor executive bonuses, since it's the guys 25 years ago that did the work which leads to the new sale. Most "extended warranty" plans today are scams at worst and an insurance against lemons at best, and doesn't really say anythin

    • How many of us really need to buy a new laptop every 3 years?

      Well personally, my HP laptop has major problems with usb over current detect (3 year old) My mates dual core acer lasted maybe 2 years before blowing all its ports.

      3 years of working life seems realistic to me. Battery life would be practically non-existent after 3 years.

      Are Apples really that much better?

  • ...is that they die days outside the statutory 12 month warranty period. Thus, the three year warranty is a no-brainer, and its price should be taken into account when pricing the product.

    But as all their warranties are "return-to-base", "exchange unit only" they're worthless unless you keep very thorough backups.

  • by Ancient_Hacker (751168) on Thursday November 27, 2008 @11:39AM (#25908945)

    Yep, this offer is great for folks that subscribe to record clubs, 10-year gym contracts, "free" tire rotations, vacation time-shares, tenth-cone-free punch cards, and all that.

    The rest of us value lack of lock-in.

  • Making money (Score:3, Informative)

    by Registered Coward v2 (447531) on Thursday November 27, 2008 @12:15PM (#25909261)

    Deals like this are designed to make money. Fujitsu is banking on warranty sales to make their additional profit; essentially tuning this into a laptop lease deal. If you decide to go off lease you keep the laptop you bought; if you stay on you get 100% of your payment down on the next model. It's like a lease with a 0 buyout; plus they get cash upfront instead of over 3 years. If you turn it in they get the resale / scrap value plus a new warranty - want to bet it won't be cheap and probably a significant percentage of the laptop's cost?

    Look at dell - an $820 laptop 3 year warranty is $190 - about 25%. After 3 years you get $820 towards a laptop; but that $820 laptop retailed for about $1100 - Dell had an $320 special deal going. So, if they don't offer a similar deal you could wind up getting $820 off of a full priced machine (assuming the 10% fine print will let you), plus paying for a new warranty. As a result, that new machine would cost you $560. (190 plus 190 plus 1000 minus 820)

  • Sure. Just send us your firstborn and write us in as the sole beneficiary to your estate.

    Thanks but no thanks. I'll just take the free Parker pen for enquiring.

  • Remember those? When the price of stamps kept going up every 6 months and they offered stamps that you could buy that would be good forever. No more inconvenience of buying penny stamps, or getting returned mail because they did a stealth price change. I posited that they would stop selling those in only a few months or perhaps even declare them invalid. Looks like I was half right as I can't find them at any of my nearby postal facilities.
    • Remember those? When the price of stamps kept going up every 6 months and they offered stamps that you could buy that would be good forever. No more inconvenience of buying penny stamps, or getting returned mail because they did a stealth price change. I posited that they would stop selling those in only a few months or perhaps even declare them invalid. Looks like I was half right as I can't find them at any of my nearby postal facilities.

      They're still around - the beauty for the USPS is they simply can raise the price to the new one on remaining stock. I would not be surprised if they sell forever stamps forever; in addition to commemoratives. That actually makes some sense since you don't have a large stock of fixed postal value stamps that all of a sudden need an additional 2 cents to be used; lowering your inventory costs.

    • by corsec67 (627446)

      Looks like I was half right as I can't find them at any of my nearby postal facilities.

      Maybe you are looking in the wrong place.

      When I bought some stamps at an ATM, the stamps were forever stamps. It makes inventory easier, since there is only one kind of "first class stamp", they can remotely change the price, and are quite convenient.

  • Well, that excludes anyone buying these in a bricks & mortar retail shop.

    The shitty thermal paper used on most receipt printers is usually completely unreadable inside 18 months, and after 3 years I doubt anyone could say with any degree of certainty that it had ever even been a receipt.

  • Whoever used that tag obviously needs to brush up his Latin subjunctives...
  • "-- as long as they purchase an extended three-year warranty."

    So they charge you the price of the laptop, but call it warranty. Now they have your money but if you decide to take it back for any reason they owe you nothing since the warranty isn't refundable.

I wish you humans would leave me alone.

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