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With Apple's iPad besting Windows 8, Microsoft slashes prices & alters tactics

post #1 of 49
Thread Starter 
With Apple's iPad dominating the new wave of computing, Microsoft's Windows 8 is floundering and the software giant is slashing prices even as its manufacturing partners are dropping some Windows devices.

Windows 8


The Wall Street Journal carried a report on Tuesday that Microsoft has begun offering price breaks to manufacturers in order to jumpstart development of small, touch-enabled laptops. In late February, sources say Microsoft began offering PC makers Windows 8 and Office for $30 for touchscreen devices under 10.8 inches, down from a previous point of about $120. The company is also discounting Windows 8 for touchscreen devices above 10.8 inches, though Office isn't included in the deal for those units.

That 10.8-inch screen size distinction is important to Microsoft because it's around the size of Apple's standard iPad, which ? when counted along with regular PC sales ? has made Apple into one of the only computer manufacturers to see sales growth even as the larger PC market has slumped. Consumers are increasingly opting for smartphones and tablets, specifically the iPad, over traditional PC form factors, leaving Microsoft and most of its PC maker partners in the lurch.

Microsoft developed the touch-enabled Windows 8 in an effort to counter this trend. It also developed Windows RT in parallel to deliver much of Windows 8's functionality on power-sipping ARM processors. Late in 2012, more than two years after the debut of the iPad, Microsoft announced Windows 8's launch with the start of a $1 billion ad campaign.

surface pro


Shortly thereafter, though, reports emerged that initial sales were "well below" Microsoft's internal projections. Microsoft sold millions of licenses to PC manufacturers for the OS' launch, but public interest post-launch seemed to be lagging, with a soft economy keeping consumers tied to their current, Windows 7-running PCs or opting for mobile devices running Android or iOS.

Microsoft's own Surface RT and Surface Pro hybrid tablets, despite the hype the company built around them, debuted to middling critical receptions at best. Maligned for being neither great laptops nor great tablets, the devices have seen weak sales considering the marketing push behind them.

The Journal quotes Asus CEO Jerry Shen as saying that Microsoft is taking steps to stimulate demand for Windows 8 devices, though Shen would not elaborate on what such steps might include. Shen did say, though, that Microsoft's efforts will be aimed at helping Asus produce more mainstream-priced touchscreen Windows 8 devices in the third and fourth quarter of this year.

Meanwhile, German publication heise online claims (via Engadget) that Samsung will stop selling its Windows RT-based Ativ Tab in Germany, due to weak demand. Samsung already confirmed in January that it would not be launching Windows RT tablets in the United States, with an executive pointing to "modest" demand for the stripped-down ARM Windows.
post #2 of 49
Steve Ballmer should have seen this failure coming. Everyone else could. He is drinking too much of his own Kool-aid.

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post #3 of 49

Double-Down on advertising. Yea!

Life is too short to drink bad coffee.

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Life is too short to drink bad coffee.

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post #4 of 49
In addition to small, touch-enabled laptops, I hope they have small, padded baskets you can set behind your desk to catch them when the tumble off.

(Just kidding. I know there are solutions. This is the best I've seen: http://www.logitech.com/en-us/support/ultrathin-keyboard-cover )
post #5 of 49
Windows 8 and Office for $30 for touchscreen devices under 10.8 inches

 

If these are the type of restrictions they're using, they deserve the unimaginable failure that is about to befall them.

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone] exists, it doesn’t deserve to.
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Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone] exists, it doesn’t deserve to.
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post #6 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Windows 8 and Office for $30 for touchscreen devices under 10.8 inches

 

If these are the type of restrictions they're using, they deserve the unimaginable failure that is about to befall them.

 

Those discounts only apply for months with 'R' in them...

 

2, 4, 6, 8... Who do we appreciate?  Rah! Rah Rah!...  Windooooose 8!...  Nowhere!

 

3, 6, 9, 12... Who do we like as much as ourself?  Rah! Rah Rah!...  iPad, iPad, iPad!

"Swift generally gets you to the right way much quicker." - auxio -
"He who laughs, lasts!" - Mary Pettibone Poole -
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"Swift generally gets you to the right way much quicker." - auxio -
"He who laughs, lasts!" - Mary Pettibone Poole -
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post #7 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

If these are the type of restrictions they're using, they deserve the unimaginable failure that is about to befall them.

I'm not sure I get you. But if you hint at different price points for the same app for different screen sizes then maybe someone could explain to me why exactly apps for iOS/Mac scale with screen size (from iPhone to iPad to Mac, that is). Never understood that one.
Yeah, well, you know, that's just, like, my opinion, man.
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Yeah, well, you know, that's just, like, my opinion, man.
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post #8 of 49

I just hope that the billion dollar ad campaign money is soon used up, because I'm getting mighty tired of seeing those ridiculous commercials whenever I'm watching a series on TV that I follow (like the Walking Dead). The money has got to be used up soon right?

 

These Windows hybrid/frankenstein contraptions were doomed to fail from the start. Many people saw this coming.

post #9 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

Double-Down on advertising. Yea!

$1 billion for break dancing actors? Bring back Seinfeld and Gates.

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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post #10 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by WonkoTheSane View Post

I'm not sure I get you. But if you hint at different price points for the same app for different screen sizes then maybe someone could explain to me why exactly apps for iOS/Mac scale with screen size (from iPhone to iPad to Mac, that is). Never understood that one.

 

I think what MS is doing is discounting the software to the OEMs for lower cost 'tab books' but not as much for the larger premium models. The software is the same.

Life is too short to drink bad coffee.

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Life is too short to drink bad coffee.

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post #11 of 49
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post
$1 billion for break dancing actors? Bring back Seinfeld and Gates.

 

See, that never worked. Jerry had whatever model of Mac was newest in his apartment for nine years. People don't just forget that.

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone] exists, it doesn’t deserve to.
Reply

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone] exists, it doesn’t deserve to.
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post #12 of 49

When MS are willing to sell me the current Mac Office for $30;   I'll buy it to supplement  Open Office.

Come on MS, that's better than NOTHING!
 

post #13 of 49
The sad part is windows is actually close to making something great. One of the major problems IMO is that to many people are making decisions at a high up level. They best start working to fix the holes in windows 8's aprouch or the bell l will soon tole for windows.
post #14 of 49
Quote:
...with a soft economy keeping consumers tied to their current, Windows 7-running PCs or opting for mobile devices running Android or iOS.

Yet, Apple keeps selling more iPods the soft economy. Could it be that the public is overwhelmingly REJECTING the Surface products?

I know, instead of showing adverts demonstrating what you can do; how about some more dancing? Nothing sells a product like some dance numbers .... especially a product that has nothing to do with dancing at all.
post #15 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post

I'm getting mighty tired of seeing those ridiculous commercials whenever I'm watching a series on TV that I follow (like the Walking Dead).

 

Microsoft just need to customise their ads more to the programs they're being advertised during:

 

Windows 8

The operating system for people with no...

post #16 of 49
I'm a tech guy. I have met no one that like Windows 8. I've even been paid to downgrade peoples new laptops from Windows 8 to Windows 7. Microsoft can't see outside of Ballmer's bubble.

If Microsoft is going to survive, they need to get rid of Ballmer and promote the XBox division.
post #17 of 49

Does a $90 price break entice consumers to pick up a Windows 8 device?  Or, is the thinking that manufacturers will keep prices the same, but add $90 of enhancements?

post #18 of 49
MS scores another lost. Can't say We're surprised.
post #19 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by bdkennedy1 View Post

I'm a tech guy. I have met no one that like Windows 8. I've even been paid to downgrade peoples new laptops from Windows 8 to Windows 7. Microsoft can't see outside of Ballmer's bubble...
 
I've been using W8 at work for the better part of two months as part of a pilot program, and I have to admit that it's growing on me.  I'm not using a touch-enabled PC, but the OS stays out of your way and does seem pretty quick.  I'm using it with Office 2013, which took longer to get used to that the OS.  Now that I have, I do like the fact that I can hide all of the toolbars and menus (a la iAWriter) and just write.  To MS's credit, this version seems to be less needy, and doesn't require as much in the way of administration.  It actually is a decent OS, but I'm afraid that they were just too darn late to the party.
 
post #20 of 49
Microsoft in the OS arena has always gone for cheap copies. Windows 8 is no exception. They can't sell OSes because they're the best, only because they're the cheapest and available on cheap clones.

This is in contrast with one of the greatest classics of personal computing: Excel, which incidentally was available on Mac long before it came to the PC.
post #21 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post

I just hope that the billion dollar ad campaign money is soon used up, because I'm getting mighty tired of seeing those ridiculous commercials whenever I'm watching a series on TV that I follow (like the Walking Dead). The money has got to be used up soon right?

You didn't like the little girl who is rescued from boredom by Fresh Paint on her Windows 8 PC?

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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post #22 of 49

Wouldn't it make sense to spend the billion dollars to do the one thing I think everyone would agree might promote sales - reducing the price well below the iPad? I'm not convinced Windows 8 Tablets are great, but they wouldn't need to be if they were $100+ less than the equivalent iPad. The "advertising" would be people walking around using them, and others going "wow - what's that".

 

Of course this theory only really works if at least some people are impressed when they see the tablet in real world use.
 

post #23 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post

I just hope that the billion dollar ad campaign money is soon used up, because I'm getting mighty tired of seeing those ridiculous commercials whenever I'm watching a series on TV that I follow (like the Walking Dead). The money has got to be used up soon right?

 

These Windows hybrid/frankenstein contraptions were doomed to fail from the start. Many people saw this coming.

 

Tivo/DVR is your friend... fast forward... :)

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by bdkennedy1 View Post

I'm a tech guy. I have met no one that like Windows 8. I've even been paid to downgrade peoples new laptops from Windows 8 to Windows 7. Microsoft can't see outside of Ballmer's bubble.

If Microsoft is going to survive, they need to get rid of Ballmer and promote the XBox division.

I am with you on that.  Been IT for over nearly 2 decades.  And even I hate win8... Had one of my lawyers take back his PC and went and got a MAC, he hated it that much only after 3 day's.  Also, Stardock does make a nice little program that puts the start button back with it's old win7 menu.  Major item to make it bareable to work on 8 when you have to.  Just sayin...

 

Topic - And who did not see this coming?  Well besides them?  I mean it was not rocket science, hell it was not even checkers, and the still got it wrong.  When you only have ad's that show nothing of the product, it's details, or any other tech spec's, you really expect to sell it?  Your not Apple... oh wait, they actually give you the details, and when they say a 64GB system they really mean 64GBish usable.  

You don't want to make me curmudgeon, you would not like me when I am curmudgeon.  I go all caps, bold, with a 72PT font and green lettering.  

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You don't want to make me curmudgeon, you would not like me when I am curmudgeon.  I go all caps, bold, with a 72PT font and green lettering.  

Reply
post #24 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by nagromme View Post

In addition to small, touch-enabled laptops, I hope they have small, padded baskets you can set behind your desk to catch them when the tumble off.

(Just kidding. I know there are solutions. This is the best I've seen: http://www.logitech.com/en-us/support/ultrathin-keyboard-cover )

Bold-Italics Above: you by chance weren't making reference to the poor soul's experience with MS Customer Service post on ArsTechnica: WinRT Is A Lemon, now would you.
Quote:
Originally Posted by blakecoverett 
I am beyond furious with the customer service I have received over a dropped Surface RT. It was supposed covered by the accidental damage policy but I've been told will not be repaired/replaced without anyone explaining why. I now have a $900 paperweight as a reminder to never buy hardware from Microsoft. I've documented the whole sordid tale here: http://sdrv.ms/14asNkO
Knowing what you are talking about would help you understand why you are so wrong. By "Realistic" - AI Forum Member
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Knowing what you are talking about would help you understand why you are so wrong. By "Realistic" - AI Forum Member
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post #25 of 49
The hardware isn't bad--some better than others, but a thumbs-up for the most part. I think the issue is simply that people don't like (or they hate) Windows 8. Not EVERYBODY, of course. There are the Win fanboys just like the Mac fanboys.

I'd love to see PC Mag run a poll: "So ... after all the hoopla, what do you think of Windows 8?"
post #26 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by HawkBlade View Post

I am with you on that.  Been IT for over nearly 2 decades.  And even I hate win8... Had one of my lawyers take back his PC and went and got a MAC, he hated it that much only after 3 day's.  Also, Stardock does make a nice little program that puts the start button back with it's old win7 menu.  Major item to make it bareable to work on 8 when you have to.  Just sayin...

 

Just spoke with a friend in marketing who has used MS Windows for years, and he echoed the same sentiments.  Bought a laptop preloaded with Win8, WebEx doesn't work for him (not MS' fault, but still a big issue for many), frustrated by the lack of a start menu (finally found Stardock), and is annoyed that he's likely going to have to pay for a downgrade to Win7 in the interim in order to get work done.

 

I simply don't understand why Microsoft foisted the whole 'tile' interface onto people using traditional computers (when it mainly only makes sense on tablets) and didn't give an option to get the old start menu back.  It's a real pain to figure out how to launch applications which don't have a tile associated with them.

 

With Apple, they did bring the iOS style interface to Mac via Launchpad, but they still support the traditional ways to launch apps (using the Dock, desktop shortcuts, or Finder).  I personally prefer the Dock myself.

 
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post #27 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by HawkBlade View Post

 

Tivo/DVR is your friend... fast forward... :)

 

 

The only times that it's hard to fast forward, is when somebody is watching it live.

post #28 of 49
Well Windows Reign is over, and there high prices have been slashed to compete with Apples OS X latest prices yet to get it worth it they would need it about $8(matches with windows $8) vs apple who will kill windows.
post #29 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by bdkennedy1 View Post

I'm a tech guy. I have met no one that like Windows 8. I've even been paid to downgrade peoples new laptops from Windows 8 to Windows 7. Microsoft can't see outside of Ballmer's bubble.

If Microsoft is going to survive, they need to get rid of Ballmer and promote the XBox division.


Hmmmm... Interesting that such a 'tech guy' didn't simply install Pokki, or one of the other Windows 8 UI (start button) options and set it to boot directly into Windows 7 compatibility mode?

 

HINT: It's the Live Tile that looks like a small Windows 7 desktop that's featured on every new Windows 8 device's home screen.

 

My mother-in-law was hesitant to use Windows 8 Modern UI at first, so that's what I did for her until she finally decided that she really liked Windows 8's Modern UI Live Tiles better, especially since her new computer has a touchscreen.

 

Anyway... Windows 8 has proven to be an extremely versatile computing environment, as it's exponentially more capable, versatile, and touch-friendly (read: Future Proof) than anything that has ever come before.

 

To. Each. Their. Own.

"Why iPhone"... Hmmm?
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"Why iPhone"... Hmmm?
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post #30 of 49
Repeat after me Mr. Ballmer: "Firesale". :-)
post #31 of 49

"Microsoft slashes prices & alters tactics"

 

Isn't that Microsoft's mission statement?

post #32 of 49
Originally Posted by blakecoverett 
I am beyond furious with the customer service I have received over a dropped Surface RT. It was supposed covered by the accidental damage policy but I've been told will not be repaired/replaced without anyone explaining why. I now have a $900 paperweight as a reminder to never buy hardware from Microsoft. I've documented the whole sordid tale here: http://sdrv.ms/14asNkO
 
Second time I've seen this referred to today. I'm not sure which is more ridiculous- this guy buying a $150 insurance policy for his Surface _after_ he dropped it and broke the LCD screen, and expecting to get a new unit...
 
or this Microsoft coverage that pretty clearly suggests that he was entitled to one, and their lame response. 
 
MSFT is _such_ a mess these days....
post #33 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaHarder View Post


Hmmmm... Interesting that such a 'tech guy' didn't simply install Pokki, or one of the other Windows 8 UI (start button) options and set it to boot directly into Windows 7 compatibility mode?

 

HINT: It's the Live Tile that looks like a small Windows 7 desktop that's featured on every new Windows 8 device's home screen.

 

I used Windows 8 RTM extensively for a week (to port an app over) and didn't see anything like that.  I did see (and use) the desktop tile a lot.  I also learned that I could use the desktop search option to find all of the hidden applications I needed (not surprisingly, they don't have a live tile for the Command Prompt).  But the option to boot into Windows 7 compatibility mode is certainly not obvious.  Where exactly is that?

 
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post #34 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post

I just hope that the billion dollar ad campaign money is soon used up, because I'm getting mighty tired of seeing those ridiculous commercials whenever I'm watching a series on TV that I follow (like the Walking Dead). The money has got to be used up soon right?

 

These Windows hybrid/frankenstein contraptions were doomed to fail from the start. Many people saw this coming.

WinRT is the walking dead. 

post #35 of 49

I have a recovery plan for Microsoft.....

 

The board needs to listen intently to Balmer and then do the exact opposite of anything he says....

post #36 of 49

Windows 8 is actually what Vista was supposed to be ( Performance and compability features minus the tablet version features). Vista was flawed and Windows 7 was only a patch to fix the Vista issues.

post #37 of 49

I think apple should take over Microsoft...and rename it to fiji apple.

post #38 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by ThePixelDoc View Post

Bold-Italics Above: you by chance weren't making reference to the poor soul's experience with MS Customer Service post on ArsTechnica: WinRT Is A Lemon, now would you.


Wow. That's truly bold "service".
Yeah, well, you know, that's just, like, my opinion, man.
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Yeah, well, you know, that's just, like, my opinion, man.
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post #39 of 49

I'm just happy that MS is failing at this. For my own selfish reasons I hope the company loses tons of money. I paid for Vista as part of a computer purchase. If you've used Vista you probably understand my residual anger towards MS. If MS paid me $200 as an apology I might get over my hatred for them.

 

I've read reviews and watched video reviews of Windows 8. It seems that some people like it. What they all say is that the controls are inconsistent across programs and within the system. Microsoft is killing itself despite the effort to make something wonderful. Good intentions don't equate to good implementation.

 

Long Live LInux!
 

post #40 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaHarder View Post


Hmmmm... Interesting that such a 'tech guy' didn't simply install Pokki, or one of the other Windows 8 UI (start button) options and set it to boot directly into Windows 7 compatibility mode?

HINT: It's the Live Tile that looks like a small Windows 7 desktop that's featured on every new Windows 8 device's home screen.

My mother-in-law was hesitant to use Windows 8 Modern UI at first, so that's what I did for her until she finally decided that she really liked Windows 8's Modern UI Live Tiles better, especially since her new computer has a touchscreen.

Anyway... Windows 8 has proven to be an extremely versatile computing environment, as it's exponentially more capable, versatile, and touch-friendly (read: Future Proof) than anything that has ever come before.

To. Each. Their. Own.
Believe it or not I actually agree with you.
See I'm rational, hopefully this will catch on.
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