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Ballmer: you can buy Vista and downgrade to XP for free

post #1 of 95
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While Apple is encouraging its install base to upgrade to the latest version of the Mac OS X operating system, a new sales pitch by its Redmond-based rival to the north recommends that customers unhappy with Vista take a step in the opposite direction 'for free.'

Speaking at an event Tuesday in the nation's capital, Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer said his company's licensing policy allows for customers to install the previous generation of Windows should Vista not impress.

"Customers get both," he said. "I don't know how you can do better than getting both."

Baller's comments were in response to a question about whether Microsoft will continue to market retail copies of Windows XP for mainstream PCs beyond its scheduled June 30 expiration.

The Microsoft headman explained that his firm holds no such plans because any customer who wants to purchase XP after June 30 can just as easily buy Vista and trigger its built-in downgrade option.

Earlier this week, the software maker said it would extend the shelf life of XP for installations on "nettops" -- it's term for ultra-low cost desktop systems -- for an undetermined amount of time. That followed an earlier move to continue selling the six-and-a-half year old operating system for ultra portable notebook systems for up to two more years.

InformationWeek's Paul McDougall points out that a number of PC makers, including Dell, already offer business systems that have been "pre-downgraded" from Vista to XP. Though that raises the question, he says, about the accuracy of the sales figures Microsoft has provided for Vista.

"In April, the company said it had sold more than 140 million Vista licenses since the OS became available to the public early last year," he wrote. "But Microsoft did not indicate what percentage of those Vista licenses have been downgraded to XP."

Ballmer egged in Hungary last month.

Ballmer, 52, also told those in attendance at the event Tuesday that he expects to retire from running the world's largest software company within the next "9 or 10 years," at which time the eldest of his three children will be on the way to college.
post #2 of 95
Oh, this will go down in history! If this isn't the beginning of the end for Microsoft, I give up.
post #3 of 95
Talk about a lack of confidence in your own product!
post #4 of 95
Bwahahaha

Our office still won't upgrade to Vista. We can't afford the downtime should something run amiss, which is pretty much bound to happen to at least one installation of Vista. However, I at least applaud Micro for having the option for downgrade (not that they would have much of a choice for the riots that would ensue).
post #5 of 95
heeeeeeee heeeeeeeee heeeeeeeee
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post #6 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Ballmer egged in Hungary last month.

I'm wondering what this has to do with the article, but it was pretty funny nonetheless. If you notice, a bunch of the students have Macs.
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post #7 of 95
I don't think downgrade rights are anything new. I think Windows XP Pro was offered with downgrade rights to Windows 2000 Pro. Maybe the same thing with 2000 to NT 4. I have a notebook computer that had XP Pro and 2000 Pro.
post #8 of 95
But what about those of us who bought systems with XP recently because we knew Vista was crap?
post #9 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by pmjoe View Post

But what about those of us who bought systems with XP recently because we knew Vista was crap?

should have bought a mac?
post #10 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by pmjoe View Post

But what about those of us who bought systems with XP recently because we knew Vista was crap?

What of it? Didn't you get what you wanted?
post #11 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by pmjoe View Post

But what about those of us who bought systems with XP recently because we knew Vista was crap?

You got XP without paying for Vista to get it. Beats a poke in the eye with a sharp stick--except insofar as using Windows at all is a lot like that to begin with!
post #12 of 95
What a marketing scheme.
How much did the pay the guy that came up with this? Where do I send my resume?
post #13 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

take a step in the opposite direction 'for free.'

Sorry Guys, I just couldn't resist - again!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wvsboPUjrGc
OMG here we go again...
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OMG here we go again...
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post #14 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Ballmer, 52, also told those in attendance at the event Tuesday that he expects to retire from running the world's largest software company within the next "9 or 10 years,"...

The real question now is, can Microsoft survive the next 9 or 10 years???

Ten years ago, we had Steve Jobs, Bob Hope and Johnny Cash.  Today we have no Jobs, no Hope and no Cash.

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Ten years ago, we had Steve Jobs, Bob Hope and Johnny Cash.  Today we have no Jobs, no Hope and no Cash.

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post #15 of 95
talk about lipstick on a pig. Can you imagine Jobs pulling that stunt?

"One more thing! Today we bring you the new iPhone. But don't worry, for those who don't like GPS, 3G, and some really bitchin' video conferencing capabilities you can push this reset button on the back of this phone and it will instantly become the generation 1 iPhone."
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post #16 of 95
Quote:
"I don't know how you can do better than getting both."

By getting none?
post #17 of 95
Savoring....savoring....savoring....savoring.... the moment

In our desire to impose form on the world we have lost the capacity to see the form that is there;
and in that lies not liberation but alienation, the cutting off from things as they really are. --...

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In our desire to impose form on the world we have lost the capacity to see the form that is there;
and in that lies not liberation but alienation, the cutting off from things as they really are. --...

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post #18 of 95
This means we're going to have a ton of people in the store wanting to install XP on the Vista machines they just bought, unfortunately, a lot of those machines contain components with Vista Only drivers.
post #19 of 95
Oh, jeez. What a desperate move by Ballmer. He has to be one of the biggest idiots to ever step into the role of CEO.

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Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

 

Get the lowdown on the coming collapse:  http://www.cbo.gov/publication/45010

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post #20 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by roehlstation View Post

This means we're going to have a ton of people in the store wanting to install XP on the Vista machines they just bought, unfortunately, a lot of those machines contain components with Vista Only drivers.

This is so very true!
post #21 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by Galley View Post

Talk about a lack of confidence in your own product!

In spite of Microshaft hyping up Vista to the public, behind closed doors the guys at Redmond, WA also read the reports about Vista. They know businesses are not happy and Vista is a lemon. This is why there is so much talk coming from Steve Ballmer and Bill Gates about Windoze 7 which at the end of the day will be nothing more than Windoze Vista 2nd Edition.

There is no way Steve and Bill can have real confidence in Vista. Windoze 7 so far also fails to impress. If Windoze 7 is also a flop this will truly ring the death knoll for M$.
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Switching From Windows on Nov. 30th 2007
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post #22 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rot'nApple View Post

The real question now is, can Microsoft survive the next 9 or 10 years???


....no.
post #23 of 95
Seems that they forgot to mention that you can only downgrade if you have a system with an OEM copy of Vista.

If you buy Vista, then you cannot downgrade to XP. So, it seems that the way it was worded is essentially a lie. You cannot buy Vista and downgrade to XP. But, you can buy a new computer and downgrade to XP. That's a pretty big difference.
post #24 of 95
For those questioning whether or not MS can survive another 9 or 10 years, the fate is in their hands. I am not a MS fan, but, I will admit that they do have a few decent products. Their main problem is that they spend WAY WAY WAY to much time trying to copy and emulate everyone else. It is known how they will actually spend days, weeks, months, and years sitting around studying everyone else's software programs and OS's and figuring out what they can copy and use. That is this company's biggest problem. They are no longer being innovative. Instead of copying everyone else they need to take that time and develop something of their own that is unique. That is the ONLY way that company will survive. Windows 7 so far is an extremely bloated version of the iPhone OS. It's simply not impressive. Where's the innovation and unique features? And from the video I saw, it was very very clumsy then the user was manipulating pictures etc. I was not impressed. Vista was not ready, and this announcement sadly proves that. Vista was probably another 2 years away from an actual mainstream release, which, in all honesty, is very sad. That means that it would have taken them almost a decade to produce Vista.. and that's way too long. And, I'm not saying this as a fan boy, but a lot of the touted features of Vista are old news and copied from other operating systems, not just Mac OS. This goes back to what I said in the beginning: If MS wants to survive, they need to quit copying and start being innovative. They need to think outside of the box. If they do copy an idea, they need to make it better instead of trying to mimic other's functionality (ex: their side bar is the biggest joke of vista. it's useless and takes up way too much screen space. They tried to mimic the mac os dock and they failed at it, horribly failed).

I for one would love to see Mac OS become the new world standard, but at the same time, competition is good and important for business and I'd also hate to see MS fail and go away. This is a sad announcement for MS... instead of promoting their newest OS, they're promoting their almost a decade old OS, XP...
post #25 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by flyinmac View Post

Seems that they forgot to mention that you can only downgrade if you have a system with an OEM copy of Vista.

If you buy Vista, then you cannot downgrade to XP. So, it seems that the way it was worded is essentially a lie. You cannot buy Vista and downgrade to XP. But, you can buy a new computer and downgrade to XP. That's a pretty big difference.

Not to sound stupid, but don't they imply that? You'd need to have XP at a minimum to upgrade to Vista, as older OS's would have too old of hardware to run Vista. So, a user buying Vista would not need to downgrade to XP for 2 reasons: 1) They'd already have the XP disks that came with their computer, so they'd already have XP 2) If they're buying and upgrading to Vista through purchased disks, they want Vista, that's why they're buying it. So, they're not lying to the customers, you're just not seeing the whole picture.

EDIT: And as for those who build a custom computer themselves, they can either buy Vista or XP to install. And the user base for those that build their own systems is so small that the argument that they can't downgrade to XP is pretty much irrelevant.
post #26 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by timothyjay2004 View Post

They are no longer being innovative. Instead of copying everyone else they need to take that time and develop something of their own that is unique. That is the ONLY way that company will survive.

There are several philosophies/methods of developing product.

(A) Innovate... where you "make changes in something established, esp. by introducing new methods, ideas, or products"

or...
(B) Invent..."create or design (something that has not existed before); be the originator of"

Microsoft and Apple both innovate, but Apple manages to "invent" slightly more than Microsoft, sometimes to their detriment. The advantage of innovating means that you only have to improve something that exists in the marketplace (i.e.: has already been accepted by consumers).

The iPhone was innovative because it combined a number of previously proven ideas/technologies into one product which seemed unique in the marketplace.

Having said all that, it is obviously becoming far more difficult for Apple to invent new products because every technology company is studying their methods... with few blockbuster products to show for it so far.

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post #27 of 95
"it's term" --> "its term"
post #28 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

I don't think downgrade rights are anything new. I think Windows XP Pro was offered with downgrade rights to Windows 2000 Pro. Maybe the same thing with 2000 to NT 4. I have a notebook computer that had XP Pro and 2000 Pro.

I can't recall the exact OS(es) but I think it was NT4 that had earlier versions of Windows on the install CD.
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post #29 of 95
Ballmer looked genuinely furious for a second but managed to keep his cool.
post #30 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rot'nApple View Post

The real question now is, can Microsoft survive the next 9 or 10 years???

Of course they can. Microsoft owns the business market. Name one major corporation that doesn't rely on Exchange servers, Office, Outlook, etc.

And so what if some people dislike Vista? All those "IT professionals," bloggers, etc. make up an extremely vocal minority. The vast majority of Vista users have no issues with it, and this is how it works with every Windows release. Just like when XP came out, it was fine for the vast majority of people, but a few claimed (incorrectly) that 98 was better.
post #31 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

There are several philosophies/methods of developing product.

(A) Innovate... where you "make changes in something established, esp. by introducing new methods, ideas, or products"

or...
(B) Invent..."create or design (something that has not existed before); be the originator of"

Microsoft and Apple both innovate, but Apple manages to "invent" slightly more than Microsoft, sometimes to their detriment. The advantage of innovating means that you only have to improve something that exists in the marketplace (i.e.: has already been accepted by consumers).

The iPhone was innovative because it combined a number of previously proven ideas/technologies into one product which seemed unique in the marketplace.

Having said all that, it is obviously becoming far more difficult for Apple to invent new products because every technology company is studying their methods... with few blockbuster products to show for it so far.

To me, innovative means invent. So when I said to be innovative, I really meant that they need to invent/bring new ideas to the table, which they really haven't done since windows 95.
post #32 of 95
<seinfeld>That's a shame... </seinfeld>

Frankly I feel bad for the PC companies that are stuck with windows. Which brings up the question... Why isn't there more OS options for them other than Linux? Not to diss linux, but I tried to use Ubuntu Studio with no success whatsoever. I would figures the technologically advanced Japan or Europe would have created a better alternative by now. I would have even figured that big companies like Sony or HP would have created a better OS given the fact that windows is such a huge failure and that it devalues their products.

Is it really that hard to create a better OS alt. for PC?
post #33 of 95
..."But some enterprises said wait and see, we don't want to adopt early, but that's over cos of XP, and our eco-system!"

"If they have been waiting, no more hesitating, when they see improvements in productivity, the desktop and mobility, they'll say XP, gotta get me some".

Wow, Microsoft sales team rocks, and they are going to keep on rocking with XP.
post #34 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by pomo View Post

Is it really that hard to create a better OS alt. for PC?

Yes and no. Yes in that it takes a lot of time, man power, and a lot of money if you want to get it right, especially if you are starting from scratch. No in that, some parts of the OS can be cut and paste from other OS's or they can use GNU licensed pieces. Also, there is no guarantee that it will pay off. Case in point, OS/2 by IBM. IBM abandoned it, it wasn't worth the money or time to develop it.
post #35 of 95
This is wrong on so many levels. Show me your CEO and I'll show you your rate of success!

I am so thrilled that I never went to work for them. Here's another area where MSFT clearly 'innovates'

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Y_Jp6PxsSQ

Ouch. Just never ceases to amuze me!

post #36 of 95
I just think a lot of people like Microsoft bashing. I am not a fan of them, they are pathetic. They are arguably the biggest name in technology, but they have innovated and delivered NOTHING worthwhile since the internet boom. They were in the perfect position to be Google, or Yahoo or Facebook or any other of the big companies that have been successful since the boom, but they have basically nothing in this regard, and certainly nothing new or ground breaking.

That said, in my opinion, Vista is WAY better than XP. It is 100 times more secure and even though it annoys me, it has all its security features on by default which should protect all the people out there that don't know what they are doing.

It is slower, no doubt, but what can you expect for the next operating system after 6 years. Go buy a new computer if it's slow, it must be about time anyway.

Many little bugs and annoyances than exist in XP have been fixed in Vista and in my opinion, they really made a great stab at improving what they had.

There are companies that don't want to swap, but that's not because Vista is crap, it's because their sys admins are lazy bastards and don't want to maintain two systems.

As I said in the beginning, I don't like Microsoft. But I think people should give them a bit of slack on this one, and give them some credit. Operating systems is arguably the only thing the company has ever contributed to in terms of innovation and bringing something new to the table.
post #37 of 95
So, a friend of mine has Vista on his laptop, complaining it's slow etc., now where can he download/get XP for free?
I love these promisses "you're gonna have to get XP for free", but I'd love to get some more information about it...

(Yes, Steve has windows-friends too )
post #38 of 95
I know how I can do better than getting both.

Getting neither one.

Anyone that has been following technology over the past 8 months has seen Microsoft backtracking on Vista. Now every company has to go downhill at some point. The problem is that they haven't shown anyone what they can do to correct the problems they are currently having.

They are throwing Windows 7 out there early to draw attention away from Vista, but they haven't shown in any way that Windows 7 will be better than Vista, or even XP. Touch screens.... big whoop. That means nothing to most people.

Microsoft tries to please everyone, and when you do that you wind up sinking in quicksand. They need an OS written from scratch, and unless they are working on it with the utmost in secrecy, Microsoft will keep losing market share for the next 10 years.
post #39 of 95
I have a machine running Vista and it's okay. Not the fastest machine around, but it was pretty much the sweet spot last year (Core 2 Duo 2.4/2gb/nividia 7600). Vista runs fine and I can't complain too much (after turning off the security warning feature). Vista has a heavier feel than Mac OS X and the sidebar thing (it's name escapes me) takes up a chunk of space on smaller monitors. I prefer using my Mac now because I've gotten used to the keyboard short cuts and prefer the stronger unix command line. In addition I'm using Mac only software (Aperture).

Companies are reluctant to switch for a number of reasons, my company has a couple thousand pentium 4 machines with 512mb of ram. They get by with XP, but Vista wouldn't run well at all. Once you upgrade the people with the newer computers, everyone else wants a Vista computer. And it always turns out the people that don't want the new OS are the ones with the new computers.

Many people get set in their ways and don't want to have to learn the new interface features. It's a huge cost to train a thousand users on a new OS when the current one works fine, a huge cost if you don't have training and your users become less productive while they're learning.

The operating system doesn't really make you productive, it's the applications you use. Try it sometime, load up DOS in a VM...unless you have some app to run, it's pretty boring. Even OS X, take away your network connection and bring up a clean install of OS X and unless you're into writing with TextEdit and keeping a calendar, not much to do.

Microsoft has a recent habit of making dramatic changes to the user interface. Vista does a number on the Windows users, but check out the new Office for Windows, a lot of feet dragging going on there. Is the new Office interface more productive? Maybe, but it's a steep learning curve for those that don't do well with change. There are some hidden gems though, Excel handles vastly larger worksheets.

Think Apple can do no wrong? Remember that every time Mail.app changes people are upset. Remember the MacOS 9 to OS X transition? People complain about everything new and different, change might be good, but humans aren't so good at accepting it.
post #40 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by bdkennedy1 View Post

Microsoft tries to please everyone, and when you do that you wind up sinking in quicksand. They need an OS written from scratch, and unless they are working on it with the utmost in secrecy, Microsoft will keep losing market share for the next 10 years.

Trying to be everything to everyone is certainly stretching them pretty badly.

Microsoft is always concerned with backwards compatibility. You can run a DOS program from 1988 on a brand new Vista computer. Windows APIs from the the start all work.

Microsoft gives away VirtualPC. What they need to do is build WindowsLite and package it up with VirtualPC and ship it in Windows7 or probably for them Windows 8 or 9. Start clean and strip out everything but the win32/win64 apis (most modern apps should still run). If an app needs to run with Windows3.1 apis or is a DOS app it can be run in "WindowsLite."

I agree they need to start fresh, but they can't succeed without application support. They would extend support for the old OS because of customer demand and inadvertently kill the new OS in doing so, hurting the developers that took the jump.
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