The Problem with Bundling

On Friday I spoke with two product executives from a major OEM about some forthcoming new PCs and notebooks. During the conversation, I asked about their Windows Media Center strategy. The OEM no longer has one, and Vista integration is the reason. The response is surprising, because Media Center integration into Vista was supposed to benefit Microsoft, its customers and partners. But that's not how this OEM sees it. Reasoning: The discreet SKU's disappearance makes Media Center differentiation more difficult among OEMs, so there is no real competitive advantage. The product executives expressed concern that Media Center promotion for the OEM's products might benefit competitors.

The conversation was a broad indictment of Microsoft's whole Vista SKU strategy. Rather than differentiate products around Vista SKUs, the OEM has instead returned to emphasizing performance metrics and made product design a greater priority. That's opposite the intention of Microsoft's Vista SKU strategy, which was supposed to encourage greater differentiation around operating system capabilities.

View: The full story @ MS-Watch

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8 Comments

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I would like an OS without all the bloat. I don't want any media center, UAC, search, WGA, IE, WMP, Xbox Live, the non-existent Ultimate Extras, and all the other junk that comes with Vista.

If MS is trying to sell Vista based on features, they sure picked some lame "features"! On top of that, they treat everyone like a criminal. I'm sick of all this activation crap, worrying about Vista deactivating if I so much as sneeze on it, and typing in serial numbers.

Don't defend MS's mistakes. Make them do better! It's not like we have an alternative (yet).

toadeater said,
It's not like we have an alternative (yet).

We do. It's called OS X.

And if MS is committing so many mistakes, why do you *still* stick around and settle for less? If anything, you and all other disgruntled Windows users like you are simply encouraging their mediocrity. You deserve it, really.

toadeater said,
I would like an OS without all the bloat. I don't want any media center, UAC, search, WGA, IE, WMP, Xbox Live, the non-existent Ultimate Extras, and all the other junk that comes with Vista.

If MS is trying to sell Vista based on features, they sure picked some lame "features"! On top of that, they treat everyone like a criminal. I'm sick of all this activation crap, worrying about Vista deactivating if I so much as sneeze on it, and typing in serial numbers.

Don't defend MS's mistakes. Make them do better! It's not like we have an alternative (yet).

I made a vlite vista install and it went from 8 gigabytes to 2 gigabytes. This made it much easier to image with Acronis and fit much better on the 21 gigabyte partition I already had.

http://www.vlite.net

Home Premium is the only version I recommend for home users.

Business edition is for office workers who really don't need media center.

Basic is utterly useless. Cheaper? I'm not that sure. So Home Premium for consumer machines. Business is clearly the professional, no-bull**** edition. Enterprise is only sold to SA partners anyway, And Ultimate combines both.

So, To consumers, You promote either Home Premium or Ultimate, Business\Ultimate for Small Businesses, And Enterprise\Ultimate for big corporations. It's not all that confusing, really. You either have your just-right edition, or the highest possible combination of features. Considering most people optioned out of Ultimate, You clearly shouldn't have a problem choosing.

Microsoft bundles tablet and media center features with Vista outside of special seperate editions for those two features, which is a marked improvement over XP.