Early Adopters

By Peter Galli  |  Posted 2008-02-28 Print this article Print


Most people buying retail versions of Vista until now primarily have been early adopters or those building their own machines, Brooks said.

Having experimented with lowering the prices on different versions of Vista in different markets, Microsoft believes there is an "opportunity to expand Windows' reach to other segments of the consumer market over the long term," he said.

Emerging markets will see the "full and upgrade Home Basic and Home Premium versions combined into full versions of these editions," along with price changes that Brooks said will "meet the demand we see among first-time Windows customers who want more functionality than is available in current Windows XP editions."

For example, the retail price of Vista Home Premium drops 41 percent to 1,700 South African rand ($224) from 2,912 rand ($384) previously.

But, despite its upbeat stance on Vista, Microsoft was forced last September to give its OEM and retail partners an extra five months in which to continue offering Windows XP on new machines-until June 30, 2008-after receiving complaints that customers were not ready to switch to Vista.

Some analysts have said that the upcoming release of Windows XP SP3 will also slow adoption of the new operating system.

In fact, to Rob Enderle, principal analyst at the Enderle Group, consumers view Vista as "a flawed, incomplete product, containing things they didn't want and nothing they did want, at an excessive price. Fixing that will be really tough." 

But Microsoft's Brooks said the decision to alter some prices on stand-alone retail editions is "only impacting a small segment of the overall Windows market. But we think it's important in order to continue growing our consumer business," he said.



Peter Galli has been a financial/technology reporter for 12 years at leading publications in South Africa, the UK and the US. He has been Investment Editor of South Africa's Business Day Newspaper, the sister publication of the Financial Times of London.

He was also Group Financial Communications Manager for First National Bank, the second largest banking group in South Africa before moving on to become Executive News Editor of Business Report, the largest daily financial newspaper in South Africa, owned by the global Independent Newspapers group.

He was responsible for a national reporting team of 20 based in four bureaus. He also edited and contributed to its weekly technology page, and launched a financial and technology radio service supplying daily news bulletins to the national broadcaster, the South African Broadcasting Corporation, which were then distributed to some 50 radio stations across the country.

He was then transferred to San Francisco as Business Report's U.S. Correspondent to cover Silicon Valley, trade and finance between the US, Europe and emerging markets like South Africa. After serving that role for more than two years, he joined eWeek as a Senior Editor, covering software platforms in August 2000.

He has comprehensively covered Microsoft and its Windows and .Net platforms, as well as the many legal challenges it has faced. He has also focused on Sun Microsystems and its Solaris operating environment, Java and Unix offerings. He covers developments in the open source community, particularly around the Linux kernel and the effects it will have on the enterprise.

He has written extensively about new products for the Linux and Unix platforms, the development of open standards and critically looked at the potential Linux has to offer an alternative operating system and platform to Windows, .Net and Unix-based solutions like Solaris.

His interviews with senior industry executives include Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, Linus Torvalds, the original developer of the Linux operating system, Sun CEO Scot McNealy, and Bill Zeitler, a senior vice president at IBM.

For numerous examples of his writing you can search under his name at the eWEEK Website at www.eweek.com.


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