Microsoft onto catchup game with $3 offer

Just around the time you think that always on Internet connections and Web20 apps have been able to rankle Microsoft, the software giant comes with a low ball offer to get to people beyond the developed nations. The offer in this case is – stripped-down version of Windows called Windows XP Starter Edition, a consumer version of Office and an email client selling for $3 thanks to Microsoft. Why? Microsoft wants to introduce another billion users to computers by 2015. All I can say, a nice move from Microsoft. As if companies were not having enough trouble getting people hooked off Microsoft products in US/Europe, get more people onto the OS before Linux makes inroads into developing countries.

Still why would an ordinary users really need Microsoft OS in times when mobile devices are getting powerful, WiMax is going to hit almost everywhere(India, China for sure), and most of the basic apps are already available for free via the browser. Just look at India where 400 million people are supposed to mobiles next year. Majority of them don’t have and don’t need a PC. Mobile with a browser and data connection would be good enough for most of them. Why would anyone pay for a machine that they need to tug along, as compared one that nicely fits in their pocket.

As for few justifications for the program, Microsoft claims that 400,000 engineering students graduate college every year in India, but only 100,000 of them find jobs. So they want to get out there and help out this crowd. Great idea. But does Microsoft really understand the fact that only reason people don’t buy computers in India, or for that matter any developing country, is that the hardware is costly. OS is one thing that people never really learned to pay for. Would the $3 offer make them go legit? I am not sure, but would be a good experiment.

Everything aside, my question is who is going to compensate for this $3 offer. For sure we the consumers who pay full prices for Vista, and XBox, and Zune, and Windows Mobile, and…….. If till date this kind of pricing was not possible for us, why now? So, all they are telling us know is that the $150 we paid for XP few years back is now worth $3. Oh well. How about Vista for $10 right now?

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One Response to “Microsoft onto catchup game with $3 offer”

  1. ML Says:

    Discounted commercial software is a threat to fair trade in the labor market. This %u201Cgiveaway%u201D and the continued discounts to the %u201Cemerging nations%u201D in part is an effort to maintain and expand the pool of low cost offshore labor. Far from a charitable act, it is a loosely disguised marketing program to preserve Microsoft%u2019s dominant position. It does so in a manner that discriminates against the population of developed nations and tampers with fair trade and fair competition. Where are the discounts for the poor in developed nations? They don’t exist and it’s not an oversight.

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