Microsoft is cutting the price on its Vista between 20% and 40% from its price as of the beginning of this year. While most copies of Windows aren't sold via the retail channel, Microsoft is apparently hoping to reduce the disparity between hardware costs and its software. When you can buy a new PC for $400, it hardly makes sense to drop another $400 for an increasingly irrelevant operating system. (All operating systems, not just Windows, in terms of perceived customer value.)
In the next two weeks, observers of the Microsoft-Yahoo courtship will get a telling signal as to whether it's headed for a shotgun marriage or a friendly embrace.
Yahoo has the option of extending the March 14 deadline for shareholders to nominate an opposition slate of directors for its next annual shareholder meeting, though it is expected to maintain a hard deadline.
"It's unlikely but not out of the realm of possibility to extend the date to nominate directors," said Bruce Goldfarb, chief executive of proxy solicitation firm Okapi Partners. "I don't see the … Read more
Microsoft's chief environmental strategist, Robert Bernard, spoke publicly for one of the first times this week, giving some insight into Microsoft's "green" strategy.
Bernard was named to the position about four months ago after working with Microsoft for 10 years on partnerships with other IT companies.
While other IT companies have launched "green IT" initiatives, Microsoft has been relatively quiet.
For example, IBM's Big Green Innovations, launched last year, is focused on data center energy efficiency but also includes consulting activities, such as advising companies on how to reduce carbon emissions within their … Read more
Ever since Microsoft released Vista to the masses, most people knew just how bad the operating system was. Instead of offering the kind of functionality already found on Linux or Mac OS X and the stability that we had come to welcome in XP, Vista was nothing more than a beta release on day one, and very few improvements have been made to change that.
To make matters worse, most companies and individuals are more than happy to keep XP running, and even Apple has been able to capitalize somewhat on the issues people have had with Microsoft's latest operating system.
Obviously realizing that there is some trouble afoot, Microsoft on Thursday announced price cuts on its most expensive versions of Vista and said those discounts will range from 20 percent to 48 percent. Ironically, those discounts are designed to coincide with the release of Vista Service Pack 1, which according to Microsoft, will usher in a slew of security fixes and improvements that should make the Vista experience much better.
And while I applaud Microsoft for finally dropping the price on its ill-fated software, the price drop looks more like a PR move than something that will have an impact on consumers and, most importantly, shows just how much trouble this company is in with Windows.… Read more
Time was when Microsoft inspired dread in the tech industry. With a few exceptions, most rivals and partners did their best not to get on Bill Gates' bad side.
So why did Microsoft agree to a two-tiered Vista upgrade program that its managers knew was a mistake? The trove of e-mails released in connection with a pending class action lawsuit paint a Microsoft strangely unwilling to stand up to pushy Wintel partner Intel.
Check out these juicy passages highlighted by Todd Bishop at The Seattle Post-Intelligencer:
"We are caving to Intel," wrote Microsoft's Mike Ybarra in a … Read more
In what may be an unprecedented decision, Microsoft said Thursday that it plans to lower the retail prices for several flavors of Windows Vista.
For those in the U.S., Microsoft is cutting prices only on the higher-end versions of Vista, and only for the upgrade version used to move from XP or another copy of Vista. The suggested price for Vista Ultimate drops to $219 from $299, while Home Premium falls to $129, from $159.
Other developed markets will also see price cuts, while in emerging markets, Microsoft is eliminating the distinction between full and upgrade versions of Home … Read more
On February 28, Microsoft started to distribute Service Pack 3 for Office 2003 via Microsoft Update. As I noted earlier, it's safer to avoid new software, including new bug fixes and new service packs (a big collection of bug fixes).
In the current issue* of the Windows Secrets newsletter, Susan Bradley points out a problem with service packs for Microsoft Office: there is no undo. If, for example, Service Pack 3 causes a problem, you can't roll back to Service Pack 2; instead, you have to uninstall Office 2003 and reinstall it.
In light of all this, I … Read more
We updated this blog at 6:25 p.m. PST after Microsoft released a statement.
As far back as 2005, Microsoft executives knew that confusing hardware requirements for the Windows Vista Capable program might get them in trouble. But they did it anyway--over the objection of PC makers--at the behest of Intel, according to e-mails released as part of a class-action lawsuit pending against Microsoft.
In early 2006, Intel's Renee James, vice president and general manager of Intel's software and solutions group, was able to prevail on Microsoft's Will Poole to change the proposed requirements for Microsoft'… Read more
As happens every year or so, some juicy Microsoft e-mails have surfaced as part of litigation that the software maker is party to.
In this case, Microsoft is being sued over a program in 2006 that labeled some PCs as Windows Vista Capable ahead of the operating system's mainstream release in January 2007. As part of the discovery process, a number of e-mails have emerged with Microsoft executives discussing various problems with Vista as it came to market.
In one e-mail, Steven Sinofsky writes to Steve Ballmer that three factors were to blame for early Vista challenges.
First off, … Read more
The hullaballoo that attends every Google product debut triggers the predictable bloviation fest one normally associates with market-moving news. But much of the commentary about the debut of the revamped JotSpot technology misses the more interesting story.
Sure, the announcement is intriguing. But it's not because we're talking about Jotspot (or Google Sites, as the service was rechristened). I don't want to suck up too much to my cubicle mate Dan Farber (well, maybe just a little), but he's right about this being a show.
Outside of a fanatic few, how many computer users really will … Read more