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No Excuse Now: Windows Mobile 6 Upgrades Are Free

Microsoft has announced, that in order to put no obstacle in the path of device makers offering upgrades to Windows Mobile 6, upgrades will be 100% free. That means that the only expense to device makers who want to bring Windows Mobile 6 to their current WinMo customers will be testing and deployment costs, which can easily be made up with a small fee, as well as all the happy customers staying on past their contracts.

So, T-Mobile, we’re waiting on official word. What’s the deal, you gonna man up or not?

March 6th, 2007 Posted by Nathan Weinberg | Windows Mobile, General | 11 comments

I Thought Ultimate Was Supposed To Be Super?

Joe Wilcox found something interesting in Microsoft’s product support cycle pages: Windows Vista Ultimate has the same support cycle as Windows Vista Home Premium.

See, the way it works in Microsoft-land is that consumer, hardware and multimedia products are on one support tier, and business and developer software is on a seperate tier. In the first, products get five years of mainstream support followed by eight years of web help, while in the second, products get the same first five years, plus five more years of extended support, plus ten years of web help.

Now, Vista Ultimate is described as a superset of both the Vista Home and Vista Business product lines, encompassing all the features of Windows Vista Enterprise and Windows Vista Home Premium. Presumably, it would inherit the product support of both its parents, thus going with the longer support cycle of the Business tree, but you’d be presuming wrong.

This creates a whole new problem for owners of Vista Business: To upgrade Business to get Media Center, you have to purchase an Anytime Upgrade to Vista Ultimate, since Vista Home Premium is a downgrade (or wacky retrograde, or something). Do that, and you slash your product support in half, while spending money to do so!

There’s only one reasonable explanation: Microsoft doesn’t want to support the Home Premium features past their normal due date, and is viewing the entire Ultimate product by its shortest cycle. This makes sense, because if you want to end Vista Media Center support on 4/10/2012, you can’t keep supporting the same software in Ultimate, which few people will pick up.

The solution is a compromise, a dual headed support cycle for Microsoft’s uniquely dual-headed operating system. Give Vista Ultimate two tiers of support, 5 years for consumer features, and 5+5/10 years for enterprise features. Don’t make people suffer for giving you more money!

In the UK, Brits are angry that Windows Vista is far more expensive than in the U.S.. Windows Vista Home Premium, which carries an MSRP of $159 in the States, is £129.48 in the UK, coming out to $254.53. Microsoft offers no explanation for the huge gap, although most all products are more expensive in Britain than America, just not by so large a margin. For example, a $600 Mac Mini is $778.61 in England.

Talking about pricing, Robert McLaws has done a study of basically every single version ever of Windows, and determined that based on inflation, Windows has gone down in price for the most part for more than a decade. Useful info next time you get into an arguement.
(via Long)

Here’s a video featuring everything you get with Vista Ultimate, also via Long:

Oh, and the U.S. Department of Transportation has banned Windows Vista, Internet Explorer 7, and Office 2007 from their systems until there is a compelling reason to upgrade. Hope they still plan on getting it with new PCs…

March 6th, 2007 Posted by Nathan Weinberg | Vista, Windows, General | no comments

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Microsoft Looking At TellMe, Keeps Facebook

TechCrunch reported last week that Microsoft was in aquisition talks with TellMe, a company with an excellent (and profitable) phone voice recognition service. The easiest way to see what TellMe does: Call 1-800-555-TELL. I love TellMe, usually using it for sports scores, and am glad to hear they are in no danger of going away (”two years ago they were generating a reported $100 million plus in revenue”), but would be even happier if they wound up at Microsoft.

In other news, Microsoft extended its deal with Facebook for three extra years. The previous deal gave Microsoft the task of generating ad revenue for Facebook, to the tune of $200 million through 2008, and with Facebook set to bank $100 million this year, the deal was extended through 2011. Hopefully they increased the amount of the buyout parachute a little in the new deal.

March 6th, 2007 Posted by Nathan Weinberg | Corporate, General | no comments

Digg Adds Microsoft Section

Digg, the enormously popular social news site, has added a section on Microsoft news, after many requests by its users. The section seems to be doing pretty well already, with some very popular stories, but when story number one is “Vista cracked” and story number two is “Story number one a hoax“, you know there’s a ways to go. Up next: A Google sections, perhaps?
(via Channel 9)

March 6th, 2007 Posted by Nathan Weinberg | General | no comments