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Windows Live Coming Bundled With Lenovo PCs

Microsoft has scored the first manufacturer bundle for Windows Live programs and services, coming to a deal (usually involving a substantial sum of money) with Lenovo, the Chinese manufacturer that produces IBM PCs. Lenovo, which is the third-largest worldwide manufacturer of PCs, will bundle with new systems the Windows Live toolbar and default to Windows Live Search and for the browser defaults. Currently, Google has a billion-dollar-deal with Dell for similar bundling.

I’m no fan of these bundling deals, especially Google’s Dell deal. My brother got a new Dell laptop, and it came preinstalled with Google Desktop, the Google Toolbar, and defaulted to a Dell-branded Google homepage, and it only made the customer experience worse. He wound up with two sidebars, the Windows Sidebar and the Google Desktop Sidebar, and two desktop search products indexing the computer.

Google is free to design alternatives to features that come bundled with Windows VIsta, but to pre-load those features on computers is ridiculous. Duplication of features is a waste of system resources and confusing to the average user, and benefits no one. At least Microsoft just bundles a toolbar, which is nothing for most people, and can be disabled entirely with a right-click.

Microsoft is also doing a program where it offers free service and product credits to companies that push use of Windows Live Search among their employees. Companies can get something like $2-10 per computer annually, and a $25,000 enrollment benefit.


Here’s a smart position that is hard for some pundits to understand: Microsoft doesn’t want you to pirate their software, or any software, but if you are going to pirate software, they’d rather you pirated Windows. It makes perfect sense, since pirated tend to become customers as they gain more money and feel guilty, so Microsoft knows exactly what it is doing when Windows Vista ships with “workarounds” that allow you to use the operating system, for free, for an entire year.

Long Zheng found this very cool animation designed to introduce Windows Vista. I’d love it if this were available to show when my computer booted up (and if someone can explain how I can do that, like with a Stardock tool, let me know. I hope Long doesn’t mind me embeding his Quicktime file:

March 21st, 2007 Posted by Nathan Weinberg | Live, Vista, Windows, General | no comments

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