Thursday, September 30

Microsoft Meme - Cheap XP

Microsoft said it would make Windows XP Starter Edition available in India starting early next year at the estimated price US$35, far below the full-priced version of XP, which wholesales to PC makers in the U.S. for closer to $70.

Recenlty in India allmost all the MNC and local brands are offering Linux preloaded on their PCs instead of OEM copies of MS OS. This reduces their desktop prices to 2000-3000 INR and makes the offer look attractive.

Most of the lazy and non-so-enlightened buyers simply remove the linux and call the next door geek to install their favorite flavor of MS Operating System. Here is the link to the report - Desktop Linux a vehicle for pirating Windows . But those who have engineering student or budding programmer at home find it cool to have Linux pre-installed. In India most of the people have PCs at home just because they can have it (afford it) or they really need it (engineering students, budding programmers, freelancers and independant professionals, etc.)

In Mumbai the pirated copies of Windows is openly available in Lamington Road & Fort area. It's not that people are very fond of Microsoft. Most of the people are not aware about the other operating systems and benefits of it. Moreover piracy is so easy in India, nobody wants to invest his time , energy and money in a better alternative.

I am not sure but I think that Microsoft also knows about the wide spread piracy in Asian countries, but piracy also helps Microsoft and I think it would be no shock to me to learn that MS itself might be supporting it to spread the Windows Meme.

Piratcy acts as viral marketing tools or a 'launching pad' in some cases. For example in Music - The dedicated fans of Yanni or Chemical Brothers would religiously buy their every album. But suppose if a Music Company has to lauch a new bimbo who has a big WMD instead of a great voice, what would they do ? The simplest trick would be to spread her pirated album & skin filled pics. Similarly through Piracy Microsoft has actually won the Asian Market. Othwerwise what big difference it would make for a complete starter to start on Linux or Windows or Mac OS.?

Microsoft in India has always squeezed the corporate users to buy more and more licenses and very conviniently ignored small computer institutes and retail pirates. Why ?

There are millions of computer training in institutes who just teach MS Windows & MS Office. If MS is really against piracy there will be just handful of computer training institutes remaining. But MS is not coplaining.

The poeple (students, freshers in the job markets & all others) get trained in Microsoft products on these MS pirated copies and in turn in their offices they prefer MS products. Hence the employers also feel more comfortable in buying Microsoft product. And this cycle goes on.

Earlier in India there were only two types of PC (branded - not assembled) with MS operating systems and with NO operating system. But now the branded PCs are offered with Linux pre-installed.

With pre-installed free linux , some very lazy fellows are not minding to try their hand on the OS and to stay with it and this is bothering Microsoft. And before the Linux PC becomes the market norm, MS wants to counter it with cheap XP so that it can convert some more users to switch to XP.

So the moral of the story is Microsoft utlimatley goes cheap to counter Linux and not the Piracy.