(My attempt at writing a tabloid headline.)
A Very Interesting Microsoft event just occurred. Microsoft is offering at a deep discount and through direct retail sale their FUTURE mainstay product. Since I deliberately avoid paying attention to Microsoft outside of office hours, I don't remember if they've ever done that before. Not quite a going-out-of-business sale but certainly one that ought to p.o. a number of the big computer manufacturers.
They aren't doing it in a small way either. Microsoft.com has the announcement taking up about a third of the top of the page. The expiration date of the deal though is only found in the small print on another page detailing pre-sales.
Win 7 Home at $49 US is a loss-leader for sure. It will cover the price to the OEMs, shipping & handling and their margin whatever it is. That is going to eat into Visaster sales between now and past Opening Day sales for DELL, HP etc. My guess is that Microsoft has already covered their backside with the major OEMs by offering to pay them part of the take of the pre-sales. I would suggest they do it as an apportioned measure of the opening week's worth of sales. (Since I'm offering free business advice! Ha!) By the end of the first week everybody will have forgotten the pre-sales.
Offering to hand out copies of Win7 to purchasers of new Visaster equipped systems is also part of this deal.
Why buy a new computer if you can put the deeply discounted Win 7 DVD on your old Visaster hardware? This deal though only appeals to power users, geeks and tech-savvy early adopters. (Was that redundant?)
Maybe they think they can generate some pre-opening chatter especially from the ones who down-loaded the RC.
I think Microsoft is running a little scared. They want to jazz the numbers with the pre-sales counts added to the numbers for the opening day stats like a movie opening up on a weekend. In fact Oct 22 is a Thursday, the traditional Movie Opening day in the US.
In some ways I feel like Microsoft is trying to do everything it can to erase the bad ju-ju they got with Visaster. Maybe this time they won't need to run those idiotic "Mojave" and Seinfeld ads! If we get lucky, maybe the ads will be even worse!
Ran across an ad on Office Depot's website selling Win 7. Looks like they've pulled out all the stops and the marketing is going full blast. Amazon, Office Max and practically everybody is selling Win 7.