Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

XP Starter under the gun

Filed under
Microsoft

The addition of a Spanish-language version this week means that Microsoft is now selling Windows XP Starter Edition, a localized adaptation of the full-fledged operating system, in a half-dozen languages in various emerging markets.

Critics say, however, that the software is still not flexible enough to really meet the needs of developing countries and individuals who live there.

To offer Starter Edition for far less than other versions of Windows XP without hurting its existing business, Microsoft imposed a number of restrictions, such as the fact the program can only open three windows at a time.

"I think someone who has any experience with a PC is going to start hitting the limitations pretty quickly," said Gartner analyst Michael Silver.

That, however, gets at one of the toughest things to figure out about Windows XP Starter Edition--who the target customer is.

Microsoft says the software, which is offered only as part of a budget system, is aimed chiefly at first-time computer users--those who have never really interacted with Windows.

But critics say the people in developing countries most likely to be able to afford a computer--even an affordable one with Starter--are middle-income residents who may well use a PC at work. Such customers may be more computer-savvy and less likely to buy a product with limitations.

"Microsoft will make little progress in the market with this product, as indicated by key PC vendors' adoption plans," Gartner analysts Dion Wiggins and Martin Gilliland wrote in a report.

"Ultimately, Microsoft can't limit the functionality of Windows and successfully fight piracy," Gartner said in its report. "The only real options are to lower the price and maintain functionality."

Some say that Microsoft is missing a key point when it assumes that buyers are willing to make those tradeoffs when buying a computer. Although a $300 PC may seem cheap by U.S. standards, for the customers Microsoft is targeting, such a purchase could represent years of savings.

"If I am saving for months and months and months to buy a PC, and I want it to last for years and years," Gartner's Silver said. "I'm going to have outgrown Starter Edition long before I get rid of that PC."

Full Article.

More in Tux Machines

Red Hat Summit

  • Red Hat Summit Advocates the Power of Participation
    Red Hat hosted its annual Red Hat Summit customer event June 28-30 at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, with a theme of harnessing the power of participation. Once again, the DevNation developer event, which is the successor to JBoss World, was co-located with Red Hat Summit. For JBoss, 2016 is a particularly significant year as it marks 10 years since Red Hat acquired it. At DevNation, Red Hat announced the new JBoss Enterprise Application Platform (EAP) 7 release, providing new cloud-enhanced capabilities for Red Hat's flagship middleware platform. JBoss is now also working to help enable Java for the container era, with the launch of the MicroProfile Project, an effort to optimize enterprise Java for a microservices architecture. Java wasn't the only focus of DevNation this year either, as Microsoft took center stage too, announcing the availability of its .NET Core for Red Hat Enterprise Linux. In this slide show, eWEEK takes a look at some of the highlights of the Red Hat Summit and DevNation 2016 events.
  • How Red Hat is tailoring OpenStack to fit … everyone
    Even though there have been no major changes announced to the OpenStack platform of late, it was still one of the most talked about subjects at this year’s Red Hat Summit. Red Hat plays a significant role in the development of the platform and is very proud of its contribution to the community.
  • New technologies foster an open-source environment
    In 2007, when 3scale, Inc. was founded, some people thought it was crazy to be investing so much time and energy into API. But Steven Willmott, CEO of 3scale, Inc., said that even at that time his team knew that the future was API-driven, and they wanted to help that happen.

Leftovers: Gaming

Servo Night Builds Begin, Linux Packages Coming

The Mozilla developers working on the Servo browser layout engine and the Browser.html HTML-based web UI have kept to their goal of making a tech preview available in June. As of last night, the Servo developers hit their tech preview milestone we've been looking forward to seeing for months. Nightly builds of Servo and Browser.html have begun and they are going to be making available Linux packages shortly. Read more

Android Leftovers