Microsoft: The Baskin-Robbins of OS Manufacturers - Macenstein

Microsoft: The Baskin-Robbins of OS Manufacturers

Posted by iGor

In a sign that they have once again over-estimated their customer’s understanding of computers, Microsoft has announced they will be shipping no fewer than 6 different flavors of their upcoming Windows Vista operating system. Sometime before the end of the year, PC users will be able to choose from: Vista Home Basic, Vista Home Premium, Vista Ultimate, Vista Business, Vista Enterprise edition, and Vista Starter edition for “emerging markets�.

Basically, these 6 flavors of Vista fall into 2 categories, Home and Business. The business versions consist of Vista Business, and Vista Enterprise. Vista Business is what most companies are supposed to buy because it has the word Business in the title. Vista Enterprise contains all the professional sounding goodness of Vista Business, but it adds the ability to allow users to spend more money on Software Assurance contracts and an Enterprise Agreement.

The home versions start out with the higher end Vista Premium, and then Microsoft offers cheaper variations with crippled features At the lowest end, the Vista Home Basic will have none of the OS X-inspired “Glass� visual effects, and will not have the music and media capabilities either. Home Basic seems to be geared towards people who want to impress visitors to their home by saying they HAVE a computer, but do not actually want to be bothered with DOING anything on it.

Vista Ultimate takes all the best from the Business and Home Premium packages, and blends them into an OS that sounds like it cannot be beaten. After all, what could be better than “Utlimate�? On the other hand, Vista Starter edition sounds like it might just contain an empty box.

For its part, Apple has never sought to offer dumbed down niche-OSes. The version of OS X you run at home is the one someone at Pixar would use (if they used OS X). Mac OS X Server is the only other flavor of OS Apple offers, and that contains specific features only IT professionals would even want to touch, sort of like Magic Shell.

So, following the ice cream analogy, is it better for an Ice Cream maker to offer just one flavor of ice cream that just about everyone likes, like say, Chocolate Chip (for $123)? Or is it better to offer 6 flavors for customers to choose from, containing such favorites as flounder pie ($310) and raspberry ketchup ($209)?

Time will tell.

One Response to “Microsoft: The Baskin-Robbins of OS Manufacturers”
  1. Tom Carvel says:

    Man, I used to LOVE Magic Shell.

    I tried some recently though, and it was horrible. I don’t know whther they changed the recipe or it was just my selective memory, but man, what a let down!

    I would equate Windows Vista as the Cookie O’Puss bastard cousinknock off to Apple’s Cookie Puss OS X, an original.

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