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Author Topic: Time to kill the OS upgrade disc?  (Read 3564 times)
zridling
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« on: October 30, 2009, 06:48:37 AM »

CNet's Rafe Needleman has a great idea: Kill the OS upgrade disc!



Here's a better idea: Sell software at a reasonable price. And take the upgrades off the shelves.

I love upgrades. But I hate upgrade discs and upgrade pricing. Let's find a way to do away with both, or at least make the upgrade transaction a bit cleaner. The reason I'm writing this column won't be a surprise to anyone one who follows technology: Windows 7. I bought the upgrade disc (on the pre-order special price). When it arrived, I started the upgrade process for my Vista desktop. Knowing that the disc was licensed only to upgrade an existing Windows installation, I pressed the big button for a "Custom" installation and the disc set up my computer more-or-less cleanly with Windows 7. What I really wanted to do was re-format my hard drive and start from a blank slate on my computer, but I was afraid to do that since I thought the disc would see that as a non-upgrade install and not work.


He includes OSX in this, too.
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40hz
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« Reply #1 on: October 30, 2009, 09:50:01 AM »

Interesting point he's making. But I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for that to happen.

There's a problem on both sides of the checkout counter with single pricing something that is effectively a subscription service masquerading as a packaged product. Existing software customers have refused to accept the subscription model, and also expect to be given a significant price break on any new releases.

Then there's also the issue of how to further the adoption cycle of a new release. Most software makers are extremely reluctant to risk doing anything that could be perceived as rewarding the 'late adopters' and 'version skippers.' Single 'versioning' would amount to an amnesty program for dawdlers if they went that route.

So various customer incentive deals have become almost mandatory when trying to convince a customer to spring for an upgrade they (very likely) don't actually need.

And since it's all about customer expectations, I'm willing to bet that "upgrade" and "pre-order" prices (and disks) are here to stay, no matter what anybody says.



---

BTW: I'm amazed somebody 'in the biz' (and a CNET editor no less) isn't aware of Paul Thurott's simple workarounds to do a clean install of Win7 using upgrade disks. It's been all over the web, and blogged extensively, so I'm surprised it wasn't mentioned in Rafe's article.

In case anybody missed Thurott's original article, here's the link to the (now updated) how-to:

http://www.winsupersite.c...install_upgrade_media.asp

 Thmbsup

« Last Edit: October 30, 2009, 10:18:39 AM by 40hz » Logged

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zridling
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« Reply #2 on: October 30, 2009, 09:29:15 PM »

However, on the local shelves here, the full version (for Win7) is only $20 more than the upgrade! All the while, piracy glides along, with the starter/32/64 versions already cracked and posted online.
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« Reply #3 on: October 30, 2009, 11:08:33 PM »

I downloaded and installed the Home Premuim "upgrade" from Microsoft. I only do clean installs (if I can) so I decided to try doing a clean install using the ISO I downloaded from MS. It worked just like Vista - if you don't put in a key during the install it'll install a "trial" - the only difference is that it did not ask which version I bought. I left it installed for I guess about a week now and just a minute ago put in the key. So far so good, it activated without even a hickup.

To summarize: I did a clean install using the "upgrade" key I got from Microsoft.

Oh, even though I hadn't read Paul's site before, what I did was what he labeled "Method #1".
« Last Edit: October 30, 2009, 11:15:49 PM by Hirudin » Logged
zridling
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« Reply #4 on: November 02, 2009, 06:42:59 AM »

Then again, perhaps Microsoft wants you to buy a new Win7 PC instead. You figure that most people don't change the OS except when they buy a new computer. The OEM version on a new system is what, $50? But if you're a consumer, the only choice you have at the store is either pay Microsoft or Pay Apple (whose OS is tied to its hardware).

If you're thinking the math doesn't add up, then consider when a small business upgrades 100-500 PCs. Pay the $220 for the upgrade (or $1500[?] for the volume license), or simply buy new machines with it already loaded.
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« Reply #5 on: November 02, 2009, 02:39:17 PM »

What we need is a free extended Dos to come installed on the machine so you can test that the hardware functions on boot.  Then either put Linux on or the OEM disc you bought.  I'm really getting tired of more and more crapware and annoyances coming on pre-installed machines.  It's a waste of 2 days just taking that crap off and getting the machine so you can use it normally.

Seems like the Linux pre-installed fad has faded and the PCs are not exactly kick ass machines anyway.  I keep hearing about market vacuums being filled but this one hasn't leaked in years.
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« Reply #6 on: November 03, 2009, 10:03:22 AM »

I'm really getting tired of more and more crapware and annoyances coming on pre-installed machines.  It's a waste of 2 days just taking that crap off and getting the machine so you can use it normally.

Can't speak for other OEMs, but some Dells allow you to opt out of the crapware when you ordered a machine. Or at least you used to be able to anyway. The OS recovery discs Dell includes with their machines are crapware free. If you get a Dell that has crapware installed it's a simple matter to do an OS re-install with the included media and get a crapware-free desktop.
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zridling
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« Reply #7 on: November 03, 2009, 12:25:25 PM »

HP's crapware took me several hours to remove from my wife's netbook. Why the hell does a netbook need 26Gb of sheer unregistered crap?! It even had both office and MS Works on it, but once you opened either, you were immediately asked to pay for them. It's a huge waste of time, we all agree.
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40hz
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« Reply #8 on: November 03, 2009, 01:03:51 PM »

Why the hell does a netbook need 26Gb of sheer unregistered crap?!

$$$  Grin

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« Reply #9 on: November 03, 2009, 08:31:01 PM »

$$$

Yep, these companies aren't doing this out of the goodness of their hearts trying to help you find software you might like. They get a cut of every sale made due to that crapware.
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Stoic Joker
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« Reply #10 on: November 03, 2009, 10:15:43 PM »

I'm really getting tired of more and more crapware and annoyances coming on pre-installed machines.  It's a waste of 2 days just taking that crap off and getting the machine so you can use it normally.

Can't speak for other OEMs, but some Dells allow you to opt out of the crapware when you ordered a machine. Or at least you used to be able to anyway. The OS recovery discs Dell includes with their machines are crapware free. If you get a Dell that has crapware installed it's a simple matter to do an OS re-install with the included media and get a crapware-free desktop.
Quite true, specifically on the Vostro's and the other SMB stuff. ...You order a new comp with Windows on it, and damned if it don't show up with nothing but windows on it. I was pleasently blown away first time I got one outa the box.
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Innuendo
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« Reply #11 on: November 04, 2009, 11:09:17 AM »

Quite true, specifically on the Vostro's and the other SMB stuff. ...You order a new comp with Windows on it, and damned if it don't show up with nothing but windows on it. I was pleasently blown away first time I got one outa the box.

Can't speak for the way it is now, but when I bought my XPS system it came clean as well.
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zridling
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« Reply #12 on: November 06, 2009, 10:09:43 PM »

Can't find it now -- maybe it was on the NeoWin site -- but Microsoft actually wants vendors to sell a clean PC. Microsoft takes the brunt of this criticism when vendors pile those pantloads on the system.
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« Reply #13 on: November 07, 2009, 04:23:54 AM »

I've never bought a pre-built desktop as far as I can remember but when I buy a laptop it doesn't take me long to format and reinstall using a clean Windows disc. So far I've never had a computer that wouldn't let me activate using the COA stuck to the computer.

Formatting and reinstalling is more consistent, less involved, better (IMO), and can be faster (depending on how many updates Microsoft has released). The only hurdle is getting ahold of a genuine Windows disc with witch to do the install. Microsoft would probably be better off if their ISOs were more easily obtained.
« Last Edit: November 07, 2009, 04:26:44 AM by Hirudin » Logged
Innuendo
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« Reply #14 on: November 07, 2009, 10:42:11 AM »

Here's a tool to decrapify a new PC:

http://www.pcdecrapifier.com/

Never had need to use it myself, but I've heard good things about it.
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