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

Digia spins off Qt as subsidiary

Digia has spun off a subsidiary called “The Qt Company” to unify Qt’s commercial and open source efforts, and debuted a low-cost plan for mobile developers. The Linux-oriented Qt cross-platform development framework has had a tumultuous career, having been passed around Scandinavia over the yearsfrom Trolltech to Nokia and then from Nokia to Digia. Yet, Qt keeps rolling along in both commercial and open source community versions, continually adding support for new platforms and technologies, and gaining extensive support from mobile developers. Read more

Qubes: The Open Source OS Built for Security

No matter how good the code review process is, or how high the standards for acceptance, applications will always have bugs, says Joanna Rutkowska, founder and CEO of Invisible Things Lab. So will drivers. And filesystems. “Nobody, not even Google Security Team, can find and patch all those bugs in all the desktop apps we all use,” Rutkowska says in the Q&A interview, below. Read more

KDE Developer Says Community Managers Are a Fraud and a Farce

KDE developer Aaron Seigo is a very outspoken person and he is known for his strong opinions. He recently proposed for public debate a very heated and interesting subject about the role of the community managers for the open source project. He thinks that the community managers' role, as they are working today on various projects, is actually a fraud and a farce. It's unclear what determined him to make this statement, but he knew right from the start that it was going to rile up the community and various community managers. Read more

RadeonSI Gallium3D vs. Catalyst At 4K UHD On Linux

The open-source driver stack tested was with the Linux 3.17 Git kernel while using the Oibaf PPA to upgrade to Mesa 10.4-devel for the latest RadeonSI and LLVM AMD GPU code. The closed-source driver was the fglrx 14.20.7 / OpenGL 4.4.12968 Catalyst release. When running the Catalyst binary blob we had to downgrade from Linux 3.17 to Linux 3.16 for kernel compatibility. All tests were done from the Intel Core i7 5960X system running Ubuntu 14.10. Read more