Wintel Can’t Upsell Netbooks

M$’s strategy to destroy netbooks was to produce attractive/thin/light/powerful notebooks of larger size with a premium price. That price was supposed to attract OEMs and it did but the consumers are out beating the bushes for small cheap computers, not expensive ones. M$’s attempt to define the netbook out of existence now crumbles in the face of real small cheap computers, smart thingies, selling at less than half the price of the Wintel machines. Nice going, M$. You’ve given FLOSS a big boost since licensing fees of $0 fit the model perfectly.

“The "price issue" is potentially the main sticking point for buyers, with the €900 to €1,100 price band accounting for roughly 0.4 per cent of the total available European market for laptop sales.”

see Acer bigwig sees gloomy future for Ultrabooks in Europe • The Channel.

About Robert Pogson

I am a retired teacher in Canada. I taught in the subject areas where I have worked for almost forty years: maths, physics, chemistry and computers. I love hunting, fishing, picking berries and mushrooms, too.
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13 Responses to Wintel Can’t Upsell Netbooks

  1. oiaohm says:

    Clarence Moon old saying too many cooks in kitchen.

    The result could be a completely trivial business plan. Why they come up with business plans that effectively nuke each other. Zune media player was a classic case of this.

    Really it does pay to look at Microsoft failed products. Windows 8 devices provide direct by Microsoft is directly following the historic path of the historic Zune Media player. Yes first on that MS tried licensing the OS of Zune to hardware makers then when that failed they made the device themselves then it failed spectacularly.

    “Do you really think that the multiple billions of dollars that Microsoft spends in salaries for product managers/marketers results in such a trivial business plan?”
    Basically spending multiple billions of dollars on staff to attempt to get a good business plan does not promise you will get a good business plan could get something that appears complex but in application be completely trivial the results and be a complete white elephant.

    In fact with business plans normally the more you spend the less focused your plan is and the more of a disaster it is for the business. Yes a highly focused plan that cost bugger all to make that fails has a very low cost. A poorly focused plan because too many people have spend time on it will hurt company worse.

    This is why people like Clarence Moon are idiots. Throwing more money at the problem does not always work. Yes the old saying throwing good money after bad does not work. The billions MS has does not promise they will be able to develop successful business plans going forwards. Gives them more attempts but still does not promise success.

    Bigger is not always better when it comes to companies. Bigger can equal more of an internal disaster so leading to more failed products produced.

  2. Clarence Moon says:

    I don’t believe it. M$ is hoping that they can catch a wave like Google did with Android/Linux and is positioning itself to suck all the juice out of a new market in case it takes off.

    As I said, Mr. Pogson, you are being far too superficial and failing to give the devil his due. Do you really think that the multiple billions of dollars that Microsoft spends in salaries for product managers/marketers results in such a trivial business plan? Give them some credit, please. All those collective years at Harvard and Stanford surely must result in a deeper plan than your own ruminations.

  3. ch says:

    No, “ultra-thin” and “Ultrabook” are not the same thing.

  4. ch wrote, “The Ultrabook was Intel’s idea, not MS’s.”

    2009 – “When a customer says we want a netbook with bigger screen we will say here’s an ultra thin,” Ballmer said. “We want people to be able to get the advantages of light weight performance and be able to spend more money with us and Intel and Dell and HP and others.”

    That’s years before Intel registered the trademark. Whose idea it was originally, I don’t know, but M$ was in on it from the beginning.

  5. ch says:

    > Since M$ and Intel, Wintel decided to sell them for ~$1K…

    Excuse me, but how many PCs is MS selling again? And Intel?

    “M$ and Wintel developed the idea together …”

    You are evading (and there is no entity named “Wintel”). The Ultrabook was Intel’s idea, not MS’s.

  6. Chris Weig says:

    Since M$ and Intel, Wintel decided to sell them for ~$1K…

    And who forces you to buy an Ultrabook? If people see some kind of added value in them, they will buy them. If they don’t see that value, they will not.

  7. Chris Weig wrote, “since when are computers expensive?”

    Since M$ and Intel, Wintel decided to sell them for ~$1K…

    ch wrote, “Could you please at least check who came up with the Ultrabook idea?”

    M$ and Wintel developed the idea together to sell expensive OS licences and expensive chipsets bundled with an expensive notebook.

    2009 – “When a customer says we want a netbook with bigger screen we will say here’s an ultra thin,” Ballmer said. “We want people to be able to get the advantages of light weight performance and be able to spend more money with us and Intel and Dell and HP and others.”

    2011 Intel – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d61LiyoyM-Y&feature=autoplay&list=PL6796D3483DD25E41&playnext=1

    Ultrabook TM Filing Date May 31, 2011 Intel

  8. Chris Weig says:

    Not sure which rock people like Mr. Pogson have lived under, but since when are computers expensive? You can get a rather good notebook for 300 Euros. That’s expensive? I didn’t know that.

  9. ch says:

    Mr Pogson,

    another post needs your help 🙁

    Thanks!

  10. ch says:

    Mr Pogson,

    this is pathetic. Could you please at least check who came up with the Ultrabook idea?

    As for small and cheap: Yes, I fell for it. Two years ago I bought a netbook. Main criteria: Must fit into my jacket’s pocket (so I don’t have to lug it around in a bag that I might forget in a bus or somewhere). Well, I found one that just so fit into my main summer jacket’s pockets (but not into my main winter jacket, grumble). But soon I found out that it’s just too dang small to do much useful stuf on it: Screen (10″ / 25cm) just 1024 * 600, touchpad (less than 3″!) almost untouchable, keyboard sucks. Performance is best described as anemic, and battery life is too short, but let’s blame that on the WinXP installed. Still, the hardware is just too limited.

    At least, I could use it as a testbed for Win8. Results so far: Win8 is usable, but the UI should be improved for mouse usage. However, boot and especially shutdown times are dramatically better. Oh, and Metro apps don’t work on 1024 * 600. But at least the netbook is small and was cheap 😉

  11. Mats Hagglund says:

    No wonder why UltaBooks are not selling in Europe. They are absolutely too expensive. I’m looking forward to buy ARM/tablet to my parents but not before real cheap ones are coming. Until that they continue to use their old pc with Linux Mint, which will be upgraded to Mint 13 LXDE this year. I’ve watched them using pc and i’m really concerned that touch screen device is surely the best for old people like them (80+)

  12. I don’t believe it. M$ is hoping that they can catch a wave like Google did with Android/Linux and is positioning itself to suck all the juice out of a new market in case it takes off. Their greed will prevent that from happening. OEMs are disgusted by the behaviour of M$. The OEMs had a chance to rebel back in the early 1990s and just say no but they failed. I don’t think they will miss this opportunity to twist the knife in M$’s back. I think OEMs are in position to refuse to install that other OS and go with */Linux. That will shut off the life-blood of M$ and the OEMs will finally be able to make a decent profit. M$ will have to live off diversification or die. They will finally have to work for a living.

  13. Clarence Moon says:

    Nothing in your cite has anything to do with your claim, Mr. Pogson. Have you failed to notice that? I think you take a rather superficial view of the market strategy being employed here as well. Apple has long owned the top end, near-luxury niche for stylish laptops with its Mac Air line and the corresponding tablet class with its iPad. Microsoft is just putting a shot over their bow with the Surface. A very good shot, in my mind, that will get a lot of attention. They are not trying to usurp the ultra-book market for their partners, but rather are setting a new standard. If Microsoft can position itself a notch above Apple and get people thinking about other brands, the Dells, Acers, and HPs of the world can move in with lower price offerings that are seen as economic alternatives to Mac Air and/or Surface rather than as overpriced versions of conventional laptops.

    I am sure that all is lost on you, but there it is whether you believe it or not.

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