So in turn, MS gets to sell two licenses (the oem and the end-user one), the crapware vendor gets paid for installing the crapware and the consumer gets a clean windows installation for more than twice the price. Awesome deal. Yes.
I know why I stopped using Windows machines
Edit: also, it's debatable whether Acrobat Reader doesn't also qualify as crapware, when you consider it's recent security history and the fact that there are alternatives around (which, unfortunately, isn't true for flash player)
1) Buy the computer which includes the price of the OEM license (and with the version which also doesn't ask you for the license key)
2) Try to get the money back for the OEM license (edit: AFAIK you can do this only if you never try to use the computer until that point).
3) Carry the computer to the Windows Store
4) Buy there the more expensive license, with which you have to type in the license key whenever you do a reinstall (well, of course, why not paying more to have it harder to use).
5) Let the MS store guys "apply the Signature configuration to it."
6) Whenever you want to reinstall your dearly paid Windows (in money and the time spent), go to step 3) (carrying your whole computer!) convince the guys there you did the step 4) and that you don't want to do it again to make them do the step 5)
And they actually have the nerve to write: "Microsoft Signature Upgrade: It’s a great way to make your PC experience even better."
Brought to you by the company that gave you Windows Vista.
> 4) Buy there the more expensive license,
> with which you have to type in the license
> key whenever you do a reinstall (well, of
> course, why not paying more to have it
> harder to use).
I would assume that the hardware vendors get better prices from MS, say, $70, but what they are going to refund you is more like $30 or something.
So even if (and that's a huge if) you can get your OEM license refunded, you still have to pay a huge premium to get that clean installation.
Allow me to explain: YOU ARE NOT MICROSOFT'S CUSTOMER. OEMs are. Enterprises are. This is a serious financial advantage for Microsoft.
That said... YOU ARE APPLE'S CUSTOMER. And this is a serious competitive disadvantage for Microsoft.
That said... MICROSOFT WANTS TO BE IN THE CONSUMER MARKET. They have to be to compete with Apple long term.
So the way I see this is that Microsoft is opening their own retail stores and they are going to essentially be yet another OEM. They are going to compete with the likes of Dell on merit of quality. This "signature team" is the team responsible for setting that quality bar.
In true Microsoft fashion, "Windows Signature" is an internal name that is leaking externally. In this case, it appears to be intentionally. It seems like an odd choice because no one talks about "Windows Dell", why should Microsoft have a name for this? It's just plain silly, but I digress.
Since Microsoft doesn't need to pay for Windows licenses, they will have higher margins and will be able to muscle around the OEMs who depend on crapware for profits. If Microsoft simply started forcing rules down the throats of OEMs, the OEMs would retaliate by distributing Linux more widely, so it is wise for Microsoft to push a caliber of desktop experience that Linux can't quite deliver yet for the average user.
tldr: This is Microsoft changing OEM behavior passive aggressively.
I think that's the point—they're making the market think about a point of differentiation that they weren't before, and so they want to give it a name. "If you buy your PC at [random shop], will you still be getting the Windows Signature Experience?"
Of course! It makes perfect sense that I'd need to pay for Windows twice, once for each time it's been installed. How reasonable of you, Microsoft. Obviously, the crap that got pre-installed on my first copy of Windows was stuff I actually asked for, and not an inevitable result of your business model.
In any case, people are focusing on a minor detail rather than the interesting piece of this: The point is, when you buy from the Microsoft Store, you can get that's set up to have a "best-effort" configuration of Windows--one where the choices of what to install and what not install are made from the perspective of making the customer experience great, not based on who paid the most money.
If you want the same thing done to a PC purchased elsewhere, perhaps you have to buy a copy of Windows (I work for MS but I have no idea whether that is the case or not). On the other hand, all of this setup/optimization is free, so it's quite likely cheaper to pay for Windows a second time than to pay, say, Geek Squad for their questionable "PC optimization service."
If the store just said "come in and get your PC optimized for $99" I'm sure no one would have an issue with it.
seriously, if microsoft did their quality process the way it should be there should not be a need for "pc optimization services" or this such "signature experience" of any kind.
Maybe there's money to be made by rebranding CyanogenMod as "Android Signature" (now in vanilla froyo flavor)...
This reads to me like you can either upgrade to Windows 7 or they will reinstall a clean image with your current license key...
anyway, this a response from someone at Microsoft from a twitter conversation that started from this same link:
@xpaulbettsx: @timheuer @shanselman @samiq we are working to do this via perf requirements - slow down the OS, get penalized
In other words: "Code your crapware better" ?
Completely off topic and half-joking; but was it a joke to call it "window-steam-blog" or should I only see "windows-team-blog"?
Meaning, if you bought a Windows 7 computer somewhere else (with crapware, etc.) you don't have to buy a new license--they just clean off the crapware for you and install their stuff.