Did anyone buy a Windows 8 laptop or PC this weekend? I know, not until October 26th– unless you are the Home Shopping Network. Despite the official Windows 8 launch not coming until the end of the month, most of the products are clearly ready.
HSN.com carried 3 Gateway and 2 Acer devices all running Windows 8. These weren’t Windows 7 devices with an option to upgrade, nor were they just placeholders. According the HSN customer service all 5 computers were ready and would ship right away.
You have to wonder where the miscommunication happened here that allowed HSN to post these devices ahead of the plan. That being said, Microsoft found out soon enough and this morning issued a notice requiring the takedown of these devices until October 26th rolls around. Good that the boys and girls at Redmond reacted quickly, but this was something that should have never occurred. Is it a big deal? Yes and no.
The only problem I see is that it causes confusion. Someone sees Windows 8 ready to ship and then goes to buy another new PC only to find they can only get Windows 7 elsewhere. Then the few who ordered are likely going to receive delay notices from HSN. It already takes about 2 weeks to ship these items, so the delay might only be another 1-2 weeks— still, if I was a customer at HSN, I’d be at least a little annoyed.
Okay, it’s all over and done. Why report on this news at all? For one thing, it shows us that execution of launch is important, and that means making sure everyone is on the same page. Another reason is because we now have a brief glimpse at what these type of devices will look like, how they will price and what kind of software will arrive with them.
It seem that the vendor’s fascination with bloatware hasn’t gone away. For example, an Acer all-in-one went up including the Acer Portal, Acer Games, Acer Recovery Management, Nero 12 Essentials, Adobe Reader, Norton Internet Security Suite, and a 60-day trial of MS Office 2010. The Gateway offerings were no different.
The pricing on the Windows 8 devices at HSN were quite similar to what you’d expect with Windows 7, no major hike or decrease. This isn’t surprising.
Bloatware is nothing new and it isn’t surprising to see it is still making its way into Windows 8 devices. It has got me thinking though, should Microsoft consider some kind of program similar to “Nexus”? I’ve talked about this before with tablets, but I simply mean come of with some kind of sub-branding that vendors can use to indicate that you get a bloatware-free ‘stock’ version of the Windows 8 experience.
Something like “Windows 8 Pure Experience”, cheesy name I know, I clearly don’t work for Microsoft’s marketing department— thank the powers that be. If I did, the new UI would probably be called “Blocky Start Screen Thingy 2012”.
What do you think? Should vendors continue to fill their machines will bloatware or not? Would you like to see a sub-branding that indicates which devices are 100%-bloatware/crapware/junkware free?
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