Rabid reseller: solving the Windows 9 mystery

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This article appeared in the June 2015 issue of CRN magazine.

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Rabid reseller: solving the Windows 9 mystery

Mystery solved. We never could work out why the version of Windows that followed Windows 8 wasn’t going to be called Windows 9. Initially, Rabid thought there was some superstition around the number nine. But no, it was all down to marketing. What if there was never going to be another version of Windows? What would you call the last one you ever released?

Since the main opposition software platform is already achieving success with OS X, you surely don’t want to be one digit behind for the rest of eternity. There’s a risk Apple might drop version XI on the unsuspecting, but at least if you’ve got Windows 10 on offer, you’ll only be one number behind, rather than two.

And no doubt the Redmond marketroids have noticed that Apple has been selling version 10 of its operating system for 13 years.

Only the point release number gets changed. Along with the name of a different large furry feline. Until they ran out of cats. Now they use the names of landmarks in California. Presumably only until they run out of those, too.

Can we expect the Windows 10 marketers to find a suitable line of friendly names for their endless point releases? Let’s hope they don’t head down the Ubuntu Linux path with alliterative names of bizarre creatures, such as Utopic Unicorn, Vivid Vervet and Wily Werewolf. Please.

The other interesting thing about Windows 10 is the price. Free. Not something to make a reseller happy. Not much margin in ‘free’. 

Granted, you only get it for free if you have a copy of Win7 or Win8. And it’s only free for the first year. And they’re not saying what it will cost for the year after that. Or the one after that. Or what you’ll have to pay for the point upgrade to Windows 10.1. Or what your options are likely to be if you don’t want to pay for it after the first year.

XP users can expect to pay immediately for an upgrade, but again, nobody knows how much this will be. However, Microsoft has also said Windows 10 will be free even if your Win7/8 is a pirated version. Or maybe it will be free to pirates. Perhaps. 

It seems the backroom bean counters calculated that getting rid of pirated Windows 7/8 was worth foregoing the revenue to be had from selling Windows 10. But they forgot to send the memo to marketing.

Maybe it would be worth the lost revenue to get rid of XP, the OS that just keeps hanging around like a bad smell?

Along with Windows 10 comes Microsoft Edge, the new browser. But you can keep IE if you like it better. Edge used to be called Spartan, until someone explained to the marketing team all the really, really bad jokes they were exposing themselves to. Rabid’s not yet convinced that the Edge name won’t be just as good for the basis of bad jokes. Or the copyright lawsuit waiting in the wings from a famous guitarist.

We’re reliably informed that July 2015 will be the release date of this new wonder software, but the thing comes in seven versions. Count them. And only Home and Pro are on the freebie list. You’re going to have to pay something for the Enterprise edition, and who knows how much for Windows Server 2016, the big iron edition of Win10? Perhaps there’s a reseller margin to be had in there somewhere?

Gotta go! Diminishing margins to recalculate.

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