Feeds

Ballmer blames bad guys for Microsoft pricing

Here be gold

High performance access to file storage

Steve Ballmer is blaming software pirates for the premium pricing Microsoft charges on products like Office and Windows. But he speculated that the advent of web-based services could see a lowering of Microsoft's charges.

The rise of subscription-based pricing - a charging mechanism favored by a crop of start-ups and software as services (SaaS) companies in Silicon Valley - could help squeeze out the opportunity for pirates to rip off software, Ballmer said.

The "tight subscription relationship" SaaS produces between supplier and customer could cut down on piracy, according to Ballmer. "With less piracy, with more proper, use it certainly creates an opportunity for us and for other software companies to take a look at also reducing the cost," Ballmer told an industry conference in Paris.

Ballmer aired his views as Microsoft prepared to release its third-quarter financial results on Thursday. Thompson Financial expects a 15 per cent increase in revenue to $11bn and earnings per share of $0.33, slightly higher than Microsoft's own guidance that was issued in January.

Today's results will be piqued by the fact Microsoft typically uses its third quarter to make projections for the coming fiscal year, starting in July. The next year's results should start to factor in the delayed Windows Vista, now due in January, and Office 2007, due in "early" 2007 since it was also pushed back. Thursday afternoon's predictions should provide some insight into how much Microsoft is expecting to make from Windows Vista and Office 2007.

Ballmer last year promised Wall Street that Microsoft would charge a premium to use certain versions of Windows Vista. While Microsoft has not yet announced Windows Vista pricing, Goldman Sachs analyst Rick Sherlund has estimated Microsoft could claw in an additional $1.5bn a year by charging for "premium" editions.

Specifically, Sherlund believes 75 per cent of home uses will adopt Windows Visa Home Premium instead of Windows Vista Home Basic, because of the new Aero interface, and ability to burn DVDs - features that are lacking in the weaker edition.®

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

More from The Register

next story
This time it's 'Personal': new Office 365 sub covers just two devices
Redmond also brings Office into Google's back yard
Oh no, Joe: WinPhone users already griping over 8.1 mega-update
Hang on. Which bit of Developer Preview don't you understand?
Microsoft lobs pre-release Windows Phone 8.1 at devs who dare
App makers can load it before anyone else, but if they do they're stuck with it
Half of Twitter's 'active users' are SILENT STALKERS
Nearly 50% have NEVER tweeted a word
Next Windows obsolescence panic is 450 days from … NOW!
The clock is ticking louder for Windows Server 2003 R2 users
Ditch the sync, paddle in the Streem: Upstart offers syncless sharing
Upload, delete and carry on sharing afterwards?
Microsoft TIER SMEAR changes app prices whether devs ask or not
Some go up, some go down, Redmond goes silent
Batten down the hatches, Ubuntu 14.04 LTS due in TWO DAYS
Admins dab straining server brows in advance of Trusty Tahr's long-term support landing
prev story

Whitepapers

SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.