Earlier this week Microsoft killed it’s retail offering in Equipt as well as the OneCare retail edition and the OneCare Server edition, trial of which shipped with SBS 2008 at a recent launch. Microsoft expects to release a free security suite, Morro, to coincide with the launch of Windows 7.
The commentary on the net has been split between Microsoft failing with a bloated security product and the consumer economy being so terrible that Microsoft’s presence in the retail channel is a waste.
I’d like to offer a third option 🙂
Microsoft intends to copy Apple’s successful strategy of providing all the essential and simple apps so that the user doesn’t have to search or buy (or let’s be honest, pirate) their own.
Apple Mac OS X comes with relatively little. But add a $79 iLife or $79 iWork and you’ve transformed your system into a media production machine capable of managing albums and web sites, editing videos or composing music. For $20 more you can install it on up to 5 PCs in the “family”
Microsoft has stated that the cloud based apps are their future. You can see this today in the form of Windows Live family that comes with a single installer and lets you download a lot of free and relatively good software.
It fits the strategy. It keeps the Antitrust lawsuits away. It simplifies and secures Windows 7 usage and improves the experience. It certainly seems like Microsoft is getting their stuff together.