Vista and Irrational Pricing Strategies

Contrast Microsoft’s approach to Apple. Leopard doesn’t have any machine level enforcement of licensing yet when I was in the Apple store buying my upgrade I still forked over $200 for a 5 machine family pack instead of $100 for the single license and cheating my way to 3 machines. People are basically honest when companies provide them with a reason and an unobstructed path.

Microsoft’s pricing on XP and Vista is screwy. On one hand I can buy Vista for the same price as XP while on the other I could upgrade a pirated version of Vista to a legal version for less than the retail price of either.

Ironically, those prices are significantly better than the retail prices that you’ll find from legitimate Windows resellers. In theory, at least, a consumer could install a copy of Windows Vista without a product key, refuse to activate the system for 30 days, and then purchase a perfectly legal license at a discount using Microsoft’s online offer. [From » With SP1, Microsoft plans to ditch the Vista “kill switch” | Ed Bott’s Microsoft Report | ZDNet.com]

Maybe one reason why Vista has not captured the hearts and minds of the masses has nothing to do with the feature set, security, or user interface… maybe it’s simply a matter of irrational pricing being an obstacle.

Not that they care what I think, but reduce the complexity of the product matrix (too many SKUs), drop the price to (a lot), and kill the silly amnesty program because if they price the product right the overwhelming majority of users will, as Apple has demonstrated, buy it legally.

Reputation Taking Center Stage

Of all the things I have written about federation and identity over the years, I failed to make the critical link between reputation and identity. This is why I am only moderately enthusiastic about OpenID, it solves the smaller part of the problem.

Reputation and other trust models, like certification authorities, are critical to making federation work outside of carefully crafted agreements between partners. Until these trust models have been worked out, using an OpenID for anything higher-value than blog commenting will be risky. [From » Reputation taking center stage | Between the Lines | ZDNet.com]

iCommons Auction

Boost your geek street cred this Christmas.

The iCommons Auction runs from 22 November to 14 December, 2007. This is an innovative auction of paraphernalia from some of the world’s leading Internet figures. From Internet activist and Stanford Law Professor, Lawrence Lessig’s coat that he wore in countries around the world that invited him to talk about free culture; to pre-prints from best-selling novelist, Cory Doctorow’s forthcoming, to-be-Creative Commons-licensed novel, Little Brother; and from #13 of only 20 plush toys of Firefox Japan’s mascot, Foxkeh that took the world by storm, to four of Indian intellectual property expert Lawrence Liang’s favorite Bollywood films: this auction is a celebration of free culture from around the world from those who make it and build it every day. All the proceeds of the auction will go to developing and sustaining iCommons’ global projects. [From iCommons.org: Bidding is open!]

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Now is Gone

If you are interested in strategies for taking advantage of social media in your marketing and brand campaigns, I would highly suggest you buy this book. I consider Brian to be one of the foremost authorities on this topic and also one of the most likeable.

“Now Is Gone seeks to help businesses embrace Social Media intelligently. Readers can learn if their organization is ready, how to begin, the predominant participation is marketing approach that other businesses are using, social media marketing strategies, and general social media insights. In addition to best practices, the book is laced with case studies that demonstrate corporate successes. This primer provides the quickest way for executives and entrepreneurs to figure out social media marketing.”

“Now Is Gone: A Primer on New Media for Executives and Entrepreneurs” (Geoff Livingston, Brian Solis)

Clear Coming to Denver International Airport

Looks like Clear is coming to Denver, that’s great news.

“New Enrollment Locations

Enrollment is now open at the Hyatt Regency Tech Center in Denver. The hours of operation for the Tech Center are weekdays 7AM – 4PM. And, on December 10, enrollment at Denver International Airport will open.

Clear opened a mobile enrollment station at the Marriott Marquis in the heart of Manhattan on October 29, 2007. It is open weekdays 9AM – 2:30PM, 3PM – 5PM.

Through its partnership with American Express, Clear is opening a series of mobile enrollment locations at American Express Travel Offices. Please visit our website for specific locations and hours of operation’