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Microsoft to offer students free Xbox with $699+ PC purchase


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Microsoft to offer students free Xbox with $699+ PC purchase
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Robo
Formerly Roboman, still
awesome
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Portland, OR
 
2011-05-19, 09:51

Wow.

The interesting thing is that it's Microsoft that's offering this deal, not Dell or Best Buy. Microsoft's probably offered individual OEMs and retailers discount Xboxes for similar deals in the past, but this deal seems more all-encompassing. (We'll see on Sunday, when the deal kicks off at "participating retailers," I suppose.)

The Xbox offered, the 4GB model, retails for $199. I don't think it costs Microsoft that much to make, but I would still wager it costs them more to make than they're getting in Windows license fees from the OEMs. So they really are giving away Xboxes.

I can't help but get a feeling that Microsoft seems a little desperate, here. That's not a double standard sort of thing — Apple gives away $200 iPods with student Mac purchases* during the summer, true, but with Apple's high margins they're still clearly making money on the deal. They could probably give away iPads and somehow still make more on their $999 MacBook Air than HP makes on their thousand-dollar plastic piece of junk. Whereas Microsoft is almost certainly losing money on each Xbox, here, and not an insignificant amount. (And they're no longer able to immediately make that money back by selling people a ridiculously overpriced WiFi adapter! )

But maybe I should be more charitable here (Microsoft certainly is! Buh-dum-tish!) and say that it's more of a conscious refocusing on the Xbox than an act of desperation on the Windows front. After all, Xbox is basically Microsoft's iPad, in that it's clearly their future (in Microsoft's case, perhaps their only future) in the consumer space, and so maybe they think it's worth giving some away in a bid to own the living room. It's not that different than selling a console at a loss at launch, after all.

But the people paying $399 for a console at launch are probably a lot more likely to buy lots of games than people who just get one for free with a PC.

I was BTOing an HP Omni 100 all-in-one the other day, just out of curiosity. They start at $500 or something crazy like that, but by the time I was done it just happened to be $699. That's not bad at all for an all-in-one with a quad-core processor, 4GB RAM, and a 750GB HDD. With a free Xbox, it'd be crazy. I'm sure the deal will make a lot of students happy, even if they just use the Xbox as a Netflix machine and DVD player (Microsoft better hope that they don't).

But I'm on my computer enough that it's worth it, to me, to invest in quality.

*) Though Apple's never given free iPods away with Macs that retailed below $999, before discount.

and i guess i've known it all along / the truth is, you have to be soft to be strong
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kscherer
The Ban Hammer
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Boyzeee
 
2011-05-19, 10:04

Problem is, that won't help Microsoft sell any additional Windows licenses. People that were going to buy a PC are going to get one, anyway. People that were going to switch to the Mac are going to, anyway. All that is going to come out of this is that Microsoft is going to give away a lot of Xbox's. But I have a feeling it is more about getting the Xbox's out there, more so than a Windows license. Same reason Apple gives away an iPod Touch.

But, yeah, Microsoft is going to lose money on the deal, where Apple keeps making it.

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PB PM
Sneaky Punk
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Vancouver, BC
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2011-05-19, 13:04

If it works the way MS thinks it will, it would mean a boat load of new Xbox live users, which means a nice steady stream of income (like WOW).
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kscherer
The Ban Hammer
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Boyzeee
 
2011-05-19, 13:07

Quote:
Originally Posted by PB PM View Post
If it works the way MS thinks it will, it would mean a boat load of new Xbox live users, which means a nice steady stream of income (like WOW).
Which I think is exactly what they are after.

I wonder how many Xbox owners are Xbox Live users? I know we have an Xbox, but no Live account. So count us out!

Edit: Is there a big * in there that requires an Xbox Live 1-year contract, or anything silly like that?

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- Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. (Mat 5:9)

Last edited by kscherer : 2011-05-19 at 13:32.
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PB PM
Sneaky Punk
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Vancouver, BC
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2011-05-19, 13:46

At large number of the people I know who have an Xbox has a live account, but then I work with teens often and they have a lot of spare time to play video games online.
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