Microsoft and it’s bazillion SKU’s – I hate it!

I’m the kind of person that just likes a simple choice.

But when there’s a bazillion SKU’s of practically the same thing, but slightly altered, it drives me nuts.

There’s 3 main places where Microsoft delivers way too many SKU’s : Vista, Office 2007, and Xbox 360.

In Vista, you can choose between:

  • Starter
  • Home Basic
  • Home Premium
  • Business
  • Enterprise
  • Ultimate

And that’s not including 32-bit vs. 64-bit, "N" and "K" versions, and upgrade versions. Sad, but there’s too many choices.

If it were me who was in charge of this, I would have simply offered between "Vista Ultimate" and "Vista Enterprise". Vista Ultimate would have practically everything available in Home Premium + More. Vista Enterprise has all the goodies in Vista Business, plus anything relevant to a business.

That’s it. 2 simple choices. Although I would adjust the prices to be much cheaper, offer more, and all that.

I placed a poll a few day, and asked for opinions on Vista SKU’s, and was quite surprised to find that 50% love the many SKU’s. As in the freedom of choice and getting the Vista that was "right for you".

I agree, choice is good, but when choices are relatively the same, offer little extra over another, and are just completely disorganized, then maybe "choice" isn’t that good of an idea, if it’s so confusing.

As of now, I recommend anyone buying Vista to just simply get Home Premium.

As for Office Suite SKU’s:

  • Microsoft Office Basic 2007
  • Microsoft Office Home & Student 2007
  • Microsoft Office Standard 2007
  • Microsoft Office Small Business 2007
  • Microsoft Office Professional 2007
  • Microsoft Office Professional Plus 2007
  • Microsoft Office Enterprise 2007
  • Microsoft Office Ultimate 2007

This is even worse than Vista’s SKU offerings. You have 8 choices.

If it were me, I would only sell two things: Office 07′, and Office 07′ : Business.

Office 07′ containing everything in Ultimate. Office 07′ : Business containing everything in Enterprise. That’s it. Or sell each Office program for around $15 – $20 each. That’s how much they’re worth to me.

Then there’s Xbox 360 SKU’s:

  • Core
  • Arcade
  • Premium
  • Elite

And that’s not including special versions like the Halo 3 theme, Simpson’s Movie, etc.

Not that bad, in terms of choices. I’d drop Core and Arcade straight off. Premium could take’s Core’s old place, and Elite would be the best you could get.

So if Microsoft simplified their line-up of choices, more people wouldn’t be so frustrated about which one to choose from.

The same can be said for computer manufacturers, TV makers, etc. There’s lots of companies who offer relatively the same kind of thing, except with a small modification, and try to sell it as extra or something completely different. What a lie.

So if Microsoft took the simple route, the world would be much better.

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