Google Android and Microsoft Starter Edition – Competition for the Benefit of Consumers

April 3, 2009

Onsite Computer Services in New Orleans believes competition between industry behemoths like Google and Microsoft offers great benefits for consumers.  Consider the ubiquitous example of US cable operators.

In an environment devoid of competition, customers are limited to the technology offered by the quasi-monopolistic cable operator.  As a result of the lack of competition in the cable industry the customer experience remains the same for extended periods of time – with no innovation or improvement.

Another example where a lack of competition failed to drive innovation is the Bell Telephone System.  The lack of competition in the consumer telephone industry is the reason every telephone was black and rotary for decades.  Add competition and the consumer now has many choices of new, innovative, and cost-effective substitutes to Bell’s obsolete offering.

Competition in the market for notebook-style devices continues to drive innovation and price declines, mainly due to decreases in hardware prices.  As hardware prices decline, the relative cost of a Microsoft operating system, vis-à-vis the total cost of the computer, increases.  HP is investigating ways to offer an inexpensive and easy-to-use operating system for its Netbooks that is an alternative to Microsoft’s Windows.

Microsoft’s entrant to the Netbook operating system market is called Starter Edition.  Starter Edition does have a handicap – Microsoft’s three-application limit.  The three-app limit of Starter Edition:
•    Is less functional than Windows XP Home.
•    Will provide a bad user experience, particularly if apps loading at startup exceed the three app limit.
•    Will entice computer producers to seek alternatives to the three-app limit of Microsoft’s Starter Edition.  Google’s Android is one such alternative.
•    As netbook users convert to cloud computing and utilize applications like Google Apps, there is an increased demand for a complete end-to-end Google offering to include Google’s Android and Chrome.
Google’s Android operating system is not currently available for PCs, but the cost and limitations of Microsoft Starter Edition is pushing PC makers to consider using the Google software. Google emphasized that its Android software is not restricted to mobile phones.  According to Google, the Android platform was designed from the beginning to scale downward to smart phones and upward to MID and Netbook-style devices.

Who wins when competition enters a market?  The consumer wins with enhanced innovation, improved service and reduced prices. In Asia and Europe wireless carriers knock hundreds of dollars off the price of a computer if a customer includes a long-term service contract in the purchase. When combined with subsidies that are similar to those offered with cell phone service contracts, in addition to Google Android or another substitute to the relatively expensive Microsoft Starter Edition operating system, subnotebooks like the Asus Eee PC, the Dell Mini 9 and the HP 2133 Mini-note will soon cost as little as $99 in the United States.

If you’re searching for New Orleans computer service or repair of your Microsoft based system or network, then call the Microsoft specialists at 504-469-6991. Onsite Computer Services, Inc. in New Orleans

You may also be interested in Onsite Computer’s Blog.

This New Orleans On-Site Computer Service post was provided by Eli Lucas. Eli can be reached at Onsite Computer serves the Microsoft computing needs of small businesses throughout the Greater New Orleans area including Uptown, Lakeview, Broadmoor, Mid-City, Metairie, Jefferson, Kenner, Westbank, French Quarter, and the Warehouse District. Please visit our website for New Orleans Computer Service.


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