lithium630 wrote:I don't disagree with you from Microsoft's point of view. Since they made only a small effort to monetize Media Center, no improvements make financial sense. My point was that it could make sense for Ceton, although I really don't think it will happen. I can't argue the success of the Xbox, but generally speaking I hate the business model. I hate the idea of taking a huge loss on a product and hoping to make it up on the back end. It worked out well in this case, but eventually that model will fail big. Ask the US car companies.
Overall, I dislike the model. Offering a product at a reduced price is a win for consumers and a loss for the business, and if the business can successfully make up the loss somewhere else, it's a win for the business, but a loss for the consumer. Microsoft is not the only company to successfully use this model. Nearly all retailers use this exact same model. Product 1 is sold for a loss while Product 2 is sold for a profit. The profit from Product 2 offsets the loss of Product 1. Or instead of just one Product 2, there might be 10 of them, with each one responsible for offsetting 1/10th of the loss from Product 1. It sounds great until you realize that every time you buy Product 2, you are paying more than you should. Instead, most people just see the opportunity to save money on Product 1.
Cell phones are an example of a variation of this model. Instead of hoping that consumers buy other products to offset the loss, the carriers have an insurance policy that all but guarantees the loss will be offset...the contract. The contract variation of this model offers lower risk and higher upside potential than the non-contract variation, but in return consumers generally have to pay more in the long run. Between the contract variation and the non-contract variation, the non-contract variation is better for consumers, so I applaud any business that opts for the non-contract variation, although, like I said, I still dislike the model.
And of course, there is the other model, the correct model. It costs $x to make a product, you have a y% profit margin, so the product sells for $x * (1+y%). No sales, no offsetting the price, no increased risk. It's a win for consumers, and a win for the business. The only problem is it's not as big a win for the business as the other method, and business in general are greedy. They'll generally pick the model that nets them the most profit, which is why you hardly ever see this model used in the retail market.