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Windows 7: What's the next generation install media?

23 Jun 2009   #21
jw12345

Windows 7
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by ciphernemo View Post
As much as we'd like to dream of installers distributed and sold on flash devices such as thumb drives, SD cards, etc., that isn't going to happen any time soon.

Optical drives will be around for quite some time because the formats are evolving and it's cheap, easy, and fast to stamp out DVD after DVD. Distributing electronics to install software is still too expensive, even with how cheap flash memory is now. The manufacturing processes are all in place for churning out optical media, and upgrading those any time soon isn't worth it.

The new format would obviously be Blu-ray discs. They won out the format war a while ago (even though I would have been happier to have HD-DVD win). But there's no incentive/motive for developers to release on Blu-ray until they reach storage limits on DVDs for possibly up to 3 discs (14-16GB or more depending on stamp process and file system). Right now, DVDs still rule as the primary medium for operating systems because downloading isn't a feasible option on a new PC with no O/S.

So although we'd all love to see installers on flash, I don't think we'll ever get that dream. If and when flash memory ever becomes cheaper than stamping optical discs, we'll probably have better/cheaper media genres out there.
The problem isn't absolute cost of a flash drive ($2-3) vs a dvd (pennies), it's the fact that more and more computers simply do not come with an optical drive. And with the especially heavy push toward thinner and lighter notebooks in the past 2 years, they will continue to be dropped even more. My HP tablet has a removeable dvd drive that I took out day one and honestly haven't needed it a single time in the past year. It doesn't make sense to require an entire device dedicated just for software installation when flash memory is very cheap and even more supported. I'd rather raise the cost of all software purchases by $2 (ignoring the cost savings of a small package) to not have to buy an external optical drive ($75-100).

I wouldn't be too surprised if read-only flash media was offered as a purchase option sometime in the future for Windows 7.


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23 Jun 2009   #22
antalgebra

Windows 7 64bit Ultimate Build 7268.0.090701-1900
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by ciphernemo View Post
As much as we'd like to dream of installers distributed and sold on flash devices such as thumb drives, SD cards, etc., that isn't going to happen any time soon.

Optical drives will be around for quite some time because the formats are evolving and it's cheap, easy, and fast to stamp out DVD after DVD. Distributing electronics to install software is still too expensive, even with how cheap flash memory is now. The manufacturing processes are all in place for churning out optical media, and upgrading those any time soon isn't worth it.

The new format would obviously be Blu-ray discs. They won out the format war a while ago (even though I would have been happier to have HD-DVD win). But there's no incentive/motive for developers to release on Blu-ray until they reach storage limits on DVDs for possibly up to 3 discs (14-16GB or more depending on stamp process and file system). Right now, DVDs still rule as the primary medium for operating systems because downloading isn't a feasible option on a new PC with no O/S.

So although we'd all love to see installers on flash, I don't think we'll ever get that dream. If and when flash memory ever becomes cheaper than stamping optical discs, we'll probably have better/cheaper media genres out there.


for the sake of rebuttle, my car stereo is now equipped with a USB reader, capable of reading MP3's. I now OFFICIALLY have absolutely no need for a CD ever again. As history shows, the time between each 'jump' has the majority to do with CONSUMER's cost, not producer's. cheap music players were the sole reason why CD's stood around so long. cheap DVD video players will be the reason why DVD players will stay in the running for a long time to come. What's the cost of a computer USB port? $1 at a swap meet? and the cost of a blue-ray player? 200 bucks? overall consumer demand will show that people prefer what is least expensive alternative, and if something can run without any additional hardware, people will jump on it.

aside, who wouldnt want a free 8GB re-writable Microsoft branded USB thumb-drive with their purchase of Office 2010? the cost to the manufacture them is just a couple bucks and declining... and the worth to 'turn a few heads' on the software isle when Ms Grandma is purchasing her accounting tools? priceless.
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23 Jun 2009   #23
Dark Nova Gamer

Windows 7 Ultimate, OS X 10.7, Ubuntu 11.04
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by antalgebra View Post
for the sake of rebuttle, my car stereo is now equipped with a USB reader, capable of reading MP3's. I now OFFICIALLY have absolutely no need for a CD ever again. As history shows, the time between each 'jump' has the majority to do with CONSUMER's cost, not producer's. cheap music players were the sole reason why CD's stood around so long. cheap DVD video players will be the reason why DVD players will stay in the running for a long time to come. What's the cost of a computer USB port? $1 at a swap meet? and the cost of a blue-ray player? 200 bucks? overall consumer demand will show that people prefer what is least expensive alternative, and if something can run without any additional hardware, people will jump on it.

aside, who wouldnt want a free 8GB re-writable Microsoft branded USB thumb-drive with their purchase of Office 2010? the cost to the manufacture them is just a couple bucks and declining... and the worth to 'turn a few heads' on the software isle when Ms Grandma is purchasing her accounting tools? priceless.
Also depending on the size of the Flash Drive/SD Card a company provides, could use it to back-up files for that program/OS.
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23 Jun 2009   #24
nate42nd

Windows 7 Professional x64
 
 

I think it would be a great idea. I'm sure they (Microsoft and other companies) have thought about this with all the netbooks getting so popular. You know it will happen at some point....I wish they would at least offer Se7en on flash drive as an option. One of our gurus said they will....I guess we'll see what happens.
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23 Jun 2009   #25
jw12345

Windows 7
 
 

I don't think any software provider would be too keen on having their drive writable, because it just confuses the consumer and adds a variable of uncertainty of data integrity. I don't know if maybe read-only drive would be cheaper, but even if not, they'd be more practical. Who really needs yet another writable flash drive? Making it read only would make the entire process exactly the same as a dvd, except you plug it in instead of sit a disk in a tray. Other than that there would be no noticeable difference to the consumer.
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23 Jun 2009   #26
antalgebra

Windows 7 64bit Ultimate Build 7268.0.090701-1900
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by jw12345 View Post
I don't think any software provider would be too keen on having their drive writable, because it just confuses the consumer and adds a variable of uncertainty of data integrity. I don't know if maybe read-only drive would be cheaper, but even if not, they'd be more practical. Who really needs yet another writable flash drive? Making it read only would make the entire process exactly the same as a dvd, except you plug it in instead of sit a disk in a tray. Other than that there would be no noticeable difference to the consumer.

oh yes, how DARE they trash us with their re-writable drive?!

kidding though, you are right, the one downside that is being thrown out there, is the fact that nobody wants to re-write/delete their install files. that is the ultimate hurdle

but for your point, we'd just make it a 'little' hard to re-write to remove the old lady accidentally deleting scenerio.... do what they did with floppys and create an easy-to-jump over fail safe, (tape over the little hole at the bottom)
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24 Jun 2009   #27
ciphernemo

Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit RTM
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by antalgebra View Post
for the sake of rebuttle, my car stereo is now equipped with a USB reader, capable of reading MP3's. I now OFFICIALLY have absolutely no need for a CD ever again. As history shows, the time between each 'jump' has the majority to do with CONSUMER's cost, not producer's.
That is only true when the consumers no longer have the means to get the specific hardware required. You guys talk about computers not coming with optical drives, but that's just not true. Only netbooks, UMPCs, and other crossover mobile/computing devices don't come pre-equipped with an optical drive. ALL DESKTOPS come with one, regardless of where you buy it, except for crossover/mobile desktops like the Eee Box. And pretty much all regular laptops still come with them.

Because optical media is the defacto, consumers expect to get an optical drive with a new computer. Neither consumer cost nor manufacturer costs will be the ultimate deciding factor in the long run (even though it affects things now). The ultimate breaking point for a change in media will be when consumers become comfortable with the new technology. And your average middle-aged person isn't going to be comfortable with anything other than a CD/DVD right now. But our emerging generations will be, and that will help change the distribution of things.

Unfortunately, the other problem is that there is no need to switch right now or in the near future. If most people have an optical drive now and in the near future, why switch to a more expensive distribution medium?

I would bet that the preferred media of choice would switch to the Internet before it ever switches to flash memory. You might see adoptions of networking standards that allow manufacturers to connect system boards to the Internet on a low-level interface to grab data and write it to local storage, bypassing the need for an O/S to do simple downloads.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by antalgebra View Post
What's the cost of a computer USB port? $1 at a swap meet? and the cost of a blue-ray player? 200 bucks? overall consumer demand will show that people prefer what is least expensive alternative, and if something can run without any additional hardware, people will jump on it.
You're comparing that wrong with wrong values. USB ports are on everything, so the cost for USB is not an issue. And Blu-Ray players are $89 now. By 2010, they'll be as cheap as DVD burners were, around the $30-40 range. But both of these are bundled on PCs, so the cost factor isn't there. As for DVD drives, that Blu-Ray cost factor doesn't apply.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by antalgebra View Post
aside, who wouldnt want a free 8GB re-writable Microsoft branded USB thumb-drive with their purchase of Office 2010? the cost to the manufacture them is just a couple bucks and declining... and the worth to 'turn a few heads' on the software isle when Ms Grandma is purchasing her accounting tools? priceless.
Ha! You give corporations too much credit.

Let me tell you how they see it in a very rough example:

1,000,000 units to manufacturer and sell. DVDs are 0.2 cents each in that quantity and flash media might be $1 at best. That's $1,000,000 of materials for the flash distribtuion, verses $2,000. It wouldn't take a business major to look at that and go with the significantly cheaper option. There would have to be a very real need for companies to switch to something else. And that need isn't here yet, and probably won't be here for a long time.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Jun 2009   #28
jw12345

Windows 7
 
 

Optical drives are not as widespread as you imply. Many OEMs offer PCs without them, netbooks do not include them (netbooks are a huge chunk of the notebook market right now, not just techies), ultraportables such as the Macbook Air usually do not have them. I really don't want another optical drive again on anything but my desktop, because of the weight, size, and battery life problems they come with. Heck, if somebody came out with an ultra-thin all-in-one that didn't have an optical drive I wouldn't much care even then. Netbooks themselves are over 20% of the laptop market.

What is MS going to do? Tell these people they must spend $75 on an external drive just to install their software?

There is almost no downside to USB drives that I know of, but it comes with huge advantages. They will allow for smaller packaging which retail stores really love because of cost savings to them, and to Microsoft the cost issue isn't important because the margin per sale is so high that it doesn't matter if .5% or 1% of the retail price is lost to packaging.

And why would the average middle-age person care if it's flash memory or an optical disk? Everybody who uses a computer knows how to plug in a USB drive and the behavior once plugged in is identical. They're not idiots. Especially the maybe 5% of people who upgrade their PC's OS.

I really don't see a single valid reason to keep optical disks around for installation media.
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24 Jun 2009   #29
antalgebra

Windows 7 64bit Ultimate Build 7268.0.090701-1900
 
 

ok, time for the COMMENTARY


Quote:
ciphernemo;142124]That is only true when the consumers no longer have the means to get the specific hardware required. You guys talk about computers not coming with optical drives, but that's just not true. Only netbooks, UMPCs, and other crossover mobile/computing devices don't come pre-equipped with an optical drive. ALL DESKTOPS come with one, regardless of where you buy it, except for crossover/mobile desktops like the Eee Box. And pretty much all regular laptops still come with them.
Thats alatta 'exceptions' their buddy. Your pretty much listed off many of the things that are following the market, and proved the point that many machines arent coming with them anymore. Oh yeah, 'except' (theres that word again) 'except' regular ones. I wish I can afford a 'regular' pc. instead I have to build them myself >:

Why do I have to build them myself, you ask? cuz. Im a lowly paid dev at microsoft that can't afford to by these 'regular' ones you speak of. and why again? becuase I'm a sole providor for 3, and I live here in redmond, WA where rent prices have skyrocketed, and frankly I cant afford to live anymore. What's the first thing Im ganna cross off my 'to-do' list to buy? you gottit. my next blu-ray player. thats right, I can't even afford that player that's retailed at $109 thats is no longer supported by LG. (why? becuase supporting it costs them BILLIONS of dollars in shipping, replacements, and lawsuits. good luck to anyone that doesent want to buy it new. How much new? that's right. 189.99 plus tax at fry's electronics. Why fry's? cuz I can return it if it doesent work. Your 89 dollar drive is really 300. becuase even if the drive does come (eventually) it wont work for very long, and your going to get sick of it not putting out to your 7.1 sound setup, and be thinking of what 'antalgebra' told you about what NOT to buy, and then going out and getting a new one for... $189.99?

::inhale::

Quote:
Because optical media is the defacto, consumers expect to get an optical drive with a new computer. Neither consumer cost nor manufacturer costs will be the ultimate deciding factor in the long run (even though it affects things now). The ultimate breaking point for a change in media will be when consumers become comfortable with the new technology. And your average middle-aged person isn't going to be comfortable with anything other than a CD/DVD right now. But our emerging generations will be, and that will help change the distribution of things.
ok, I have a few issues with these... but mostly stuff I already said. I'd like some opinions on this. Can anyone else shed a point of view here?


Quote:
Unfortunately, the other problem is that there is no need to switch right now or in the near future. If most people have an optical drive now and in the near future, why switch to a more expensive distribution medium?
you mean why can't we price gouge the consumer more? Let me tell you a little story, (and I KNOW your going to read it, cuz it's a rebuttle to your point of view, and is human nature )

I've met a few devs that were in charge of the Vista era, and i'll tell you what, thats something that most of them NIX from their resume's; cuz frankly nobody wants to see that. The first time I met a dev, was over a beer at a get-together, and I told him that I promised someone I would punch him square in the face if I ever saw him. why? for price gaugoing the american consumer. Vista was designed to be the next generation PC to work on the next generation hardware, for the next generation consumer. It required it's consumer to purchase a $1200 PC, (if it came with xp, then a $150 vista OS), a $300 monitor, a $60+ pair of speakers, and always be connected to $50/mo cable internet to get updates (or else!! ever try to install the SP0 out of box without updates? oh yeah, your in for a treat!) that's not even including the nicities, like Office, games, etc, whats a computer without programs? nothing (almost). and that's STARTUP costs. not including anything after the fact. Where am I going with this? everybody hated it. it sucked. nobody could afford the boxes it was designed to run on, and everyone was quite content with xp, not seeing a single need to move forward except as an excuse to buy another PC. average life of a PC in 1998-2000? 4 years. Average life of a PC in 2004? 8 years. Nobody saw that one coming.

where am I going with this?

a very smart person stood up and asked: "why dont we make our OS geared toward what people ALREADY have?"

...


So let's think about this for a second. 4 years from now. should manufacturers be soley out to put out things so that we have to upgrade our equipment to run it? or... maybe that 1$ USB reader is starting to look pretty good.... after all, grandma still has her Pentium2 from the 90's... with a dusty 1.1 USB port on the back.... why would anyone NOT want to sell her software?

Oh yes, and I'm leaving out the gamer with the $8,000 DELL XPS next-year-model equipped with 4 blu-ray burners, and maybe even a couple.... USB ports?


Quote:
I would bet that the preferred media of choice would switch to the Internet before it ever switches to flash memory. You might see adoptions of networking standards that allow manufacturers to connect system boards to the Internet on a low-level interface to grab data and write it to local storage, bypassing the need for an O/S to do simple downloads.
BINGO!!

Your 100% right!! (see? Im not all about desagreement, even though it makes for great conversation)

Cloud computing (a WHOLE nother thread, please dont reference this) is the next-next generation, because it's a little far out. especially for mainstream software download. why you ask? becuase of the "Last Mile".

57% of households in the US (irrellevent number I pulled from google) HAVE internet. and as the number looks to have been exponentially growing over the past decade, it's leveling out. cuz Cox, timewarner, Comcast are all companies that are about to plummet in 4 years. They have been the solution to the this so- called 'last mile'. I can get fiber optic internet at 1Gbit/sec for about 10 bucks/month. problem? It's across the street. Solution? wireless data transfer.

Now touching politics, with an 'if' conditional.

If a democrat is elected to office in 2012, we will have a federal funded wireless program that will end up costing taxpayers roughly 20 cents per person for 100% nationwide wireless coverage at a decent speed.

If a Republican get's elected we will see Comcast merge with T-Mobile to create a private wireless network available at $50/mo, and will provide a HUGE boost to the economies and markets that are associated with it.

::inhale::

Quote:
You're comparing that wrong with wrong values. USB ports are on everything, so the cost for USB is not an issue. And Blu-Ray players are $89 now. By 2010, they'll be as cheap as DVD burners were, around the $30-40 range. But both of these are bundled on PCs, so the cost factor isn't there. As for DVD drives, that Blu-Ray cost factor doesn't apply.
Nope. apples to apples. readers to readers, media to media.

Bluray burner = $199.99 to consumer; roughly $2,000,000 setup for MFG
DVD burner = $29.99; roughly $2,000 setup for MFG
CD burner = swap meet; roghly $2,000 setup for MFG (yup, near same)
USB reader = swap meet/trash can back of grannies puter; roughly $40 bucks for MFG.

Blu Ray media = $5 per disc for consumer; .65c to MFG
DVD Media = .50c per disc for consumer; .05c tp MFG
CD Media = .05c per disc for consumer; .05c to MFG
USB media = $1 per Gig.; .25c per Gig for MFG


So... (yes I'm giving corperations credit here, sorry)

in your below Ex. if I was a corperation that massed produced BDrives (and to prject the next 4 years, I need to build and plan NOW) should I go for... Cd's? no, not enough space. DVD's? no... thats not future thinking.... BD drives... ummm... lets compare:

if I sold 1 unit per year, I pay startup costs (5 mil) i pay media costs (.65c per) Im HELLA in the red for my $40 dollar program

but with USB....
if I sold 1 unit per year, I pay startup cost... hey! im sitting at all the equipment I need!!!!!! my VERY FIRST UNIT, im turning a profit!

(strictly speaking media here, llet's not throw random operating costs, even though they will be thrown at teh 2 million dollar setup above)

and the rest of your rebuttle:

Quote:
Ha! You give corporations too much credit.

Let me tell you how they see it in a very rough example:

1,000,000 units to manufacturer and sell. DVDs are 0.2 cents each in that quantity and flash media might be $1 at best. That's $1,000,000 of materials for the flash distribtuion, verses $2,000. It wouldn't take a business major to look at that and go with the significantly cheaper option. There would have to be a very real need for companies to switch to something else. And that need isn't here yet, and probably won't be here for a long time.

(I promise I wont post this long again, but sometimes it needs to be done; and is all well intended and good natured conversation)
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24 Jun 2009   #30
antalgebra

Windows 7 64bit Ultimate Build 7268.0.090701-1900
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by DarkNovaGundam View Post
Also depending on the size of the Flash Drive/SD Card a company provides, could use it to back-up files for that program/OS.

omg! ::noted::
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