Windows Vista goes PRODUCT (RED)

windows_vista_product_red.jpg

The PRODUCT (RED) brand has been offering consumers a way to buy their favorite product in the lurid shade of healthy hemoglobin to help fight AIDS in Africa. The merits of the program are debated, particularly in regards to companies offloading the responsibility of choosing to donate money to AIDS research onto their own customers. But still, companies largely choose to sell their PRODUCT (RED) brand products for the same price as their other gadget shades, and simply give a percentage of their profit to charity.

Significantly breaking the mould, though, is Microsoft. They’ve announced that they’ll be selling a Windows Vista Ultimate PRODUCT (RED) edition starting December 15th, made distinct from plain old Ultimate only by some new wallpapers, a screensaver, two sidebar gadgets and a Dreamscene. That’s a lot less enticing even than a whore red iPod.

But for all the blase mundanity of the actual offering, Microsoft doesn’t seem to be taking less of a cut of profit on their PRODUCT (RED) version of Windows Vista Ultimate: in fact, they are upping the price by almost $70, if this pre-order price on Amazon is to be believed. A regular copy of Vista Ultimate is only $149.99; PRODUCT (RED), on the other hand, is $219.95.

Most likely, this discrepancy is more a result of Amazon’s strange discounting algorithms than anything Microsoft is trying to accomplish, but it certainly all has the appearance of Microsoft deciding to charge consumers more rather than give up a slice of their profit for charity. And then, of course, there’s the whole absurdity of Microsoft releasing yet another edition of Windows Vista.

Microsoft Vista Ultimate PRODUCT (RED) [Join RED via Slashgear]

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10 Responses to Windows Vista goes PRODUCT (RED)

  1. SeppTB says:

    Sweet. You could totally buy that, and have a few dollars donated to AIDS research. Or you could open up MSPaint, make a solid red .bmp and set it as your wallpaper, and donate $70 to AIDS research and everyone wins!

  2. seaanemoneman says:

    At least it’s (Vista) RED. I’ve always been bugged by the fact that the comparable iPod is marketed “iPod (PRODUCT) RED” rather than “(iPod) RED.”

  3. brianary says:

    I was going to ask if Vista for AIDS is just basically trading one virus for another, but Simon Greenwood kinda beat me to it.

    Spent too many hours this weekend trying to un-frell my Vista box after Microsoft screwed up an update dependency and caught me in a reboot loop (which I was finally able to stop), before giving up on getting Vista updates to work right.

  4. Anonymous says:

    I just want to mention that Bill Gates, through his Bill and Melinda gates foundation (and with Warren Buffet’s money) have contributed pretty significantly to AIDS prevention in Africa.

    I realize that there is some disconnect between Bill G. and Microsoft, and that he is no longer CEO. But I thought it should be mentioned.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Nice…

    At least Microsoft (the company not the tragic OS) is making an effort. I read the tagline and franky, I was a bit inspired.

    My hope quickly soured reading the review of an Amazon.com ad.

    Smarmy/banal/’clever’ comments—-yup the world doesn’t have enough of these.

  6. montauk says:

    Shopping is not a feasible solution to suffering.

  7. OM says:

    “…As a result of the RED rebranding of Vista, the amount of funding donated to AIDS research actually decreased 28%.”

  8. caipirina says:

    I might be wrong, but wasn’t the first iPod product (red) also a tad more than the regular ipod? Or was that because it came preloaded with U2 music? Not sure …

  9. Simon Greenwood says:

    That’s great, as Vista is practically a virus itself. German Army parka with a penguin drawn on the back in Tipp-ex, thanks.

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