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2006-12-15

The $79 Price War at Spam I Am

I’m sitting here after last night’s high winds thankful that I shut everything down before the power failed completely at around 10:30pm.   It caught me brushing my teeth, but I had taken a flashlight into the bathroom with me.  The only subsequent misadventure was seeing that one of the cats had puked on my desk overnight.  Fortunately, I am relatively tidy although a full clean-desk policy remains ever out of reach.  Nothing important was caught in the mishap.

There are mornings when life is like an old Woody Allen comedy routine.

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Enjoying the light winds and clearing skies outside my window as I begin a fresh day, I am bemused by the price war going on in my Junk E-mail folder.   Shortly after RTM, I began to notice that someone has decided that $79 for Vista is sufficient enticement for opening those e-mails and finding out what they are actually about.  (I have no idea, I don’t look.  Really.)

Over the past few weeks combo packages have entered the bidding war.  So this morning, I see that Vista, Adobe Acrobat 8 PRO (their capitals), and Office 2007 are now pegged at $79.  It looks like a combo offer, but who knows.  I figure opening up one of those to find out is a little too much like walking into one of those off-Times-Square camera shops with all of those electronic specials advertised in the back of magazines.

I am not sure what is to be learned from whatever meticulous market analysis and testing has the proper good-as-free price point for key software be $79 (and I have no idea which Vista and which configuration of the 2007 Office System these teasers apply to, if they have anything to do with pirated software at all).  How did this become the price-point for larcenous temptation?

My other thought is to wonder, were $79 to became the retail price point for the genuine articles (combo’d or not), would spammers and pirates be forced to offer the same items for free?   Would Microsoft and Adobe capture so much market at those volumes that no competitor could enter the market, ever?  I don’t suppose we will get to know the outcome of such a grand micro-economics experiment. 

Still, how does one compute that $79 is too good to ignore without being too good to be true to anyone but those gullible enough to open up the latest bargain mailings from Spam I Am?


[update 2006-12-15T21:38Z  I see Ed Bott has noticed these bargains too, and being a more adventurous soul than I am, has actually checked it out.  I love it that they are selling downloads of DVDs.  Oh yes indeed, all your computer now belong to us … .]

 
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