MS: Why does Windows cost more with fewer features outside the US?

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  1. Kari's Avatar
    Posts : 17,438
    Windows 10 Pro
       #1

    MS: Why does Windows cost more with fewer features outside the US?


    MS: Why does Windows cost more with fewer features outside the US?-cortana.jpg

    When Windows 10 was launched, Cortana was one of its most-hyped new features. As a hitherto never-seen digital assistant, it was said to help users around the world "get more out of Windows". Here is what Microsoft said on the day of the Windows 10 launch, July 29th, 2015, quoted verbatim:

    As everyone’s favourite personal digital assistant debuts in new countries around the world, we find out how Cortana is being customized for each individual region and culture.

    Cortana has been helping to manage the lives of Windows Phone users in select countries (such as the UK, China, and U.S.) for over a year now.

    Soon, with the launch of Windows 10, she’ll be traveling to new destinations, including France, Italy, Germany, and Spain. In the coming months, she’ll also be available to customers in the Windows Insider Program in Japan, Australia, Brazil, Canada, and Mexico, and in English in India.
    Source: Cortana: World traveller

    Officially, Cortana was announced to be available in quite a lot of languages, in quite a lot of regions:

    MS: Why does Windows cost more with fewer features outside the US?-cortanan-availability.jpg

    Screenshot from Cortana's regions and languages

    However, today, Cortana is only available in USA, for US users. I noticed this already half a year ago, when Cortana simply stopped working in Insider Fast Ring builds, as my tweet from October 2019 shows:



    Since that, I have not been able to use Cortana. It is also not working in any other language and region than US English in USA / Canada in Windows 10 version 20H1 (2004).

    That would be OK, if having one of the most crucial, essential features of Windows 10 missing was reflected in the product's price. However, we Europeans, and users in Asia, Oceania and other parts of the world, still pay a lot more for Windows 10 than American users. Yet we get fewer features, including this all-important one. Also, new features designed only for the US market are coming: The last Insider Fast Ring upgrade introduced a News Bar. That, too, is only available for US users in the USA, right now. My bet is that it will remain available only for users in US when it's out of Preview stage. That's not right.

    At the moment in Insider builds, and in the upcoming Windows 10 version 2004, Cortana and News Bar are only available for American users in the USA.

    Please do not take me wrong, some of my best friends are Americans, but it's commonly known that Americans are less interested in news of the world ("not America" news) and the world outside USA in general, than for instance we Europeans. Ask an average American to show Switzerland on the map: most probably cannot. We here in Europe, and the rest of the world, we generally are more interested in the world and global news. Yet, the News Bar, with its almost 5,000 news sources, is available only for US users in the US. There's no good reason why for instance UK users could not get the same service, or me here in my adopted home country Germany. Why is this feature available only for those who don't really use it? Again, that's not right.

    Let's see some real data. Windows 10 Pro costs $199.99 in the US today. For that, a user gets all its features. To compare, some other regions, which do not get Cortana and / or News Bar: In the UK, Windows 10 Pro costs £219.99 ($276.33 at today's exchange rates at14:00 (2 PM) CEST). That's over 38% higher, with fewer features. In the European Union's Euro region, Windows 10 Pro costs €259, or $284. That's 42% more than in the US. Take Japan next: there today, Windows 10 Pro costs ¥ 29,380 which is $264.36. That's 32% higher than in the US. You get the idea: I could go on but the point remains more or less the same.

    Sales taxes and such cannot explain the difference. It looks as if Microsoft has adapted the doctrine of current US administration: "America first, screw the rest". Microsoft: "We offer full features for our American users, The rest of you, try to adapt!".

    A simple question to Microsoft: why do we non-US users pay more for less?

    Kari
      My Computer

  2. idgat's Avatar
    Posts : 925
    Windows 10 Pro
       #2

    Kari said:
    MS: Why does Windows cost more with fewer features outside the US?-cortana.jpg
    Some people are just lucky, I guess
      My Computer

  3. Kari's Avatar
    Posts : 17,438
    Windows 10 Pro
    Thread Starter
       #3

    idgat said:
    Some people are just lucky, I guess
    What has luck to do with it? Or, do you mean you in Australia get Cortana in latest Insider builds or in Windows 10 version 2004?

    Kari
      My Computer

  4. Compumind's Avatar
    Posts : 2,758
    Windows 10 Pro x64, Various Linux Builds, Networking, Storage, Cybersecurity Specialty.
       #4

    @Kari -

    You are spot on with your observation. What Microsoft is doing is wrong and nonsensical.
    They are killing Cortana off on the mobile devices so I think that it will be a matter of time before it gets axed on the other platforms, too.

    I never use it anyway.

    FWIW.
      My Computer

  5. Kari's Avatar
    Posts : 17,438
    Windows 10 Pro
    Thread Starter
       #5

    Compumind said:
    I never use it anyway.
    I like Cortana, used it quite a lot as long as it was available to me. I use UK English Windows, there was an option to tell Cortana that I am not a native English speaker. That setting enabled, Cortana had no difficulties to understand my hard, Scandinavian accent. I have posted here on Ten Forums and on my own site, as well as on Twitter, simply by dictating to Cortana.

    I really want to get Cortana back!

    Kari
      My Computer

  6. idgat's Avatar
    Posts : 925
    Windows 10 Pro
       #6

    Kari said:
    What has luck to do with it?
    Now that you can't get it, lucky that you don't have to put up with this pervasive and invasive audio and visual pollution .... !
      My Computer

  7. Kari's Avatar
    Posts : 17,438
    Windows 10 Pro
    Thread Starter
       #7

    idgat said:
    Now that you can't get it, lucky that you don't have to put up with this pervasive and invasive audio and visual pollution .... !
    I have found some help for you: Robot Check

    Cortana does not spy on me, Microsoft is not interested in if I call my ex-wives bitches in a Skype call, nor do they show any interest in my browsing habits. Microsoft does not post my most embarrassing photos on their staff café walls for laugh, they do not send an email to my Skype contact when I describe him to another contact as "pain in the a**".

    That is just paranoia.

    In fact, allowing full telemetry and Cortana makes my Windows better to be used, better suited to my needs, better user experience.

    Order some tinfoil from link above, check your medication, and make yourself a new hat. Start watching those devious neighbours watching you...

    Kari
      My Computer

  8. idgat's Avatar
    Posts : 925
    Windows 10 Pro
       #8

    Kari said:
    I have found some help for you: Robot Check

    Cortana does not spy on me, Microsoft is not interested in if I call my ex-wives bitches in a Skype call, nor do they show any interest in my browsing habits. Microsoft does not post my most embarrassing photos on their staff café walls for laugh, they do not send an email to my Skype contact when I describe him to another contact as "pain in the a**".

    That is just paranoia.

    In fact, allowing full telemetry and Cortana makes my Windows better to be used, better suited to my needs, better user experience.

    Order some tinfoil from link above, check your medication, and make yourself a new hat. Start watching those devious neighbours watching you...

    Kari
    Absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with paranoia or tin-foil hat-ism. What part of "audio and visual pollution" don't you understand? It's classic, annoying, in-your-face Microsoft treatment of its users - that's the problem.

    And I don't need any patronising condescension from you.
      My Computer

  9. sygnus21's Avatar
    Posts : 5,478
    Win 10 Pro (x64) 20H2 (19042.928)
       #9

    Kari said:
    I have found some help for you: Robot Check


    Order some tinfoil from link above, check your medication, and make yourself a new hat. Start watching those devious neighbours watching you...
    Kari, Kari, Kari - I always find some of your replies quite humorous


    Kari said:
    Cortana does not spy on me, Microsoft is not interested in if I call my ex-wives bitches in a Skype call, nor do they show any interest in my browsing habits. Microsoft does not post my most embarrassing photos on their staff café walls for laugh, they do not send an email to my Skype contact when I describe him to another contact as "pain in the a**".
    But seriously, yeah, sometimes the Microsoft is spying on me mantra is quite laughable as well. Even more laughable is some of those same people live and die by their smartphones with all sorts of "intentional" snooping features, yet that's OK.

    Anyway, I don't use Cortana, but have been using Bixby (Samsung's Cortana equivalent) on my Galaxy Note 9 and find the feature quite useful to the point that I'm considering giving Cortana a try.

    BTW, this "American" reads, is interested in the news, and knows a bit of Geography. Maybe why I'm the kind Trump doesn't like
      My Computers

  10. Try3's Avatar
    Posts : 7,708
    Windows 10 Home x64 Version 20H2 Build 19042.928
       #10

    Kari,

    The price difference has been with us for decades and is not confined to MS. Lots of manufactured goods cost a third more in European countries than they do in the USA.

    And have you seen the price of tinfoil? $9.49 in the USA but £36.00 in the UK. If it gets any worse I won't be able to stop my thoughts being read by the network of spy satellites run by the W.I..

    Denis
      My Computer


 
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