back to article Apple dealers hit with Lion bar

Apple is bypassing the channel to sell the forthcoming Lion OS directly to biz customers in yet another blow to its beleaguered partner base, resellers have claimed. Corporate enterprises and education users will be able to purchase a minimum of 20 volume licenses for Lion directly at the Mac App Store via iTunes, in a move …

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  1. Chad H.
    Thumb Down

    Old news.

    Upgrade via app store only was announced weeks ago.

  2. jai

    oh my bleeding heart

    "This is of no benefit to the reseller..."

    But for the end users, it's fantastic.

    So instead of paying £128 for my OS X upgrade (because this is a full release, not the mostly transparent upgrade that Snow Leopard was), I'm going to be paying about 20 quid.

    I'm sorry, but for a hundred quid, I can't quite feel sorry for the retailers.

    1. Lance 3

      Not so

      While you may not consider Snow Leopard a full release, it does show that they can use the resellers to sell it and still make a profit. So clearly they could have sold Lion the same way and at a very similar price point. It doesn't cost a hundred quid to sell it through resellers. That markup is not anywhere close to that.

      At most you are look at around 5 to 10 extra and could be even less if they cut a lot of the packaging out.

    2. No, I will not fix your computer
      Megaphone

      Doh! - The real reason.... not retailers or customers

      ....is that Hackintosh is now starting to gather steam, it's always been in a grey area for legality as far as licencing the OS is concerned.

      Apple only does things that benefit apple (they're not a charity or public service!), by not having disks you can't just put it on that old bit of kit you have lying around, or that rather nice Dell Mini 10 (Snow Leopard runs beautifully on it), we're starting to see PCs appear on eBay pre-installed with OSX, I have a Dell 490 with 2x 3.33Ghz Xeon Quads, it cost me less than £300 and out performs Macs that cost five times as much.

      Apple will make this move, then they will code the installs to prevent installing on non Apple kit, then they will make some statement about it being illegal to steal OSX licences, the BSD/Mach derived core is potentially less of a headache for them than a Linux kernel.

      Ask yourself this question; why would Apple disregard a sales channel?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Thumb Up

        Good!

        I'm glad they are doing it this way. It will stop the pirates. Or at least help. I'm a U.S citizen visiting the Philippines and almost everywhere you go you see pirated copies of everything. They don't even try and hide it. Windows 7 you can get for 50 cents, they sell OSX for one dollar. I know a lot of people don't see it this way, but if you don't pay for the product, how does the company grow to bring you even better software. If apple only wants their software on a true mac, then that's their choice. And this is just my opinion, doing it this way, they keep their brand ALL APPLE. It makes perfect sense why they are doing it this way.

  3. ducatis'r us
    FAIL

    accuracy

    As far as i know software is downloaded from the the App Sore and installed directly without using iTunes.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Devil

    !!ZOMG!!!!1!!

    Apple screws over 'partners' yet again. Who'da thunk it?

    Fuck 'em. They knew what they were getting into when they decided to do business with Apple. It is well documented that Apple only play with other people when it suits them and will stab them in the back at the first opportunity.

    No sympathy. Get in bed with the devil expect to be goatse'd

    1. Steven Knox
      Meh

      True, but of couse...

      s/Apple/Microsoft/g

      s/Apple/Google/g

      It's called business.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      WTF?

      Whatever

      Just because resellers made money by selling OS X updates in the past doesn't mean Apple has a moral obligation to them.

      You live in a twisted world if you think putting some boxed software on a store shelf is "getting in bed with the devil."

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Gimp

        Updates?

        I thought each version of OSX was a 'whole spanking brand new version' and not a service pack? At least that's the argument the fanboys come up with each time they get shafted paying for a few tweaks to an OS that's a decade old. Even Microsoft don't try to shaft their users that badly and give service packs away for free.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Who's getting shafted?

          Windows 7 is basically just Vista with performance improvements and new wallpapers. Snow Leopard is basically just Leopard with performance improvements and new wallpapers.

          Apple only wants $29 for SL, and it's really an optional upgrade since Leopard is perfectly usable. Microsoft almost forces you to upgrade to Win7 since Vista is such a dog, and I can't figure out how much it costs because there are too damn many SKUs, but the cheapest "Windows 7" product on Newegg is $80 and that appears to only upgrade an existing Windows 7 install to a higher-SKU version.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Vista was a dog admittedly

            But has been improved greatly by the released service packs and is now very usable. It is still running on my laptop which came with it installed and I see no need to upgrade to Win7 as it is working perfectly well and has run everything I have thrown at it. It got a bad reputaion, and rightly so which it never recovered from so Microsoft made the sensible business decision to move onto Win7 which is similar as they share the same core, but it is very different. However that doesn't mean Vista was discarded, I am still getting updates for it and will continue to do so for the forseeable future. Plus everything released for Win 7 will run on it so no need to upgrade.

            My desktop is running Windows 7 that I paid £70 for (full retail not OEM). That might seem a bit steep, but I am fairly confident that I will still be receiving updates for it in 10 years time given how long they have supported XP. If I change my desktop, I can take my OS with me without spending another penny and I can do that as many times as I want. It will get bug fixes, security updates and new features in the time I have it, all free of charge. I can also choose to install any or all of the many free pieces of software that they make available for download and when new releases come out over the next 10 years I can be pretty sure that they will run on Win7.

            By comparison, OSX will have had how many yearly refreshes in that time? And every single one of them will be chargeable. If you buy a new Mac, you can't get it without an OS so even if you buy Lion now, then buy a new Mac in a few months time you will be buying Lion again as it is included in the price. How long will Apple support each release for? They dropped support for Tiger in 2009, only 4 years after its release and yet Tiger was their most successful release of OSX ever. 4 years worth of updates and then they basically said buy a new version or get stuffed, if you find any more bugs or security holes we don't care it's your own fault for not buying the latest version. Funny how Apple users seem to just accept that and hand over the cash while Windows users kick up a stink if MS even think about stopping support for XP even though it is over 10 years old. 4 years vs 10, hows that for customer support?

            Buying a new OS for a lump sum every 10 years vs paying for updates every year which even at £20 works out a lot more than I paid for my OS - which do you think is the better investment?

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Point taken, although...

              $29 every 4 years still works out to be a little better than $100+ every 10 years.

              BTW, depending on how closely you like to follow license agreements, how you use the Apple "upgrade" discs is up to you. The Snow Leopard disc does not check for a previous OS X installation and does not do any sort of product activation... really a breath of fresh air compared to Windows, which no longer even lets you upgrade a desktop and laptop with the same disc.

            2. Goat Jam
              Windows

              given how long they have supported XP

              They were forced to support XP forever when it became apparent that their magical Windows Longhorn project was a complete and utter failure. After several years of dropping feature after feature they ended up with nothing. This forced them to take their server 2003 and XP code bases and hurriedly merge them into the Frankensteins monster that was Vista.

              They then launched that mess at the unsuspecting public and making wild promises about how amazing it was with an enormous marketing campaign budget to push the message.

              This of course blew up in their faces as people realized that Vista was a dog and they refused enmasse to upgrade.

              So, having blown 5 years on Longhorn and ended up with nothing to show for it, they then lost another 2 years cobbling together Vista and after another year of lack lustre Vista take up they were left in a difficult position.

              The majority of their users were being refuseniks and camping on XP. They had two options, force them to upgrade to the highly unpopular Vista by dropping support or extend support several more years.

              They wisely chose the latter.

              However, you should not assume that because XP will be end up being supported for 14 or 15 years that the same thing will happen with current or future versions of Windows.

              I'm sure that they will want to bury Vista in particular once and for all at the earliest possible time.

              What does the Windows User icon mean?

              1. Captain Underpants
                Meh

                @Goat Jam

                For the Pro^WBusiness/Enterprise editions at least MS have generally committed to 10 years of support from launch date (as long as you're up to date on your service packs). XP's extended life was an aberration due to Vista's initial terrible (and deservedly so) reputation, though as others have mentioned Vista SP2 is actually very usable (though too late to make it a viable commercially-sold OS).

                Like it or not, Microsoft do generally offer longer-term support for at least some versions of their OS than Apple. That's partly down to Apple viewing its target audience as being exclusively consumers (and thus getting away with adopting an extended support phase attitude that amounts to "Buy the latest version of OS X or GTFO").

            3. treefort

              what's to accept??

              I like buying the new versions. Wish they would come out with a whole new one every year. What's so hard about handing over 30 dollars. Nothing. It supports your chosen brand. (Mac or Windows). Mac users don't pay for updates. There can be hundreds of new updates throughout the year...all free. But a major release you should pay for. Why run an outdated system? Right now Microsoft is forcing all it's users to update if they want to use IE 9. You need windows 7. Why, because the old piece of junk can't keep up with the new technology. Same with Mac. Tiger is an old piece of junk so you have to update to use the new technology. I have no problem with Windows or Mac. Both platforms work just fine, I just like mac more. But I don't want to pay 80-100 dollars to upgrade my windows xp to windows 7. But I'm happy to pay 30 to upgrade to the latest version of the mac. And I think the Mac is the better investment :)

          2. MCG
            Thumb Down

            How much?

            Windows 7 Home Premium - when I bought it not so long ago - was an extortionate UKP 30. And that was a full version, not an upgrade or OEM. Newegg is not the be-all and end-all of online software shopping.

        2. Chad H.
          FAIL

          Microsoft do charge for service packs

          Windows 7 anyone.

          And no, apple do not charge for service packs. Each point release is just as significant if not more than MS's OS releases

        3. nyelvmark
          Flame

          Oh yeah?

          So what happened to the service pack that fixed all those obvious shortcomings of Windows Vista? Oh, yes, that's right - it's called Windows 7 and you have to pay for it.

          1. Goat Jam
            Windows

            MS Shills are on the job today

            Three comments pointing out the fact that Win7 is little more than a fix for all the glaring inadequacies in Vista and each one is downvoted.

            I thought MS had publicly admitted that Vista was not MS finest moment?

            Go back to your masters commentard and get a copy of the latest memo FFS.

  5. lansalot

    hahaha

    Will take a certain age of reader to understand the "Lion Bar" bit there...

    Topic-al ?

    1. Jolyon

      You're barred

      This is going to be a pun marathon.

      1. mafoo
        Coat

        title

        i will not fudge my words, your a fruit and nut-case

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          @mafoo

          This isnt a joke Marathon. Make another one like that and we'll have to put a bounty on your head. You're only doing it to put a boost on your upvotes.

        2. XMAN

          oh please

          don't be such a willy wonker!

      2. John Bailey
        Happy

        Aw sweetie

        Is it because I snickered at the joke?

        1. Dan 55 Silver badge
          Coat

          If I had a Dime every time I heard that joke

          Thank you very much.

    2. Return To Sender

      Certain age?

      The Lion bar is still on sale...

    3. MrT

      A little off Topic...

      In the battle of chocolate bar tag lines, I'm obliged to say...

      "Get some nuts!"

  6. Captain Underpants
    Pint

    Aw, for -REDACTED-'s sake....

    Yes, because that's what you want, a bunch of big corporates & education clients being forced to purchase their upgrade licences as downloads through the same flaky portal that's built around processing consumer credit cards. Do I believe the ability to submit payment via POs is built into the App Store? Do I -REDACTED-. Apple are a high-end consumer electronics company, after all.

    *grumble*

    (Yes, I know, it's the company/uni's fault for letting the userbase have Apple gear in the first place. You try telling university staff, particularly senior academic staff, that they can't have the new shiny FruitMachine and see how far you get. Different story when the feckin' things break, or won't run any of the dozens of Windows-only software they 'need' to use, but then it always bloody is....some days being a sysadmin is just ballache from start to finish.)

    Beer Icon 'cos I need one, knowing how much pain this little App-Store-promoting stunt is going to cause...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      So let's see

      With Apple, you get a major new version of the OS for << $29/seat (bulk license will presumably be much cheaper than individual), you pay for it via iTunes (easy), and you can download an installer immediately that will probably install Lion on any Mac you want without even checking for a license, asking for an activation code, etc. (just like the Snow Leopard "updater"). Seriously, how is Apple supposed to make this process any easier?

      Compare to Microsoft, where right off the bat you're talking weeks of negotiation with a sales team, then you have to sort out licensing and product activation, you might have to set up a license server depending on the size of your deployment, etc. And Apple is the bad guy?

      1. Hyphen
        FAIL

        "you pay for it via iTunes (easy)"

        Not so easy if your organisation doesn't believe in / let the IT dept have access to / cannot justify / etc company credit cards.

        99% of our (IT at least) purchases are made using purchase orders and subsequent invoices. The other 1% is made using cheques. The company does not believe credit cards are a worthwhile investment. And good luck finding anyone who's willing to get that on their personal CC and claim on expenses!

        So yes, most of that process is easy, except for the bit where you give them £££ (or rather $$$) - the rest of it fails to fall in line then! Least Microsoft's partners (remember them?) will let us pay by PO - and Microsoft make all the downloads we've licensed easily available to download!

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Happy

          Ahh

          So your company dosn't trust it's IT departmeant, cant say i blame them having read the BoFH.

        2. Walt French

          I Used to work for a shop like that…

          that thought it was somehow smarter to run a PO thru a bunch of hands and get signoff up and down the line.

          A couple hours of paper pushing for a crummy $29 item. Not exactly what you call “best practices.”

          The company is no longer in business.

        3. Captain Underpants
          Boffin

          @AC

          Yeah, basically what Hyphen said.

          I'm not opposed to the idea of making the software available via download, it's pushing it out via the App Store with iTunes-tethered payment that I'm seeing as a problem. iTunes is, as far as I'm aware, a resolutely consumer-oriented affair, and Apple are very unlikely to have built payment systems into it that can handle non-credit-card options, which creates hassle and auditing issues for any organisation with more than a couple of hundred (at most) employees.

          Of course, I shouldn't be surprised as this is the same company that insists it makes high-end consumer electronics (even when some of those have a Pro range available), but it's still a pain in the arse.

    2. Stuart Castle Silver badge

      Not quite

      If what I read on TUAW is correct, Apple have said that educational and corporate customers will need to talk to their Representative, who will give them a code to enable them to download one copy of Lion. This copy of Lion can then be imaged and distributed using the same systems they use for Snow Leopard.

      1. Captain Underpants
        Meh

        @Stuart

        That sounds less like a disaster waiting to happen, though it's a bit crap that I'm finding this out through a thread on El Reg rather than from our Apple Account Manager who I've been bugging about this for the last couple of weeks...about par for the course though, I suppose.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    yep

    The Apple partner I work for has teh same issue. Only via app store.

  8. Thomas 4

    Apple dealers hit with Lion bar

    Resellers complain about being covered in chocolate and wafer pieces.

  9. Rogerborg

    Snickers

    Bit of a marathon story there.

    1. jai

      exhausted from all the reading?

      take a break, have a kitkat!

  10. Jonathan White
    Meh

    Lion bar? yum!

    Always loved them... anyway....

    All this has done is removed a 'money for nothing' revenue stream from resellers. It means they can no longer just buy boxes from Apple and sell them on, making a chunk of money in between. The really good resellers will still survive on 'service' items like installations and support contracts. The 'PC world' style 'stick it on a shelf and know nothing about it' merchants will fail. I for one will weep no tears when this particular example of survival of the fittest happens.

    Jon

    1. The Fuzzy Wotnot
      Happy

      Yep!

      Anyone ever try Lion Bar cereal? Short lived for a very good reason, it was basically crushed up Lion Bar bars in a cereal box! Absolutely awful stuff and a bowlful must have had a calorific value somewhere in the doner kebab/large meatfeast pizza range! Ha ha!

  11. TuckerJJ

    What's a price point?

    Is that like a price?

    1. Chad H.

      Yeah

      It's what they call it in marketingeese

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Joke

        marketin geese

        Is that what you call dead ones just before they get sold?

  12. doperative
    WTF?

    Premium resellers fear criticizing Apple?

    You quote one representitive of CompTIA, and two anonymous Premium resellers as evidence of Apples arrogance towards partners. The purported reason they want to remain anonymous is the presumed retaliation from Apple for criticizing the company openly.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      RE: Premium resellers fear criticizing Apple?

      Yup, they sure will. <cough>ty years ago I ran a small Apple dealership with some friends, it can be summed up by nice product, shame about the ******* we have to deal with. It would be hard to imagine how Apple as a company could have been harder to deal with, and whether they could have tried even harder to make life difficult for dealers.

      Back then it was clear that the rules of the dealership contract were there to be enforced or not according to whether it suited Apple. So certain dealers got "extended credit" while others were shat on from a height if all bills weren't paid on time - it was a time of recession, funny how these things come round again. It all depended on whether your corporate image suited them.

      Back then, Apple was still reliant on it's dealers, and especially the premium ones under the AppleCentre brand. It came to a head when a number of the larger ones called Apple's bluff (they weren't happy at the very sloping playing field), and called their account manager for a meeting. Once the account managers reported back to Apple that a number of large dealers had piles of IBM boxes in the showroom, a certain big dealer that had been allowed "extended credit" suddenly folded.

      Today, Apple isn't reliant on it's dealers - it has it's own stores, it has it's web store. So even if all of the dealers clubbed together, Apple would tell them to f***-off. So yes, they are scared to criticise Apple openly, for if they do, then they can reasonably expect to a) have every tiny detail of their business scrutinised to see if there's any excuse to terminate them, and b) they are likely to face unfortunate product shortages when they try to order stock.

      As for download only, I'd need to see the details. In particular, whether I can burn it and make a bootable disk - if not, then WTF do I do if/when I need to reinstall a system ?

  13. Chris D Rogers
    Thumb Down

    Instead of saving £100 I only get to save £20!!!

    This is quite crass of Apple, one used to console myself that after spending a fortune on its hardware I could save a bundle on its software by bypassing payment altogether and downloading from a trusted torrent site.

    Now Steve Jobs turns around and practically gives the OS away without even a cardboard box to show it off in.

    What next, I suppose they'll be giving the OS away free shortly, thus putting hundreds of illegal download sites out of business and adding to unemployment in both the US and UK.

    Shame on them!!!

  14. Michael Mokrysz
    FAIL

    Cheaper for who?

    I'm sure any Apple shops with tens or hundreds of machines will greatly look forward to 40-400 GB downloads, and the associated bandwidth costs.

  15. This post has been deleted by a moderator

    1. The Fuzzy Wotnot
      Headmaster

      Braze yourselves?

      Much as my DIY skills are passable and my desire to upgrade my machines O/S strong, melting bits of metal to myself in order to upgrade my O/S is a step too far even for Jobs to demand surely?!

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    So a pirate copy for most "third world" countries

    Countries like the Philippines only have RESELLERS. There's no official apple stores. There's the "A Store" which is a reseller.

    Most Filipinos don't have credit cards, yes - even those who own a mac. So they couldn't purchase online even if they wanted to.

    So if they can't buy it at the store, the only solution is to download a pirate copy.

    The chances are high that they'd just download a pirate copy anyway, but you're giving them an excuse when they have no other choice.

    1. Juan De La Cruz
      Happy

      Dude you're lost

      What are you talking about, we have a huge thriving Mac community in the Philippines.

      http://www.philmug.ph

      Mac users from the Philippines can easily buy stuff from the Apps store and iTunes no problem. If you don't have a credit card, it is so easy to get one. Like the US, Philippine banks are actually begging you to sign up for their service - that is if you have the cash or business (or Job) to qualify.

      If you can't qualify for a credit card service I think you have more pressing financial worries then buying software from Apple. (Let me guess, you used you whole life savings when buying your Macbook? Bad move bro.)

    2. Chad H.

      There's also

      "Prepaid" credit cards.

  17. David Neil
    WTF?

    £20?

    For a service pack?

    F'ck me there really is one born every minute

    1. Chad H.
      FAIL

      Yeah

      They should have priced it like windows 7.

      And it's not a service pack, we've already had a handful of those -for free - this is a major OS update.

    2. Snapper Bronze badge
      WTF?

      SP

      I think your wit has been fucked!

      It's not a service pack.

      Just because it's downloadable don't equate it with one of Big M's major bug fixes.

      We more perceptive citizens have a major upgrade to the next point version of the OS.

      It costs £20 or $29 to download for up to five computers.

      Perhaps you should bin your dinosaur and join the 21st century!

      Or are you just jealous?

      1. David Neil

        You are absolutely right

        Such innovations as full screen apps really do justify paying extra

        1. Chad H.
          WTF?

          Programs can already run fullscreen

          Telltale manage it somehow.

  18. nyelvmark
    WTF?

    Partner?

    What the fuck does 'partner' mean? The modern business-school meaning seems to be either 'supplier' or 'customer' depending who you're talking to. This is only sometimes confusing, but (IMO) always bloody annoying.

    It even spreads to other languages. Not 50m from my flat there's a massive billboard advertisement which says (in Hungarian) "Does your bank treat you like a partner?" Uh, no - my bank treats me like a customer. I would be very pleased if they sent me a cheque every year saying "here is your share of our profits" but they don't, and I'm pretty sure the advertising bank doesn't either.

    You might feel a nice warm glow inside when Steve Jobs calls you an Apple partner, but if you think he sees you any differently than any other customer, you're deceiving yourself. But don't worry - he loves you for it.

    1. peterkin

      Special relationship

      A partner is someone who's f*cked, no?

  19. Walt French

    Why Do People Want To Give Away Their Money???

    To retailers, whose knowledge extends to “I think you can find the Apple stuff on the bottom rack over there.”

    We have a little saying: “Lead, follow, or get out of the way.” If the retailers were helping users with installation, or advertising the new features so shoppers could decide whether they wanted to bother, or providing much of ANY marketing services at all, you could make an argument for pricing the disks an extra $50 higher to cover their efforts and a fair profit.

    They used to do that. But it's been a long time since *I* have seen much of any reason to pay extra to somebody who can't find the power switch on a demo machine.

    I weep for this the same way that I weep for the days when people had whips to make the horses trot faster.

  20. Andy 17
    Flame

    App Store..

    Does this mean the app store is now just a software store after all then? I mean Lion isn't an app is it? - it's an Operating System.

    Hope that dents the ridiculous patent application!

  21. Adam T
    WTF?

    AppleID

    So now we have to manage multiple AppleIDs in the office if we want to install Lion?

    Fuck me, but this is getting to be a headache. I have more than 5 macs at home never mind at work - I'd hate to be in a company with dozens of these things.

    Sure I'll admit that £20 is a great price point, and hey it fits 5 macs, but that comes with the caveat of no install disk. Frankly I'd be happier with the option to pay £75 for the disk. But this isn't about ease of use or the fabled "experience selling", it's about adding more walls to the garden, and I'm actually starting to feel a little claustrophobic.

    Apple need to be a lot more upfront with information, because the lack of it - and explanations as to their thinking going forward - is putting me off.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Down

      Not fit for corporates

      "I'd hate to be in a company with dozens of these things."

      Me too, for so many reasons...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Heh well yea...

        I was thinking of post-production, design agencies and publishing houses. And the latter two aren't very well known for their stellar IT.

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