(Microsoft + Dell)RED

(Dell + Windows Vista)RED

Nick White at the official Windows Vista blog has confirmed CNET’s report Microsoft and Dell will be jumping on the red bandwagon this Friday with three (RED) branded computer system as part of the initiative to increase awareness and support The Global Fund to help people living with HIV/AIDS in Africa.

Adding to the current (PRODUCT)RED range of specially marked consumer products will be a red all-in-one XPS One desktop, and two XPS M1330 and 1530 laptops. However the (RED) branding won’t just stop at the hardware.

Microsoft’s also stepping out of its way to ship a customized version of Windows Vista Ultimate on these PCs featuring an exclusive and presumably red wallpaper, Sidebar gadget, screensaver and Dreamscene video. I know that doesn’t sound like much, but credit to them for putting in the effort for a special touch. Unfortunately it looks like these won’t be available for download, which is a shame since I’d love to help promote the cause even if I’m not buying a PC.

The innovative and rewarding factor about (RED) products is that it doesn’t cost any different – a RED XPS One will cost the same as a black one, but you’re literally saving lives. Dell and Microsoft will send a $80 contribution for every (RED) XPS One sold and $50 for every (RED) XPS laptop. In return, $80 could buy 6 months of antiretroviral treatment for 1 person. $50 could buy 416 single-dose treatments that help prevent transmission of HIV from mother to baby.

Dell might be the first OEM to join (RED), but I hope they extend the offer to more products in its range and also other OEMs joining too. If (RED) products are prevalent enough, there’s almost no reason why anyone would not want to buy a (RED) branded product. And then, the world will be a better place.

16 insightful thoughts

  1. Thanks for the link, Long 🙂

    Just to clarify, as you correctly stated, the Windows Vista Ultimate (PRODUCT) RED bits are only available via purchase of a Dell PCs running Windows Vista Ultimate (PRODUCT) RED. In other words, if you make the purchase and the associated contribution is made as a result, you get the benefits, which include the aforementioned bits.

    While I can understand wanting to run the bits without having made the requisite purchase, you can also see how doing would be a rather unconscionable act — something I’m sure your readers would never stoop to.

  2. Awesome, yet another step forward for (PRODUCT) RED 🙂

    I’m surprised Microsoft doesn’t offer a (RED) copy of Windows Vista though (Ultimate only I guess), I’m sure it would sell. Put it in a special red box and include all those extra bits. Heh, why not? It would make Ultimate more appealing if you ask me.

  3. they should have made the new red Zune 80 a (PRODUCT) RED, but guess that would derail their Valentine’s branding

  4. I’m of the opinion the ProductRED strategy doesn’t actually do much good in the world. Yes, it’s all “raising awareness” but there’s very little of actual substance behind the whole thing. I like to think of it as cheap advertising for those participating in the scheme, getting a “feelgood” factor out of it, but not actually boosting their karma.

    If Dell was serious about supporting HIV/Aids in the world they’d set aside say 1% of profits, even if it was 0.5% it would quickly add up to a significant amount and really help those in dire need with a neglible effect on shareholder value.

    Lip service, nothing more.

  5. Wow the team involved in Ultimate Extras have switched especially for the cause into creating a special wallpaper, widget (sorry, gadget), and a red box. What about the cause for shipping extras towards existing Vista Ultimate users!

    But hey isn’t it the thought that makes it all matter?

  6. Hey Doc, some education about what the (RED) business model has done in Africa might help your opinion a bit.

  7. On the new Dell/(RED) commercial, what is the name of the song and by whom. I’m glad you guys are doing something to help with fight against HIV/AIDS. Keep it up!!!

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