Responding to a Dell pricing controversy that boiled over last week, a spokesperson for (Product) Red, an initiative whereby company color some of their products red and donate a portion of the profits to an AIDS fighting charity, left a comment on our blog to try dispel some of the confusion they felt had arisen over the issue. At stake was a computer Dell sells for $1,299 that you can get in the (Product) Red version for $1,599, with $80 of it going to the Global Fund. What about the other $220, asked gizmo blog Engadget? Well, we could tell them that it's because you're getting Windows Vista Ultimate and Microsoft Office and Student 2007 instead of Windows XP and Microsoft Works, but we'll let the comment from Bich Ngoc Cao of (Product) Red do the talking...
We've been following all of the discussion that our recent partnership announcement has created. While most of it has been very positive, it seems there is a lot of confusion around the pricing of the (PRODUCT) RED offering. Above and beyond the entry level XPS ONE, the (PRODUCT) RED version offers Windows Vista Ultimate and Microsoft Home Office and Student, a $300 value of upgrades when purchasing through DELL.It seems the internets are better at getting angry than doing math. Would donating $300 directly to the Global Fund do more good? Absolutely, but not everyone shopping for a Dell is going to do that, while they might, however, check off a different box at checkout and opt for the (Product) Red computer. Last time we checked, $57 million donated to fighting AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria was a good thing.
We're aware that not everyone will need or want these upgrades. (RED) is not about buying something for charity - it is about doing good while you are buying something you need. For those consumers who are in the market for a DELL XPS ONE with WINDOWS VISTA ULTIMATE, the (PRODUCT) RED option gives them the opportunity to get all of these features AND trigger an $80 contribution to the Global Fund to help fight AIDS in Africa, at no additional cost. For those consumers who are not in the market for this type of full-featured experience, they have the option to purchase another DELL PC that meets their needs.
(RED) is just one tool for people to do good - it doesn't replace the need or desire for charity donations, volunteering or getting involved in other ways. It is simply a choice when you're out shopping for something you need.
Most of the discussion demonstrates an enthusiasm for these partnerships and a desire to have more (PRODUCT) RED PCs available at a broader price range. We are also very excited about the potential of the DELL & MICROSOFT partnerships - which are just starting with these products. These new partnerships will help increase overall awareness of the AIDS epidemic in Africa and increase contributions to buy lifesaving ARV treatment for those who cannot afford it.
If you have any questions, feel free to contact (RED) at firstname.lastname@example.org.
PREVIOUSLY: Is Dell's Pricey (Project) Red PC A Ripoff?