In this guide you will learn more about the concept of Microsoft Signature, with information such as the places from where you can purchase devices under this signature and its cost.
What is Microsoft Signature?
Microsoft Signature is the way Microsoft recommends software should be installed and configured computers by PC manufacturers before selling them to customers. There are some basic rules, such as maximizing performance. Consumers would then know that if they are buying a device under the Microsoft Signature label they can trust it adheres to the standards imposed by the company.
A Microsoft Signature computer would firstly have much less unnecessary preinstalled software. You will not see any evaluation versions, demonstration or commercial software installed on such a machine. This translates into a number of advantages:
- The initial setup after installing Windows may be done within 5 minutes instead of 15 minutes or more.
- You will have a clean desktop without shortcuts.
- Entering sleep mode will be up to 23.1% faster.
- Windows startup will be faster by up to 39.6%.
Recovery from sleep mode will be faster by 51.3%.
Several independent tests carried out by various companies have indeed demonstrated that minimizing the amount of software that is not commonly used will translate to a quicker and more positive experience.
In addition to eliminating unnecessary applications, Microsoft Signature also offers the following advantages:
- Ensuring all required drivers are installed on the computer.
- The latest version of Internet Explorer.
- Microsoft Zune Software.
- The main applications of the Windows Live Essentials package: Windows Live Movie Maker, Windows Live Messenger, Windows Live Writer, Windows Live Photo Gallery, Windows Live Mail, Windows Live Family Safety, and Microsoft Silverlight.
- Windows Media Center and PlayReady PC Runtime. PlayReady PC Runtime is used for encryption of premium TV content or playing protected content.
- Microsoft Security Essentials – free antivirus solution from Microsoft.
- Adobe Acrobat Reader and Adobe Flash Player for Internet Explorer.
- Signature Theme Pack for customizing the desktop.
Are the applications that come with Microsoft Signature useful?
If you look at the specifications above, you can see that Microsoft is promoting some of its products by including them into the Signature package. But not all of these may be useful for everyone. For example, Microsoft Zune is useful only for those who have other Microsoft devices such as a Zune player or a Windows Phone. If you do not use such devices, it is preferable to remove Microsoft Zune.
Windows Live Essentials package, however, is useful for most users but contains applications that one may not need. For example, if you do not have a blog, you will not need Window Live Writer. Or, if you do not have children accessing your computer, you will need Windows Live Family Safety. Therefore, it is preferable to configure your Windows Live Essentials package and keep only the programs you intend to use.
Also, Windows Media Center is probably only useful if you intend to record TV programs. Otherwise, you may prefer other applications to play media files. Altogether, there are a few applications included in the package that you may not need, but their impact is minimal, especially when comparing them with alternatives proposed by other manufacturers and included in the PC computers they sell. Most programs offered by Microsoft Signature are actually useful and do not adversely affect your computer’s performance.
How much does Microsoft Signature cost?
If you purchase a computer directly from Microsoft, the Microsoft Signature price is zero. You pay only the price of the computer. If you buy the computer from another other manufacturer, however, you can go to a Microsoft store and turn it into a Microsoft Signature device. The price for this procedure is $99. The feature is currently only available in the United States.