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Postby cg » September 4th, 2007, 12:58 pm

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Dan Lewis wrote:If you just spent several hundred dollars for the software on the disk, how different is it than the printed paperboard box with the foam insert, thermoformed tray and injection molded styrene/PMMA/PET(?) tray your iPhone was packaged in. I guess Apple could have shipped the iPhone in an envelope but you might not think is was so precious.


First, consider the actual cost of goods: a broken CDROM costs pennies to replace.
Second, consider the durability/required protection of a CDROM vs. an iPhone.

A better apples-to-apples example would be comparing how Apple packages OSX:

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Postby chungdha » September 4th, 2007, 2:59 pm


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Ipod Nano is the best packaging i've seen like old fasion cassete. A packaging that you can use as a protection box when you travel.

All CD that comes with a box looks pro but just cd package is inof like in the beginning and same goes for music cd and dvd. Don't need that extra box, the box is always thrown away and cd and cd case are kept.

That big box of vista and office might look cool but way to big and probably most would buy a smal empty cd case and throw the original box away.
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Postby pier » September 4th, 2007, 3:25 pm


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All criticisms above regarding better sales and distribution method Microsoft, and most other software companies, already do.

A principle of product development is to make your product available in different formats to suit different markets. Packaging software as shown above suits two different, important markets:

in store retail purchasing where display design is important

and

moronic big corporate IT policy that states they must have full documentation for every software licence, or something similar to same effect.

However, I do agree that molded plastic packaging seems excessive; similarly recyclable paper based packaging probably would be more in tune with modern times. It seems 1980-90's to emphasize your new slick software with slick molded plastic packaging.

Postby silentstar » September 4th, 2007, 10:38 pm


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Dan Lewis wrote:
I don't think so. There's much better ways of doing that (codes, watermarks and holograms).


Microsoft already does that and is still counterfeited. The cost of tooling is one more hurdle. If the material is recyclable, and I don't know if it is, is it any more of a problem than any other consumer product? If you just spent several hundred dollars for the software on the disk, how different is it than the printed paperboard box with the foam insert, thermoformed tray and injection molded styrene/PMMA/PET(?) tray your iPhone was packaged in. I guess Apple could have shipped the iPhone in an envelope but you might not think is was so precious.


There is no way to successfully protect software from being pirated. Do you really think the packaging is going to prevent it from being copied? Cost of tooling? Please. Have you been to a counterfeit market in China? It is a piece of software for which there are other less wasteful ways in which you can deliver it to your consumer. My analogy was incorrect because MS is not shipping a phone. If they were in fact shipping a phone it would probably be the size of a suitcase. For a more accurate comparison, compare it to the cardboard box iWork (Apples version of Office) ships in. It is a cd sized cardboard box.

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Postby Dan Lewis » September 5th, 2007, 8:18 am

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There is no way to successfully protect software from being pirated. Do you really think the packaging is going to prevent it from being copied? Cost of tooling? Please. Have you been to a counterfeit market in China?


Clearly you are the expert here.

I'm not defending Microsoft or knocking Apple -- I use PC's because they suite my business and I have an iPhone and I love it. I have seen the counterfeit software from China and there is probably nothing that will ever stop it. I may have been wrong about my "guess", and it was only guess, that MS added the cost of packaging to the anti-counterfeit mix, their website ( http://www.microsoft.com/resources/howt ... hod=retail ) shows all of their other measures but doesn't mention the retail packaging. So if there wasn't good reason for it then I agree that it is over packaged. I also find Apple's packaging beautiful but it is certainly not solely to protect the product -- it is as much about image as protection. When I picked up my iphones at AT&T they didn't need to be in a box at all, they could easily have been bulk shipped to the store but each was in a nice box and then each sealed into a separate AT&T bag that said in very large type that my new iPhone was inside. For all the wonderful packaging I still had to download the manual -- OK, that saved paper.

Postby chungdha » September 5th, 2007, 9:11 am


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Dont forget the main reasons of packaging.
Protecting the product from damaging and self advertising to attract people to pick it up and looks whats inside.

I would go for a product that is got a nice professional box instead of something wrapped inside few sheets of news paper and written on it with a black marker what it is.
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Postby silentstar » September 5th, 2007, 9:20 am


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Dan,

And I'm not necessarily defending Apple either. They can do better too. I am just constantly amazed that with all the (nearly) unlimited resources MS has, this is the best they can come up with!?

Pier nailed it when he said:
However, I do agree that molded plastic packaging seems excessive; similarly recyclable paper based packaging probably would be more in tune with modern times. It seems 1980-90's to emphasize your new slick software with slick molded plastic packaging.

Postby silentstar » September 5th, 2007, 10:00 am


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chungdha wrote:I would go for a product that is got a nice professional box instead of something wrapped inside few sheets of news paper and written on it with a black marker what it is.


Since when did anything come in a few sheets of paper, with marker written on it? It depends on what you're buying. A car is different from a cd. A cd is different from a banana. Here in the US we are masters of excessive packaging (packaging inside of packaging) and disposable products. At 760 kilos per person/year we are the largest municipal waste producers in the world.

Postby cg » September 5th, 2007, 11:40 am

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The best package design I've seen in a long time is what IDEO did for Pangea Organics bar soap:

http://designarchives.aiga.org/index.ht ... 1|eid=2717

"compostable bar soap box inspired by egg cartons and made from 100 percent post-consumer content" that includes plant-seeds mixed in with the paper-pulp. Bury the box, and a plant will sprout.

I'd love to see software packaged like this, and I bet it would help, not hurt sales and increase shelf appeal.

Postby jbhitman » February 20th, 2008, 2:37 pm


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One thing to think of before offering downloads as a solution, realize that my (and probably your) mom can barely download an email sent TO them.

Most of the people on this thread (I'm guessing) surely uses a computer daily, and most probably never actually turn it off.

Packaging is HUGE, in everything from reducing buyers remorse, increasing feeling of cool, marketing to buy, to security (shipping to theft). I like the idea here, of booklike- but I wouldn't mind seeing some more recycling ideas. Like its been mentioned though, I'm not sure that it isnt recyclable.
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Postby Mr-914 » February 20th, 2008, 5:07 pm

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Two weeks ago it took me two hours to explain to my mom how to download open office. 'nuff said!

Postby rkuchinsky » February 24th, 2008, 8:10 pm

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http://windowshelp.microsoft.com/Windows/en-US/help/2e680b8d-211e-41c5-a0bf-9ccc6d7e62a21033.mspx

any packaging that needs instructions to open is a failure. period.

there was another good post from engadet on this, but i cant seem to find it...

funny thing is, i actually worked on a whole series of injection molded boxes for nortel server products a while back (6 years+) and the whole target of the project was to provide a shelf system for the countless cds, manuals, etc. that come with their $1000+ software that is updated frequently. i proposed a similar low profile.download solution to the issue, but was met with stares of obvilion by the design principles/client who thought "more was more" and a $10 FOB plastic box was the best solution.

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Postby cg » February 25th, 2008, 1:01 am

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PackageID wrote:It may look nice but it is extremely hard to open. I also agree, too much plastic.


Proof that the people who gave us our usability problems can't be trusted to fix them? Also proof that too many designers think their primary purpose is to be clever?

That's hysterical about the instructions!! You know the whole "pull the red tab" thing ISN'T how that box was designed to be open... It was CLEARLY a later-fix. The box is actually designed to be opened by squeezing the two grip-areas and pulling.

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