I have a Suggestion for Microsoft…

How about you sell your new operating system for under $50?  I’ll bet you’ll make as much or more money than selling it for $300 a pop.  Really, I think so!

The main reason I’ve not upgraded my personal laptop from XP is not because the hardware can’t handle it.  The reason is that I do not want to pay $200+ for the version of Windows Vista that I want (Ultimate).  There is not enough compelling reason for me to pay the price for the upgrade.  But if the upgrade were $30, or even $50, I might just be inclined to purchase it.

This is one time where Apple is doing it right.  I may fuss about the high cost of their hardware, but they have it right when it comes to software.  The upgrade to Snow Leopard, which is coming out soon, is just $30.  That’s a price almost anyone can swallow, and will quickly and easily be paid by customers.

Microsoft, on the other hand, has to spend much of their time, energy, and programming to try to staunch the bleeding wound that is pirated Windows software.  There are so many workarounds, even to their highly-touted Windows Genuine Advantage, that there is no reason to even consider paying $200 or better to upgrade to Vista.  I think there would be a lot less piracy of Windows software if the prices were more reasonable than they are.  I also think more people would upgrade to a new operating system if the prices were under $50.  It is likely that Microsoft would easily make as much as they are now using the higher price tiers, and may make even more as people who didn’t want to upgrade in the first place may be tempted to upgrade due to the phenomenally low price.

Of course they could just make the same amount, but they would also be meeting their goal of seeing genuine copies of Windows on machines, instead of all the pirated and/or “borrowed” copies that are floating around out there now.

4 thoughts on “I have a Suggestion for Microsoft…

  1. maybe but they would also have to use more resources for distribution, support, packaging etc. their goal would be to earn as much as possible with as little as possible cost.

  2. It wouldn’t be quite so bad if MS actually released software that fulfilled it’s promises. Vista was massively expensive to upgrade to, is fatally flawed in many ways (that have still not been fixed) and is generally a nightmare to learn for many who are used to the “old” way that MS products felt. Simple tasks are horrendously complicated and it feels clunky and inefficient. The new version of office is another prime example of MS (post Gates) messing with something that worked ok and ending up with a dog’s dinner.

    So Vista is broken so instead of fixing it incrementally MS are dumping the entire project and asking us consumers to reach deep into our pockets and purchase a piece of software that promises to be what Vista never lived up to. Something we have already paid for!

    Anybody say what they like about Apple (funny how they immediately get mentioned in all of this…) but I think Windows users might just have them to thank for the pre-order discount. The post launch price is just a joke…multiple versions of an operating system that should be standardised are a complete joke…

    PS Apple have “service packs” too but they don’t make a big deal about it. 10.5.5, 10.5.6 and 10.5.7 are all service packs. 10.4.0, 10.5.0 and 10.6.0 are the equivalent of new operating systems but since the old one was not broken (see: Vista) things are honed, not radically changed. Users are not alienated.

  3. I agree that an upgrade to Ultimate should not be $200+. If you can do without BitLocker and Language Switching in the OS you can get Windows 7 Pro upgrade for $100 when you pre-order it. Win 7 Pro still have XP Mode and Media Cetner built into it. If you can do with Home Premium you can get the upgrade for $50.00.

    Here’s the link to the Microsoft Store to Pre-Order Windows 7: http://store.microsoft.com/microsoft/Windows-Windows-7/category/102

    Since Apple sells the hardware and OS together they get a premium for the machine to start with over the price of a PC. Apple gets a much larger margin on the software this way vs. Microsoft who just sells the OS to the OEM (hardware maker) at a very low price. Since the OEM needs to get a decent profit from these low cost PCs, Microsoft’s profit on the OEM OS is small. So when someone wants to buy an upgrade to an OS, Apple already made a very large margin on the initial sale and can sell the upgrade dirt cheap.

    It also seems to me that Apple comes out with “upgrades” which they charge for more often than Microsoft does, who released “service packs” which are free. I haven’t done the averages but wonder if you end up with close to the same upgrade costs after 3 years of owning a computer with MacOS and Windows.

  4. I think you’re on the right track, Susabelle. Apple can offer their upgrades at a lower cost since they control the whole supply chain. They don’t have to deal with pesky OEMs, or support thousands of types of hardware.
    It looks like right now you can sign up for a deeply discounted Win7 license if you pre-order.
    You can also sign up for a Technet Plus membership for $249 using the code: TEYFY09 then you can get licenses for all MS OS’s to “test” as long as you like, with no expiration. (This is the way I went. I also wanted Server 2008 licenses to start testing for future rollout at work.)

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