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Windows Windows 7 Pricing - Is It Reasonable?

Discussion in 'Software' started by boiled_elephant, 28 Aug 2011.

  1. boiled_elephant

    boiled_elephant Merom Celeron 4 lyfe

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    [​IMG]

    So, you can only install one copy of Windows 7 on one machine at a time, and for a normal household of 3 or 4 computers you'd have to either buy the Home Premium family pack (useless - sabotages features like remote desktop with the limitations of the Home Premium distribution) or buy your preferred distribution 3 or 4 times.

    Learning this prompted me to reconsider the £170 I'd originally spent on Ultimate, and led me to ask: is Microsoft's pricing of Windows proportionate? Either there is a monstrous amount of labour hours going into the development of each new version, or the pricing (which has always been quite high for all versions of Windows) is exploitative.

    Put another way, is the retail price of Windows mostly compensation or mostly profit?

    When I think how much the combined sales of Windows must amount to, it seems incredible. But then I have no idea how many people work on each version, or how long they work on it for.
     
  2. Nealieboyee

    Nealieboyee Packaging Master!

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    I'd like to hear Goodbytes' thoughts on this. I've always thought it a bit expensive tbh..
     
    Last edited: 29 Aug 2011
  3. GoodBytes

    GoodBytes How many wifi's does it have?

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    What you are seeing in front of you in Windows is about 10% of Windows. The back end is extremely complicated, as it needs to manage: devices (1 or more, how about when the user uses multiple of them? Virtual one? etc.), same for peripherals. Also it manages: the system bus, memory, CPU, storage devices, display, sound, processes (running programs.. they can't overlap each other in the memory, they all need access to the CPU (it's the OS that manages that), security (my program can't access another program memory if the other did not allow it by design), etc,). And a lot more.. oh and even fonts. And let's not forget security, and funds for support for the coming years.

    Just to show how complicated an OS is, Vista took 6 years of work. And we got some buggy thing. Microsoft didn't do a last minute thing. It takes time, testing, and as technology moves forward every day, and faster and faster, it becomes harder. If you are thinking of doing your own OS (for the PC market), TODAY from scratch (not even looking at Linux source code), and not basing it on anything.. you are essentially screwed. Back in the old days, it was possible as technology moved very slowly, market was small, computer configuration was very limited.

    Even if the back end is done, there are a lot of optimization, bug fixes, and improvement to be done.

    Microsoft has several thousand of developers being paid 100k per year + insurance, and let's not forget hundred of testers, marketing, administration, human resources, finance dept, research facility, and money to pay support and updates for years to come once the OS is release. Apple basically drops support of the old OS once a new one is out. Only when stuff is critical they do an exception, or simply is driver updates, or the bug fixes affects all OS's version, so might as well release them. Microsoft also, need to test legacy programs and ensure legacy API codes still works properly from not only the previous version of Windows, but basically since the MANY many early versions, even down to Windows 95, and same for devices. Sometimes Microsoft have to say screw it to legacy support in order to support new technology (hardware or software method to do things), and this is where some programs can break.

    Also, you must consider that Windows comes with a variety of softwares:
    -> Media Center
    -> Tablet support
    -> Multi-touch support
    -> Media Player
    -> Notepad
    -> Calculator
    -> Paint
    -> Journal
    -> Sound Recorder (even thought it never got updated)
    -> Snipping Tool
    -> Sticky notes
    -> Easy Transfer
    -> WordPad
    -> Backup utility
    -> DVD Maker
    -> Live Essential package (Sync, photo gallery, movie maker)
    -> Parental Control
    -> and more.

    Oh and let's not forget business integration (Active director support, domain joining, etc..)

    So, yea Windows costs A LOT of money to make. The next OS starts planning stages soon after the new Windows is out. Sure, for the first 2 years at that point it's only a much smaller group of people working, as it's mostly planning, and collecting people feedback, but still.

    I find that Home Premium is a good price for an OS.
    I find that the Professional edition is also fair price.

    Enterprise and Ultimate is really the money making editions.
    Enterprise is cheaper than Pro.. but considering that 1000+ licenses are purchased in one shot, and every license is linked to Windows Server to ensure that the computer is only functional (license activated) within the domain of the company... that's a big win for Mr. MS.


    In Canada Win7 prices are as follows:
    -> Home Premium: 225$
    -> Professional: 330$ (so 105$ more)
    -> Ultimate: 350$ (so only 20$ more)

    Ultimate is for those who wants the absolute everything... it's the Core i7 980X, the Nvidia Geforce with 2 GPU in 1 card model, and so on. It is THE version to make a lot of money. Also, considering that the Ultimate edition is only a small market. Especially that most people don't even have a TPM chip to use bit-drive encryption feature of the Ultimate edition (and Enterprise, but that is only available to volume licenses), there is not much reason to get it, then again, it's only 20$ more.

    Pro version is definitely worth the price increase over Home Premium, as you actually do have a lot. Now, whether you use these added feature or not, that's a different thing. Ultimate isn't really fair.. yes Bit-drive encryption, I am sure, costs a lot of money to make... but is it worth 20$ more over the Pro version? Maybe in reality 5-10$.. could have been easily put in the Pro version.. but whatever, it's the deluxe package, the same as the fancier Intel processor or Nvidia graphic card.

    Now, Vista pricing was more (too much) expensive. Business edition was more expensive than the Home Premium, and it was more of a feature exchange (lose e feature to gain another). You really had to go with the Ultimate edition to get everything and that was killer.

    But to be fair, if you think that Win7 is still too expensive, well Microsoft already did HUGE things to make it more affordable. You had 50-60% off pre-order of Win7. PLUS, you had now that the Upgrade edition can do a clean install, so now Upgrade version is a version to consider. PLUS you have huge student discounts on the Pro edition. AND you have Home Premium Family pack for 150$ for 3 upgrade licenses. So 50$ each. That is a lot of options and offer to choose from, hopefully they keep doing it for Win8. It sure helped for Win7 market share.

    Now the problem comes down to late adapters. Those who decide to wait after SP1, or wait even longer, they get totally screwed over. The best offer is to get it the first day (as you pay the same amount, but have it for "longer"). UNLESS you decide to follow the rythm of buying the next Windows the exact same period of separation between versions, if you know what I mean (e.g: 3 years apart).

    And if you wonder, "Well, how do I know if it's going to be good or not?", well you the Public Beta version (Beta and Release Candidate), and the option to install the trial version of Windows after it's release, if you are not happy with the Beta versions. So you have a lot of options to help you decide on whether it's worth the upgrade or not.

    If Microsoft continues with the ability to do a clean install with the Upgrade license:
    -> Home Premium: 130$, which is inexpensive
    -> Professional: 250$ (120$ more) - ok here the price difference between the 2 is more than the full license. But it's still affordable.. I guess Microosft assumes that the previous OS was Home Premium.
    -> Ultimate: 280$ (30$ more)

    All prices mentioned are retail box, no OEM. OEM is another option to get even cheaper license of Windows.
     
    Last edited: 29 Aug 2011
  4. The_Beast

    The_Beast I like wood ಠ_ಠ

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    Install Linux, build a hackintosh, or bend over and take it from Microsoft for a good product that works with everything (pretty much)
     
  5. sb1991

    sb1991 What's a Dremel?

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    Remember that the vast majority of people don't even buy windows as a retail disk but get it preinstalled by the manufacturer, or on a volume license as a business. Windows itself certainly doesn't cost the equivalent of £170 per license to develop, but it's priced at that point because a small group of PC-enthusiast, non student, non business, non pirate users is willing to pay that much...
     
  6. Guest-16

    Guest-16 Guest

    Not taking away from the epic job Microsoft has to squeeze out every time it releases a new OS - I respect that - however I can't wait until they move to an app-store model.

    Why?

    Because all that above - to most people - is never used, or, they have to upgrade to the next version of Windows just to get a single feature (like how I have to use Ultimate because my family requires two language packs).

    So, sell me the basic OS Microsoft at a reasonable cost, then integrate your app store into Windows Update so it allows me to buy modular add-ons as I need them. Need notepad? Buy it - 69c. Need Media Center? Buy it - 8 dollars. Need remote desktop? Buy it - 5 dollars. Need Traditional Chinese language pack? Buy it - 5 dollars. It's a continual P&G revenue model that also stops piracy because you have to tie your online account to it. Sure you can completely use free alternatives but most people won't, as iTunes has already shown: people prefer convenience.

    Then tie it onto a social media suggestions box and watch the requests roll in - or 'suggested packs' of software that could have Steam-style sales, this way you start to have a continually evolving product - and it also means it cuts down on OS bloatware so you can really focus any Windows system.
     
    Tattysnuc likes this.
  7. DragunovHUN

    DragunovHUN Modder

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    Ultimate is a luxury, not even a particularly handy one at that, considering it has like 3 extra features. IMO you should be looking at Home or Pro at most if you want to debate fair pricing, and i think those are reasonable.
     
  8. Fuganater

    Fuganater What's a Dremel?

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    This would drive me effing bonkers. You would be trying to edit something or need to safe some simple text and be like "Oh I'll just use notepad... WTF I have to buy it??" Everyone complains enough as it is about buying Microsoft products. Doing what you propose will make them even more hated.

    The price is reasonable. Even better if you get it at a student price which is what I did. Pro 64 and 32-bit for $80 each.
     
  9. sb1991

    sb1991 What's a Dremel?

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    And then you'd download notepad++ or SciTE or Emacs or one of the countless other free text editors available, all of which are better than notepad. Same deal for media players, image editors, sound recorders, calculator apps and so many other tools people only use because they're already part of Windows...
     
  10. RichCreedy

    RichCreedy Hey What Who

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    and with ultimate don't forget multiple language support
     
  11. Tattysnuc

    Tattysnuc Thinking about which mod to do 1st.

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    ^This^

    I'd never thought about what the appstore was going to be like in Win 8. Be great so see MS go down this route. If the main product was $50 and then you bought your add ons, (a) it's great for PD/Shareware developers, but (b) it would mean that you only install what you need/want.

    Surely this has got to be a good thing for software piracy and controling/managing Licensing...

    Not sure how that works for those without an internet connection though...
     
  12. LennyRhys

    LennyRhys Oink!

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    I'm hardly qualified to comment - my wife works in education she got Win7 Ultimate & Office 2010 for £13 (yes, thirteen quid, £6.50 for each).

    Would I have paid the full price for Windows 7? Absolutely. Is it a rip-off? Actually I don't think so.

    Let's not forget that nobody owns an operating system; those of us who actually bought a Windows disc/download own a perpetual licence which allows us to install it and use it, and we pay nothing for the ongoing maintenance of the software. I'd say that's pretty good. :)

    People think of an OS as a "point in time" purchase, which it's not - it has longevity, or at least it should. If I buy a lens for £2000, I do so because I know I'll probably hang onto it for most of my career, so an OS that lasts for years and costs £150-200 is nothing. XP is still perfectly usable, and it's nearly 10 years old. :thumb:
     
  13. Guest-16

    Guest-16 Guest

    This ^^.

    But you spend 69c ONCE and you've bought that version Notepad for as long as you need. It's the one click buy - not a hassle.

    Every OS install you just login and Windows Update will automatically install your selected software. If it gets a significant update you can choose to upgrade for 50c or not.

    Microsoft could even try to make everything add-on capable - then they could let developers make money via its app-store selling addons: take the "coder upgrade" addon to notepad for 50c more. (Or just download Notepad++ for free :p). Microsoft could even launch the "Word basic" addon for $10 that gives you rudimentary MS Word functionality. How many students would take that up?

    Unfortunately MS won't do it because it'll open the floodgates to free alternatives that are better than their core software. :duh:
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 29 Aug 2011
  14. Da_Rude_Baboon

    Da_Rude_Baboon What the?

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    Personally I think Windows 7 is great value. Look at the cost of office or any of the adobe apps and you realise what great value it is. Considering it pretty much works on an enormous range of hardware its a remarkable piece of coding. As Good bytes mentioned Apple are very quick to drop support of their older OS's but they also have a closed ecosystem with a small amount of hardware to code for.

    I would prefer a more modular version of windows where I could pick and chose the functions I need but it would confuse the majority of the home user base.
     
  15. amppatel

    amppatel What's a Dremel?

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    I think it's overpriced, but they do offer good deals for students which is a plus - sometimes the deals are really good 80% saving...
     
  16. The Monk

    The Monk Minimodder

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    I pre-ordered my copy of Windows 7 and paid £63.99 for the Home Premium version(Retail not OEM). Had it nearly 2 years, so just over £30 a year for something that is used every day and works perfectly is a bargain. I could get an upgrade to Ultimate for £7 but Home Premium fits my needs perfectly (and I'm a tight Yorkshireman).

    I really hope that Windows 8 has a pre-order period at discounted prices like they did for 7, it seriously increases the number of early adopters onto the OS. I will pre-order W8 even if I don't use it straight away. :idea:might even get a few copies to sell later at a profit .


    In UK Win7 prices are as follows(Taken from Amazon.co.uk):
    -> Home Premium: £110.68
    -> Professional: £159.36
    -> Ultimate: £159.99

    Professional seems rather pointless at these price points, for the sake of 63p you would have to be completely mental to get it over Ultimate. £50 difference from Home Premium to Ultimate seems a pretty fair price IMHO.

    Edit:
    Freaky or what?
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: 29 Aug 2011
  17. boiled_elephant

    boiled_elephant Merom Celeron 4 lyfe

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    My main problem, on reflection, is with the pricing of Professional and Ultimate. I know that Home Premium is great value for money, but if you want to have remote desktop, encryption, language packs, dynamic disks (and booting off them) and so on, you have to fork out a huge amount of money for these features.

    The language packs are the real kicker - I think it was an obscene failure to meet customer needs when Microsoft made them exclusive to Ultimate, rather than an optional download/purchase.

    Personally, I bought Ultimate for dynamic disks and XP mode. Why not Professional? Because it was only £10 more. The pricing scheme was really oddly balanced when it came to that.

    Remote Desktop strikes me as an example of moneygrabbing rather than compensation of developers. Home Premium included it, but only the ability to be a client - not a host. What's the point of that? I can't believe the host code alone was way harder to develop, and splitting the functionality in this way made the feature totally useless unless you had Ultimate. So why include it in Home Premium at all?

    That's a minor quibble, though. Mostly, I find it odd how much more expensive Ultimate was for a tiny handful of features, and why those features (many of which are pretty essential for a lot of people) were treated as some sort of optional bonus.

    edit - I also just wanted to say,
    That's a silly and ignorant attitude. Some people need those extra features, and the choice is between paying too much or pirating. Don't patronise me just because I happened to need some of those features arbitrarily restricted to Ultimate.
     
  18. GoodBytes

    GoodBytes How many wifi's does it have?

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    But wasn't Ultimate edition more expensive at release.. I think Microsoft drop the price of Ultimate after. Anyway,

    on to what are ou saying, yea but then I can say "Yea it costs so much more more money for encryption feature", and then we can go like this for every feature... and say how idiotic it is.

    Home Premium has at least Remote Assistance... so you can AT LEAST help someone remotely, and with (this is new to Win7) Easy Connect.. it's just a question of the client giving you some 9 or so code to you, which you type in, and connect immediately to that computer. No complicated in explaining how to get an IP, and that the IP that you got (192.168.1.100) is the wrong IP address and start explaining why, and all that stuff, at the client see it as being such a complicated thing and get lost.

    So, yes I agree, the remote desktop thing is in reality in Home Premium, and you need to pay a premium to get the higher version.. but then again... Microsoft is a business, and they need to push the higher edition sales, as they make more money (and the most with the Ultimate edition). Then again, every program that has a higher edition, and almost every hardware is the same thing. Many limitations on our hardware are either broken at production, or in most cases to meet demand of a lower end model, cut out features via firmware.

    Same even for my coming up software... were I am thinking in having a free and pro version.. as much as I hate doing this, I need support (as the donation approach didn't really work too well... for my first software (GPU tweak tool), and now loosing money instead of at least being able to pay the bills of my domain and web host (so, I only need very little money I need, and I am not getting it). SO I have 2 choices.. ads in the program and/or website, or spyware crap on the steup, and hope I can fool a few people to get money.. or go with a free and pro, where like Trillian, I have only advantage but 1-2 features that should be available on the free but isn't to attract sales, and at least support my project.I don't like ads, spyware and stupid toolbars, and I am doing my best to avoid them, as I think I don't have to go to such extreme to at least be able to fund my domain name and webhost, and continue with my project, which I want it to succeed, and continue to develop over time. I am trying to find a working business model for the market I am aiming at. Anyway, it's just to explain why sometimes software needs to be jerks, in wanting you to get the pro. But unlike many others, I want to experiment and see what works and doesn't, and provide the best solution to people, without being.. too of a jerk and cut out more essential software in the hope that you get the pro. Now ok, Win7 Business edition has more to it, and is an OS after all... but still. If remote desktop wasn't in the Business edition, you would have not forked out money for it, and would stay with Home Premium and say "I can find a free solution for encryption and the rest".
    Where Microosft wins big, is of course that Windows Remote Desktop is the best solution around.


    The language pack disk can be purchased separately, I believe. I don't know how and where, but on my MSDNAA access I can download the ISO, and install any language package on my Pro version. But If you can purchase it, I assume it will be the same price as the Ultimate now, so might as well get it, as it's just a couple of dollars more (unless you go pre-order special, as the Ultimate isn't in special)
     
  19. RichCreedy

    RichCreedy Hey What Who

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    i just checked retail prices on scan

    i dont think the prices are disproportionate
     
  20. HoodRat

    HoodRat What's a Dremel?

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    When compared to the price of the recently release OSX Lion ($30) and Linux (free - I'm currently writing this from Ubuntu), yes the price is very steep.
    I myself pre ordered 3 copies of home premium for £50 each and got a copy of ultimate for Free at the Windows 7 launch event. So far I sold one of the premium's to a mate for face value, used one on my wife's laptop and the other is still sealed (ebay?). The ultimate is installed on my main gaming rig.
    Would I have spent more than £50 on a copy? Almost certainly not!
    TBH Windows 7 is a fine OS, probably the best M$ has ever made, but there are also alternatives out there that are very good and stable too.
    If only there were good alternatives to Gaming OS's!
     

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