A RETAIL ANALYST with NPD Group, Stephen Baker, has said that Microsoft's pricing for Windows 7 is "way too much for the software."
Microsoft's least expensive Windows 7 upgrade will be for the Home Premium version and will cost £79.99 in the UK, $119.99 in the US. "That $120 is a pretty big nut," said Baker, "especially when you can buy a new PC for around $300."
In a post to the company blog, Baker said that the Vole's Windows 7 upgrade prices, along with the pain of having to perform an incremental software upgrade, could deter punters from moving off Vista, with all of its problems, in order to "erase all vestiges of Vista from consumers’ homes" and "move to a far superior platform with a better user experience."
Baker also criticised Microsoft for not offering a multi-licence family upgrade package for Windows 7, saying "In a world, at least in the US, where most homes are moving into a multiple PC environment, it would enhance the consumer home experience if they could upgrade all their home PCs at a single low price with a single boxed purchase."
He noted that Apple will be offering its Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard release for just $29 for a single-licence upgrade and only $49 for a five-licence family upgrade bundle. "This is a direction I would have much preferred to see Microsoft head," he said.
To that we would add that Microsoft's relatively high prices for its Windows 7 full system installation packages will discourage users from upgrading their older PCs that are still running Windows XP. The least expensive full package of Windows 7, the Home Premium version, will be priced at £149.99 in the UK and $199.99 in the US.
Sure, additional memory is relatively inexpensive now, but many people will likely hesitate to pay a hundred-fifty to two hundred more clams on top of that just to acquire the Vole's latest OS.
If users with older PCs can't afford to shell out the better part of a grand to buy a new PC and monitor, they'll likely consider installing some user friendly flavour of Linux for free instead of ponying up the substantial wad of dosh needed to get Windows ME II SP7. µ