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Analyst: Windows 7 is Still Too Expensive

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 13 comments
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NPD analyst says that cheaper than Windows Vista is not cheap enough.

The big news last week was Microsoft announcing the retail pricing of Windows 7. Check out our previous coverage for the pricing details as well as the limited offer of upgrades at less than half price.

We asked you last week what you thought of Windows 7 pricing, and your responses were varied. Understandably, for those who build their own systems, the OEM pricing is most relevant. Others feel that it’s too expensive – a sentiment shared by an analyst at the NPD Group.

NPD Group VP of industry analysis Stephen Baker wrote in the company blog last week with his thoughts on Microsoft’s pricing structure. He praised the (mostly) free upgrade program for PCs purchased on or after June 26, 2009, which solves many buying decisions for those who need new computers for back to school, as Windows 7 won’t be out until October 22, 2009.

Baker was less enthusiastic about the retail pricing of Windows 7, however, saying, “Besides the fact that $119 is a price point that fits nowhere in these economic times, it is still way too much for the software. … It is in Microsoft’s best interests to erase all vestiges of Vista from consumers’ homes, and by making the upgrade expensive … Microsoft is creating a large disincentive for consumers to move to a far superior platform with a better user experience.”

The NPD executive was also puzzled and displeased that Microsoft isn’t offering a multiple user license package. He compared it to Apple’s upcoming Snow Leopard OS X software upgrade, which will sell in September for $29 for a single user license and $49 for a family pack that includes five licenses. Baker posed that in times when families have multiple computers in the home, a family pack similar to Apple’s offering is far more consumer-friendly.

What do you think? Even if Microsoft doesn’t change the eventual retail prices for Windows 7, would you be more inclined to upgrade your entire household if such a family pack were offered?

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  • 1 Hide
    PT88 , 30 June 2009 22:17
    There is that dollar sign again!!!
  • 1 Hide
    Anonymous , 30 June 2009 23:40
    A family pack is an absolute no brainer for me.... between me and my GF we have 3 computers, and may soon be getting a 4th (which will probably have Win7 on it for free). Sorry but paying £240 for 3 copies of win7 HP is just a joke.... it ain't going to happen!

    Yes a FP is a great idea but for it to work M$ needs to get its head out of the clouds and price Win7 at something people can afford to pay!
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , 1 July 2009 02:03
    I bought my wife a vista capable laptop a few years back - which alleged a free upgrade. The reality was that they wanted 80 euros to cover media, postage, and handling.

    My next laptop will be a mac.
  • Display all 13 comments.
  • 0 Hide
    malphas , 1 July 2009 05:38
    Microsoft's pricing to individual users has always been completely insane. Charge a reasonable price like 20 to 50 $/£/€ instead of hundreds, and sell license bundles at discounted rates for families and people with multiple machines. I also don't see why they persist in stripped-down versions like Home Premium or worse rather than including everything in the one version and letting users/OEMs pick and choose what features are appropriate to have installed. As if everyone needs more reasons to look down on Microsoft software without them intentionally removing features.

    Thank goodness for torrents.
  • 1 Hide
    Clintonio , 1 July 2009 09:40
    A family pack would be absolutely awesome. They'd have 4 licences from me immedietely, enough to get my entire family to one single up-to-date OS rather than lagging behind with Vista, XP and Win7RC.

    Shame, I can't afford that much so in the end I may just upgrade one.
  • 1 Hide
    iinweed , 1 July 2009 14:18
    Why would I want to spend a single penny upgrading a perfectly good operating system that I already own, does everything I want it to and without having to learn to use all over again? I refer, of course to XP.
  • 1 Hide
    caskachan , 1 July 2009 18:50
    well, i own my xp licenses, and have "tested" vista for many months on various ocations, and it didnt convince me to buy it, was too expensive, and i really hope, they can make 7 a lot cheaper, else ill stick to my legaly owned xp, and keep trying 7, but still be reluctant to buy it at that price
  • -2 Hide
    david__t , 1 July 2009 18:51
    I still cannot believe that people complain about the price of an operating system. If individual programs like Paint Shop Pro or Autoroute Express cost £50 and upwards and PC games cost £30 - £40 then how can you moan that a huge piece of software like WIndows that runs your whole PC and contains many bits of software costs more than £100??
  • 0 Hide
    ukctstrider , 1 July 2009 19:55
    People complain about the cost of OSs because there has been a culture of piracy in the home market for so long (for people who install their own OS that is).
    Now that pirate OS distro's are such a magnet for hackers and malware providers it really isn't an option any more. The £50 pre-oder upgrade licence is good value IMO but a family pack would be very welcome too. Unfortunately I can't see that coming out at any sensible price point. For example a Home Basic 5 licence edition with the first licence at full price and the rest at 75% off would still come in at £200 which is probably more than most families would be prepared to spend.

    The best option would be for a home user edition to come with 5 licences as standard with the condition that all the PC's must be based at one site. This would be of massive benefit to Microsoft as they would have more control over the various types of produce in the market and would have few OS's to support long term.

    Additionally I'd like them to make it so that upgrade editions required you to input the older OS's keycode at install and then ask for that editions keycode. The set up of having to install the old OS first and then having to upgrade from that is way too long winded for reinstalls and is the main reason I always go for OEM editions instead of upgrades.
  • 0 Hide
    stephenkendrick , 1 July 2009 20:53
    Microsoft could quite easily create a new 'Open License' level, say 'Open Home' to allow domestic customers to purchase multiple licenses, even multiple editions. Given that basic structure, such customers may even purchase Word, Excel or Office with that license, increasing revenue for Microsoft while providing loyal customers with deep discounts. Who loses? I just don't get why this isn't already there. I love Windows 7 RC1, but can't see how I can afford to upgrade the 6 PCs in my house. Come next March, probably only 2 will be upgraded. The rest may be forced to move to Ubuntu (FireFox, Open Office - good stuff and more than workable for my family).

    Come on Microsoft, don't lose ANOTHER once loyal customer...
  • 1 Hide
    blazer666_uk , 2 July 2009 00:33
    If I paid $49 for 5 licences then I would definitely call that a fair price and I would purchase this with no issues. However I refuse to pay $120 for windows 7 (From the days of MS Dos 4 I have paid MS well over $1500 in operating systems and I refuse to pay them a penny more (unless I get a SIGNIFICANT discount)
  • 1 Hide
    cyb34 , 2 July 2009 16:33
    I'd buy a Windows family pack for $49 right now.
    Anyway, Microsoft should at least reduce those prices to half. Just for that they would win maybe another million buyers or more that are currently using a cracked copy of Vista.
  • -2 Hide
    Anonymous , 1 October 2009 20:07
    Far too cheap. Make it expensive and more people will see the attraction of Linux, which despite the naysayers and MS fans is and has been for years, ready for the desktop.

    My question is: "When will windows be ready for the desktop?"