Why is Windows so expensive?

I am not sure that anyone can answer the question “why is Windows so expensive”. After all, most people get Windows when buying a new computer where Microsoft has a strong hold on the market.

First, how expensive is Windows exactly? Currently, I am looking at the US prices where Windows 7 Professional costs $200 for an upgrade and $300 for a full version. To compare, I have downloaded Ubuntu Linux three times within the last year for $0 but have donated $10 every time, just to make myself feel a little less guilty.

I understand that nothing comes for free and there are obviously many bright people at Microsoft that have high salaries. While being a student, one also enjoys the benefits of downloading tons of Microsoft software for free. But now, while starting my own business, $300 for just one Windows license is really a lot of money. And that is only the operating system. I won’t even get started on products like Visual Studio, SQL Server and so on.

There are two solutions:

  1. Use open source. Yes, I would like to do that, especially because there are excellent alternatives to proprietary Microsoft software. The problem is that Visual Studio is needed in certain situations.
  2. Swallow the bitterness and pay.

I would like to see Microsoft doing different pricing schemes on their software in the future. Until then, I will just have to pay.

Edit: The third option is to enroll inĀ Bizspark which we did. See the next blog post