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:
- 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.
- 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 in Bizspark which we did. See the next blog post