Another Way Windows 8 Was Inspired By Apple: Pricing

Another Way Windows 8 Was Inspired By Apple: Pricing

One thing Apple has done really well over the past few years is eliminating fragmentation in its operating systems. The install base of iOS 5 is over 75%; OS X Lion is around 50%. That’s in less than a year for both operating systems.

To put those numbers in perspective, consider this. Google’s latest operating system, Ice Cream Sandwich, still runs on just 1% of all Android devices after a year, and Microsoft’s Windows 7 operating system hovers at around 50% after almost three years.

Apple’s secret is simple. They charge as little as possible for their operating systems, giving it away free if they can. It’s a good strategy that prevents Apple from having to endlessly support older OSes. And now, Microsoft’s finally going to take a page from Apple’s book.

Microsoft has just announced that if you have an existing Windows XP, Vista or Windows 7 install, you’ll be able to download a digital copy of Windows 8 for a little less than $40.

Starting at general availability, if your PC is running Windows XP, Windows Vista, or Windows 7 you will qualify to download an upgrade to Windows 8 Pro for just $39.99 in 131 markets. And if you want, you can add Windows Media Center for free through the “add features” option within Windows 8 Pro after your upgrade. […] You will be able to upgrade from any consumer edition of Windows 7 to Windows 8 Pro and bring everything along which includes your Windows settings, personal files, and apps. If you are upgrading from Windows Vista, you will be able to bring along your Windows settings and personal files, and if you are upgrading from Windows XP you will only be able to bring along your personal files. Of course, if you want to start fresh, you can choose to bring nothing along. Or if you prefer to format your hard drive as part of your upgrade experience, you can do so as long as you boot from media and then format your hard drive from within the setup experience for installing Windows 8, not prior to it. […] This upgrade promotion for Windows 8 Pro both online and at retail runs through January 31st, 2013.

The $39.99 price is for digital delivery only; if you want a physical copy, it’ll cost you $69.99. Even that’s a page out of Apple’s book, though: getting OS X Lion on a USB thumb drive will cost you about $69.

This is a good move on Microsoft’s part. It took Microsoft over a decade to get XP penetration below 50%, and they’re still supporting it. Making operating system upgrades cheap enough to be a no brainer for everyone but enterprise is a good way of making sure Windows 8 is a success.

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  • dky1989

    typo. its $40 not $540.

  • TextuallyActive

    I thought that was off by a bit

  • Behinder

    People will still be using XP

  • joewaylo

    Apple could take a page out of Microsoft computers and lower their prices half off. They’d get more sales if the MacBook Air was $499.

  • hic9582

    Andriod 4.0 is on like 10% of devices. I realize still not very high, but still these facts seem to not be checked

  • hic9582

    And android 4.0 has only been available for 6 months, not a year. More false facts. But that’s what I’ve come to realize about cult of mac

  • thekman58

    Apple is a hardware company; they could care less about the price of software upgrades, they make their money of the hardware. Microsoft on the other hand is a software company and profits are derived from the sale of their OS as well as other products. For them to offer the Pro version of Windows for 39.99 is a great benefit to its millions of consumers. Thanks Microsoft.

  • groberts1980

    So for 3 months (give or take) they are offering Windows 8 for $40. What happens after 1.31.13? It goes up to the regular price of $199 (current cost of Win7 Pro Upgrade) for the Pro version? If Microsoft is interested in Apple levels of new OS adoption, they need to set the price at something reasonable and leave it that way! Is this common sense to anyone but me?

    Edit: Added where I got my $199 price

  • groberts1980

    Andriod 4.0 is on like 10% of devices. I realize still not very high, but still these facts seem to not be checked

    Actually it’s 7.1% of Android devices. 4.0-4.0.2 is on 0.4% and 4.0.3-4.0.4 is on 6.7%. How bout checking your facts before calling Cult of Mac out for not fact checking.

  • hic9582

    Haha I think “like 10%” is a lot closer to the exact number than just saying the lowest possible number like 1%. But thanks for confirming how far off their “facts” were for me

    Andriod 4.0 is on like 10% of devices. I realize still not very high, but still these facts seem to not be checked

    Actually it’s 7.1% of Android devices. 4.0-4.0.2 is on 0.4% and 4.0.3-4.0.4 is on 6.7%. How bout checking your facts before calling Cult of Mac out for not fact checking.

  • hic9582

    Actually everyone numbers came out today and android 4.0 is on over 10% of devices. Doesn’t that suck to be so wrong? Oh my God I bet it sucks

About the author

John BrownleeJohn Brownlee is a Contributing Editor. He has also written for Wired, Playboy, Boing Boing, Popular Mechanics, VentureBeat, and Gizmodo. He lives in Boston with his wife and two parakeets. You can follow him here on Twitter.

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