5 Reasons Why Microsoft Should Give Windows 7 Away

Windows 7 is the newest Operating System (OS) from Microsoft.  It is currently in the beta stage of production, but will soon be in the release candidate stage.  While the new OS isn’t expected until late 2009, early 2010 Microsoft is going to need to do a number of things in order to make this OS a success.

Microsoft screwed up the launch of Vista so bad that even still, most computer users have a negative perception of Vista even if they have never used it.  Microsoft needs to give Windows 7 away for free or it could face a large decline in the number of users who use Microsoft products.

Here are 5 reasons why I feel that Microsoft should give Windows 7 away for free:

  1. Windows Vista was a mess
    Microsoft really messed up with the launch of Vista. The prices were too high, there were too many versions, Device Drivers weren’t there (technically not their fault), and hardware support for the OS was abysmal. Because of this people didn’t like Vista and in turn, didn’t switch over to Vista. If Windows 7 were free more people would switch, even if they’re just trying it out.
  2. Linux has become much more user friendly
    With Ubuntu and Fedora (and many other distributions) becoming increasingly user friendly, the Windows operating system has a lot more competition than the days of 95, 98 and XP. If Windows wants to compete against free operating systems, they need to offer something to the end users.
  3. Perception of Microsoft is extremely low
    People dislike Microsoft. They have for a really long time, but with the disgrace of Vista I think this dislike has hit a new all-time low. People are fed up with paying high prices for software and are looking for change.
  4. The current economy
    With the way the current economy is going, people just can’t afford to switch to a new operating system. People are more likely to stick with XP than they are to dish out $100+ to spend on something new. If Microsoft wants Windows 7 to be adopted quickly, they are going to need to give it away.
  5. Microsoft Can Afford It
    Microsoft has been leading the OS market for many, many years now and can afford to give Windows 7 away. While they would notice the loss in income, they do have other sources and would still remain profitable in the end.

There are a number of things Microsoft should do to make sure it’s adopted well by users. They should only offer 2 or 3 versions (Regular, Business, Ultimate) and the price should be $0.  Microsoft could still make money by selling Windows7 to companies like HP and Dell to put on their computers, it would just be free for consumers like us.  But this is just me talking, what are your thoughts? Should Microsoft give Windows 7 away for free? Will you switch to it?

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  1. 1 02.15.09
    2:23 pm

    I actually like windows 7, most people talk horribly about it.

  2. 2 02.20.09
    11:15 am

    Free, maybe not, I doubt Microsoft even considering that. Hopefully they will at least match OS X’s price and maybe even provide free upgrades from Vista to 7. It’s only fair.

    On the matter of Vista, crap, somewhat, it’s still a good OS, just doesn’t compare to it’s competitors. XP was worse.

  3. 3 02.20.09
    12:00 pm

    i think windows 7 will be just as screwy as vista, and much more DRM laden cause vista got cracked early.

    the biggest thing about 7 was the biggest problem about vista. vista said with a new computer you could do all these amazing things (AERO interface), but when it came down to it the features were poorly implemented. i think 7 will be even worse cause they are all alot of new technologies. touchscreens are not widely availible and probably wont be end-user ready for many years. hopefully they get x64 down good this time, i run 2 gigs of ram just to not have to deal with it.

    my 2 cents

  4. 4 03.23.09
    1:22 pm

    free? no. Microsoft makes money, but by SELLING their product. even $99 per copy gives them a huge revenue when you think that windows is included on about 90% of all computers sold. also you have to remember Microsoft is paying the people to design the OS, whereas Ubuntu was created by people who weren’t payed at all. the money has to come from somewhere.

    While you may say Ubuntu is user friendly, i just installed it and i certainly disagree with it. Within 10 minutes of setting it up i had to start using the terminal to install some of the programs i wanted. I’m in IT, so that’s not a problem, by my parents wouldn’t know what to do if they ran into that problem. Windows is still king of the operating system world, and until developers start creating more useful software for Mac or Linux operating systems, it always will be.

    Windows 7 beta is quite impressive. While it cant compare with tinyXP for speed, i can still get it down to under 400mb of ram usage without loosing the good looks. The driver support is all there, it even downloaded and installed every driver except for my joystick from the windows updates. I will stick with XP for a while, but if i ever need to reinstall windows, i might go 7 for 64 bit.

  5. 5 03.23.09
    3:36 pm

    Or they shouldn’t give it away because people will pay for it, and because it is a worthwhile OS…

  6. 6 03.23.09
    5:39 pm

    Zephoid many linux distros are developed by large companies that pay developers to make the distro for example Ububtu is done by Canonical which makes 100Million USD/year and Novell has their Netware distro, Sun microsystems makes Java, OpenOffice, and MySQL.

  7. 7 03.23.09
    9:21 pm

    i heard this shit before vista came out… blah blah..,. great worthwild ,…. Kubuntu or bust.

  8. 8 03.23.09
    9:49 pm

    There’s absolutely no good reason for them to give it away. It’s simple capitalism. Demand will be just about as high as ever, and they can easily adjust the supply, so they will continue to charge what people will pay for the OS. I’m not going to state my opinion of whether they screwed up Vista, because it’s irrelevant. People will pay for the new version simply because it’s a new version.

  9. 9 03.23.09
    10:13 pm

    i agree that is more than likely the only way they can hope to win back most of the people who switched to linux because vista was precieved to be a dud not worth the cost or heartburn.

  10. 10 03.23.09
    10:24 pm

    Why would Microsoft give away Windows 7? They have always been disliked, and always will be disliked. They don’t care that Windows Vista was a mess, and Linux CANNOT compete with Microsoft in the business market at this point. Now here is where this becomes ridiculous. How would Microsoft make money giving away Windows 7? The only source of revenue would be software, software compatible with Vista. And to combat your final point, Microsoft is not doing well. They just recently held their first layoff in history. The point of a company is to make profit, and after the flop known as Vista, Microsoft will NEED to sell the operating system to remain financially sound.

  11. 11 03.24.09
    12:47 am

    Microsoft would still make money if they sold windows7 to companies like DELL and HP to install on their computers. But they should give it away to customers for free.
    You know, give it a license that says its free for non-profit, but they have to pay a fee to sell it (like in a pre-installed computer).

    Its where they make most of the money from the OS anyway. How many people go and buy the OS? People who install the OS by themselves. Which are a tiny minority (and are capable of installing Linux, just like you!)

    Ubuntu may be “hard to install”, but you know what? So is Windows. Some hardware that people have is not supported by windows out of the box you know. You have to install drivers from CDs and stuff.
    Basically, if people bought a computer with a linux distro pre-installed (like they buy computers with windows pre installed), with the drivers set up nicely, then why would they not be able to use it?

    Windows7 is ok; I personally don’t really like it.

    @More intelligent than you:
    Like I said to zephoid, the majority of their profit is not from selling the OS to individuals.
    Now, think about this: If people are HAPPY with Microsoft (good image), then people are more likely to BUY Microsoft products.
    Sometimes you have to sacrifice a bit to gain more.
    Giving away windows7 would make almost everyone forgive them for the mess that Vista was.

  12. 12 03.24.09
    2:39 am

    meh, im not holding my breath with microsoft’s release of windows 7. seriously i’ve worked with vista and well, its not that bad. then biggest thing is that its a resource hog. but other then that i can deal with it. i mean this laptop im on has ubuntu and vista. i love em both. thing is microsoft doesnt care if they failed with vista or not, they want money. so they will sell it, might make it cheap for an upgrade from vista, but its not something i’d really expect from them. the truth is what better way to improve sells in computer then making a OS that requires better resources. i mean i use to work for geek squad and people brought in OLD computers wanting us to fix them. what better way to make them get a new computer then to tell them that their computer is ancient and the os wont support newer features or software. in turn everyone makes abit of cash. the software companies make their software compatible with the new os the os only supports more modern computers and well customers need those programs to do what they want. im babbling but yeah in other words its a cycle to make money and improve on what we have available

  13. 13 03.24.09
    7:25 am

    Windows 7 isnt all that bad…i tried the beta..infact it actually leaves me with half my ram free ( i only have 1 gig ram ) while vista eats up all >.<
    ya..but it will be good if they make it a free upgrade…but…even if they dont , they should stop making so many versions -.-

  14. 14 03.24.09
    8:09 am

    I can see MS selling Win7 for about 49$. That way, they are still making money and consumers won’t bulge their eyes at a 199$ price tag. Win-win in the end, I say. Microsoft will _never_ give their next OS away, as they won’t be making any money, and that’s a bad idea for a company to have to entertain.

  15. 15 03.24.09
    10:06 am

    Microsoft will never let Windows 7 go for free. I have heard good things about 7 too, however the proof is in the pudding and until then, I will remain skeptical. It would be wonderful if Microsoft would allow free upgrades from vista, they ripped the vista owners off anyway. Microsoft hurt a lot of people with Vista. Windows 7 needs to make up for that, and they have a lot of making up to do. Think how all the manufacturers and developers, who had had to invest all this time writing drivers and code for vista, now have to start again with 7. Shit it had better be worth it.

    Linux has made leaps and bounds towards becoming more user friendly. I honestly think that some distributions can compete with windows and mac for the home user market. It just boggles my mind at how little option retailers give their customers. I have never seen linux sold in a PC shop (books maybe, and i am not the most enthusiastic shopper), and a the only reason that I am in business is because my clients by new machines with a turd loaded on them. I think the the public needs to be better educated about their OS options.Given our current economic situation I think the availability of free software, that’s of the same standard as propriety software, is a great idea.

  16. 16 03.29.09
    12:36 am

    Tell me if you are stupid. Give it free to people but make computer companies pay for it? That wouldn’t work, since computer companies can get it since it is RUN BY PEOPLE.

  17. 17 03.29.09
    10:29 pm

    A company and an idividual is a very different thing. If Dell wants to put it on their computers, they’d have to pay for it. Dell is a company.

    If Joe shmoe wants to download it and put it on an existing computer, it’d be free. Dell, HP, and similar companies already pay a reduced price to get XP and Vista onto their machines. It would work the same way.

  18. 18 03.31.09
    11:27 am

    Er. I’m going to assume for the moment that this post was serious and answer accordingly. If that makes me the fool, so be it.

    Your stated reasons do support the argument “Microsoft shouldn’t charge too much for Windows 7″. Competition from other products, a depressed economy, a prior product which was terrible, and a poor rep are all factors that, in combination with a high price, could indeed cause people to forego purchasing Windows 7.

    However, note that downside - “people forego purchasing”. The *reason* that’s a downside is because Microsoft gets no money from those people. Giving away the product for free makes that a foregone conclusion.

    From a business perspective, in order to make a credible argument that they should give it away for free, you’d have to show that the expected benefits of doing so (reputation gain / increase or lack-of-decrease in users running Windows vs. some other OS) would be likely to result in revenue equal to or greater than the potential profits from selling Windows 7, discounting anticipated far-future income appropriately. (See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Time_value_of_money)

    Anticipating that Dell, HP, etc. would still pay for the OS merely lowers the bar of profits-lost that you’d still have to recoup somehow. It doesn’t make it vanish altogether.

    (Plus, if individuals don’t have to pay? Sales of computers without a preinstalled OS spike upwards, since consumers abruptly have a financial incentive to buy them. Sure, installing the OS may be a hassle, but plenty of people love a discount - and the hassle would hit Microsoft in the reputation, which would defeat half the purpose of this notion.)

    There’s also the issue of perception - giving away the OS even once is a step they really don’t want to make. MS needs to maintain the perception that a professionally developed operating system is *worth* paying money for, or they’ll torpedo future OS sales proceeds as well.

  19. 19 03.31.09
    7:14 pm

    It doesn’t matter if it’s free or not. I will stick with Ubuntu.

  20. 20 04.01.09
    7:26 am

    mindways said it

    -but I’m sticking with Ubuntu too :)

  21. 21 04.01.09
    9:40 am

    My Dad’s 64 and dumb as a post when it comes to PC’s … I installed linux on it and he has no problem — he actually thinks it’s a new Windows…lol……….if my Dad can run ubuntu and have zero prob..actuall when he had XP he used to call all the time cause it was slow and want me to come check to virus and stuff…never once has he called my since i put Ubuntu on it….so to those that say Ubuntu is hard to use — maybe you should use the computer — lol

  22. 22 04.01.09
    10:50 am

    Both Windows and Linux have their own places for different people. This isn’t a discussion as to which OS is better.

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