Mar 05, 2014

Should Microsoft follow Google’s example and offer Windows for free?

Would it be better for Microsoft to move to a free OS model and offer Windows for free? Of course, the company would have to make money somewhere, but by (1) encouraging hardware manufacturers to make more Windows machines at a lower price point, and (2) locking consumers into a Windows ecosystem, it might be more viable for the long term, especially as we see deliveries of PCs dropped 6.9% in the Q4 of 2013 alone.

Whether or not they should do it depends on finding a replacement for the revenue generated by Windows. It's tough to offer something for free if it's going to cut into your profits to the point where it causes real pain.

We'll see if Microsoft comes up with a strategy that somehow makes Windows free while also generating enough money to replace Windows revenue.

Maybe. It has worked pretty well for Google with Android and, to a lesser extend, Chrome OS. At the same time, Ubuntu hasn’t exactly taken over the enterprise or home market. Plus, Windows PCs already have a significant price advantage over their main competitor, Macs. According to a recent article at The Verge, we might get to actually see a free version of Windows soon, so it won’t be a theoretical conversation. http://www.theverge.com/2014/2/28/5456374/windows-8-1-with-bing-experime...


What I would like to see is less expensive Windows upgrades for existing users. Nostalgia isn’t the only reason people have stuck with XP for so long.

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