Oct 24, 2013

Will Apple making Mac OS X Maverick available for free force Microsoft to do the same with Windows?

I was surprised to see Apple offering Maverick OS upgrades for free to Mac users. As someone who is not a Mac user, I wonder if this could make Microsoft decide to offer free upgrades to Windows users. Any chance of this happening?


Unlikely. Windows is a huge cash cow for Microsoft, and unlike Apple, they are not really a hardware company (with the exception of Surface Tablets and XBox). Apple has already gotten the user to pay a premium price for hardware, and this makes that hardware even more attractive, so it makes sense for Apple. 

It is certainly not going to help Microsoft in any way, and it will definitely put pricing pressure on Windows, especially in the consumer computer sector. Windows is an aging franchise and it has been eclipsed by mobile. Microsoft will still make money from Windows, but its glory days are getting farther and farther behind it.


Microsoft has had problems adjusting to the modern computing world, clinging to its Windows OS desktop empire and blowing mobile (up to now). But as Microsoft's latest quarterly earnings report shows, Windows still generates a healthy percentage of the company's overall revenue -- $4.3 billion out of a total $18.5 billion. Not sure how much of that is from upgrades. I don't see it happening (at least until Ballmer is out the door). 

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