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Are The Days Of Paying For An Operating System Over?

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Are The Days Of Paying For An Operating System Over?

Post by Mojo on Wed Oct 23, 2013 5:36 pm

At the big Apple show the other day, Apple Computers showed off their new toys like the new Ipad Mini and various Apple goodies.  However the biggest announcement made was that their OSX update Mavericks would be available free to any Apple user using OSX Snow Leopard and above.  This follows on the heels of Microsoft's offering of the Windows 8.1 update free to owners of Windows 8.  
 
While free operating systems have been around for a long time, this marks a significant change for the big 2.  The question now remains is will that trend continue or is this just a short term thing.  I think it could be a viable option for Apple but I'm hard pressed to see Microsoft do that.
 
The basic difference is Apple is a hardware manufacturer and Microsoft isn't.  Apple can absorb the costs of OSX by raising the price of Macs whereas Microsoft's bread and butter is software.  Now theoretically, Microsoft could make Windows updates available for free to personal consumers and make up for it in charging more for corporate licensing but that would require me to take a leap of faith that I'm not ready to make yet. 
 
I feel the only reason 8.1 is a free update is because it fixes the changes that Microsoft force fed to consumers in Windows 8.  I can't tell you the number of pcs I have downgraded to Win 7 because people hated the Win 8 interface and it's lack of a START button.  People like simplicity and while change is inevitable, it should never come at the expense of simplicity.  The K.I.S.S. method of Keep It Simple Stupid plays into this.  They had a serious problem with Windows 8 users being really pissed and used the free upgrade to get on their good side and restore confidence.  I expect this to be a one time thing.
 
Of course some people think this is the future with Apple and Microsoft reimaging themselves as Application distributors like Google is with their Android Market and I guess that is true in a sense.  That's why I can see Apple testing the waters to see if they can do this viably.  I just don't see Microsoft in the same boat because even though they are trying to reposition themselves likewise, at the end of the day they make their money SELLING software to people not giving it away.
 
Time will tell what happens and, if nothing, it should remain interesting......
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