October 24th, 2001


>Insert Microsoft Rant

There are three phases that Madonna goes through in her career:
Madonna the mother, Madonna the goddess, and Madonna the whore.

Um... you tell me. Looks like she won't be alone, either. What swine...

It's all about selling XP... in fact, there is a huge push behind XP, not just by Microsoft, but by computer manufacturers, who want sales of the OS to boost sales for their PCs. The problem though is that the actual cost in time and money to upgrade to and learn how to use XP is of questionable value to most people. If you figure in the real time and expense involved, upgrading to a different Microsoft OS is the most expensive upgrade you can possibly make to your computer. Despite the huge amount of people that will upgrade to XP, a full version of XP is more expensive than any other previous version of Windows, and you must buy a copy for each PC you wish to upgrade and register the software within 30 days. Frankly, if you look at the true cost of upgrading to Windows XP, you could buy a few things you might prefer instead... such as a faster processor, more memory, DSL for the next 18 months, a dual monitor system, or even other things... such as that trip to Europe you've always wanted.

Can anyone explain to me why Microsoft can sell about twenty times more copies of their OS than Apple, yet Apple is charging only $19.95 for an OSX v10.1 upgrade, only $129 for a new version of their software, and $499 for a 10-user license? In comparison, XP costs $199 for the Professional Edition upgrade, $299 for the full version, and presumably around 5 to 6 times more than Apple for the same amount of users in the corporate environment. It's worth pointing out that the first version of DOS cost less than $40 and sold copies only numbering in the thousands... not millions.

Basic economics here -- the price in materials, development costs, and marketing decreases the more products you sell. Now, assuming that Apple OSX and Windows XP cost roughly the same amount of money to develop, you'd expect that Microsoft, due to the huge amount of software they sell, could charge far less than Apple does for their OS software and still make a larger profit than Apple. That, however, isn't what Microsoft is about. They have teams of business people whose goal is to figure out how much Microsoft can possibly charge to maximize profits... it doesn't matter that their software is ludicrously more expensive than it should be. There literally is no other commercial piece of software out there with such a high profit margin. By my calculations, the real cost to Microsoft for their OS is probably less than $8 per copy, and the markup is probably in the neighborhood of 37,500% In comparison, the markup for pure cocaine bought in Columbia and sold in the U.S. is only about 1,500%. Given the huge potential markup, is it any wonder that there is a huge market in other parts of the world for bootleg Microsoft software?!

Its all about the monopoly; no competition allows Microsoft to set their own prices. If they had a monopoly on bubble gum, we'd be paying $20 a stick.., and we couldn't split it with a friend.

So, no... I will not bend over and buy XP, thank you very much.