So Monday Apple announced that the latest iteration of their OS Mountain Lion sold 3 million copies in four days, making it easily the most successful launch in Apple history. The success of the launch owes its credit to two things: First, Apple has been doing a good job getting their hardware into the hands of consumers lately, but also very importantly, they are offering the software for a paltry $20 on upgrade or new purchase.
Microsoft on the other hand, who has historically charged upwards of $300 dollars for a new copy of the OS, is going to be offering windows 8 professional as a 39 dollar upgrade to existing windows 7 users. This is an important move, and here's why. Apple has always been able to offer their OS at a lower price for a few reasons. One, they've always been an underdog in the OS market by a large margin, and two, Apple isn't just a software company. You need to own an Apple product to install the operating system in the first place, so if you're buying Mountain Lion, that means you've already handed over a chunk of cash for a laptop or desktop.
Microsoft on the other hand has always been a software company, right up until their recent announcement of a proprietary windows 8 tablet. Without a physical product to sell, Microsoft has relied on the initial price of the software and the ubiquity of its use to recoup costs.
With windows 8 however it looks like they're going to be employing a different strategy. Whether or not this is out of fear of people jumping ship or a rush to get everyone onto the same platform because they have other streams of revenue planned for the windows 8 platform, still remains to be seen. Either way it's a much more exciting time for Operating Systems right now than it was during Microsoft's unilateral rule of the 2000's.
What do you guys think, is Microsoft going to drop the ball with windows 8, causing users to jump ship to the Apple camp, or are they going to hit it out of the park and secure more market share? Leave a comment with your predictions, and we'll see you next time on AskMen