Microsoft seems to be radically departing from its previous operating system sales models. The company has traditionally sold full retail, OEM system builder and upgrade versions of the Windows OS. However, according to a “Netcast” video show, Windows Weekly 269 carrying an interview with Paul Thurrott of WinSuperSite and Mary Jo Foley of AllAboutMicrosoft.com, things are going to change. The full retail version will be dropped, anyone who wants to buy Windows for a PC that’s never had Windows on before, or indeed a newly built PC, will just buy the OEM system builder version.
Microsoft has already had a big re-think about how it sells the Windows OS with regard to upgrade pricing and availability, as we reported just over a week ago. Anyone with a copy of Windows XP or newer on their PC is eligible for very reasonable upgrade pricing to Windows 8 at $40. Also people who buy PCs with Windows 7 on now have an even keener upgrade price of $14.99 available until next year.
The simplifying move would align Microsoft’s OS sales strategy a little more to Apple’s, with cheaper OS and OS upgrade pricing and a straightforward offering to customers. Also it wouldn’t hurt sales to make the OS cheaper, additional persons may go ‘legit’ with more attractive pricing and licensing for genuine Windows.
Currently, at Scan Computers, Windows 7 Professional OEM is available for £108 while the Retail version Windows 7 Professional is £165. This is a significant pricing difference that may disappear in the near future. One other factor that you have to consider is that retail boxed copies currently come with 90 days of support via email and telephone after activation, what is going to happen to this support system?
If you want to watch the Windows Weekly 269 show section about the Windows 8 retail version elimination, pre-buffer the video a little and head to 6 minutes 30 seconds to hear Paul Thurrott’s “potential surprise”. The whole show is nearly an hour and a half, if you have time to kill.