I am a big fan of Windows 7. I have been pretty critical of Windows Vista, considering it a stop gap to an already tardy update to XP. Simply put, Windows 7 is what Vista should have been. So when Microsoft announced its pricing this morning for the October's release, I was very disappointed.
Pricing for retail upgrade:
- Windows 7 Home Premium: $119.99
- Windows 7 Professional: $199.99
- Windows 7 Ultimate: $219.99
Pricing for retail full:
- Windows 7 Home Premium: $199.99
- Windows 7 Professional: $299.99
- Windows 7 Ultimate: $319.99
While cheaper than Vista's respective pricing, it's kind of lame in light of Apple's Snow Leopard update this September for a more digestible $29. Ina Fried of C|Net news mentions Brad Brooks, Corporate Vice President of Marketing at Microsoft, as saying "comparing the two upgrades is unfair". Not so, say I. Both include features and updates that one could argue should have been included in the original release of their respective operating systems. Both could have delayed launch until these improvements were implemented (I'm quite sure they were on the road map) but the long time to market would have reflected poorly--on both of them.
Microsoft, because it had already taken five years, several restarts, and many dropped features (WinFS, I'm looking at you!). Apple, because they enjoy ribbing Microsoft too much for their long development cycles. I at least have respect for Apple labeling their update "focusing on performance, under-the-hood improvements, and user interface refinements" during the WWDC and charging so little for it. Too bad Microsoft didn't do the same.
Maybe it would it be too much of a mea culpa about Vista's failure by selling Windows 7 at a similar price point. At any rate, my enthusiasm has been curbed quite a bit. I know at, say, $50 a license I would upgrade two desktops and a laptop in a snap. Now, I think I'll just wait until a free copy floats my way, or better still, stay with XP and continue a transition to another OS. Another missed opportunity, Microsoft.