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Microsoft Cuts The Price Of Windows Vista – So What?

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I woke up this morning to the news that Microsoft had cut the price of retail copies of Windows Vista to stimulate upgrade sales. Analysts were stunned by the move calling it “unheard of,” but I’m not surprised. Why? If you look at Microsoft’s quarterly earnings since Vista came out, Microsoft has sold most of it’s copies of Vista with new computers. The sales of the retail copies of Vista have always been low when compared to the sales of retail copies of XP. So a price cut was coming sooner or later.

The next question is why are Vista’s retail sales numbers down? While I believe that part of it is the perception (reality?) that Vista isn’t all that good, I think it’s because nobody is really upgrading per se. In the past, people would go to Best Buy and buy the latest OS from Microsoft and throw it on their computer. Today, few people are upgrading because they likely don’t have the hardware to run Vista’s advanced features like the Aero interface, so it’s easier to buy a new computer. That translates in to boxes sitting on the shelves of Best Buy that they have to move somehow. Another reason to cut the price.

Of course, none of this solves Vista’s main issues. Lack of compatibility, heavy hardware requirements, among others. Maybe Microsoft should fix those before cutting the price. That would help sales.

Incidentally, I found a site that wants to Save XP from extinction (it disappears on June 30th of this year). Perhaps Microsoft should take note?

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