How to Make Windows 7 a Hit: Make It Free

By  |  Thursday, January 29, 2009 at 9:22 am

Windows 7Over at Gizmodo, Matt Buchanan has a come up with a cool strategy for ensuring that Windows 7 gets an enthusiastic reception when it ships: give it away. Well, sort of. He’s really only talking about giving it to Windows Vista owners, and he’d be satisfied if Microsoft just sold it to Vista users at a lowball price: $49.

In the past, I would have said that Microsoft making a new version of Windows into a freebie (or, at least, a cheapie) was unthinkable. Today, it still seems unlikely. But I like the idea, and it’s undeniable that the Windows launch game plan Microsoft used so successfully so many times in the past is obsolete. Like Matt, I’d love to see Microsoft streamline the number of Windows 7 versions out there to a few, easy-to-understand variants. And if it gives the OS a pricetag that’s surprisingly affordable, it would give lots of folks incentive to upgrade–in an era in which it’s easier than ever to be a happy computer user without owning the latest version of Mivrosoft Windows.

 
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6 Comments For This Post

  1. Abbie Kendall Says:

    Great recommendation, H. I used this tactic in a fast-growing software company and it drove record revenues.

  2. william Says:

    I’m all for it! Seems like that is the best way to get average users to upgrade, and it is bound to have a beneficial effect on their support costs.

  3. Racca Says:

    I agree. If the price for Windows 7 is $49.00, I would definitely be buying multiple copies to upgrade my older PCs. It doesn’t make sense to pay a premium to update old hardware.

  4. Jeff Says:

    Upgrades to Linux are free as in $0.
    Typically Mac OS upgrades are around $130.
    Both are far less expensive than any previous Windows upgrade.

  5. Mark Says:

    Hmmm. interesting idea. How about this as an idea, get the base O/S for free, but have to pay a subscription to get updates. Now to start you would get loads of people not doing any updates, but once you had discovered that you had a worm (like conflicker for instance) you’d pay pretty damn quickly for support.

  6. Raymond Dunton Says:

    Microsoft has actually offered an OS upgrade for $49 in the past when they were trying to convince users to upgrade from Windows 98 to Windows ME. About 9 years ago, Windows 98 users could get the Windows ME upgrade for only $49. All other upgraders from Windows 3.1 and 95 had to pay the full upgrade price of $99. If they have done it once, I think that would make them more likely to do it again. However, I would doubt it would be $49 if they did, since it is 9 years later and as everyone knows, prices almost always go up.

3 Trackbacks For This Post

  1. WindowsObserver.com » Windows 7 Google Alerts for 29 January 2009 Says:

    […] How to Make Windows 7 a Hit: Make It Free | Technologizer Windows 7 Over at Gizmodo, Matt Buchanan has a come up with a cool strategy for ensuring that Windows 7 gets an enthusiastic reception when it ships: give it away. Well, sort of. He’s really only talking about giving it … Technologizer – http://technologizer.com/ […]

  2. Microsoft Chops Some Windows 7 Prices  | Technologizer Says:

    […] It’s not exactly stunning that the company chose not to follow Gizmodo’s advice that Win 7 should be free for all Vista owners. But there are a number of price breaks associated with the […]

  3. How to Make Windows 7 a Hit: Make It Free | Skicat56's Blog Says:

    […] By Harry McCracken  |  Posted at 9:22 am on Thursday, January 29, 2009 Link to Technologizer Article […]