How to Make Windows 7 a Hit: Make It Free

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idea, and it’s undeniable that the Windows launch game plan Microsoft used so successfully so many times in the past is obsolete.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.


9 comments

  1. Abbie Kendall January 29, 2009 at 9:39 am #

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

  2. william January 29, 2009 at 11:08 am #

    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 January 29, 2009 at 1:09 pm #

    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 January 29, 2009 at 3:27 pm #

    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 January 30, 2009 at 5:31 am #

    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 February 11, 2009 at 8:44 pm #

    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.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. WindowsObserver.com » Windows 7 Google Alerts for 29 January 2009 - January 29, 2009

    […] 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 – https://technologizer.com/ […]

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