The big news last week was Microsoft announcing the retail pricing of Windows 7. Check out our previous coverage for the pricing details as well as the limited offer of upgrades at less than half price.
We asked you last week what you thought of Windows 7 pricing, and your responses were varied. Understandably, for those who build their own systems, the OEM pricing is most relevant. Others feel that it's too expensive – a sentiment shared by an analyst at the NPD Group.
NPD Group VP of industry analysis Stephen Baker wrote in the company blog last week with his thoughts on Microsoft’s pricing structure. He praised the (mostly) free upgrade program for PCs purchased on or after June 26, 2009, which solves many buying decisions for those who need new computers for back to school, as Windows 7 won’t be out until October 22, 2009.
Baker was less enthusiastic about the retail pricing of Windows 7, however, saying, "Besides the fact that $119 is a price point that fits nowhere in these economic times, it is still way too much for the software. … It is in Microsoft’s best interests to erase all vestiges of Vista from consumers' homes, and by making the upgrade expensive … Microsoft is creating a large disincentive for consumers to move to a far superior platform with a better user experience."
The NPD executive was also puzzled and displeased that Microsoft isn't offering a multiple user license package. He compared it to Apple’s upcoming Snow Leopard OS X software upgrade, which will sell in September for $29 for a single user license and $49 for a family pack that includes five licenses. Baker posed that in times when families have multiple computers in the home, a family pack similar to Apple’s offering is far more consumer-friendly.
What do you think? Even if Microsoft doesn’t change the eventual retail prices for Windows 7, would you be more inclined to upgrade your entire household if such a family pack were offered?