Should Vista users get a Windows 7 upgrade for $29?

Should Vista users get a Windows 7 upgrade for $29?

Summary: So, Mac OS X 10.5 "Leopard" users will be able to upgrade to 10.6 "Snow Leopard" for $29 once it's released in September. Should Microsoft give the same deal to Vista users?

SHARE:

So, Mac OS X 10.5 "Leopard" users will be able to upgrade to 10.6 "Snow Leopard" for $29 once it's released in September. Should Microsoft give the same deal to Vista users?

So, let me get this right:

  • Leopard --> Snow Leopard - $29
  • Vista Home Basic upgrade - $99.95
  • Vista Home Premium upgrade - $129.95
  • Vista Ultimate upgrade - $219.95
  • Vista Business upgrade - $199.95

Now, we don't know how much Windows 7 upgrades will retail for, but if it's genuine then the leaked Best Buy memo gives us a clue:

  • Windows 7 Home Premium - $49.99
  • Windows 7 Professional - $99.99

According to the memo, these prices will only be available for 16 days through July 11, so following that we can expect the price to go up.

Apple's decision to allow Leopard users to upgrade for $29 (the upgrades usually cost $129) suddenly makes Microsoft seem expensive. If nothing else, it's an interesting counter to Microsoft's "Laptop Hunter" ads. "Laptop Hunter" ads try to portray Apple as the expensive option, a ploy that seems to be successful. This slashing of the upgrade cost should help Apple counter Microsoft, and since Microsoft only makes money from the sale of the OS and not the hardware, Microsoft could be both vulnerable to this ploy and unable to offer such deep discounts to counter it.

Personally, I think that OS upgrades are too expensive for Microsoft users. Apple's $29 upgrade for loyal users (those who have the previous version) is a step in the right direction and I hope that Microsoft follows suit.

Topics: Microsoft, Apple, Laptops, Operating Systems, Software, Windows

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Talkback

65 comments
Log in or register to join the discussion
  • Snow Leopard is like XP SP2

    The changes it makes to OS X are almost identical to what SP2 did for XP. It's a security service pack. Comparing that to the price of an actual new OS is crazy. While I think it would be nice if Windows upgrades are cheaper, I think people should focus more on Apple charging $29 (or $129) for a service pack. You should be outraged. We would have been if SP2 were a billed upgrade.
    LiquidLearner
    • I agree

      I feel the same way as LiquidLearner: that Snow Leopard doesn't bring enough new stuff to the table to qualify as a full upgrade. His comparison to XP SP2 feels right on the mark.

      But, truth be told, I feel the same way about Windows 7. Microsoft did all the heavy lifting in Vista, even if other hardware and software companies weren't ready. Much of Win7's current popularity is due to the fact that the hardware and software ecosystems have matured over the 2+ years since Vista was released.

      While Vista didn't sell as well as Microsoft would have liked, I think Win7 is poised to meet or beat those expectations. I understand MS's desire to recoup the financial losses of Vista's retail failure, but I also think that, like XP SP2, Win7 is a collection of refinements over the previous version. Free sure would be nice, but $30 for an upgrade to Win7 doesn't slap either my wallet or my sensibilities (unlike the current Vista upgrade costs).

      Apple made a shrewd move with its Snow Leopard pricing, one that targets Microsoft's weakest point. Here's hoping that we consumers are the ultimate victors!
      R_Connelie@...
    • Win 7 is a Vista SP

      So it should cost $29.
      storm14k
      • not realy

        Because mac users have already had to pay for several upgrades already so you should add up the total cost charged by apple and that would be a fair comparison.
        jdbukis@...
        • re: not really

          since snow leopard is only available for intel macs the max
          number of upgrades any eligible user would have paid for
          is one, the upgrade from tiger to leopard, which at $129 is
          the same as the upgrade price of windows vista premium
          (vista and leopard came out at roughly the same time,
          vista at the beginning of 2007 and leopard in october of
          the same year ) so assuming roughly the same age
          hardware and assuming the windows user upgraded first
          to vista from xp (who wouldn't want the latest and greatest
          on their nearly new computer right?) then the mac user, in
          terms of only software upgrades would still pay less by
          about $20 assuming the $49.99 rumored for windows 7 is
          correct
          anywho
    • If so then what is Vista?

      And how expensive was it? And how well did it work? How
      many people felt Vista was a multi-handicapped version of XP?

      Apple has worked on improving OS X's functioning on Intel
      Macs, they have reduced the size of the installed software,m
      optomized other areas.

      And they have set a new standard when it comes to pricing.
      $29 for a full version of the OS, and the ultimate version at
      that.

      Now we just see if MS can match Apple's pricing. Sure they will
      - LOL.
      Ken_z
      • What PC users lose on upgrade pricing---

        What PC users lose on upgrade pricing we MORE THAN MAKE UP FOR on the initial cost of hardware!!!
        BernieLyons
        • And more than lose on maintenance time and costs (NT)

          NT
          theoxygenthief
    • Actually....

      Mac OS X 10.5.2 to 10.5.7 were service packs and were thus free.

      By your logic MSFT should have paid you to use Vista then and Win 7
      should be a free upgrade as even Steve Ballmer called Win 7 "Vista done
      right".

      The only thing that outrages us Mac users is your ignorance.
      theoxygenthief
    • Windows NT 6.1.7100

      From Wikipedia, that's MSFT's internal numbering for Win7. Vista was NT
      6.0.6002. XP was NT 5.1.2600. Was does that prove about Windows 7 or
      do you need it more spelled out?
      theoxygenthief
      • That doesn't prove jack...

        10.0
        10.1
        10.2
        blah blah

        Version numbers don't mean crap outside of a development meeting.
        JoeMama_z
    • Snow leopard is more like XP to Vista.

      The basic interface is changed only in minor ways. And that is very true
      of Vista to XP. The basic interface was not really changed only eye
      candied up with no functional changes.

      Internally, however, XP to Vista brought HUGE structural changes to
      Windows. It is these structural changes that have allowed Win 7 to really
      change the interface for the first time since Win95 (God I hate the
      worthlessness that is the Win95 through Vista task-bar).
      Bruizer
  • RE: Should Vista users get a Windows 7 upgrade for $29?

    No. Remember Microsoft does not sell hardware and sells OS only. Apple sell hardware and OS bundled and makes profit margin from both.
    shivanand_k@...
    • Don't care what MS does.

      As a consumer I only care about the product.

      If BMW makes its profits by also selling ice cream, I would still not expect it to sell their great models to me for KIA prices.
      nizuse
  • $29 is good for me

    I'd take it. It would help me get rid of that annoying Vista-ware on my machine, and give me 7.
    Btw I consider to have already paid for 7 anyway. If I'm correct 7's functionality is what MS promised that I would get with Vista. They didn't deliver then so I was ripped off then by MS. If they give me 7 for $29 all is ok again.
    nizuse
    • AMEN to that!!

      I'd be delighted to get Win 7 Home for $49.00 and Win 7 Business for $75.00. Since I have 3 copies of Vista Home Premium and 2 copies of Vista Business in my Home Plus a copy of XP Business on my laptop you are talking serious upgrade money here which due to the times we live in I cannot afford now.
      BernieLyons
  • I would like them to...

    ...but I can't see it.

    Incidentally, how much are Apple asking to upgrade Tiger to Snow Leopard.
    Sleeper Service
    • Check back June 16

      I don't think Apple has released that information yet. But their website seems to suggest an announcement will be made on June 16.

      http://www.apple.com/macosx/uptodate/
      jaledwith
    • Older cats not impacted?

      Snow Leopard is for Intel Macs only. How many Intel Macs run Tiger?
      Ken_z
      • About a quarter of Mac users...

        ...run Tiger according to NetApps.

        http://marketshare.hitslink.com/operating-system-market-share.aspx?qprid=10

        I couldn't say how many are on PPC and how many on Wintel but it's a substantial number isn't it especially since Tiger was the first version of OS X released to specifically work on Intel based machines.

        I'm guessing it's a lot of them.
        Sleeper Service