Something odd struck me the other day. I was thinking about putting Windows on one of the Mac mini systems to run in Boot Camp. Why? Because my youngest daughter is learning to play the keyboard, and while she spends most of her time in GarageBand, she does have some software she wants to use that is Windows only. Installing Windows on the Mac sounds like the best solution. This got me thinking ... Microsoft does a lot of those PC vs. Mac comparison type ads ... but why do we never see Microsoft trying to sell Windows licenses direct to Mac users?
You must have seen those comparison ads ... if you haven't, here's an example I covered a few weeks ago ...
Here Microsoft has cherry-picked PCs with the idea of making the Mac look bad in comparison (although why it chooses to show criteria where the Mac beats the PC, such as battery life in the example above, doesn't make sense to me). The idea is that Microsoft pimps OEM hardware, and from each PC sale it gets dollars from the license fee (it gets that license fee anyway, whether it pimps the hardware of not ... but I guess it needs to drum up sales every so often).
But here's the thing, Microsoft sells the OEMs Windows licenses at a cheap price. The bigger the OEM, the cheaper the deal. How much OEMs pay per license is not disclosed, but figures that are thrown around put is at around $30 - 40 per system.
Now, you might think that this is a pretty good haul, but compare this to a retail license. A retail copy of Windows 7 Home Premium costs $200, while Ultimate costs $275. Now, Microsoft doesn't get all this cash, but I'm pretty sure that it makes more than $40 per sale. There are a lot of Mac users out there who have come from a PC background that might like to still run Windows on their shiny new Mac.
Microsoft's got it all wrong. Rather than pimping OEM hardware (OEMs can do that for themselves), Microsoft should start targeting Mac users. How? A big photo of a MacBook Pro, and underneath that something like 'Did you know you can run Windows on your Mac?' Microsoft's always claiming that Mac users are throwing money away needlessly when buying a Mac, why not encourage them to throw some more money away?
Go on Microsoft, start telling Mac users what they're missing and rustle up a few more dollars.
It's not as crazy as it sounds! If it's all about the dollars and not ideology, then why would Microsoft care if those dollars are coming from Mac users or PC users.