Microsoft® ‘drops’ Windows® 7 price to match Snow Leopard®
In order to match the record sales for Mac OS X Snow Leopard, Microsoft has slashed the price of Windows 7 to compete the $29 price tag of the former. But a slew of fine print may prevent many users from purchasing Windows 7 even at the dropped-down price.
One had to wonder why Microsoft insisted on selling Windows 7 Home Premium for a much higher price of $119. Given the success of Snow Leopard, Microsoft has now dropped the price of Home Premium to $29.99 but. This price is only for students. Moreover, only the download version with no CD/DVD media is available at the low price and it will only be available through January.
The price drop itself likely has nothing to do with Apple's price of Snow Leopard. Mac OS X really doesn't compete with Windows, at least not in the way you may think it does. When a PC user goes to Best Buy and compares Mac OS X to Windows, the user cannot walk away with a copy of Snow Leopard and expect to use it. They have to go with the whole Apple package, its hardware (like an iMac) and its software (Mac OS X). Therefore, the price was not lowered to persuade those sitting on the fence.
If the drop in price wasn't a part of price war with Snow Leopard, then what was the reason behind it? It was done to encourage quick sales amongst the money-strapped college students; as it is difficult for a student to shell out $119 whereas they can easily afford a price tag of $29. But, probably the reason goes beyond that. Apple has a market share of 50 percent in colleges which is significantly higher than its share in other areas. Price drop could be a part of marketing as Microsoft still has lots of ground in educational segment. A price cut in Windows 7 will definitely encourage students to think before making a choice.