My Windows 7 $49 Proposal to Microsoft

Dear Microsoft,

According to all reviews Windows 7 is going to be well accepted. However, there is still one barrier to that acceptance and this is the price. The following proposal is based on the following goals for Windows 7 acceptance.

  • All customers will opt for Windows 7 pre-installed on new PC purchases.
  • Customers will buy retail upgrades for current PCs running Windows XP or Vista.
  • Reduce the amount of pirated version of Windows that people are running.

Let's face it, Vista was a retail flop. Even inclusion rates on new PCs was disappointing. With PC vendors like Dell and HP offering "downgrades" to Windows XP even more than a year after Vista shipped it is apparent. As a mater of fact the bad Vista karma was one of the reasons I decided to buy an iMac to experience the "other side."

It is my opinion that you should price the upgrade version of Windows 7 at $49.

Here is how I envision this would work.

  • A single $49 DVD or download contains all Windows 7 sku levels.
  • Installing the DVD upgrades from Windows XP or Vista to the equivalent Windows 7 sku. For example...
    • Windows XP Home Premium upgrades to Windows 7 Home Premium
    • Windows XP Business upgrades to Windows 7 Professional
    • Vista Home Premium upgrades to Windows 7 Home Premium
  • Level updates cost $49 per level once you have Windows 7. For example...
    • Windows 7 Home Premium to Windows 7 Professional
    • Windows 7 Professional to Windows 7 Ultimate

This proposal makes buying and upgrading to Windows 7 simple. I only have to purchase a single upgrade for $49 to move from XP or Vista to Windows 7. Once I am running Windows 7 I only have to do an in place upgrade for $49 per-level. Your customers will be able to understand this and it should simplify the whole overwhelming aspect of the multiple sku's.

So, lets look at some examples of this pricing. Let's assume I am running Windows XP Home Premium on my home machine. I want to upgrade to Windows 7 Professional. I easily know that it will cost me $49 to upgrade to Windows 7 Home Premium and $49 to upgrade that after installed to Windows 7 Professional. So that upgrade will cost my $98. Very simple and easy for the customer to figure out.

Now, how you implement this is up to you. If you want to charge the $98 in one transaction would be great. Perhaps the way it works is that the Windows 7 RTM is free to d/l. Once you install it you have a 90 day free trial. The installer will know what pervious version you had and when you launch the "purchase" screen it will present the skus and prices. For example, if I install Windows 7 Trial on my Windows XP Home Premium the purchase screen will list options like this:

  • Home Premium Edition $49
  • Professional Edition $98
  • Ultimate Edition $147

Once again, easy, simple, understandable, affordable. Lets face it, many people have multiple machines. They WANT to upgrade all of them. But, if you price the upgrade at $199 they just won't do it... or they will pirate it.

You have made a great story for corporate customers by providing XP mode and taking away their last barrier for acceptance. Please give as much consideration to the private and home users also.

Signed, Bob

Thanks for reading my proposal. If you agree with me that this is affordable, simple and makes sense please comment below to show your support for this pricing idea.


There is no Windows XP Home

There is no Windows XP Home Premium, only XP Home. In this case somebody should decide to which Home version it should correspond. I am afraid that having to swallow bitter pill of reduced pricing, someone may decide to upgrade XP Home to Windows 7 Home Basic, XP Media edition to Windows 7 Home Premium.

Also don't forget addition of Family license that will enable installation and/or upgrade of 5 machines in household, as some other companies in OS business have, in best interest of its customers.

Yes, you are correct. I

Yes, you are correct. I really meant Windows XP Home Media Center would be the same as Windows Home Premium.

This sounds great.

I just saw your post on twitter to find this article, and I have to admit it sounds very logical to me. As a corporate and a home use of Windows, I agree that this simple price structure would be very attractive. I would even probably make the leap for 2 of my home machines to make the upgrade. (Otherwise I would just have stuck with XP until I bought a computer which came with "7".

One more thing I would like to ask for from microsoft is that the "upgrade" be able to do a fresh install. I hate upgrading from one OS version to a completely new one in place. I would much rather backup, reformat, reinstall from a fresh copy. - less problems down the line.

As long as we're all making a wishlist, I'll add that I thought your idea of being able to download the trial is AWESOME. If I was a home user, and I could download it and try it - even for 2 weeks - and then be prompted to pay for it, I would be much more likely to complete the transaction. Lets face it, none of us are going to run to a computer store anymore to buy this stuff - and who wants to wait for it to be shipped. DOWNLOAD, TRY, then BUY - thats a model I can get behind. Plus, who wants to buy it before we have tried it on our own computer?

I would pay for Windows 7 if you make it easy and affordable. Make up for the lower costs with huge sales volumes. It makes sense to all of us, why not to you M/S???