This leads to perhaps the more interesting question. Will anyone still be buying Windows 8 Pro upgrade licenses going forward at $199 each? Sure a less expensive core edition can still be had for $119, but even that seems a bit on the high side. Microsoft for the first time ever finds themselves in an awkward position these days. While we can’t begrudge them the reality that operating system development is expensive, the competition is either free, or subsidized heavily by hardware.
The vast majority of new Windows 8 users will be force fed the new UI with the purchase of a new PC, but if Microsoft really wants to keep the ball rolling, $120-$200 upgrades probably won’t help. Paul Thurott from Winsupersite.com argues that Microsoft is justified charging the same price per copy as Windows 7, but he failed to consider Windows 8’s additional revenue possibilities that could justify lower price points. Windows 8’s built in applications have advertisements front and center, and don’t forget Microsoft gets a cut on everything you buy from the new Windows store.
We aren’t going to render judgment on whether or not Windows 8 is worth the new “normal price”, Microsoft’s customers will do that for us. We would simply argue that Microsoft is fighting an uphill battle, and that fight just got much more difficult at the new price points.
Windows 8 has tons of post-sale revenue potential, so is $200 too much to ask?