Price War: Snow Leopard vs Windows 7

Apple announced at WWDC 2009 that their latest operating system (Snow Leopard) will be released in September.  Exciting right?  It gets better.  What’s the price you ask? $29.  I’m not kidding.  It will be a $29 upgrade from Leopard.  That’s much less than the cost of $129 to upgrade to Leopard from Tiger.  How can Apple afford to price Snow Leopard so low?  It’s quite simple.  Apple isn’t a software company (they really never were).

What do I mean Apple isn’t a software company?  Yes, they have an operating system, but, they are more like Dell or HP than they are Microsoft.  Apple is a computer and electronics company who have developed their own operating system which runs on their devices.  Most of Apple’s revenue doesn’t come from selling software – it comes from selling hardware.  The Mac Pro’s, iMac’s, Macbook’s, Macbook Pro’s, Macbook Air’s, Mac Mini’s, iPhone’s, iPod’s, Time Capsules, Air Ports, and Apple TV’s are where all their revenues come from.

This is where Apple has an advantage on Microsoft (who is a software company).  Microsoft cannot afford to bring their prices that low.  While they are definitely making an attempt to offer an initial low price during a pre-sale there is no way you can expect those prices to remain forever.  You think Apple cares if you run Windows on your Mac?  Not in the slightest.  That’s not where their money is made.  Microsoft on the other hand cannot offer the same option because they may very well lose their main revenue stream (selling software).

About the author

— Jeff Weisbein

Jeff is the founder & CEO of BestTechie. He has over 10 years of experience working with technology and building businesses. He loves to travel and listen to music.

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  1. Great post! I think Apple has indeed “one-upped” Microsoft as far as this operating system is concerned. As you stated, Microsoft is in no way able to cut prices on Windows 7 anymore than they have. Hmm, no way, Apple did something better than Microsoft? Eh, seems normal. :-)


  2. I think apple has really got Microsoft in a tough bind right now since there is no way Windows 7 can be that cheap. However, you have to remember that the only people who would be interested in buying or upgrading OS X, are people who bought apple hardware. They already paid for the hardware (which is were apple makes most its money), so thats how they can charge the low price for the os!.

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