Monday, November 13, 2006

Microsoft Tax

This weekend Linzy and I were over at my parents house for a nice replacement Thanksgiving dinner (since they will be out cheering my sister on at the Philly Marathon).

While we were killing time waiting for dinner, my Dad and I got sidetracked trying to figure out how much a new computer would cost them. The end result price wasn't too surprising, but what I was surprised by was just how much of that price was directly related to Vista and Office: 41%.

Roughly $500 of the projected $1200 cost was for upgrade versions of either Vista Home Premium or Office Professional.

Now granted, Office Professional, at $329 for an upgrade, has the most to with that bloated figure. But they do have legitimate reasons for wanting Access, and that basically forces you into getting Office Professional.

I don't know that the prices for an OS and Office suite have really gotten much more expensive then they used to be back in the day (Office is actually cheaper, I think), but as computer components get cheaper and cheaper Microsoft's software has stayed basically the same price. Resulting in the ridiculous 40% contribution to the price of a new computer we have today.

[ Note: Yes, I'm perfectly aware of Linux and OpenOffice. Linux for a casual home user is still not even remotely an option. Heck, my parents can't even use Firefox on all the sites they regularly visit. Open Office is a credible replacement for, say, Office 2000 and is probably a reasonable choice for people who don't really use their office suite for anything, but it still doesn't compare to the real thing. ]


Bill Roehl said...

I am a huge believer in using the software that works best for your needs and unfortunately, for some, Office fits the bill. There is hope for OpenOffice as it has worked wonders for me on many Access databases I needed to work on, several Excel workbooks, and *many* PPT presentations.

While it isn't quite there yet (I do a lot of work with Groupwise integration into both Excel and Access via VBA) it has impressed someone who thinks, for the most part, that OSS is not for anyone but those that are completely anti-MSFT.

Steve Eck said...

I agree that OpenOffice definitely has it's place, and has made big strides in the last few years.