Tech Dissonance: What's a fair price for an OS?

— 2:25 AM on November 29, 2002

MICROSOFT'S MONOPOLISTIC market position makes the company an easy target for all manner of attacks, legitimate or not. They're the 800-pound gorilla, so it's hard to have any sympathy for them, and even harder to cut them any kind of slack. One point of contention favored by critics and warez kiddies everywhere is Microsoft's pricing for its operating systems. They're supposedly too high. In fact, pirates claim they'd pay for Microsoft's operating system, if only it were more reasonably priced.

But is the price of Windows really that unreasonable? Is it fairly priced?

If you only do a little comparative pricing, it looks like Microsoft has a pretty good racket going, especially considering the kind of sales volume generated by the various flavors of Windows XP. Of course, it's not quite that simple. Read on to find out why.

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