“How much does it cost to maintain Windows and Mac OS X? Since Apple has released five times as many major updates and over fifteen times as many minor updates to Mac OS X since 2000, you might not have guessed that Windows actually costs users five times as much to keep up to date,” Daniel Eran writes for RoughlyDrafted. “Here’s a historical comparison of professional desktop operating systems from both, leading up to a future outlook for how Microsoft’s significantly more expensive platform will affect new computer sales in 2007.”

Eran found that, for a Mac user since 2000 who upgraded to each new version of Mac OS X, the total cost of maintaining Mac OS X software was approximately $50 a year, or around $350 since 2000. But, for a Windows user since 2000 who upgraded at the one opportunity available, the total cost of maintaining Windows software was over $250 a year, or more than $1800 since 2000.

“The much lower cost of Mac OS X and Apple’s far more frequent releases of free updates will be a major selling point next year for users comparing the purchase of a new Mac with Leopard over a new PC with Vista,” Eran writes. “Additionally, while Leopard will likely continue to run on the same Macs as Tiger (anything modern enough to have built in Firewire), Vista will require a new PC to run, likely something from the last year and a half.”

Eran asks, “Will users see the value in paying over three times as much for Vista over Leopard? With the average price of consumer PCs dropping this year to $744, will users be excited to pay around half the cost of a new PC to buy Vista Ultimate Edition software?”

Full article here.

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