Following Apple and Google, Microsoft may be forced make Windows for free

“The details around Windows 9 — code named ‘Threshold’ — are beginning to emerge, but the real action will go well beyond features and whether Microsoft can put Windows 8 in the rear view mirror,” Larry Dignan reports for ZDNet.Dignan reports. “Microsoft’s real challenge with Windows will be navigating a classic innovator’s dilemma and how it can thread a needle between preserving a cash cow and ultimately give Windows away to hardware makers.”

“That place is where Microsoft is going to have to go if it wants to preserve its Windows ecosystem and market share. And how Microsoft navigate that business model change is going to be telling,” Dignan reports. “The folks in Redmond may laugh off the idea of giving Windows away for free to original equipment manufacturers, but the writing is on the wall”

Consider:
• Apple doesn’t charge for its Mac OS anymore.
• Google Chromebooks have become more popular.
• PC makers are now adding Android desktop systems because they can customize and probably get better margins.
• Price will be king in the PC market and Android and Chromebooks could be counterweight to Microsoft.
• Mobile operating systems are driving computing.
• Windows 8 was a black eye for Microsoft and it’s going to be a challenge to come back from a Vista-ish flop twice.
• The PC market is being splintered into multiple operating systems.

“When I consider those moving parts, it’s not that surprising that Microsoft is having trouble naming a new CEO,” Dignan reports. “It’s going to suck to be the new CEO.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: It must be quite the dilemma, since beleaguered Microsoft aren’t innovators.

Microsoft is not facing an “innoavtor’s dilemma,” they’re facing Karma.

Good luck with that, you incompetent hacks.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “The Wizard” for the heads up.]

Related articles:
The fear is palpable as Microsoft exec blasts Apple iPad and free software – October 23, 2013
Free OS X Mavericks will pay off for Apple in many ways – October 23, 2013
Apple makes the world’s most advanced operating system freeware – October 23, 2013
Apple’s new free OS X for Mac hurts Microsoft and the Windows PC industry in myriad ways – October 22, 2013

42 Comments

    1. Dog poop is free. And yet, people do not want FREE fertilizer left on their front yard. The iPhone and iPad are slashing the need to replace that Windows crap. And when they do, the Macs are still the better choice and work seamlessly with the iOS devices they already have.

      Give it 2 to 5 years and Microsoft OS will be less than 25% of the market. Did you notice that the iOS and the A7 chip are now 64-bit? What will happen when the A# chip is in the MacBook Air running iOS and OS X and you no longer need Microsoft Office due to the FREE Apple software that came with your new Apple devices? What to do … what to do.

      1. One of the 2 Microsloth “Cash Cows” being forced to squirt free milk for all (the other being Sloth Office). Now that will be funny. Microsloth is squirming big time.

  1. Karma yes. Apple and Google are using Microsoft’s FREE software strategy that Microsoft used to take down Netscape many years ago with their FREE Internet Explorer.

    What are they going to say? They did it first.

    1. Microsoft is a software company. They cannot afford to give away their software regardless of the volume it might generate. If the customer community decides their software is not worth the price, they are out of business. At some point in the future, if they successfully switch to vertical integration and start to make their money off of hardware; then they can consider low cost or free software. Now it would be suicide.

  2. … and of course we can look forward to Windows 10, which will fix all the problems they create in Windows 9.

    If Microsoft over reach Windows 11, people will be so disillusioned with Windows that Microsoft will have to pay users to install it.

  3. As far as the business world is concerned, they are not interested in free. I run two corporations and never use free or out of the mainstream products. We mainly use Apple products except where we have no choice.

    1. I believe that depends on the business. Adding the nginx and Apache web servers’ share gives a market share of 56%. After 2 decades of trying (and actually paying people to switch), M$ has only climbed to 29%.
      (You can pay for services like monitoring tools and load balancing, but the 2 servers are open-source free.)

  4. What a flashback reading that. I read another article today quoting Turdrott and you know where there it Turdrott, Endyourreare can’t be far behind.

    Do not underestimate Microsoft’s ability to compete and innovate. Apple may be now giving their operating system so it would not surprise me one bit if Microsoft starts to pay people to use their Window’s 9.1 IT Empire version.

    That should keep the Titanic afloat until the next new CEO gets there.

  5. There is no way Microsoft could give away Windows for free and have the company survive. That would be like Apple giving away iPhones for free. Windows OS is Microsoft’s core business revenue stream.

    I don’t get it. Google keeps giving stuff away for free and yet the share price keeps climbing because of increased market share even though many would think it’s a poor business strategy. Google is slowly sucking away at Apple’s hardware business worse than Microsoft did because at least users had to pay licensing fees which at least raised costs a bit. Now companies are coming out with desktop computers with free Android OS for so much cheaper than they could with Windows OS. Unbelievable. Android is disrupting everything with that free OS business model.

  6. Mr. Dignan – you forgot to mention that Apple now also gives away its version of Office (iWorks) for free with any Apple system purchase. So, a double whammy is coming.

    1. Not until they fix the present, crippled, so-called Pages. Of 220 reviews for the current version, 147 are ONE STAR. Overall rating is two stars. Pathetic.

  7. They don’t need to do it anymore, (since the iPad is already killing off the traditional PC), but if Apple wanted to kill off Microsoft’s platform, they could do it by offering Mac OS X to run on other people’s hardware for a price equal to their profit margin on a mid-range iMac.

    It would get pirated by the same people who pirate it now, but they’re not a revenue source anyway.

    -jcr

  8. In a few more months Microsoft will be post-Ballmer. Imagine what the new CEO will have to deal with: (1) Ballmer and Gates on the board of directors. (2) MS just talking on the cell phone purchase under Ballmer’s own hand. (3) The entire Microsoft organization under a new structure by Ballmer’s own hand. (4) new XBox running second-place in the console wars (and not even branded with the MS name on the cartons). (5) Bing bleeding like a stuck whale. (6) Cash cows, Windows and Office, under pressure for the first time in decades. (7) Surface, redux, not eating up the market and buyers poking at it suspiciously with sticks, like it might came back alive and attack them.

    Now, in that context, the new CEO is expected to change anything for the better with Bill and Steve having a good giggle from their position on the board, and thumbing everything down that may diminish Baller’s recent massive changes. I give the new puppet CEO a year or so before he’s out the door.

    1. Exactly. Is it any wonder about how difficult it’s been for them to find a qualified replacement who can also make real changes with Ballmer’s last minute preordained changes in place but who also wasn’t a prior employee?

      I sense a disturbing (yet joyful if true) Elop Flop in the Force.

  9. Free Windows OS, maybe, however, I bet Microsoft will also have to include a couple of concert tickets to see some ‘popular’ musician perform…

    at a grand opening of a Microsoft store!

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