The Macalope Daily: Operating systems cost too much!

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Hi, and welcome to the Late-Night Infomercial Hour with the Macalope.

Are you tired of paying exorbitant fees just to run your hardware?! The Macalope is! That’s why he uses devices from Tim Cook’s Discount Operating System Shack, where operating systems just cost less!

Who would have thought we’d one day live in a world where Apple is putting price pressure on the competition? Some people don’t even get that that’s the world we currently live in.

Now, now. Don’t be mean. Pundits are still people. Just not very good ones.

In an effort to get the cost of Windows 8 down, it appears that Microsoft is throwing anything it can overboard. One of the things to go? The DVD playing software.

Ed Bott explains why this is actually a cost when you can get VLC for free (tip o’ the antlers to Daring Fireball). Short answer: licensing.

It makes sense from Microsoft’s perspective, but this implementation detail is lost upon the average user who’s probably going to think Microsoft is just trying to get them to pay for an upgrade that plays DVDs.

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes thinks this will probably just push the cost of implementing this down to the OEMs:

However, because PC buyers expect to be able to play DVDs on their PC—something that Windows users have been able to do for many years—OEMs will be under pressure to include some level of DVD playback functionality on new PCs.

Which is great, because when you’re in a low-margin commodity business adding extra costs is no prob-ohhhhhhhhh, wait…

So, this would probably just be a temporary cost to OEMs, as it’s pretty clear that DVDs and even Blu-ray aren’t the future. Still, it’s just another example of the increasing price pressure Microsoft is under. For one thing, consumers could install Linux for free. They won’t, of course, because no one other than Katherine Noyes likes compiling their own sound card driver. But Apple only charges $30 for OS X upgrades, while Microsoft charges $100 and up for Windows upgrades. That doesn’t seem sustainable—particularly as consumers are being taught in the smartphone and tablet markets that operating system updates should be free.

How do you keep them on the expensive Windows farm when they’ve seen the bright and cheap lights of OS X, iOS, and Android?

[Editors’ Note: In addition to being a mythical beast, the Macalope is not an employee of Macworld. As a result, the Macalope is always free to criticize any media organization. Even ours.]

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