Monday, October 22, 2007

Markoff Didn't Do the Math on Leopard vs Vista Pricing

John Markoff in this morning's NYT gives Steve Jobs a platform to tout Friday's release of Mac OS X Leopard. While Jobs graciously declined to comment on Vista's slow sales and lackluster reviews, he did slip in a zinger about pricing. He said that with Leopard, "“everybody gets the Ultimate edition and it sells for 129 bucks, and if you go on Amazon and look at the Ultimate edition of Vista, it sells for 250 bucks.”

Right. And Steve's other point: Apple has been tossing out a big cat every year and expects to keep it up for another decade.

On the other hand, it took Microsoft seven years to get Vista out the door, with Windows 7 slated for 2010.

So, Microsoft collects their $250 upgrade tax twice in the decade ($500) and Apple collects their $129 tax eight times ($1032). It's the ol' "eight easy payments" game

(OK, there's a big fallacy in this analysis: nobody keeps a computer for ten years. At some point(s) you get a new computer with the OS bundled. And surely the 2010 versions of either Mac OS or Windows won't even run on a 2000 vintage computer. On the other hand, in a multi-computer household, there are always a few computers that will need the upgrade. The screen-sharing features in Leopard will create viral pressure to promulgate this upgrade. Except among the paranoid.)

Mickeleh's Take: I never doubted that Apple could sustain another decade of innovation. The only question is have they run out of cat names? After Cheetah, Puma, Jaguar, Panther, Tiger, and Leopard where do we go now? Tabby?

And, yes. I've already ordered the family pack.

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Tom Ash said...

But you don't really have to buy every upgrade do you?

(I realise that this point applies to Windows too. Nonetheless, in terms of user-level features added, Vista is not - AFAIK - a bigger upgrade than Tiger or Leopard.)

Anonymous said...

Don't forget the king of cats: the Lion. (of course, it sound a bit deceitful)

According to Wikipedia, there's at least a decade's worth of cats:
Chinese Mountain Cat, Jungle Cat, Pallas's Cat, Sand Cat, Black-footed Cat, Iriomote Cat, Flat-headed Cat, Rusty-spotted Cat, Fishing Cat, Cougar, Jaguarundi, Lynx , Bobcat, Pantanal , Colocolo, Geoffroy's Cat, Kodkod, Andean Mountain Cat, Pampas Cat, Ocelot, Oncilla, Margay, Serval, Caracal

And since it's Wikipedia, I played God and created a few more species:
The Cool Cat (Steve's favorite)
The Cat in the Hat Cat
The Copy Cat (save that one for MS)
The Fraidy Cat (code named: Scaredy Cat)
The Fat Cat (one of Phil's favorites)

Michael Markman said...

@thomas... You might think I don't have to buy every upgrade. There's no law requiring it. Sensible people might not.

But you don't know my susceptibility to Apple marketing. They're very good at making me think there's something in the 300 features that I can't live without.

@cogwac... whew! cat names abound. enough for upgrades galore. But can they really use a breed that includes the word "cat"? Is there room on the box for compound names?