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I was bored at work and just cruising around the web. I decided, on an odd impulse, to visit microsoft.com. Just to see what there is to see. While I was there it occurred to me that it might be interesting to see just how much it would cost to replace my operating system with Windows. You see, I have not used windows in many years. I have been using FreeBSD for at least five years and was using Linux as my sole OS for a couple of years before that. The last Windows OS I had on any of my computers came with my Dell and got blown away before I ever used it (it was Me... so no loss there).
I just moved my entire family away from Windows at their own request. They seem satisfied although my mother's bank doesn't like Firefox for on-line billpay (I am going to try opera and some other browsers to find a solution for that). So Windows seems like an after-thought to me. But it was something I decided I was curious about. How much would it cost to replace my basic system with Windows.
Well... the pricing is confusing. You see, I got three prices for Windows XP Pro. One doesn't really count (unless I hunt up my Me disks to use in an upgrade). It was $299.00 for the full version but I knew I could do better. A little poking around and I turned up a $99.95 version for college students. Still a little pricey but better...
They offer Office to students for $199.00. Of course it is $499.00 (pro, $399.00 std) without the student discount. OUCH!
I guess it didn't occur to me that Windows cost so much. My best price is well over three times what I paid for my original FreeBSD 4-disk set (and it came with a huge printed manual). If I add it all up (three computers), I have saved nearly a grand by using what I consider a better solution anyway.
And the end result of this pondering? I'm breaking out my checkbook and making a donation to some of these projects. Even if I donate a couple hundred dollars I am still making out like a bandit on this deal.
Yes... but I have not bought any hardware with an operating system recently. My laptop came naked, my desktop came with Me... and I never got anything back for it because I didn't believe the effort required would be worth the return. And my mother's computer was second-hand (and cheap), it came with XP but that was recently removed.
Office, none of the computers came with and it is essential. Although, in reason I could have still used openoffice with Windows. That leaves me with one computer to "upgrade" and another which needs a fresh install. The cheapest route is the student license for $99.95 each ($199.90+tax). At the very least that is what it would cost me to run XP at this time. After tax that is about $213 so I wasn't lying when I said I could throw down a couple hundred and still make out with using open source software.
On top of that, it isn't even a money issue (why I don't use Windows). Windows just doesn't meet the needs I have in a manner I find reasonable. So I would be paying more for less.
I don't know... I guess I had no idea that Windows cost several hundred dollars. For some reason I was thinking it was like $70-$90. I guess that is an indication of how long it has been since I shopped for windows (I think Win98 was the last version in that price range from what a quick check turned up. Even 98SE was $109 retail).
It just shocked me a little. I'm glad I don't have to consider that cost when I build a computer. That is freaking outrageous.
Anyway, cost was not an issue. I laid out a little over $80 when I bought my FreeBSD set and, at the time, I thought it was similar to what I would be paying for Windows -- it was actually about $29 cheaper... but I just learned that tonight. So the price was not the reason I picked... I chose what I felt was best for me. I would have paid more for my current OS than Windows if it had cost more. Of course, I could have got it for free and skipped paying anything at all. But I do believe in giving back to the projects (at this time FreeBSD sets were sold through a company related to the project and saw a cut of the sales -- like bsdmall today).
I got a cr@ppy eval version of MS Office 2003 with my last laptop. You don't even get Word for free any more. So the Windows "bundle" deals are actually getting more expensive, you just can't tell by the advertising. Luckily Open Office works just fine with XP.
Look, I have windows running due to my gaming addiction (Counter Strike), and hardware issues, I noticed about a month before windows 95 was finally pulled off the market (ridiculous 1995). Guess how much it cost, yep it cost over 85 pounds, thats right, 163 [blimeying] DOLLARS. For something at the time that was about 7 years old. Ludicrous.
Where you can get a updated version of SuSE Linux 9.2 Home for like 40 pounds here.
Last edited by acid_kewpie; 03-13-2005 at 10:54 AM.
See, I have nothing against spending money for quality software. I can certainly understand feeding an expensive gaming addiction. Giving up that addiction was my biggest hurdle when I left Windows behind. Now it wouldn't need to be as gaming is a lot better in *nix but at the time it was a big thing to leave behind.
But is Windows quality software? I'm not too certain. Before we decided to dump XP... we were going to have to update Nortan AV. That's $30.00 right there... a year. Not huge but twice the yearly rate for my entire OS just for the AV protection!
I couldn't imagine sitting down and really working out what programs I use and how much they would cost if I had to buy a commercial version of each. And a commercial version of the programs needed to secure those programs.
I consult in the banking industry, and a developer I met recently had a £78000 (yes USD150k) Windows 2000 desktop build! He was an extreme case, but it's not unusual to see £25000 desktops. Obviously, not all MS stuff (lots of prop. dev tools), but holy moly!
Right but thats the thing. While sending 100k on a computer for work might be doable spending that is crazy for a home user. So if a couple houndred isn't bad for that work computer it is really bad for the home. I built my pc for around 300, and at the time if I where to have installed XP it would have doubled my cost. Luckly my school has a deal with MS csc majors can get free copies of XP. LOL
Well, yeah I was thinking about a work machine and not a home machine. In that case (work machine with thousands of dollars worth of software) the cost of the OS is minor but I'm still not sure I would be comfortable with all that software running on Windows. I have this gun-shy feeling whenever I see someone trying to do something important on Windows. It is like a tight-rope without a net.
I guess the point of this whole rant (if you could call it a rant) is that the monetary benefit (for me) of using this software has been huge. I am a poor college student and laying out several hundred dollars to get the software which has the utility I need/expect would be a burden difficult for me to bear. I think my desktop environment is easily worth several hundred dollars to me. I use it for so many things it becomes difficult just to list them all.
Of course, most of the benefit comes from having the system setup exactly as I want it and with the tools I need. My first couple years of using Linux were a mess because I was behind the learning curve (and the software wasn't as advanced either) and couldn't do everything I wanted to do with ease and had little idea of how to even start configuring my system to provide what I needed. Without that knowledge I would be completely lost. It would be like someone dropping all the parts to a new car in my driveway. Great... but what do I do with them to get a car which works?
I don't know... helping my family transition away from Windows has given me fresh insight into the benefits of using *nix. But it also has made me aware of what knowledge I take for granted. My father wanted to set up his own system and it is still pretty worthless for him because he doesn't know where to start. But my step-mother, mother, and sisters all wanted it done for them (which is reasonable) and I knew how to do it. In a few hours they were set. They are in love with *nix but my father might be slipping because it is too much of a culture shock. Ironic since it was his idea to move and he convinced my step-mother who, in turn, convinced everyone else. I am going to get over to his house and give him some books (he still wants to do it himself) and some pointers... possibly setup his printer for him just because he needs it working.
Wow, I am off topic... never mind me... I've had a couple of drinks (at work with some guests believe it or not) and am in a rambling mood tonight.
Please watch your language, you've been warned about this in the oh so recent past. Even if it isn't directed any sole person, we don't need such descriptive slang in all caps on these forums. Keep it clean please and use different words to describe with.
Hey shut up, Like I give a [nonsense word] what you think? Who do you think I am, (Oh no no, here comes the cliche your an idiot). Bring it, oh and don't email me again with that gmail [account] please (yes you heard right gmail). Trickykid??? TrickyKIDZ got some Xtreme SKILLZ. Theres capital letters for you [moderator shaped person, you].
Mandrake[OS] - enough. In fact, far too much. If you have some problem with Trickykid or any of the mods DO NOT air it on the boards. If you do not wish to deal directly with a moderator, email Jeremy.
And as for the above post - remember, posting here is a privilege not a right. And privileges can be rescinded.
How about fuck you? Yeah sure edit my post again bitch, you really help. I won't forget to click your thanks button you over respected prick, really being a nerd who works in a office or in asda, really doesnt pay up to that respect. And your quotes, they inspired me to make my sig becuase I hate your ass to be quite frank.
Mandrake[OS], if you don't respect this sites members or rules, why not just go away? no seriosuly mate, there is nothing stopping you just going somewhere else. if you don't care if you get banned... why not just pretend that you already have been and leave? i can't see that acting like th 13 year old i'm assuming you are is getting you anythign whatsoever other than some bizarre ego trip.
i'm going to close this thread now, as it's just a futile attempt to fix it. sorry to those who were interested in the original topic.