Quite right, Jimmy. You have grasped the essential point that when US computer technology hits Europe, they just stick a pound or Euro sticker over the dollar sign and this makes it very much more expensive than in the States. After years of observing Apple in Europe I can say that they do exactly the same, which was why I guessed that Snow Leopard would cost $29 dollars in the USA. Prompted by curiosity a few minutes ago to see what the actual price is on BestBuy, I see that it's $29.99! Since over the past 5 years or so the Euro has been mostly 25-50% higher in value than the dollar, that means that we pay for Apple stuff more by that percentage. And you think that Apple and Windows systems are expensive in the States!
As for Britain such techniques do mean that paying in pounds sterling you have ended up paying double the American price. Brits pay for consumer goods more than anyone else in Europe, I believe.
I looked up Windows 7 Professional in BestBuy too just now, and I see it is sold at $299.99! If you substitute there the ? symbol for the dollar, that would be getting on for a price equivalent to $600! And here we are not even speaking of the Ultimate version, which is not price-listed there. That is my answer to geod988 who maintained about my $500 figure,that it was a lie and pure pro Mac propaganda. He would appear not to have heeded all those euro prices I gave and to have assumed I was giving the American price of Windows 7, whereas I was converting prices in Britain earlier this year into dollars so Americans could understand how expensive it could be.
Far from being some Mac fanboi, a concept which is a purely US one and refers to the gilded youth of the States, the spoiled sons and daughters of corporate America who show off their MacBook Pros and Airbooks in Californian coffee shops lounging by the Pacific or excite the envy of the less fortunate by showing off at school, we Europeans are basically at the mercy of corporate America for computer equipment. The question then tends to be: what machine is most likely to
be reliable and enable me to keep my job and get the work done? In view of such products as Vista and the rain of PC malware, many decide that they must bite the bullet and pay for the added security of a Mac. That has nothing to do with being a fanboi. In France for instance most lyc?e teachers seem to have Macs. They are not people who want to swan around the coffee houses showing off. They merely want to be sure that at six in the morning they are going to be able to get that text out of their computers and take it to school for their lessons or the exams they are setting.
In my case I only took an MBP when it became clear to my wife that the new Mac mini involved a major screen problem. We found that we needed a 15"inch screen if we were to fit it in on the desk, but PC manufacturers had virtually stopped making them. The cheap screens were far bigger now, and the cost of the few remaining 15" inch ones had rocketed to the point where it became more sensible to buy an MBP with its built-in 15" screen. And that at least would fold up small when not in use and avoid our having to take the PC screen off the desk all the time to stow it underneath. Again we bit the bullet. As yet we do not regret it.
My judgement on the expense of Microsoft actually stems from the rather unfanboyish wish to try and install Windows 7 on our MBP, after its purchase early this year. That would involve buying a retail copy of Windows 7. I then read an article that said that MS was planning to make sure that only the most expensive versions of Windows 7 would be installable on Macs, and the same for MS Office. That led me to investigate how much that would cost, and I reeled back in horror, saying I would never install MS at that price. I feel now that the article was probably the product of some MS shill, who was trying to scare Windows users into not going over to Mac, by giving them the impression the cost would be prohibitive.
Rechecking prices today I see they have come down considerably on reputable sites like Amazon in the Euro zone. Doubtless earlier this year sellers were profiting from the newness of Windows 7 to make a super-profit. It takes a bit of time for the competition process to start kicking in.
To return to the issue of operating system pricing, it should be obvious to those who are not blinded by "fanboi" hatred or who fail to see the wood for the trees owing to their preoccupation with technical minutiae, that there is a reason why at Bestbuy we find that Windows 7 Professional costs in the US ten times as much as Snow Leopard. Microsoft is a software company. It does not make and sell computers. Apple is a computer manufacturer. So long as Apple makes a healthy profit on their machines, they can afford to supply the software and new OSs at cheap prices. But Microsoft has to make bumper profits on the software it sells since that is its main product. If it sold its OS at the equivalent of Mac OS prices, Microsoft would be bankrupt in no time.