Jacques Surveyer writes (in Globe and Mail):
Let us examine the notion that Microsoft has become like butter, the high-priced spread. For Office XP Standard Edition, CNET’s November 18th average price was $390; for Corel Word Perfect 2002 Suite it was $270; for Lotus Smart Suite Millenium, $210; Sun Star Office was $80; and Open Office was and still is $0 (free download at OpenOffice.org). It is estimated that the Office Suite alone accounts for $10-billion of Microsft’s $30-billion in annual revenue. For Windows XP Home the price was $190; for Mandrake Linux 8 it was $27 ($0 on direct download); for Windows 2000 Advanced Server it was $2,350 for one CPU 25 users; Redhat 8 Enterprise edition with unlimited users was $149; Solaris 9 on x86 with unlimited users, $90. The estimates vary from $8-billion to $12-billion for the revenue brought in by the Windows server and desktop editions. Microsoft’s Visual Studio.NET was $750; GCC and other GPL developer software on Linux, $0.
So for more than two-thirds of Microsoft’s software portfolio by revenue the company is no longer the best price/performance producer, but in fact often has one of the highest purchase costs.
This is the opportunity for open-source software, which is now more than good enough for 80% of the new users in emerging markets.