Walter Mossberg (WSJ) calls for Family pricing for MS Office, stating that “Office represents a big percentage of the price of a new PC. At CompUSA, the standard edition of Office XP costs $479.99, and the upgrade version, for folks who have an earlier version, is $229.99. To put that in perspective, CompUSA sells an entire Windows XP computer, the eMachines T1220, for $474.99 — less than the full price of a single copy of Office. Even if we use for comparison a more typical Compaq or Hewlett-Packard model costing $800, Office is still a huge percentage of the cost of the PC — about 60% if you pay full price.”
The numbers become even more striking if you convert them to local currencies. In India, for example, a new computer with Windows XP and MS Office could cost upto Rs 60,000. Compare this with the cost of a Thin Client running Linux of about Rs 10-12,000. One new desktop can buy 5-6 computers for people in a residential complex or an office.
Imagine if, next year, instead of selling 1.8 million new PCs, computer companies can sell 5-7 million PCs (some new, some used) in India. These are the numbers required to give the domestic software industry a huge boost.