Originally Posted by berkowit28
What planet do you inhabit? How could a highly successful Parallels, which encourages people to buy a high-proft-margin retail version of Windows plus undoubtedly lots of MS software for Windows "threaten their business"? What are you on about? MS will make far more money from the retail Windows needed for Boot Camp and Parallels than from a cheapo OEM version of Windows on a PC, the alternative. They'll be laughing all the way to the bank. It doesn't bother MS if Apple, rather than Dell, sells the machine: in fact they'd far prefer Apple to do so, since Apple's "we don't sell or support Windows" policy means that the copy of Windows you buy is sold at far greater proft to MS - probably about TEN times the profit margin! And if the Mac user with Parallels _also_ has MS Office for Mac on top of that - also a high-profit-margin seller - that's a big bonus, even better for MS. This is better for MS than for anyone else. Why else do you think they decided not to bother competing with VPC? Someone else (Parallels, and VMWare) can do the heavy lifting, and the better tey do, the more copies of high-profit Windows get sold, at no effort to MS. It's a win-win-win for MS. And for us too.
While I agree with you on the relative size of the per-copy profit margins Microsoft makes on a retail copy of Windows sold to a Parallels/Bootcamp user vs. an OEM copy sold to Dell or HP (that is, about 10 to 1), I think there is a much larger concern for Microsoft at play here: What MS has most to fear is for users (beyond us Mac fanatics who they've already lost
) to discover that they have a choice of whether to use Windows or not. A large part of MS's lock on the market has been that most users don't know (or believe) that they actually could survive with anything else ... so their only choice is *when* to upgrade to MS's latest, um, emission, and now, with the plethora of variations on Vista, which of them to choose. I believe that MS is (understandably) quite desparate to keep the computing public in the dark.
But, once someone runs OS X generally, and uses Windows just for selected applications or as a general safety-blanket against discovering the need for such an application in the future ... whoa, why then the user will see first hand that not only can they indeed survive without Windows, but they'll have first-hand experience of all of Windows' relative deficiencies (and, for the first time, be willing to *admit* those deficiencies to themselves, because they'll no longer be psychologically dependent on the fantasy that Windows can actually satisfy their needs).
That is, what keeps a lot of people tied to Windows is, fundamentally, a *psychological* dependence, much like what keeps an abused & beaten spouse (most often, that means wife) from leaving her abuser. And, just like all those other abusers, Microsoft will do anything in their power (often without regard to legal niceties) to keep their abused subjects *isolated* from actually experiencing any alternatives.
So, even though MS does indeed realize a much greater profit margin on each retail sale of a copy of Windows for use on a Mac than on their OEM sales, they still have a lot to fear from this shift ... and they know it. The big question in my mind (and possibly still in theirs) is just what they're going to do about it ....