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Columnist: Microsoft could learn from Apple's Family Packs

Newsflash: Microsoft messed up. Yes, I know, that doesn't come as news to most of you (that's why you're here), but Joe Wilcox over at eWeek was surprised by the fact that while Apple's Leopard Family Pack pricing lead to some nice sales numbers, Microsoft instead decided to discontinue their family pack prices. Basically, you could buy OS X 10.5 as a single copy for $129, or a "family pack" (installations for 5 Macs) for $199. And a whopping 33% of Leopard sales were of the family pack version, even though OS X doesn't require any validation at all-- users could just have bought the $129 version and installed it five times.

What's the difference? Wilcox says that Apple trusts their customers, and as a result, users who feel the family pack is worth it are willing to pay. Microsoft, on the other hand, demands validation from their users. Wilcox also quotes an analyst (which in this case is Latin for "he who states the obvious") saying that Leopard had a blowout launch, much better than Vista. But that's a big duh, so I won't even bother comparing OS X to Vista-- I'll leave that to the Mac commercials.

What else do you need to know? Clearly, Microsoft is just plain doing it wrong.

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