I should probably clarify my position on operation systems and software. Basically I don’t like most of them. The whole realm of computing is vastly overpriced and has been for years. A car steering wheel doesn’t cost more than the engine its steering so why should my OS cost more than say, my hard-drive. Even my hard drive and processor combined barely equals the cost of Windows XP Pro. Now, I do realize the serious amounts of overhead involved with actually making an operating system. There are major issues that need to be confronted along the way, testing that needs to be done, compatability issues, more testing, all sorts of things. And while I take all of those things into consideration I still can’t think of justification for such a hefty price tag, which at this point is my only beef with XP in general. It’s actually quite a nice OS, I really enjoy it. I also enjoy Halflife and it was only $50 when it came out. But I can hear you saying “a game is a tad bit less involved than an OS.” True, but my OS has more bugs, so which code was written better? The same rules apply for other applications as well. Adobe Photoshop is the perfect example of a program that shouldn’t be as expensive as it is. It’s the most popular graphics application in the world, millions of copies sold, huge fan base. So why is it MORE EXPENSIVE than the operating system it runs on? I dunno either. It’s certainly not more valuable and useful than the $300 OS or the $50 game. The whole issue is confusing and fustrating. I’m not usually one to sacrifice quality for a cheaper price, so I don’t mind paying more in most circumstances, but there is a limit to my rational ability to over-spend on software. Personally, games should be slightly cheaper than applications which in turn should be cheaper the OSs. I wouldn’t mind paying $100 for Photoshop and $150 for an OS. That seems reasonable given the tasks they proform. But I see no difference in usefulness (read: NOT quality) between Win95 that I got for free and WinXP. None. There haven’t been $300 worth of improvements in the ideas behind an OS, just in the quality of its execution of these ideas. If the OS was truely an evolved thing, then I might be willing to spend a little… but until my computer wakes me up in the morning, turns on the coffee maker and gets me the newspaper, it’s simply not worth that much money.

Note that I’m not taking swipes at the OS itself, merely it’s price tag.