Joel Hruska has posted a very interesting review of WPA and its (possible) consequences to the market.
Here's a snip:
A new Professional Edition of WindowsXP is $300. The Upgrade (and we all know how well Upgrades work, don't we?) is $200.
Home Edition weighs in at $200, while an upgrade is just $100.
Now, let's consider these prices in relation to the computer market itself. For $300 I can currently buy a motherboard, an Athlon processor, 256 meg of DDR RAM, and a GeForce2 GTS. Granted, the OS is a very important part of a computer, but is it more important than the processor? Or, say, the RAM? Frankly, with MS dead-set on forcing OS upgrades every two years or so, my RAM may well last longer than my OS -- and for only 10% the cost.
If we look at Microsoft Office, the prices get even more disgusting. The OfficeXP Standard Upgrade weighs in at $240, while the OfficeXP Professional is $580. The Standard package is $480.
So, if I wanted to build a computer using XP Home Edition and Office XP Standard, it'll cost me $679 for the software. In today's computer market, its possible to build an entire system (most likely minus monitor) for that cost