[citation][nom]cracklint[/nom]china should knock that discount off the debt America owes them.[/citation]
America's debt is their own fault, not China's. so no, no debt reduction for credit hungry Americans (I am generalizing, but your country's financial deficit *is* a cold hard fact).
Moving on to the whole $25/Office thing. "Relatively speaking" doesn't cut it in the computer industry, world-wide, in my opinion. Otherwise one would assume that said chinese rice farmer would be able to buy his hardware for 1/8th of the price I pay? (think high-end gfx cards and suddenly, popping to China to buy 2 or 3 cards to bring back might work out cheaper, INCLUDING the airfare...
kryan, your anology fails in that, software... has little overhead. it doesnt cost microsoft lots of money to make software for china. the software already exists. producing copies costs next to nothing. hardware has a real pricetag on it. producing silicon and tying it all together, isnt cheap. you cant sell something for less than what it costs to make it (ok yes you can, and they do.. in certain scenarios, like console gaming.)
Yet, something actually produced in China and sold across the world, will also cost less in China. They're being pleasantly treated both ways, while US money goes down a one-way street and everybody thinks that's just how things work. Brilliant.
$150 US a year. Where do you people come up with this stuff? Talk about perspective. So the average rice farmer in China buys a computer and that's their whole yearly earnings. Now they gotta come up with that 29 extra bucks to buy a copy of office. Wait they use office while farming. Perspective.
beyond the fair/unfair price issue, the increase in units sold should actually teach a lesson to the game producers; how about cut your profits a bit and sell games for, say, 30 bucks max, instead of 50-60, and sell more copies that way? Besides, that would cut piracy a great deal and you would save money by not having to license that stupid DRM solutions from third-party providers. Consumers would win by not being harrased with DRM and by paying less for games; companies would win by selling more copies and actually maintaining a fan base; the only loser would be the DRM provider left without clients... but that's OK, they can go belly-up or switch to honest work for a change...
Just my 2 cents...
In layman's terms, the rest of the world is subsidizing China because the Chinese would prefer to steal everything. And yet if *I* stole a copy, I would be arrested and prosecuted (presumably beaten in prison by Ballmer as well). So... how many copies of Office need to be stolen in America before Microsoft rewards the rest of us with more reasonable pricing?
Reasonable pricing? Considering that the average American makes, what, $35000 a year and the average Chinese $2000? To put it into perspective, Office costs 165 Yuan approx. A good monthly wage in Shanghai, the most prosperous and highest wage city (excluding HK) is 3000 Yuan a month. The price Chinese are paying are roughly the same, actually more expensive, than what Americans are paying for Office based on income.
This is why capitalism is such a good system, the best we've discovered to date. Microsoft doesn't care about fairness, it's pricing is to maximize total profits. But it needs buyers to get profits so it has to reduce the price to the point where buyers can afford the product. This turns out to be "fair" even though fairness never entered the pricing decision, it was an outcome thanks to how capitalism works. I'm talking about market based capitalism which depends upon competition. Windows pricing is not going to get the benefits of market capitalism since Microsoft has a monopoly and are able to avoid market forces. I recently had to restore my Windows XP, only problem is that I lost my PID code. It's hard to get that code off of my old computer without a working OS and Microsoft deliberately makes it very hard. It woudn't be able to do that without a monopoly, which is why competition is important, it is what makes capitalism work well and makes outcomes fair.
There can be a lot of in-depth discussion about this price move - but here's my two cents:
If Microsoft charged me $30 for MS Office instead of $200, I wouldn't be using OpenOffice right now. And I wouldn't be tempted (as much) to get a pirated copy. And then Microsoft would get more money - my money. How does anybody lose doing this?