Take a few moments to read the following article from the Knowledge@Wharton site:
Microsoft’s Vista: New Horizon or the End of the Road for PC Operating Systems?
From the bottom of the article, the author writes the following:
Another radical shift for Microsoft would be to make Windows a more open platform where the company would give away the software to collect revenue from transactions and advertising. “The only long-term solution is for Microsoft to make a radical shift and turn Windows into a truly open platform,” says Werbach. “Eventually, the big money is going to come from services and transactions, not software licenses. Microsoft understands this and is moving in the right direction, but it will eventually have to go much further. As long as it has the DNA of a software company, it will be weighed down in the new era.”
The problem is that Microsoft’s products have gotten bigger and more powerful, but not necessarily better. Wouldn’t it be great if the next version of Windows was super fast and sleek so that a 3-year-old laptop had a fabulous experience with the software, perhaps faster than with XP
A suggestion: create a light-weight client edition of Vista that is free, but not eligible for technical support from Microsoft. If they must, charge $50 for it. Give the user an incentive to remain a Microsoft customer and keep it cheap enough so that users stay legal. More powerful editions of Windows would have specific target audiences, such as business users, home users, gamers, and creative professionals.
Otherwise, Macintosh and Linux will continue to make significant gains.