Why Is Windows So Expensive? (11 Reasons Why)

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Fletcher Crawford

Fletcher Crawford is a 20-year veteran of the electrical engineering field. He has worked on everything from Linux systems to Apple products, and is passionate about technology.

Microsoft Windows is one of the most well-known operating systems in the world, but have you tried to purchase a Windows version only to realize it’s incredibly expensive?

Do you want to know why Windows is so expensive? If so, continue reading below to learn what I’ve discovered while researching this topic!

Why Is Windows So Expensive?

Windows is expensive because of the research and development required to make a new operating system, and it takes billions of dollars and considerable time to create the software. Additionally, Microsoft has to pay licensing fees to companies that made the technology used in Windows, which is passed on to the consumer.

Do you want to know all of the reasons Windows is so expensive? Well, keep reading to learn about all of the factors that make Windows pricey!

1. Research & Development

One of the primary reasons Windows is expensive is that it takes billions of dollars and time invested into the research and development of a new operating system.

For example, some people develop the coding, design, language, and other components to the operating system, which then is tested out, and any bugs have to be fixed.

Therefore, when you factor in the costs of research, development, and the team, it drives up the cost of Windows.

2. You’re Paying For The Technical Support

When you purchase Windows, you’ll have access to technical support, which you pay for through your purchase of the Windows operating system.

Furthermore, you can call Microsoft if you need assistance or help, and if that doesn’t work, there are repair centers and stores where you can go for more technical support.

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3. It Comes Preinstalled On Devices

One reason Windows is so expensive is that it’s preinstalled on many computers and laptops, which means the price is hidden within the costs of the computer.

That said, pre-installed versions are usually the light or free version, so when you upgrade or purchase the full version, it seems like it’s expensive since it was a hidden cost initially.

4. It’s The Standard Operating System For Businesses

Microsoft Windows is the standard operating system that companies and private individuals have been using for decades, which means that more licenses are issued for the software.

Additionally, Microsoft has made companies dependent on its software since it offers a corporate version, which does cost more to create and maintain, which drives up the costs.

5. It’s Popular Across The World

Microsoft Windows is popular worldwide, and this popularity leads to the company having to continuously develop new versions, put out security patches, and keep up with the demand.

Therefore, when something is in high demand, it makes the prices go higher since more is produced, and the company will charge more since it’s a product everyone is after.

6. Windows Releases A Version To Last Several Years

6. Windows Releases A Version To Last Several Years

You also have to consider that when Windows releases a new version, it will be around for five or ten years, so you’re paying for the longevity of the software when you buy it.

For example, if it costs you $140 to purchase Windows, you may get seven years out of that software, so it breaks down to $20 a year to use the software, which is a good deal.

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7. OEM Licensing Agreements

Microsoft has to pay all of the companies, which are OEM licensing agreements, that are used within the operating system, including technology such as reading DVDs and SSL or MPG.

Additionally, WiFi protocols and other technology are incorporated into the Windows software that Windows didn’t come up with, but smaller companies did, so Windows has to pay them.

Also, Windows passes this cost onto consumers by pricing the operating system higher, so the OEM licensing isn’t cutting into the profits.

8. System Updates Cost Money To Maintain

Since a Windows version stays around for years, several Windows Updates will be released along the way, and these system updates cost money to develop and roll out.

Therefore, you’re paying for Microsoft to continue supporting that operating system for several years.

9. Additional Features Are Regularly Added

Windows is so expensive because additional features are constantly being added to the software, which comes in the security or system updates.

Furthermore, Windows has to develop and test out these additional features before releasing them, and all of this takes time and money, which is rolled into the price of the software.

10. It’s Secure

Windows is expensive because it’s a secure operating system that has become harder to penetrate over the years as Microsoft tightens the vulnerabilities that used to exist.

For example, people will purchase Windows because they know it’s a reputable company and that the software will prevent hackers and attackers from gaining access to files.

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11. Windows Is More Subscription-Based

Years ago, Microsoft just charged you to have a key for its software but has since changed models to make it more subscription-based software, which means you may be paying more.

To illustrate, you may have to pay for which version of Windows you want, plus you’ll have to pay for an Office 365 subscription or access to higher storage in OneDrive.

Therefore, the costs are higher since Microsoft has created new programs and doesn’t include them in the operating system software purchase price.

To learn more, you can also read our posts on why laptops are so expensive, why Thinkpads are so expensive, and why PC parts are so expensive.


Microsoft Windows is so expensive because it has developed several versions, including a Professional version with more features and an Enterprise version for businesses.

Additionally, Windows is the standard operating system, which means it’s in high demand, and Microsoft knows it can charge more since people essentially have to pay for it and use it.

On top of that, all of the money, time, and resources that go into developing a new version or system updates drive up the cost.


  • Fletcher Crawford

    Fletcher Crawford is a 15-year veteran of the electrical engineering field. He has worked on everything from Linux systems to Apple products, and is passionate about technology.

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