The High Price of Computer Systems
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This page is being edited by Piotr Ptasinski
Although prices of computer systems are falling, the price is still high, especially for people in developing countries. The price of a computer system will depend on prices of hardware and software.
A basic working computer system is already expensive in hardware components. Added with the high cost of mainstream operating systems and other commercial software used widely, they create a huge barrier for people to get access to computers for themselves and/or their children.
The monopoly of software providers (e.g. Microsoft being pre-installed on most PCs)
High price / low availablility of components
Intellectual property / patents
Open source sotfware
Advanced technology / miniutarization
Declining prices of components
Move of production to low-costs countries
Low trade barriers and taxes
Competition between hardware manufacturers
The price of computer systems is definitely going down. Especially if we take into account that computer speed is doubling approximately every 18 months (Moore's law), the customer gets more value for money, even when prices remain constant.
The computer becomes more affordable for many people (for instance more than 90% of Dutch households owns a PC (source [http://www.cbs.nl/ CBS). In addition, a laptop has been developed which costs 100 dollars, which is aimed at school children in developing countries.
Open source software will enlarge competition and reduce the dominance of Microsoft. Also federal regulations (for instance EU) will put pressure on Microsoft.
Richard Stallman, GNU Project pioneer
2005: EU states Microsoft is a monopoly, and forces new regulation.