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 [ 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.


Hardware manufacturers

Software manufacturers

Anti-trust experts

Richard Stallman, GNU Project pioneer


2005: EU states Microsoft is a monopoly, and forces new regulation.

Web Resource

Open source software

Trends in computer prices


GNU Project