Picked up from a tweet by @jwikert, here is an innovative pricing model being used by Microsoft for its new ebook Programming Windows:

“Programming legend Charles Petzold is rewriting his classic Programming Windows—one of the most popular programming books of all time—to show developers how to use existing skills and tools to build Windows 8 apps,” a post to the Microsoft Press blog reads. “To celebrate, Microsoft Press will release three versions of the eBook, as both the book and Windows 8 evolve. When you purchase the Programming Windows, Sixth Edition eBook, you will receive the current version of the eBook plus all subsequent versions, including the final, complete eBook. And with special promotional pricing, you can get crucial, early-access content—and all updates—for as little as $10.”

Folks, this is a publishing revolution. Count me in.

Here’s how it works.

The Beta version of the eBook will ship around May 17. It will be 300 pages long and can be purchased from May 17 to 31 (for two weeks) for just $10. If you purchase the book after that, until the final release, it will cost $20. The version based on the RC version of Windows 8 (to be called the Release Preview) will cost $30 for two weeks only in Summer 2012, and then $40 after that period. The final version of the eBook will cost $50.

Rather than conspiring to fix prices, it would seem that the agency publishers should, instead, try out a concept that is clearly strange to them  – “innovation”.  If Microsoft can do it why can’t they?


  1. I doubt that the purpose of this eBook is the same as most eBooks. Microsoft wants as many people coding for Windows as possible and, so, offers it on the most attractive terms possible. They also want and need to be able to say that some large number of people paid to obtain this eBook.

  2. How it can’t be innovated? O’Reilly never starts a thick book from $ten. O’Reilly offers discounts, though, but they hold the price firmly. Rarely can a book being seen for 20% of the price.

    APress offers a reverse price-lowing service: a book most frequently published in 2010 (though, there are exceptions when you can buy a hundred and twenty pages book published the fall of 2011) is sold for 20-40% of its regular price for one day.

    I bought alpha books at O’Reilly and APress on WinRT and PowerShell for $7-10-17 only with no more than a hundred pages, far away of three hundred Microsoft gives out.

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