I was looking at Microsoft's stock price on Google Finance (oh, the irony), and saw this little line that caught my attention:
"Microsoft Corp on Thursday said it will sell the standard home-user version of its new Windows 7 operating system for 8 percent less than the comparable version of its Vista system, as the global downturn hits spending on technology."
This is the first I've heard of any pricing information about Windows 7 - this 8% drop would make the approximate prices as follows based on Best Buy pricing today for Windows Vista:
- Windows 7 Home Premium Full: $220 USD
- Windows 7 Home Premium Upgrade: $119 USD
- Windows 7 Ultimate Full: $294 USD
That's just a theoretical price though of course - because today you can buy Windows Vista Home Premium Upgrade from Amazon.com for $83.57 USD, far less than the $129.99 USD Best Buy is charging. In the XP to Vista transition era, the vast majority of computer users didn't upgrade their operating systems. Most people getting Vista bought a new PC. Windows 7, however, is going to be a different beast - if someone has a reasonable Vista-era computer, they'll have all they need to run Windows 7. So if Microsoft wants those people to upgrade to Windows 7, the upgrade pricing has to be reasonable. I'm not sure 8% is going to cut it. What do you think?
UPDATE: Looks like the pricing details on Windows 7 are now public. $119.99 (Home Premium), $199.99 (Business), or $219.99 (Ultimate) are the upgrade prices for XP or Vista users. Those fall in line with the prices I estimated above. That strikes me as too expensive, especially in this belt-tightening economy we're in. I think $89 USD would have been a much more attractive upgrade price. There's going to be a limited Window of pre-order pricing at $49 USD for the Home Premium upgrade, starting on the 26th of June, but how many people are going to take advantage of that? I'll post more news about that when I find out details.