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Amazon.com Reveals Windows Vista Prices

Microsoft to charge $239 for Windows Vista through retailer Amazon.com's Web site.

Microsoft Corp. will charge $239 for the version of Windows Vista it hopes most consumers will buy, according to prices listed on Internet retailer Amazon.com's Web site.

Amazon.com, which has begun taking pre-orders for Vista, also reveals list prices for two other versions. Those prices will be similar to what Microsoft charges for comparable versions of Windows XP, the current system.

According to Amazon.com, the version of Vista geared toward work use, Windows Vista Business, will cost $299, similar to the price for Windows XP Professional. The consumer version, Windows Vista Home Basic, will cost $199, the same as Windows XP Home.

But Microsoft is hoping most consumers will embrace Windows Vista Premium, which offers entertainment capabilities such as the ability to record live television. That version is listed at $239. Similar functionality is available in the Media Center edition of Windows XP, but that is only available pre-loaded onto a computer, so comparable pricing is not available.

The company also is hoping to sell consumers on another version of Vista, called Ultimate. That version, geared toward home users who also want to do some work from the family den, is listed for $399 on Amazon.com's Web site.

The prices listed on Amazon.com's Web site are for those users who choose to buy the operating system on its own. Many consumers, however, buy Windows as part of a new computer purchase.

Microsoft declined comment on the prices. Kevin Kutz, a director in Microsoft's Windows client unit, said the company will officially make prices public when it releases a near-final test version, called release candidate 1, which is expected by the end of September.

Amazon.com spokesman Sean Sundwell said the Seattle-based online retailer posted the listings and began taking pre-orders two or three weeks ago because consumers were asking for that option. He said the prices are from the latest price sheet that Microsoft provided.

"The one thing we were certain on is the price," Sundwell said.

But Sundwell said Amazon.com can't be certain when Vista will be released. The retailer lists the ship date as Jan. 30, which Sundwell said was an estimate based on Microsoft's public assertions that it plans to release the consumer version of Windows in January.

Kutz said Microsoft is still on track to deliver the much-delayed Vista to big business clients in November and to consumers in January. But he reiterated that the company will not hesitate to delay Vista's release if any problems crop up.

"Quality is the ultimate determinant," he said.

Goldman Sachs analyst Rick Sherlund, who was among the first to note the Amazon.com listings, said in a research note that the prices listed on the Web site, if accurate, could provide some boost to Microsoft's earnings. But he wrote that it was hard to judge exactly how Vista will impact Microsoft's earnings because details such as the exact release date aren't yet clear.

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Reader Comments:

Tue, Sep 5, 2006 lildog Anonymous

We have Windows on a Mac. It's about time for Mac on standard 'win-tel' box. That might make Microsoft take notice

Fri, Sep 1, 2006 MicrowhO? Anonymous

Microsoft needs to revise its pricing and punitive licensing structure. For a home user this pricing is drastically overinflated and not justified on grounds of quality, reliability or security of the code. The Microsoft TCO is very steep when you look at the requirements in other software needed to keep it secure and working (Anti-Virus, Anti-Spyware), Office, Multimedia applications. It is 3 to 20x's what a user can attain with Os X, Linux, Bsd or even Unix. Microsoft does do a good job at listening to customers on features and improvements but not on licensing or pricing issues. I for one will not be “upgrading” to Vista unless the prices and ludicrous licensing change. One should be able to purchase a family pack or a value pack of multiple licenses for a reduced price. Existing upgrade customers should receive a much deeper discount for sticking with the worlds largest software monopoly. Corporate licensing as well needs to be seriously revamped. Microsoft has a lot to learn from the likes of RedHat and even Apple in terms of licensing and pricing. At his point I am considering not using any MS products at all. For my dollar I am going to continue using my Ubuntu Linux, Fedora Linux, Kubuntu Linux, OSX, OpenBSD FreeBSD and OpenSolaris.

Thu, Aug 31, 2006 LinuxLooksVeryGood Anonymous

It is really bad that Microsoft is charging consumers with existing systems nearly the same price for an operating system that you can go to a big box electronics store and purchase an entry level system for. On the other hand they give extremely profitable companies, like ExxonMobil, volume discount prices that consumers end up subsidizing. Microsoft has significantly reduced their overhead by moving the bulk of their organization overseas. The phrase caching caching comes to mind. When is the consumer going to get a break in this country?

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