After reading, Ed Bott’s post on ZDNET blog, I was fall of my chair. Here you go:
“It looks like Microsoft has accidentally leaked some details of the price of its next-generation operating system. At least for customers who live in the Great Frozen North.
The Retail Pricing page at Microsoft Canada lets you choose a product name from a dropdown list and see the current pricing. Surprise! It includes a slew of SKUs for Windows Vista. (Update 28-Aug 8:00AM PDT: Well, that was fast! The Canadian price list I viewed earlier this morning appears to have been taken down, probably to remove the Vista SKUs. That makes the information even more interesting. Oh, and be sure to see my note at the end of this post on the pitfalls of using currency conversions to compare prices in different markets.) The following prices are all in Canadian dollars, and for comparison's sake I've included the retail prices of current versions of Windows XP:
FULL versions (all prices Canadian)
- Windows Vista Ultimate $499
- Windows XP Professional w/SP2 $429
- Windows Vista Business $379
- Windows Vista Home Premium $299
- Windows Vista Home Basic $259
- Windows XP Home w/SP2 $259
UPGRADE versions (all prices Canadian)
- Windows Vista Ultimate Upgrade $299
- Windows XP Professional w/SP2 Upgrade $259
- Windows Vista Business Upgrade $249
- Windows Vista Home Premium Upgrade $199
- Windows Vista Home Basic Upgrade $129
- Windows XP Home w/SP2 Upgrade $129
In Canada, at least, the rumors of a "modest" price increase were true, based on this list. Will these same relative prices hold true in the U.S.? Who knows? But if they do, then it's mostly good news for Windows customers. There's no price increase for Home Basic. Home Premium, the Vista version that maps most closely to the OEM-only Windows XP Media Center Edition, will finally be available as a retail product for a slight bump over the Home Basic product, similar to the $39 premium typically charged by large OEMs for Media Center upgrades. And Vista Business buyers will get a break with a small discount relative to XP Professional.
Based on current U.S. prices (which I wrote about last week), I would expect Windows Vista to sell in the U.S. for the following prices (full/upgrade):
- Windows Vista Ultimate $349/$199
- Windows Vista Business $269/179
- Windows Vista Home Premium $239/$139
- Windows Vista Home Basic $199/$99
Of course, these are guesses only. Some discounts will probably be available in the retail channel. OEM prices will, of course, be significantly lower. And I expect Microsoft to offer some enticing promotions when Windows Vista ships to encourage early adoption.
Update 8:55AM PDT: I notice some folks discussing this issue elsewhere are making a common mistake and simply converting the Canadian prices into U.S. dollars at current exchange rates. The two markets don't work that way. You'll get a much more accurate picture by doing what I've done here, which is to compare the relative prices of the new Vista versions to current XP versions and then make similar adjustments to the U.S. price list. You can do the same with other countries as well.