Microsoft announces Windows Vista retail price cuts

Roughly a year and one month after the release of Windows Vista, Microsoft has decided to adjust its new operating system's pricing. Microsoft announced the move today in a Q&A session where Windows consumer marketing VP Brad Brooks revealed the cuts will debut globally with the release of Vista Service Pack 1 next month.  The price reductions will mainly apply to retail upgrade editions of the operating system, and pricing will be adjusted differently in different regions.

Brooks says  emerging markets will see full and upgrade retail versions of Vista Home Basic and Home Premium merged and prices lowered. Users in developed countries, meanwhile, can look forward to reduced pricing for upgrade versions of Vista Home Premium and Vista Ultimate. Brooks doesn't quote any numbers, but he says the cuts are already in effect at in the United States. Indeed, Amazon currently sells the Vista Home Premium upgrade for $94.99 instead of $159.95 and the Vista Home Basic upgrade for $51.79 instead of $99.95.

These cuts could spur demand from Windows XP users seeking to upgrade, but they aren't much good to users building news PC and wanting brand new Windows licenses—at least, in theory. A workaround discovered a couple of days before Vista's retail launch allows users to install an upgrade version of Vista from scratch, with no need for a previously installed version of Windows. Microsoft stated after the discovery of the loophole that it had no plans to fix the workaround, saying it believed "only a very small percentage of people will take the time to implement this workaround."

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