We'll soon find out Microsoft's pricing scheme for Windows 7, but the news could be a disappointment for many. At least, that's what one would think after reading a couple of reports that popped up on the web this week.
First off, TechARP has word that Microsoft will officially announce pricing for retail-boxed Windows 7 versions in the middle of next month. Microsoft's schedule supposedly called for retailers to get that information a month early, too, with PC makers getting briefed two months in advance (so in mid-April).
Dell evidently knows, because as CNet News reports, one of the company's executives has spoken publicly about the pricing. According to Darrel Ward, Product Management Director for Dell's business group, "If there's one thing that may influence adoption, make things slower or cause customers to pause, it's that generally the ASPs (average selling price) of the operating systems are higher than they were for Vista and XP."
In other words, Windows 7 could be a costly upgrade. For reference, retail-boxed copies of Windows Vista Home Premium and Windows XP Home Edition cost $239 and $200 at launch, respectively. If you account for inflation, that works out to $244 for Vista and $239 for XP in today's dollars.
Higher Windows 7 pricing could come as a disappointment to those who've been using the release candidate for free—not to mention certain folks who claim Vista has so many problems Microsoft should just offer the upgrade at no charge. (Thanks to The Register for the links.)