Final Vista prices? Don't buy that bogus list

Summary:A list of rumored "final retail prices" for Windows Vista is bouncing around the Internet like a SuperBall. Don't believe it.

Update 28-Aug: Vista prices revealed! Microsoft Canada has published a retail price list for Windows Vista, apparently by accident. It offers some important clues to what the final prices will be. (Hint: some Windows customers will pay less than they do today for XP.)

With Windows Vista Beta 2 just around the corner, the silly season has begun. This list of rumored retail prices for Windows Vista is bouncing around the Internet like a SuperBall. Its provenance is dubious, and the original source, an obscure German blog, hasn't exactly earned a reputation as a top-flight source. (Update Monday 22-May, 6:30AM PDT: MSBlog has removed the original post and replaced it with a note that refers to "public flaming"; the original list is still available at Microsoft News Tracker.)

Update 2, Monday 22-May 8:47AM PST. Rather than publish a correction, has deleted their original post and all comments. For the historical record, here's the original list they posted:

Windows Vista Home Basic
200 euros or 255.55$ or 135.95 pounds

Windows Vista Home Premium
400 euros or 511.10$ or 271.90 pounds

Windows Vista Ultimate Edition
500 euros or 638.88$ or 339.87 pounds

Windows Vista Business
650 euros or 830.54$ or 441.84 pounds

Windows Vista Enterprise
800 euros or 1,022.20$ or 543.80 pounds

In fact, this list doesn't even come close to passing the smell test. Here are the two factoids that make it almost certain to be a fraud:

According to this list, the Business Edition is going to cost a whopping 650 euros (about $830). That's way more than the street price of Small Business Server 2003. The idea that a desktop operating system for cash-strapped small businesses will cost more than a server product is ridiculous. In fact, according to this report, the Business Edition is going to cost 30% more than Ultimate Edition. That's insane.

And the list includes one price that simply can't exist. According to this list, the retail package of Vista Enterprise Edition will cost over $1000. The problem? Enterprise Edition won't be sold in a retail package. It's available only for organizations that buy licenses in bulk under the Microsoft Software Assurance program or a Microsoft Enterprise Agreement.

If this is any indication of what lies in store for the rest of the week, I think I'll need a bigger shovel.

Topics: Windows


Ed Bott is an award-winning technology writer with more than two decades' experience writing for mainstream media outlets and online publications. He has served as editor of the U.S. edition of PC Computing and managing editor of PC World; both publications had monthly paid circulation in excess of 1 million during his tenure. He is the a... Full Bio

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