Vista prices revealed!

Vista prices revealed!

Summary: Windows Vista Ultimate for $349? Vista upgrades for $99? Those are smart guesses for the final U.S. prices, based on a retail price list posted - apparently by accident - by the good folks at Microsoft Canada.

TOPICS: Windows

Update: Amazon now has retail prices for Vista, as well as a projected release date. Details here.

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.

Update 1:55PM PDT: Hey, Gizmodo! You really, really, really need to read all the way to the end of the post. The prices you quote are just flat wrong. If converting those prices from CAD to USD is really a valid technique, why doesn't it work for Windows XP? Hmmm? I mean, Windows XP Home costs $259CAD, so us folks down south of the Canadian border must be paying $232 per copy, right? Oh, wait. The actual retail price is $199? Like I said, the two markets don't work that way.

Update 3:45PM PDT: Fellow ZDNet blogger Adrian Kingsley-Hughes got this official non-denial denial from a Microsoft spokesperson: "Microsoft inadvertently posted Windows Vista Canadian retail prices on their Web site, and the information has since been removed. There is no new pricing information to share currently but we plan to announce Windows Vista U.S. pricing when we ship Windows Vista RC1, later this quarter." All righty, then.

Topic: Windows

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  • Accurate Picture

    One gets an even more accurate picture by comparing Vista
    prices (not available at any price) to OSX's prices of 6 years ago.
    Adjust for inflation and adjust for lost productivity over that
    period. The result is a view of endless previews, coupons, leaks,
    and code names for a resource hungry wannabe that continues
    to be buggy and shows signs of being delayed further. The
    Windows centric echo chamber continues to tease with what? A
    leaked Canadian price list?

    It's clear that Windows will give up just enough to keep it's users
    interested until the wedding. The investment of time has been to
    great to quit now. Even these desperate awkward groping
    sessions have ended with a "slap", and the prices have been

    This is no longer a "delay". This is a significant portion of a
    lifespan, and life is too short.
    Harry Bardal
    • Don't forget to add...

      ... the price of all the OS X upgrades over the last 6 years. There's been 4(?) @ $129.00 ea.
      • Yes, or $199 for 5 licenses...

        Yes, or $200 for 5 licenses, but then again, you've also gotten 4 major releases for $130 each.

        So that's $520 for 4 major releases over 4 years. [b]$650[/b] if you include 10.5, Tiger, for 5 major releases every year for 5 years.

        Windows 2000 Professional cost $400 when it first debuted. Windows XP Professional cost $300 when it first debuted. So that's $700 for 2 major releases in 6 years. Add another $400 for Windows Vista, and that comes out to [b]$1100[/b] for 3 major releases in 7 years.

        OS X: $130 an upgrade.
        Windows: $365 an upgrade.
        • pls, anyone here bought windows in retail price?

          Stop whining.
          • It was the parent post who brought up retail prices...

            It was the parent post who brought up retail prices, so I do the same and [i]I'm[/i] the one whining?

            Almost no one buys retail, I agree, you get OEM CDs or some such for $40 (if that even.) Most of the time you get whatever's the newest OS with a new computer.

            However, if the parent poster wanted to make retail price comparisons to show that OS X users are overpaying for their OS, I just thought I'd show that he's wrong.
        • Do you actually pay $130 for an OSX upgrade, not Windows...

          Nobody pays thos inflated prices for Windows, they are bogus and pointless to reference for real world comparison.

          • See my above post. [nt]


          Oh wait... Maccies.. right...

          I would point out that your central postulate is flat wrong!

          You are comparing a .1 version upgrade to a full number upgrade.

          Lessee... 95 was 4.0, 98 4.5, 2k 5.0, xp 6.0, vista 7.0.

          at 99 to 200 usd a pop, those are hardly cheap. But each version after 95 (and now 98) were completely supported in 'updates'.

          Now lets look at Apple shall we?
          EVERY .1 upgrade is charged for. X, x.1, x.2, 10.3, 10.4, 10.5, you paid for EVERY VERSION!

          NOW... to be fair, apple does (or at least did) give a size able discount to owners of the immediately previous version. I seem to recall when 10.1 came out, they only charged 99cents to people who had just purchased a crapple in the last year.

          BUT Apple still charges for incremental upgrades, that is completely outrageous!

          For the record I prefer 2k, have used it since it came out in 2k, and will keep using it until I can no longer get software for it, at which point I will go completely Linux (either Ubuntu or Xandros)

          I DO own a mac or two, for the sake of owning one or two of everything (tech support n all that), and I find the mac os... tolerable. but that's for another posting.
          • Windows and OS X don't share the same version numbering system...

            Windows and OS X don't share the same version numbering system; Mac OS X 1.0 was released as version "10.0," 2.0 was released version "10.1," 3.0 was released as "10.2," etc. The whole 10 versioning scheme was purely marketing.

            What you refer to as [i]point releases[/i] comes after the .0, .1, .2, etc. Take Mac OS X 10.3 for example. It had several point releases (all free) 10.3.1, 10.3.2, ... , 10.3.6.

            I'd have to say that most Mac users probably waited until 10.2 (version 3.0) before they actually jumped ship from OS 9 and adopted OS X entirely.

            I would agree that your [i]"central postulate is flat wrong,"[/i] except when you count the people who purchased Windows 95, then Plus! for 95, then Windows 98, then Plus for 98, etc.
          • Software

            Take into account that Mac changed their OS so radically from OS9 to OS10 that almost all of the major software from 3rd parties needed to be upgraded as well, or run on an unstable OS9 emulator. I still have programs that were meant for Windows 95-98 that still work on my Win XP Pro.
          • Very true.

            OS 10 and OS 9 can't even be called the same operating system. However, I'd have to disagree with the "unstable OS 9 emulator." It was neither unstable nore an emulator.

            At my work we also have a Typing program that's Windows 95 that we have installed on our XP machines. We had to use some Link program to see what files it called, then change the security permissions for each file just so it'd work under a standard user.

            The problem with many Windows programs (new or old) is that they assume the user runs as Administrator.
          • not sure that's correct.

            It?s true that you pay per upgrade for apple, but usually, the code is radically different. Not like Windows which isn?t an upgrade but rather a patch cycle. OSX changes with each revision, not so with Microsoft Windows which stays the same. You are downloading patches for vulnerabilities, not for enhancements. <p>

            Same goes for Linux, the revision numbers are just that, revisions. So when comparing a revision to a patch for a vulnerability, you are comparing apples and oranges. <p>

            A better comparison would be to compare OSX 1.0, 101,etc, to Windows 95, Windows 95a, Windows 98, Windows 98b.
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  • Didnt take long...

    For the ABM kooks to come out.
    • Shhh.

      Don't tell everyone you're a kook, they won't listen to you lol.
  • Looking for more "happy masochists" .... :-)

    Vista is STILL in BETA and pretty much has NONE of the features that it has been promissed to have (WinFS, admin scripting, etc.) but people will STILL have to pay MORE to obtain it than the more stable and familiar XP.

    And WHAT can one do with Vista but cannot do with XP? None of the MS-ophiles was able to provide a list of NEW features with SUBSTANCE except the infamous new icons ...

    Now, if people will chose to spent MORE $$$$ and man-hours to acquire Vista, even though they have spent so much $$$ and man-hours on XP, to get something that offers nothing NEW, except for a whole new cycle of patachings and re-insalling and possibly needs NEW h/w, then they GET what they DESERVE. Wrong ?
    • Exactly...

      I haven't found a single compelling reason to even consider installing the Vista Beta that MS sent to me (for no reason that I cna find) last month.

      Holy super hyping vaporware, Batman!
      • I want to try Indigo and Avalon

        they will be add-on in XP too, but may not with whole functionality.