So it is official now, what everyone has known for some days already. The prices of Windows Vista are out! Here they are:

Latest posts by Michael Pietroforte (see all)

Full Version

  • Vista Ultimate: $399
  • Vista Business: $299
  • Vista Home Premium: $239
  • Vista Home Basic: $199


  • Vista Ultimate: $259
  • Vista Business: $199
  • Vista Home Premium: $159
  • Vista Home Basic: $99

Almost all news sites or blogs have the prices now, but so far I didn't find many comments about it. Somehow, it is as if Microsoft just tells us what we're gonna have to pay. If Vista Ultimate would cost $699, everybody would just write, "OK now we know, we'll pay $699".

Considering that most of the Vista Code was already in Windows NT, 2000 and XP, you probably paid already several times for the same thing. Then, there is Microsoft's revenue. It seems that it just keeps growing and growing, that's until we run into a worldwide money shortage because it is all piled up in Redmond.

So, should we blame Microsoft for this? I don't think so. In my view, the real problem is not Microsoft, but its incapable competitors. We have to pay those prices because there is no real alternative to Windows for the desktop.

What's about Linux, what's about the Mac? I don't want to go into the details of this debate now. But it seems to me that the majority on this planet will choose again Windows for their desktops even with its high price tag. This simply means that the next Windows will be even move expensive.

I belong to one of those who are going to pay. Believe me, if there was another choice, I would certainly take it. I know, Mac OS X has lots of whistles and bells too. And Linux, well, it is really fun to spend hours and days playing with its configuration files. I really love it!

But on the desktops in my network I need an OS which my sys admins can deploy without much hassle. I need an OS where everything can be centrally configured easily. I need an OS where I don't need some super geeks for troubleshooting if problems occur.

If you have read this blog during the last couple of weeks, you know what features I am talking about. There will be more about it here soon. Usually, these features are not part of the debate because those people in the companies who decide for Windows don't have the time to take part in public discussions. So, usually the debate just focuses on the whistles and bells or on ideological issues.

So is Windows Vista too expensive? Based on what I've seen so far about Vista's management features and what I know about the competitors I'd say no - unfortunately.

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Other views:
Longhorn Blogs: Windows Vista US Pricing and Launch Date Revealed!
Damon Russel: Windows Vista Pricing Revealed
Cybernet: Microsoft Officially Announces Vista Pricing It's like buying XP all over again

  1. Jim 15 years ago

    For the consumer the price is too high. There simply is no competition for it though and, yes, I don't consider Apple's OSX or Linux to be much in the way of true competition that is needed to cause any sort of pricewar.

    If only Apple had the infrastructure and mentality to be an OS company so that they could deliver a version of OSX that could run on all Intel/AMD based systems. That is the only thing that could possibly challenge MS regarding value for the price paid.

    These are all retail prices though so it's yet to be seen where oem pricing will fall as well as volume licensing.

  2. chuck 15 years ago

    Yes, the prices are too high. As stated, we'll have to see what oem pricing will be.

    Your point regarding Microsoft just stamping a price on Windows (your example 699.00) would definitely do a couple things, if that were to happen.

    1. It would price Windows out of a lot of people's budgets (I'm using 699.00, not an oem price).

    2. The good thing that would come out of that would be that other OS's would become innovators and it would force people to USE the other operating systems out there and hence improve them (I'm thinking anyway). In my honest opinion, Apple's OS is closest - price makes it even closer. See this article

    I've heard a lot of bad things about Windows Vista so far - the price being so high, just adds to the list. We'll have to see what actually comes out once the final release is done and stamped on a dvd (or cd) - then I might be able to say whether its really worth it or not - right now, definitely NOT.

  3. Jim, I fully agree with you. Apple always has the makings to compete with Microsoft. However, Apple never wanted to be a company for the average computer user. They always only targeted customers who wanted to be special, i.e. different than the rest of us. Thus, in a way, Apple is partly responsible for Microsoft’s monopoly on the desktop. When they switched to Intel CPUs recently, I was hoping for a change in their strategy. It seems, that this hope was not justified.

    Chuck, I’ve also read a lot of negative comments about Vista. I have been playing with it for sometime now and don’t like many things about it, myself. But, most of these things concern the whistles and bells. I don’t need a sidebar, gadgets or Aero, etc. on the desktops in my network. However, I didn’t read many negative reviews about Vista’s new management features. UAC is the only feature in this field which is a complete failure.

    If we are talking about the corporate use of an OS on the desktop, there is no real alternative to Windows, and with Vista this gap definitely gets bigger. Since there is no alternative, almost any price is possible at least from an economic point of view. Even with a price of $699, Windows is still cheaper than any other OS if you consider the TCO.

    I think, however, there is a high risk that Microsoft annoys too many people especially in the public sector. Many would probably switch to Linux mainly for ideological reasons. I also agree with you that with higher prices for Vista, companies like Apple might get greedy enough to change their strategy and finally develop an OS for the rest of us.

  4. Jim 15 years ago

    Regarding the link

    Honestly this is an apples to oranges pun intended but hey, I'll take it.

    He's comparing a package with the media center functionality included for each system where Apple doesn't really offer anything least not yet.

    Regardless though the point is made in how Apple can be cheaper than MS. I might wonder if Apple might continue their successful advertisement blitz with something like this when Vista or Leopard are ready to ship. That could be an eye opener for some to see how much more it would cost to upgrade a few systems in a family's home. One must not forget those laptops as well.

    BTW, Apple has yet to use activation...another win!

    I can't comment on the management features. I've yet to check out Vista and that's one of the areas I've yet to check out on Macs. I *really* liked what MS did when Win2k shipped by adding gpo's, wmi, and such so I don't know where Apple compares there. I would think it can't be too bad with unix at an admin's fingertips but I don't know that it would be too granular especially when talking about Apple's own or 3rd party software.

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