Robert McLaws: Windows Edition

Blogging about Windows since before Vista became a bad word

Windows Vista US Pricing and Launch Date Revealed!

Well, the big to-do for the day has been Vista pricing. Apparently Microsoft Canada's not the only company that's going to have someone fired today. has all prices online for pre-order. They've also listed a launch date, which apparently is January 30th, 2007.

I've broken it down a bit to make it easier to understand.


Regular Price

Additional License

Upgrade Price

Additional License











Home Premium





Home Basic





You know what? I think the regular and upgrade prices are totally reasonable. The upgrade price on Home Premium was even $100 cheaper than what I expected. But obviously Microsoft didn't listen to a damn word I said when I talked about the discount for additional licenses. This is pure and total crap. Microsoft has completely screwed the pooch on an outstanding opportunity to get everyone to upgrade to Vista legally and inexpensively.

I know one family that wants to move to Vista… they have 4 computers. There's NO WAY IN HELL they're going to pay $588 for an upgrade copy of Home Premium plus 3 additional licenses. It's just not going to happen.

I'm not even going to mince words here. Microsoft, you REALLY boned this one up. I'm really glad that 40 influencers in one room telling you about how important the additional license problem was meant absolutely nothing.

[via Microsoft Monitor]



  • Nick White said:
    Robert, I was not part of that conversation, so I don't know the details, but was wondering how MS would go about validating the add'l-purcahse discounts instead of having folks buy en masse for their friends, or worse, resell online? Just wondering about the mechanics of your suggestion.
    August 28, 2006 11:24 PM
  • James Cliffe said:
    Yeah, I'm not trying to stir up controversey here, but... Seems to me like the DVD itself is a very small part of the overall cost, if they could afford to make additional licences significantly cheaper, then the first copy would be too, otherwise what's to stop someone borrowing their Vista DVD from someone else and getting a completely legit version for the cost of an additional licence? What's to stop someone downloading the Vista DVD and just paying for the licence? What's stopping someone who builds PCs on the side selling someone an additional licence with their new PC and using their own DVD to install it?

    You're looking at additional licences as if they're something less than the full product, when really you should be looking at the licence as the base price of the OS, and that you have to pay a bit more if you want a DVD with it.

    ... That's just the way I'm seeing it, Yeah it'll be expensive, no moreso than XP ever was though.
    August 28, 2006 11:35 PM
  • These prices must surely be a hoax! No way that I will be spending $399 for the Ultimate Edition.

    Will the OEM version cost $249? Then if you buy it with a harddisk for $79 to make the OEM version legit would propably be cheaper than the retail edition.

    No seriously, these prices are ridiculous and I don't care how much time you guys have put in writing Vista and bla bla bla. I didn't ask to write Vista and the only reason I need to upgrade to Vista is because Microsoft will make sure that we have to so don't come telling me that I don't have to upgrade to Vista.
    August 29, 2006 6:02 AM
  • Damon Russel said:
    Honestly, I think the prices are very reasonable, especially when compared to Windows XP. It's true that many homes now have multiple PCs which naturally mean more $$ will need to be spent upgrading to Windows Vista. There really isn't an "easy" solution. Microsoft cannot just give away additional licenses - after all they are still complete versions of the software. I think we should be glad they offer the multiple license discounts at all. I have to agree with Nick White, how could they prevent people from going in with their friends or family to buy multiple licenses?
    August 29, 2006 4:15 PM
  • pbreit said:
    "Just wondering about the mechanics of your suggestion."

    That's easy:
    August 29, 2006 5:24 PM
  • John Obeto said:
    Funny enough, I was in that room with Robert and we were, I believe, of one accord when pricing was talked about.

    There are two problems here, cost of entry, and cost of additional licenses. Period

    All Microsoft has to do is make initial entry low enough in order to create a groundswell, a self-fulfilling hunger for upgrades for Vista. If the 'leaked' prices hold true, I don't see how.

    For additional licenses, how hard is it to restrict the number of installs of the keys to a specific number/system config? Windows activation currently uses a scheme.

    To answer Damon, what is the BFD with going in on a multi-user pack with your friends?

    While technically not kosher, at least they are using Microsoft software. Making it inherently easier to attach more Microsoft products (software, Windows Live products, Office Live, etc.) to the same user.

    August 29, 2006 6:55 PM
  • TechBlog said:
    Joe Wilcox noticed it first. Ed Bott picked it up and so did Paul Thurrott. It's just an Amazon page, but it holds news that Vista-watchers have been anticipating for some time: the prices of the various versions of Windows...
    August 30, 2006 7:08 AM
  • Damon Russel said:

    The problem with going in on a multi-user pack is that it is a negative blow to the product's bottom line. Yeah, yeah, I know Microsoft has practically unlimited income. That's not the point. From a business standpoint, Microsoft has the right to make as much money as possible from the sales of its software. If they didn't, why would they continue working on innovative ideas and newer operating systems?

    Consider how much time, effort, and money Microsoft has put into the release of Windows Vista. This operating system has been over 5 years in the making. How many companies can afford to work on a project for that long before they can even begin to realize any sort of ROI? It is very easy to look at it from a customer's point of view and say they are charging too much money. But we must look at the other side of the coin, too. Software development is not cheap.
    August 30, 2006 9:23 AM
  • cheapseat said:
    I agree with you gut reaction. It’s really not about recouping cost but about holding the iron grip on the market. Its also about the costs of supporting the legacy OS after the company has moved on. Pricing is about marketing strategies affecting these issues.

    You're right to point out the one-computer household is history. I've got six in the house that I maintain for the kids and myself. How anxious am I to upgrade? $$$$$$

    Then there is the hassle of upgrading. I bought one upgrade to XP and it was a pain in the butt because the license depended upon Win2000 being loaded first. Trouble Trouble trouble. Expensive trash. Compatibility issues up the WSU. After the fourth reload, I finally put it in the Goodwill dumpster for someone with more patience than me.

    Upgrade trouble and prices encourage the case for buying new hardware. It’s always better, cheaper and the OS is free. However, the typical useful lifespan of a PC has grown from what it was when XP came out. So the OS as the only incentive to replace a computer is weaker. What the big incentive is to make me jump, to me is not clear.

    I’m tired of re-buying the same of sh-t just to keep things reliable. Its like “How many times do I have to buy the Abbey Road album before I really own it?” Bill Gates studied business from the old Mr. Haney character on Green Acres. Just when you think you’ve bought something, he informs you there’s one more thing you need. $$$$

    If I’m manipulated into upgrading everything, I might start thinking Mac more seriously.
    August 30, 2006 4:59 PM
  • Well, Microsoft announced their retail pricing for Windows Vista today (boo to Microsoft for not making...
    September 5, 2006 12:27 PM
  • Well, Microsoft announced their retail pricing for Windows Vista today (boo to Microsoft for not making...
    September 5, 2006 12:28 PM
  • Well, Microsoft announced their retail pricing for Windows Vista today (boo to Microsoft for not making
    September 6, 2006 7:52 AM
  • DoRealTime said:
    Microsoft Vista, the new operating system to be released in January, will be priced at $99 - $259 per copy, with just a miniscule discount if you buy multiple licenses at one time.  Here is the breakdown, courtesy of Robert...
    September 6, 2006 10:38 AM
  • 4sysops said:

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

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


    September 6, 2006 11:51 AM
  • Well, Microsoft announced their retail pricing for Windows Vista today (boo to Microsoft for not making
    September 8, 2006 6:37 PM
  • WOO HOO! Jim Allchin announced today that Windows Vista's FINALLY in the can! In a video posted to the

    November 8, 2006 12:34 PM
  • Charis said:

    Can you upgrade to Vista Ultimate from XP Home or XP Pro is required?

    November 8, 2006 3:29 PM
  • Piotr Komoda said:

    "I think the regular and upgrade prices are totally reasonable."

    Depending on where do you live. For me Home Basic will cost more than my month income, same as XP Home is now. And I need Premium at least, not to mention that I could take advantage of what Ultimate has to offer...

    I can take 2 years loan for a PC parts, that's how I'm making upgrades, but I won't do this for a piece of software.

    November 11, 2006 7:23 PM
  • Today, along with availability on MSDN and TechNet , Microsoft posted the final RTM bits for beta testers

    November 16, 2006 7:12 PM
  • Steve said:

    Vista is a pretty improvement over XP but what's is the big deal? I would say that the prices would be reasonable if it wasn't just the same 'ol MS ploys. I put a DVD in and it asks if I want to play the movie. I click yes and then get an error message that something is missing (codec or some sh-t). There's nothing wrong with charging top dollar for a product that is a complete product. A media player should play media and not just offer the privilege for the price of another download from

    A fresh install runs fine but a test upgrade of a rock solid XP system hung and failed 1 hour into it. Why would I buy the really overpriced full version when I can't even trust the overpriced upgrade? If the upgrade bombs will I be able to pop in the XP CD and do a non-upgrade full install?

    Q. Hey Microsoft, what's wrong with a family upgrade anyway?

    A. Because unlike a MAC half of the family's upgrades will probably bomb.

    Sooner or later most software will require a renewal subscription anyway so just send it in like the water bill.

    Vista is OK, but it doesn't wow me enough to spend so much money for another incomplete Microsoft OS.

    November 23, 2006 9:49 PM
  • dsmythe said:

    so, you'll pay $30+k for a new car that you'll keep for 4 to 6 years, $70+ for sneakers you'll wear for about a year... but $400.00 for a fully loaded OS that will outlast your computer and will be something that you will use daily and rely on. and THAT is the rip off? The real rip off would be spending $400 for something you don't use everyday.. hence the different editions of the OS.

    Not everyone needs ultimate edition... I have 4 computers in my household and only one of them (mine) needs ultimate edition, home premium will be more than sufficent for the other 2. And home basic for the last one.

    wow, gee that was tough... 5 whole seconds of thought.

    btw, windows upgrades work fine, it's the people doing the upgrade that do not.


    November 26, 2006 5:33 PM
  • I was on the other day, checking up on Vista prices , when I was greeted with the following

    December 12, 2006 10:35 PM
  • phony said:

    Windows Vista US Pricing and Launch Date Revealed! - Robert McLaws: Windows Edition

    September 30, 2014 7:12 AM