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August 29, 2006

Amazon leaks US Vista prices and availability

Posted by David Hunter at 9:36 AM ET.

Yesterday started off with a Microsoft leak of Canadian prices for Vista and late in the day, Joe Wilcox spotted that Amazon had goofed and posted US retail prices. He observes that they are mostly comparable to XP (except for Vista Ultimate), but are excessively complicated. Robert McLaws puts it all in a nice table (below) and notes that the availability date is January 30, 2007. McLaws also reiterates his suggestion for cheaper additional licenses and separately explains how easy it would be for Microsoft to do.

My take is that only diehard geeks are going to be doing upgrades from XP or even buying retail copies of Vista. Everyone else will get it with their next PC and may end up getting the premium versions with the Anytime Upgrade so what really matters in the consumer space are the OEM prices and the Anytime Upgrade prices. For large businesses of course, the volume purchase prices are what are important. If we wildly assume that all these unknown Vista prices will bear the same relationship to XP prices as the retail prices do, then it doesn’t look like much of a change except for those that feel they need all the features in the Vista Ultimate edition.

Vista Edition















Home Premium





Home Basic





Update: Thanks to Ed Bott for pointing out an error concerning Media Center features in the original version of this post which has been corrected above. Some months ago he created a Windows Vista Secret Decoder Ring which is very useful for figuring out the features of the different Vista versions.

Also, Amazon says that listing the prices was no mistake: spokesman Sean Sundwell said the Seattle-based online retailer posted the listings and began taking pre-orders two or three weeks ago because consumers were asking for that option. He said the prices are from the latest price sheet that Microsoft provided.

“The one thing we were certain on is the price,” Sundwell said.

But Sundwell said can’t be certain when Vista will be released. The retailer lists the ship date as Jan. 30, which Sundwell said was an estimate based on Microsoft’s public assertions that it plans to release the consumer version of Windows in January.

Filed under Amazon, Coopetition, General Business, Licensing, Microsoft, OS - Client, Windows Vista

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2 Responses to “Amazon leaks US Vista prices and availability”

  1. Microsoft releases Vista pricing and pushes Customer Preview Program -- Microsoft News Tracker Says:

    [...] Following last week’s release of Release Candidate 1 of Windows Vista to selected testers, Microsoft has thrown the doors open with a Customer Preview Program (CPP) and also calmed the speculation over Vista pricing. Press release: Microsoft first made Windows Vista RC1 available to a small group of technical customers on Friday, Sept. 1, and plans to broadly release the code to current Windows Vista Customer Preview Program (CPP) participants this week. In addition, Microsoft will reopen the CPP, a popular pre-release testing program, to new enrollments in coming days. In total, Microsoft plans to make Windows Vista RC1 available to more than 5 million customers worldwide. … Microsoft is broadening the scope of the Windows Vista Customer Preview Program, which began last quarter with the release of Windows Vista Beta 2. The CPP enables developers and IT professionals who do not have access to Windows Vista RC1 through other channels to obtain the code and begin testing. Also as part of the CPP, technology enthusiasts are able to obtain pre-release code and begin testing the various consumer scenarios Windows Vista enables. Current CPP participants are scheduled to have access to the RC1 code beginning this week, and Microsoft will be opening the CPP program to new participants in the following days. Microsoft will post RC1 to its MSDNĀ® and TechNet Web sites for subscriber download, and is working with publishers in various markets around the world to distribute RC1 DVDs to readers of a number of technology publications. Not unexpectedly, Microsoft is pushing partners to test up a storm and ISVs to make sure their applications will run on Vista or even better get the “Certified for Windows Vista” logo that we have mentioned previously. [...]

  2. More Vista Marketing Magic -- Microsoft News Tracker Says:

    [...] The general outline of Windows Anytime Upgrade has been known for sometime, but Microsoft confirmed that the PC vendors will act as middlemen in the upgrade purchase and will presumably get a cut as well as handle any service calls. The retail pricing is generally much the same as the delta in prices for retail boxed copies, which is hardly a bargain, but the Home Basic to Home Premium upgrade for $79 instead of $40 seems like an outrageous assault on the home user’s pocketbook. (The Business to Ultimate upgrade is pricey too – $139 instead of $100). It’s hard to figure if this is an incentive for OEMs to ship Premium preinstalled or part of the famous Vista upsell, but as I have observed before, the consumer who brings his shiny new PC home and finds out that he has to get out his credit card to get the glitzy Vista user interface isn’t going to be a happy camper. [...]

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