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Windows 7 Starter Rumored at $200... Really?

By - Source: Tom's Guide US | B 64 comments

Microsoft has yet to even hint at pricing for its upcoming Windows 7, but websites are now reporting details citing anonymous sources.

We saw the first report from German site Windows Secrets, which started off by placing a $199.95 price tag on Windows 7 Starter. The site also listed Home Basic at $259.95; Professional at $299.95; and Ultimate at $319.95. Shortly after, Ars Technica repeated the exact same information, though did cite that it did not come from a trusted source.

We’re still not sure of the pricing, but all four price levels do match up against what the four versions of Windows Vista are listed at on Microsoft’s comparison website -- so it’s possible that Microsoft is keeping the same tiers.

What is somewhat curious is that Windows 7 Starter could be nearly $200. This version of Windows will be quite limited with only being allowed to run three applications at a time, lower screen resolutions, no live thumbnail previews and limited processor support. Its purpose is for low-cost PCs and netbooks -- but with those systems already costing as little as $300, one has to wonder how a $200 OS will fit into the bill of materials.

The other prices, however, for Windows 7 Home Premium, Professional and Ultimate all seem plausible and we wouldn’t be surprised to see the rumored prices stick. It’s the comparatively high price of the Starter SKU that has us scratching our heads.

See here for Microsoft's reasoning behind having six different editions of Windows 7.

Discuss
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  • 5 Hide
    Anonymous , February 6, 2009 6:55 PM
    This is the retail versions, correct? I thought they would be that expensive anyway. OEM will be cheaper otherwise.
  • 5 Hide
    Anonymous , February 6, 2009 6:56 PM
    I thought retail versions usually cost that much anyway? OEM will be cheaper.
  • 3 Hide
    kamel5547 , February 6, 2009 6:59 PM
    Who cares about starter at $200? It could be a thousand and it would make no difference. Every story I've read has stated it is exclusively OEM bound so the "list" price is pointless (well I'm sure it will surface in third world countries but under a whole new pricing scheme). OEM pricing is negotiated and is always below list.... (but lets not mention that in the article, otherwise you'd have to title it "Windows 7 Prices To Be Same As Vista" with little shock value).
  • -5 Hide
    chaohsiangchen , February 6, 2009 7:10 PM
    johndoe7762I thought retail versions usually cost that much anyway? OEM will be cheaper.


    If you plan to install on one computer and use that version on that particular computer until it has no value at all 10 years later, than, yes, OEM version is for you.

    If you're the enthusiast who build computers for fun, and, therefore, swap mobo every 6 months, then you'd better pay for retail version.

    I already have my mobo "burnt" once, and M$ gave me another activation for replacement mobo. That's something you have to take into account when purchasing M$ products.
  • -6 Hide
    IronRyan21 , February 6, 2009 7:10 PM
    Lame, Lame, Lame
  • 3 Hide
    gwolfman , February 6, 2009 7:17 PM
    too expensive! BOO!
  • 4 Hide
    fuser , February 6, 2009 7:19 PM
    "Someone" told you that the starter price for an OS that isn't coming out this year is going to cost $200 and you decided to write a story about it. LOL
  • 2 Hide
    aethm , February 6, 2009 7:23 PM
    Well.. it looks like I won't be buying windows 7 then. It's a fine product but judging from the beta I doubt I will get much out of it that Vista isn't already giving me. I have 4 computers and will not shell out $1000 for an OS. I'll get the OEM versions eventually when I upgrade my equipment.
    As for the enthusiast who is worried about loosing his activation code...
    Just get the cracked version. I'm not advocating piracy, but after several calls to microsoft to re-activate my windows XP system years ago. I've decided it's easier to just bypass the process altogether.
  • 0 Hide
    Judguh , February 6, 2009 7:25 PM
    How could starter edition be so... overly priced? If they could see Vista Home Basic for $89... granted, it didn't start out at that price either...
  • 1 Hide
    Anonymous , February 6, 2009 7:28 PM
    I hope Win7 will be customizable to a Win2000/98 look!
    I absolutely loathe having a slower system (less responsive) due to too many graphical changes.
    Even my desktop background is plain black, in order to save memory.
    The inability to view live thumbnails is plain stupid!
    I think the option should be there to enable or disable as one likes, though one should be able to disable all the icons for say adobe reader, or txt files.
    That's taking up memory and system speed!
    I rather have a set of 20 custom icons, than having 100's of icons for every program,and every program installed only adds to the load.
    Netbooks should respond quick!
    I don't think pricing Win7 starters $200 is right, if it does less than XP.
  • 3 Hide
    curnel_D , February 6, 2009 7:32 PM
    ChaohsiangchenIf you plan to install on one computer and use that version on that particular computer until it has no value at all 10 years later, than, yes, OEM version is for you.If you're the enthusiast who build computers for fun, and, therefore, swap mobo every 6 months, then you'd better pay for retail version.I already have my mobo "burnt" once, and M$ gave me another activation for replacement mobo. That's something you have to take into account when purchasing M$ products.

    I've never used anything aside from OEM for my stuff, and I change, swap, and test install ALL the time. That's not what the retail version is for.

    The retail version is for both the retail box, and the retail support. OEM doesnt have an ounce of support to go along with it, because it's the responsibility of the 'OEM' (Or you, if you're building your own) to provide complete software support for the machine.

    If we're going by retail prices, yeah, this makes sense. Infact, it's expected. Remove the Indian support and the fancy retail fixin's, and you've got a starter edition down to something more like 70-80 dollars, with basic starting right around $89.99. Which prices it exactly where the current windows stands.

    Wasted article, wasted time.
  • 2 Hide
    fuser , February 6, 2009 7:48 PM
    ProDigit80I hope Win7 will be customizable to a Win2000/98 look!I absolutely loathe having a slower system (less responsive) due to too many graphical changes.Even my desktop background is plain black, in order to save memory.The inability to view live thumbnails is plain stupid!I think the option should be there to enable or disable as one likes, though one should be able to disable all the icons for say adobe reader, or txt files.That's taking up memory and system speed!I rather have a set of 20 custom icons, than having 100's of icons for every program,and every program installed only adds to the load.Netbooks should respond quick!I don't think pricing Win7 starters $200 is right, if it does less than XP.

    Please tell me you're joking about the black background for your desktop. LOL
  • 0 Hide
    mdillenbeck , February 6, 2009 8:20 PM
    I wonder if we will still get the same response of 'nice, but for that price I'll stick to my perfectly working copy of XP'. I mean, why fork over money for the upgrade when you have a working computer? Especially considering the rising rate of unemployment and the slowly sinking global economy...
  • 0 Hide
    brendano257 , February 6, 2009 8:21 PM
    So...they overcharge for Vista...and this is better so just charge us the same...? I like how there is all this Basic, Starter, Premium, Ultimate, Pro version stuff... 320$ for the final version? OSX was 100$ a copy as far as I know, and like 150$ for a 5 computer site license....PLEASE MICROSOFT take your head out of your *(&*^ and wake up in the real world.
  • 0 Hide
    waffle911 , February 6, 2009 8:34 PM
    brendano257So...they overcharge for Vista...and this is better so just charge us the same...? I like how there is all this Basic, Starter, Premium, Ultimate, Pro version stuff... 320$ for the final version? OSX was 100$ a copy as far as I know, and like 150$ for a 5 computer site license....PLEASE MICROSOFT take your head out of your *(&*^ and wake up in the real world.

    Yeah, but OSX is just the software and the disk. The Apple branded computer is your user license and your claim to tech support (which is one of the reasons Macs are expensive... the price includes the user license for all future OS releases that will be able to run on the system). M$ Windows is bought as software, user license, and tech support (except OEM).
  • 3 Hide
    carlostk1 , February 6, 2009 8:36 PM
    Two hundred bucks?! Forget it! I am not giving Microsoft one penny.

    Windows 7 should be and update to Vista users.

    Why should I give them money for an updated OS when they can't even update Streets & Trips 08. Microsoft just wants you to keep buying new software that you already own then release a new version and charge you for it when it should be an update.

    Don't get me wrong. I'm willing to give a company a small fee for software that I own to be updated when a major update is involved but asking me to update Streets & Trips 08 for the 09 version and ask for full retail price is insane.

    Vista owners should try Windows 7. It corrects many flaws of Vista. But lets be honest here, it is an updated Vista, nothing special here just Vista without the bugs if you ask me.

    Microsoft if your listening, Charge whatever you want for your new OS to retailers and the public. Just don't leave your Vista owners in the dark. Give Vista owners an update ok?
  • 0 Hide
    NuclearShadow , February 6, 2009 8:58 PM
    Those prices are a bit steep in these times. With Vista's unpopularity and undoubtedly a uncertainty will come to Windows 7. I think this will make most users simply not jump over right away. Most businesses will not simply move over either as they like to stick with what they know and works for them. So Windows 7 could see some very disappointing sales and these prices certainly are going to have a reverse effect then Microsoft intends. They really need to lure the consumer with a lower price and promises of a better OS.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , February 6, 2009 9:10 PM
    if they to keep or gain market share, they should price it at $99 and give a family pack at $149.
  • 3 Hide
    MrBradley , February 6, 2009 9:31 PM
    Just charge like a $50 fee for existing Vista users (at Premium and above or something.) to just upgrade. That will at least make the existing users with the frustrating operating system a little happier considering we have spent the last 2 years dealing with vista's bull%$^@.
  • 0 Hide
    randomizer , February 6, 2009 9:36 PM
    Johndoe776This is the retail versions, correct? I thought they would be that expensive anyway. OEM will be cheaper otherwise.

    Starter is only sold to OEMs. So this would be OEM pricing.
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