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Ed: Why Microsoft Won't Price Win7SE High

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 32 comments

Microsoft never willingly gives up market share.

Last week we ran a story on how older Intel Atom-based netbooks may not be getting OEM-upgraded to Windows 7 due to cost issues.

The bigger issue at hand rather than which old netbooks will get Windows 7 is which new netbooks will get the OS.

A Windows XP license for netbooks currently costs OEMs around $25 to $30, (of which Microsoft makes a profit of $15). But according to Digitimes, Microsoft is asking $45 to $55 for the cheapest Windows 7 license, presumably Starter Edition, which will drive prices up in an already very price-sensitive segment and time in the economy.

Many media outlets took the above pricing estimates – which haven’t been confirmed by Microsoft – and are running stories that Windows 7 would be priced out of reach for budget netbooks. While it’s plausible that Microsoft will be charging more for Windows 7 licenses than it does currently for Windows XP, it’s unlikely that the world’s largest software maker would purposely bump itself out of every market. After all, is there any market that Microsoft isn’t interested in tapping into?

Furthermore, Microsoft has boasted on multiple occasions about how Windows now holds a 98 percent share of netbooks sold today. The netbook market started off with one that was dominated by Linux-based OSes, but Microsoft quickly took over in the span of a year. Microsoft simply isn’t going to let go of that market share, especially not in netbooks, the fastest growing the PC segment of 2008.

We’re going one-on-one with Microsoft on Wednesday morning to get a better understanding of the company’s strategy on netbooks and Windows. If there are any burning questions that you have on those topics, please let us know in the comments below and we’ll try to address them tomorrow.

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  • 10 Hide
    astrodudepsu , June 17, 2009 5:46 AM
    willvwhy is windows 7 not free? releasing vista was a crime, and now they want to charge people to buy a new operating system? when will people learn to not trust greedy microshaft


    Free? I take it your hatred for microsoft is blinding what sense you may have. Gotta love all the microsoft hate. Build a successful company, make a few bucks and all of the sudden you are the Super Devil.
Other Comments
  • 1 Hide
    rigaudio , June 17, 2009 1:01 AM
    With the 3-program limit gone, what incentive are they providing for a user to upgrade? Can current netbook hardware run W7SE as well as XP?
  • 0 Hide
    Marcus Yam , June 17, 2009 1:36 AM
    Good question. I'll be sure to put it on my list. Keep them coming!
  • -3 Hide
    coopchennick , June 17, 2009 1:56 AM
    ask them how much home premium will cost!!
  • 2 Hide
    Hatecrime69 , June 17, 2009 2:12 AM
    Though in my opinion, microsoft may be leveraging the 'you have no choice' option when they finally do stop selling xp
  • -3 Hide
    chunkymonster , June 17, 2009 2:26 AM
    Will Microsoft drop the price of Retail and OEM versions of XP and Vista 32/64bit with the release of Win7?
  • 4 Hide
    smalltime0 , June 17, 2009 2:36 AM
    chunkymonsterWill Microsoft drop the price of Retail and OEM versions of XP and Vista 32/64bit with the release of Win7?

    XP will be gone
    But Vista prices may go down
  • 5 Hide
    aspireonelover , June 17, 2009 2:42 AM
    I might just as well as to buy Windows 7 Home premium and upgrade the OS myself. I don't care about the price, it's just better than the Starter Edition in many ways ;) 
  • 3 Hide
    acecombat , June 17, 2009 2:49 AM
    rigaudioWith the 3-program limit gone, what incentive are they providing for a user to upgrade?

    Screen size, resolution, maximum hardware specs and unable to change wallpaper/themes restrictions are inplace for starters!
  • -1 Hide
    computabug , June 17, 2009 3:04 AM
    smalltime0XP will be goneBut Vista prices may go down

    I thought 7 was going to replace Vista? As in vista disappears and XP remains as a low end alternative for low end set-ups... like my dad's ^.^
  • -7 Hide
    willv , June 17, 2009 4:14 AM
    why is windows 7 not free? releasing vista was a crime, and now they want to charge people to buy a new operating system? when will people learn to not trust greedy microshaft
  • -8 Hide
    war2k9 , June 17, 2009 5:17 AM
    willvwhy is windows 7 not free? releasing vista was a crime, and now they want to charge people to buy a new operating system? when will people learn to not trust greedy microshaft


    I agree with you!
  • 0 Hide
    IronRyan21 , June 17, 2009 5:28 AM
    Microsoft should contiune offering XP as a basic OS and make some slight improvements. Just rename WIndows Classic. It would be a low resource requiring O.S. perfect for netbooks, slower PCs or any other small device.
  • 10 Hide
    astrodudepsu , June 17, 2009 5:46 AM
    willvwhy is windows 7 not free? releasing vista was a crime, and now they want to charge people to buy a new operating system? when will people learn to not trust greedy microshaft


    Free? I take it your hatred for microsoft is blinding what sense you may have. Gotta love all the microsoft hate. Build a successful company, make a few bucks and all of the sudden you are the Super Devil.
  • 0 Hide
    TheMan1214 , June 17, 2009 6:04 AM
    We all saw what windows vista did to business networking (it never happened :p ), and due to that most of us still rely on windows xp. Obviously win 7 brings with it the hope (and agony for companies on budget) of a new network, what will win7 bring to the table that will
    help presuade a company to go for it.
  • 3 Hide
    randomizer , June 17, 2009 6:07 AM
    willvwhy is windows 7 not free? releasing vista was a crime, and now they want to charge people to buy a new operating system? when will people learn to not trust greedy microshaft

    Why do you continue to buy food from the supermarket when every month they downsize the products and charge you the same, and in some cases more?
  • 0 Hide
    belardo , June 17, 2009 6:54 AM
    XP will be gone. But MS will allow a Win7Pro owner to change to XP-Pro. But they are not going to allow OEMs to sell PCs with just XP, other than netbooks... but Win7 is supposed to change that. Considering that the Win7SE is vastly limited, it should be a cheaper OS.

    Vista will be gone too. What end-user would want to bother with Vista when Win7 is around? Remember, when vista came out - Retail/upgrade boxes of XP quickly disappeared. You can only buy XP-OEM versions now, until they run out of stock. Vista's market share will peak around Oct 2009 and go downhill from there.

  • 0 Hide
    highwayman , June 17, 2009 7:30 AM
    Microsoft should offer a free OS like the new Moblin V2. No big apps, just basic life organizing. Let people upgrade from there. These are net books afterall. They are a low cost entry machine or add on to a much bigger Microsoft machine.
  • 1 Hide
    belardo , June 17, 2009 11:52 AM
    Doesn't fit their business model. They like making 95% profit off their OS. :) 

  • 2 Hide
    radnor , June 17, 2009 12:11 PM
    After having a license of 2000 Pro, XP Pro and Vista Ultimate ( yes i was one of the dumb facks), i think ill head to the bay and get the lastest and greatest from microsoft.

    I'm loving se7en x64 so far. But i have a huge doubt that i am going to buy it.
  • 2 Hide
    bunz_of_steel , June 17, 2009 12:22 PM
    Ask them for a volume license key
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