Ed: Why Microsoft Won't Price Win7SE High

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.

Create a new thread in the US News comments forum about this subject
This thread is closed for comments
Comment from the forums
    Your comment
    Top Comments
  • astrodudepsu
    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
  • rigaudio
    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?
  • Marcus Yam
    Good question. I'll be sure to put it on my list. Keep them coming!
  • coopchennick
    ask them how much home premium will cost!!