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 (opens in new tab) -- 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 $200 OS will fit into the bill of materials.
The other prices, however, for Windows 7 Home Premium, Professional and Ultimate all seem plausible and we wouldn’t be surprised to see the rumored prices stick. It’s the comparatively high price of the Starter SKU that has us scratching our heads.
See here for Microsoft's reasoning behind having six different editions of Windows 7.
If you plan to install on one computer and use that version on that particular computer until it has no value at all 10 years later, than, yes, OEM version is for you.
If you're the enthusiast who build computers for fun, and, therefore, swap mobo every 6 months, then you'd better pay for retail version.
I already have my mobo "burnt" once, and M$ gave me another activation for replacement mobo. That's something you have to take into account when purchasing M$ products.
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.
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.