Windows 7 Starter Edition priced at $45-55?

By on June 15, 2009, 4:45 PM
With Windows 7 on the horizon and the netbook market still going strong, Microsoft has its sights set on targeting even this low budget segment. It already removed the three-application limit which plagued the Starter Edition of its forthcoming operating system, after receiving a fair share of criticism, but another major factor has yet to be addressed: pricing. Unfortunately, things aren’t looking as promising on that front.

Although the software giant has yet to publicly disclose its pricing for Windows 7 licenses, DigiTimes is reporting the “netbook version” is currently priced at $45-55. This doesn’t seem like a big deal on the surface, but could be prohibitively high compared to the $15-35 XP costs for netbooks, a segment where margins are already low. First-tier vendors are reportedly still negotiating with Microsoft hoping to bring the price down. Others are looking at tying their upcoming N450-based offerings to Windows 7 and charging a premium, while using full-fledged copies of Windows XP for current N270- and N280-based machines.

Microsoft has so far managed to keep Linux from grabbing much of the netbook market by selling XP for cheap. As contenders from Android to Moblin jump into the market, they might need to consider a similar strategy with Windows 7 if the company wants it to become the de facto OS on next-gen netbooks. Then again, it might not matter much in the end, with many arguing that the ‘netbook’ term won’t even exist for much longer due to the blurring lines between these low-cost machines and entry level notebooks.

User Comments: 5

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TomSEA TomSEA, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Dang it...I want to know what the full retail versions will cost! Grrrr....

hellokitty[hk] hellokitty[hk], I'm a TechSpot Evangelist, said:

That is expensive.

9Nails, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I think I paid $50 for my first copy of RedHat Linux. I needed, and was entitled to support which made the purchase worth the price. I suppose to some degree, perhaps through the manufacturer the end user will get support.

But the price sounds high! I was expecting to see "emerging" prices for this. From $5 - $15 might be more in-line with what I expected.

If this were Windows Seven Home Premium - the base version for developed countries - then this would be great news. If Microsoft is going to make this the starting block for the cheapest version of Seven, I better start saving my dollars now. Yikes!

tengeta tengeta said:

I doubt Ultimate will top $399, as far as I remember Vista never did.

JDoors JDoors said:

So Windows 7 Starter Edition might add $20 to the cost of a netbook over one with XP? Seriously, I mean it: So? And that's IF you choose a netbook with 7SE over one with XP, getting a nearly infinite list of additional features, functions and future-proofing in return? So?

Is $55 (the stated high estimate) really too much to pay for an OS?

If netbooks with XP or "free" OS's sell better than 7SE netbooks, the pricing question is moot anyway (and would pressure MS to revisit their pricing structure).

Then there's that "what's a netbook, really, and just how many people REALLY want one considering the limitations of the format" question ...

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