Microsoft Slashes Some Windows Vista Prices

By Peter Galli  |  Posted 2008-02-28 Print this article Print

The price cuts will go into effect when the first service pack for Vista ships in March.

While the bad news around Windows Vista continues for Microsoft, the good news for U.S. PC users who want the operating system is that the price of several retail versions and upgrades has been cut by as much as 20 percent.

The price cuts, which come into effect when the first service pack for Vista ships next month, are even more significant in some of the other 70-odd developed and developing countries around the globe affected by the move, such as the United Kingdom and South Africa.

The move appears designed to take advantage of the fact the Microsoft executives and analysts expect Vista SP1 to fix many of the issues that have been plaguing Vista and derailing purchases of retail versions of the operating system.

In fact, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer told eWEEK in a Feb. 27 interview that "we have made a lot of progress with Windows Vista. ... I think Windows Vista SP1 will be a kind of milepost that people will use to see where we are with it now."

In the United States and other developed countries, the price cuts center around the Windows Vista Home Premium and Vista Ultimate editions, the two new versions of the product introduced last year.

The U.S. retail price for Windows Home Basic remains unchanged at $199 and $99 for the upgrade, while the retail price for Home Premium is also unchanged at $239. But Microsoft will slash the upgrade price for Home Premium 19 percent to $129.

The retail and upgrade prices for Vista Business also remain unchanged in the United States at $299 and $199, respectively. But the cost of Vista Ultimate has been slashed some 20 percent, or $80, to $319, while the upgrade price drops $40 to $219.

In the United Kingdom, the price cuts are even more significant. The price for the full version of Vista Ultimate has been slashed almost 44 percent, or 101.68 British pounds ($202), to 131.92 pounds ($262).

Steve Ballmer defends Vista. Read more here. 

But markets such as the United States will see lower prices even before SP1 ships as a result of partner promotions, Brad Brooks, corporate vice president for Windows Consumer Product Marketing, said in a statement released Feb. 28.  

The price cuts come just a day after Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer told eWEEK in an interview that the issues around Vista are not in regard to adoption, which has been strong and crossed the 100 million mark.

"It's not really a popularity question in the broad market," he said, referring to Vista sales figures and Microsoft's last quarterly financial results.

Microsoft is sticking to that line with its explanation about the price cuts, although Brooks did point to the fact that the "solid sales" have come "primarily through the sale of new PCs."

With regard to retail sales of boxed products, Brooks said that while this segment does not account for a large percentage of the business, it "represents an area of opportunity for additional growth the company sees based on the new editions introduced in 2007."

Peter Galli has been a financial/technology reporter for 12 years at leading publications in South Africa, the UK and the US. He has been Investment Editor of South Africa's Business Day Newspaper, the sister publication of the Financial Times of London.

He was also Group Financial Communications Manager for First National Bank, the second largest banking group in South Africa before moving on to become Executive News Editor of Business Report, the largest daily financial newspaper in South Africa, owned by the global Independent Newspapers group.

He was responsible for a national reporting team of 20 based in four bureaus. He also edited and contributed to its weekly technology page, and launched a financial and technology radio service supplying daily news bulletins to the national broadcaster, the South African Broadcasting Corporation, which were then distributed to some 50 radio stations across the country.

He was then transferred to San Francisco as Business Report's U.S. Correspondent to cover Silicon Valley, trade and finance between the US, Europe and emerging markets like South Africa. After serving that role for more than two years, he joined eWeek as a Senior Editor, covering software platforms in August 2000.

He has comprehensively covered Microsoft and its Windows and .Net platforms, as well as the many legal challenges it has faced. He has also focused on Sun Microsystems and its Solaris operating environment, Java and Unix offerings. He covers developments in the open source community, particularly around the Linux kernel and the effects it will have on the enterprise.

He has written extensively about new products for the Linux and Unix platforms, the development of open standards and critically looked at the potential Linux has to offer an alternative operating system and platform to Windows, .Net and Unix-based solutions like Solaris.

His interviews with senior industry executives include Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, Linus Torvalds, the original developer of the Linux operating system, Sun CEO Scot McNealy, and Bill Zeitler, a senior vice president at IBM.

For numerous examples of his writing you can search under his name at the eWEEK Website at


Submit a Comment

Loading Comments...
Manage your Newsletters: Login   Register My Newsletters

Rocket Fuel