Windows Vista Pricing and Ship Date Revealed

Yesterday the Microsoft Canadian site accidentally leaked the pricing information for Windows Vista, it was documented here by ZDNet, and was almost immediately pulled down by Microsoft.

It looks like Microsoft has accidentally leaked some details of the price of its next-generation operating system. At least for customers who live in the Great Frozen North.

The Retail Pricing page at Microsoft Canada lets you choose a product name from a dropdown list and see the current pricing. Surprise! It includes a slew of SKUs for Windows Vista.

Surprisingly, or not surprisingly, depending on how long you’ve been on the internet, Amazon has had its prices up for a couple weeks, here, and, drum roll please, they have an expected ship date.

Availability: This item will be released on January 30, 2007. Pre-order now. Ships from and sold by Amazon.com.

The Microsoft Monitor has this to say about it,

If these numbers stick, Windows Basic upgrade would cost about the same as Windows XP Home Edition upgrade, while the Premium upgrade would be $50 less than the full Windows XP Home and the Ultimate Upgrade would cost $50 less than the full version of Windows XP Professional. The Ultimate version looks like a premium price to me, but the other versions are reasonable compared to Windows XP. The Business version is comparably priced to Windows XP Pro.

For full versions, Windows Basic and XP Home are comparable, as are Vista Basic and XP Pro. Vista Ultimate should compare to something Microsoft never officially offered at retail: Windows XP Media Center Edition, which shipped with new PCs.

Plus there are about 8 more licensing products available. Wonder exactly how many different versions of Windows Vista there will be? What happed to Pro and Home versions, that was enough for me. Now we have Windows Vista Home Basic Upgrade License Pack Additional License, Windows Vista Home Premium License Pack Additional License, Windows Vista Ultimate Upgrade License Pack Additional License, Windows Vista Business License Pack Additional License and many others. Talk about overkill.

From Ed Bott at ZDNet,

Microsoft has always had an additional license program, but it’s been practically invisible to consumers. I’ve defended Microsoft’s decision to slice and dice Vista into multiple editions, but this is ridiculous. Go ahead, look at Amazon’s list and tell me the average person won’t be hopelessly confused. Hell, even people like me who study this stuff every day are confused.

Robert McLaws says,

You know what? I think the regular and upgrade prices are totally reasonable. The upgrade price on Home Premium was even $100 cheaper than what I expected. But obviously Microsoft didn’t listen to a damn word I said when I talked about the discount for additional licenses. This is pure and total crap. Microsoft has completely screwed the pooch on an outstanding opportunity to get everyone to upgrade to Vista legally and inexpensively.

I know one family that wants to move to Vista? they have 4 computers. There’s NO WAY IN HELL they’re going to pay $588 for an upgrade copy of Home Premium plus 3 additional licenses. It’s just not going to happen.

I’m not even going to mince words here. Microsoft, you REALLY boned this one up. I’m really glad that 40 influencers in one room telling you about how important the additional license problem was meant absolutely nothing.

Some people just never learn Robert.