Microsoft is keeping mum on this one, so far, of course. But according to Darrel Ward, a Dell product manager from its business client program (in other words, someone who is privvy to such matters); Microsofft is planning a price hike on Windows 7 over current pricing tiers for Windows Vista.
Did Redmond miss the memo that we are in a nasty recession?
As Ward pointed out in a phone interview with C/Net over the weekend:
"If there's one thing that may influence adoption, make things slower or cause customers to pause, it's that generally the average selling price of the operating systems are higher than they were for Vista and XP,"
- Darrel Ward, Dell Program Manager, Business Client Program
This is just pure shameless, greed.
First let me address the shameless part:
Microsoft is well aware that it has millions of customers (both businesses and consumers) that sat out the Vista cycle and are currently limping along with XP. Why? Because they put out a lousy product in Vista, putting their customers in this position. In doing so, they have created an unusually high demand for the next Windows version despite the economy. So let me get this straight; they want to capitalize on putting us all through the dark days of Vista?
Nevermind! I don't need to do the greed part. I think the above paragragh addresses that too,
Ward did not give exact numbers of the Windows 7 pricing structure this Fall. But he did lament that the prices are such that they will likely delay adoption for government agencies, schools and smaller businesses on tighter budgets.
All I can say to Steve Ballmer, CEO of Microsoft, is what a way to say thank you to your customers who did not bail out and switch to Mac or Linux over these past couple of years while waiting for Microsoft to get its act together; what a way to show your compassion to loyal customers who are currently weathering these difficult economic times and what a way to show your accountability to flagging PC sales hit hobbled by an inferior operating system to sell over the past couple of years during an economic meltdown - thanks to you.
I'll keep my eye on this one and let's see how it plays out in the days and weeks to come.
Speaking as someone still using XP and who's been waiting to upgrade this fall, Mac is looking very good to me right now.
Last updated: May 18, 2009
RENEE ORICCHIO is a technology writer and former supervising news producer for CNN Financial News. She has been covering the computer industry since 1987. @oricchio