If you’ve tried Microsoft’s Windows 7 beta for any period of time, odds are you’re pretty impressed with its performance. Many call it what Vista should have been and we’re not so sure that’s a bad thing – remove the stigma from Vista, make some key (major, at times) tweaks and you’re left with a solid OS. If you’re in the seemingly massive group of unhappy Vista customers however, the questions are now twofold: 1. Are you ready to trust Redmond again and embrace 7? 2. How much cash are you willing to drop in the process? Courtesy of an anonymous Ars Technica tipster we may now have our first glimpse at Microsoft’s pricing scheme once 7 drops:
- Windows 7 Starter: $199
- Windows 7 Home Premium: $259
- Windows 7 Professional: $299
- Windows 7 Ultimate: $319
Now before flames rain down, let’s start at the beginning. This is not upgrade pricing, this is fresh box pricing. We do have a bit of good news today in the form of confirmation from Microsoft that it will be offering a Windows 7 upgrade package for those of us still running XP, though the news is somewhat sullied by the fact that an upgrade will require a complete wipe. So with that out of the way, this rumored pricing isn’t terrible. It places entry-level pricing at the same level as Vista and knocks $80 off the Ultimate edition, though we know Ultimate will only be available during promotional periods. Home Premium pricing jumps up by $20 which seems a tad odd, while Professional maintains its $300 price tag. Given that the price model was hardly among notable barriers for Vista we wouldn’t be surprised if these prices indeed end up hitting shelves. As far as upgrade pricing is concerned, we would expect it to stick close to Vista as well. While the base upgrade price for Vista is $99 however, Microsoft should get a little saucy with 7 and show us a $77 limited-time launch price on the Starter edition. Make it happen, Redmond.