Microsoft slashes Windows Vista prices

Posted by Mark Raby

Redmond (WA) - Following a less-than-ideal volume of upgrades to Microsoft's next-generation operating system, the software giant has cut the price on the two main versions of Windows Vista, bringing the cost down by as much as $80.

The biggest price cut is the full version of Vista Ultimate, which launched for $399.  It is now $319.  The upgrade price has also been taken down, from $259 to $219.  Finally, an upgrade to Vista Home Premium is now $129, down from $159.

There are over 100 million registered licenses of Vista, but most of those are new computer purchases that had the OS pre-installed as well as high-volume corporate licenses.  If you look at the number of retail boxed copies sold, it's probably much less.

Vista has been blasted my many because of its intensive use of computer memory.  In fact, many PCs that are labeled "Vista Capable" or have Vista already installed are straining just to run the OS software.

The lower prices are not expected to have any effect on future Vista-installed computers.  Microsoft said the decision to drop prices now was because of the impending Service Pack 1 update.

"Our retail partners will be refreshing their Windows Vista inventory once SP1 is released to the market later this year. We’re trying to make this as easy and efficient as possible for our retail partners to update their displays once," said Microsoft product marketing VP.

The price cuts are effective immediately.