Feeds

MS finally puts Win98 SE full version on sale, at $209

But it's not being sold directly by Microsoft - yet.

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Microsoft has finally got its act together and started selling the full version of Windows 98 SE from its Web site - at the somewhat less than bargain estimated price of $209. As we've been pointing out for the past couple of days, (MS dozy Webbies story) the company seems to have been trouble figuring out the Ts and Cs of this particular permutation, but now it has. This version of the product is aimed at buyers who don't already have a Microsoft operating system that qualifies for an upgrade, and it's actually something of an innovation for Microsoft. The company has previously tended to sell upgrades at retail and full product via preinstalls on shipping PCs. This particular version, although marketed at the Microsoft site, is actually being fulfilled via online retailers, so Microsoft is clearly ring-fencing its own Win98 service pack and upgrades sales channel from its retailers - for the moment. Microsoft is also pushing an upgrade version for Win95 and Win 3.x users through the same channel, estimated price of this one $109. That's more in line with the usual price tag, and fits in with a probable street price in the $90 area. What you pay retail for the upgrade is of course more than what a lot of PC manufacturers pay MS for the full product. What MS appears to want for the full product at retail meanwhile is even more than MS charges IBM for NT Workstation when it's trying to screw SmartSuite and OS/2 (see trial reports passim). Finally, a little perspective about who's making most out of this process (three guesses). A former CompUSA staffer claims that Microsoft charges CompUSA around $97 a pop for Windows 98, and CompUSA usually sells it for $99. For Red Hat 5.2, on the other hand, the cost to CompUSA is approximately $29.95, and it sells for $39.95. Says our informant: "I got the general impression that Microsoft had somehow 'forced' CompUSA and other retailers into keeping such low margins." Microsoft's price to the retailer compared to what the company calls the "estimated retail price" would give the retailer a margin of approximately 10 per cent. But if the usual street price (which Microsoft happily dishes out when it launches products) is $99 or thereabouts, then there's really no margin at all for anybody except MS. We'd welcome further information on how MS keeps its price up and the retail price down. Note for non-US readers: Yes, we know we haven't covered non-US here. The international subsidiaries don't have their act together yet. But Software Warehouse UK is currently saying it has "Windows 98 V2" on order, priced at UKP 112 for the full version and UKP 59 for an upgrade. There's also a Japanese version of Win98 on order for UKP 220, we know not why. ®

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
The 'fun-nification' of computer education – good idea?
Compulsory code schools, luvvies love it, but what about Maths and Physics?
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Ex-US Navy fighter pilot MIT prof: Drones beat humans - I should know
'Missy' Cummings on UAVs, smartcars and dying from boredom
Yes, yes, Steve Jobs. Look what I'VE done for you lately – Tim Cook
New iPhone biz baron points to Apple's (his) greatest successes
Lords take revenge on REVENGE PORN publishers
Jilted Johns and Jennies with busy fingers face two years inside
Sysadmin with EBOLA? Gartner's issued advice to debug your biz
Start hoarding cleaning supplies, analyst firm says, and assume your team will scatter
Edward who? GCHQ boss dodges Snowden topic during last speech
UK spies would rather 'walk' than do 'mass surveillance'
Doctor Who's Flatline: Cool monsters, yes, but utterly limp subplots
We know what the Doctor does, stop going on about it already
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.