Feeds

Windows Vista pricing favors PC upgrades

More is good

SANS - Survey on application security programs

Microsoft has published pricing for Windows Vista - and things are looking up for PC manufacturers hoping consumers will start buying shiny new Vista-ready computers.

Microsoft will charge $199 for Windows Vista Home Basic, or $99.95 to upgrade, with prices topping out at $399 for Vista Ultimate, or $259 to upgrade.

Between these two extremes lies Vista Business priced at $299, or $199 to upgrade, and Vista Home Premium at $239, or $159. Vista Enterprise is only available to large organizations from OEMs, so there is no recommend retail pricing.

While Microsoft's entry-level and upgrade prices might appear reasonable on paper to some, and little changed to the five-year-old Windows XP, there are a few clouds to this sliver lining. The first is the ability for machines running Windows XP to actually be able to run Windows Vista, as Microsoft's hardware guidance for new versions of Windows has tended historically towards the, ah, optimistic shall we say.

Microsoft's guidance kicks in at an 800MHz processor, 512MB of memory and a 20Gb hard drive. With at least three versions of Vista for consumers to pick, though, there is the apples and oranges trap to avoid.

Overall Microsoft is introducing five editions of Windows Vista, whose level of functionality - unsurprisingly - increases as the customer pays more.

For consumers, Vista Home Basic does exactly what it says on the box - you get the an OS, browser, search and parental controls but no sexy Aero interface and no Windows Media Center (for watching and recording all those episodes of CSI: Miami, hooking up the Xbox 360, and viewing photos). Those little gems are reserved for users of Vista Home Premium, while Ultimate gives you all this plus additional power features from the business products like BitLocker encryption, support for domain group policy, and advanced and simplified networking.

This makes the act of picking which version of Windows Vista to move to, from the simple world of Windows XP Home and Windows XP Professional, just that little bit harder.

With Vista Home Basic living up to its name customers will likely tend towards Vista Home Premium or Vista Ultimate, making Microsoft's minimum hardware guidance further out of touch with reality and likely to see consumers getting their new copies of Windows Vista loaded on a new PC with beefier specs (3GHz processor, 1Gb of memory and 40Gb hard drive - a basic minimum by today's standards.)

The pressure is therefore on Microsoft to put the hard sell on Vista to convince consumers to buy a new machine. Jupiter Research reckons 52 per cent of American households own at least one PC, leaving plenty of room for a second. Microsoft faces an uphill task, though, as Vista is due in January, when wallets will be lighter in the wake of the Holiday spending frenzy.

Worse, at this stage at least Microsoft doesn't appear to be doing much to encourage uptake beyond offering consumers the blandly appetizing equivalent of Diet Coke for Windows that is Vista Home Basic. Missing is any Apple-style family pack, which gives five additional licenses for OS X Tiger at $199, that would help seed the market.

Instead, it seems, Microsoft is trying to seed the market with developers: five million to be precise, which Microsoft said is its goal for those testing Windows Vista Release Candidate One.®

Top three mobile application threats

More from The Register

next story
OpenBSD founder wants to bin buggy OpenSSL library, launches fork
One Heartbleed vuln was too many for Theo de Raadt
Got Windows 8.1 Update yet? Get ready for YET ANOTHER ONE – rumor
Leaker claims big release due this fall as Microsoft herds us into the CLOUD
This time it's 'Personal': new Office 365 sub covers just two devices
Redmond also brings Office into Google's back yard
Ubuntu 14.04 LTS: Great changes, but sssh don't mention the...
Why HELLO Amazon! You weren't here last time
Patch iOS, OS X now: PDFs, JPEGs, URLs, web pages can pwn your kit
Plus: iThings and desktops at risk of NEW SSL attack flaw
Next Windows obsolescence panic is 450 days from … NOW!
The clock is ticking louder for Windows Server 2003 R2 users
Batten down the hatches, Ubuntu 14.04 LTS due in TWO DAYS
Admins dab straining server brows in advance of Trusty Tahr's long-term support landing
Red Hat to ship RHEL 7 release candidate with a taste of container tech
Grab 'near-final' version of next Enterprise Linux next week
Apple inaugurates free OS X beta program for world+dog
Prerelease software now open to anyone, not just developers – as long as you keep quiet
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.