Microsoft has yet to even hint at pricing for its upcoming Windows 7, but websites are now reporting details citing anonymous sources.
We saw the first report from German site Windows Secrets, which started off by placing a $199.95 price tag on Windows 7 Starter. The site also listed Home Basic at $259.95; Professional at $299.95; and Ultimate at $319.95. Shortly after, Ars Technica repeated the exact same information, though did cite that it did not come from a trusted source.
We’re still not sure of the pricing, but all four price levels do match up against what the four versions of Windows Vista are listed at on Microsoft’s comparison website -- so it’s possible that Microsoft is keeping the same tiers.
What is somewhat curious is that Windows 7 Starter could be nearly $200. This version of Windows will be quite limited with only being allowed to run three applications at a time, lower screen resolutions, no live thumbnail previews and limited processor support. Its purpose is for low-cost PCs and netbooks -- but with those systems already costing as little as $300, one has to wonder how a $200 OS will fit into the bill of materials.
The other prices, however, for Windows 7 Home Premium, Professional and Ultimate all seem plausible and we wouldn’t be surprised to see the rumored prices stick. It’s the comparatively high price of the Starter SKU that has us scratching our heads.
See here for Microsoft's reasoning behind having six different editions of Windows 7.