Local box builders are predicting OEM pricing for Windows Vista will not blow out from those currently paid for Windows XP, despite newly announced retail pricing including one version that costs the same as a low-end PC.
"Ever since the 286 days, new OEM versions of Windows have been virtually the same price as the previous version," Plus Corporation managing director, Nigel Fernandes, said. "While we haven't heard from Microsoft, I'd be surprised if the OEM versions of Vista were any different to Windows XP."
Fernandes said he currently pays about $130 for the home version and $225 for a professional copy of Windows XP.
Pioneer Computers operations manager, Jeff Li, concurred with Fernandes.
"We haven't heard anything from Microsoft, but we expect OEM versions of Vista to cost about the same as Windows XP," he said.
While buyers of new systems might escape spending big on Windows Vista, thanks to OEM pricing remaining low, those looking to purchase the new operating system over the counter won't be as lucky.
Microsoft prices full versions of Windows Vista Home Basic at $385 and a Home Premium version of the software at $455. It is also launching a Business version at $565 and an Ultimate version which blends the consumer aspects of Home Premium with the Business edition for $751.
Currently, users can expect to pay $325 for a full version of Windows XP Home and $479 for the top of the line Windows XP Professional.