Online retailer Newegg.com this weekend revealed some Windows 10 pricing information, and began taking pre-orders for the operating system, even though Microsoft hasn't disclosed a release date.
Ed Bott of ZDNet first reported on Newegg's price leak.
The listings on Newegg were labeled as "OEM" versions, those aimed at small-scale or homebrew PC makers, as well as users who want to run the OS in a virtual machine or in a dual-boot configuration. Starting with Windows 8, Microsoft applied the term "System Builder" to these versions.
Unlike other boxed copies, System Builder/OEM does not come with support from Microsoft: Instead, the user is responsible for self-support, or if the operating system was installed on a made-to-order PC, the shop or individual who assembled the machine.
Newegg priced System Builder for Windows 10 Home -- the consumer-grade version -- at $109.99, and for Windows 10 Pro at $149.99. The Windows 10 listings were subsequently purged from the website.
If accurate in the end, those prices will be $10 more than the comparable versions of Windows 8.1 and Windows 7.
Newegg also listed a release date of Aug. 31, which fits with the summer launch Microsoft has stuck to so far in its public statements. Hints from the CEO of Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) and a well-known leaker have pegged Windows 10's RTM, for "release to manufacturing," as July, likely near the end of the month.
Newegg's Aug. 31 date -- again, if accurate -- would thus give Microsoft a month to make media and packaging, and seed the OS to the retail channel.
Although the prices are interesting, especially the apparent $10 price increase -- representing a 7% to 10% bump -- they're largely moot in the grand scheme of things. Most of Microsoft's sales of Windows are to computer and device makers, with another large chunk of revenue generated by volume licenses and upgrade annuity plans sold to enterprises. Microsoft's decision to give away free Windows 10 upgrades to customers currently running the Home and Pro versions of Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 also reduces the importance of pricing, at least during the one-year stretch that the offer will run.
Still, System Builder/OEM versions will be valuable to those who want to upgrade an older PC running Windows XP or Vista to Windows 10, as well as those who want to run the OS in a new virtual machine.
Newegg has leaked pricing information before: In 2012, just as Microsoft revealed some prices for Windows 8, the retailer disclosed others, including those for a Windows 8-to-Windows 8 Pro upgrade and the eventual list price of a discounted upgrade Microsoft offered for a limited time.