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Dell warns Windows 7 will raise PC prices

updated 02:45 pm EDT, Tue May 19, 2009

Dell Warns on Win 7 Price

Microsoft's attempt to increase the prices for Windows 7 could hurt sales of PCs, Dell director of business product management Darren Ward says early this week. Without providing exact numbers, he explains to CNET that the average selling price of the OS will increase from Vista and that it should be particularly higher for Windows 7 Professional, which replaces Windows Vista Business as the mainstream work version. He adds that costs of retail boxed copies should go up but doesn't specifically address the OEM (original equipment manufacturer) prices Dell gets for its own systems.

The increase is enough that Ward is concerned Microsoft may scare away some customers by driving up the prices while customers are still concerned about the costs of their PCs. He sees the price change as sufficiently high that some smaller businesses, governments and schools simply couldn't afford to update.

"In tough economic times, I think it's naive to believe that you can increase your prices on average and then still see a stronger swell than if you held prices flat or even lowered them," Ward says.

The concerns come in spite of optimism regarding Windows 7 itself. Many of Dell's customers are anticipating 7 where they had consciously avoided Vista, Ward notes, and that driver support is much better now than it was in the run-up to Vista's January 2007 debut. The announced XP emulation mode for Professional and Ultimate users is also set to help businesses by letting them run older apps that won't run without a complete XP environment.

Microsoft has acknowledged that Windows 7 is being accelerated for a launch by the holidays and is generally believed to be ready for late October.



By Electronista Staff
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Comments

  1. bobolicious

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: Aug 2002

    0

    So a Mac Mini...

    ...with OS-X & iLife may be cheaper than a discrete Windows 7 package ? Bring it on !

    ...is this the most expensive 'bug fix' in OS history...?

  1. martinX

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Sep 2008

    +2

    Dell's Just Talking

    Unless MS is going to up the OEM cost by a ridiculously large amount, I think this is just sabre-rattling by Dell to keep the Windows 7 price as low as possible. The actual cost to OEMs like Dell is pretty low, so low (like $50 low) that it only makes up a small proportion of the total purchase cost. Even if MS doubled the OEM price, that'd only be another $50 on the price. I don't think Windows 7 will be helped by having an XP emulation mode only on the pricier versions, though. Maybe a kid buying a new PC has no legacy software, but everyone else does.

  1. Salty

    Professional Poster

    Joined: Jul 2005

    +2

    I dono

    I dono about that, I think a lot of people only use the software that comes on their computers.

    As for 50 bucks. Sure 50 on a 1100 dollar machine isn't that much, but on all those 299 netbooks that's a pretty big price hike. Not to mention Microsoft has been pushing those ads that mention how cheap PCs are... and how they have big screens.

  1. appleuzr

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Aug 2006

    0

    ah ha ha ha ha

    Can't wait to see the "if you can find you can have it" Microsoft ads now.

  1. cmoney

    Mac Enthusiast

    Joined: Sep 2000

    0

    But what about

    What about those ads Microsoft has been running? You know the ones where their only selling point is that PC laptops are cheaper than Mac laptops?

  1. robttwo

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Nov 2005

    +2

    hmmm

    yes, but can I "cut video" on it???

  1. Constable Odo

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Aug 2007

    +1

    PC sales are already

    down. Anyway, I had heard that Windows XP users can get something called a cheaper upgrade price, so that should help the consumer Win XP user. I guess corporations will just have to pay through the nose. I'll bet many corporations won't even bother to upgrade. Windows 7 probably won't do much more than Windows XP. I think corporations are getting smarter and can't be bullied into upgrading anymore. Microsoft might have a hard time selling Windows 7 for netbooks since it might add up to a fifth of the price for those really cheapy netbooks. Tough break suckers. Unfortunately, $50 or $100 for OEM Win 7 isn't going to force people to move to Macs.

  1. jdonahoe

    Junior Member

    Joined: Jul 2006

    0

    If Dell wants to prod

    If Dell wants to prod Microsoft, they should continue to offer XP as a lower cost option. This would make the true cost of Windows 7 obvious. It goads me that the "basic" version of windows is always inadequate and people are forced to upgrade the OS to a more expensive version just to be able to, as an example, set up a network in their homes. I think this is where Apple gets it right, charge one price and let the purchaser decide how many built-in features they want to use.

  1. carloblackmore

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Dec 2005

    0

    I smell a new TV spot

    I guarantee that Apple and TBWA\Chiat\Day are working on a new TV ad right now to exploit this price increase.

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001

    -2

    Re: If apple

    It goads me that the "basic" version of windows is always inadequate and people are forced to upgrade the OS to a more expensive version just to be able to, as an example, set up a network in their homes.

    Yeah, that would goad a lot of people. Too bad it is completely false. You can set up a network using the 'basic' version.

    I think this is where Apple gets it right, charge one price and let the purchaser decide how many built-in features they want to use.

    Bear in mind that Apple also charges you a premium for your computer in the first place, part of which subsidizes the cost of the OS X upgrade. So it is easier for them to them to charge 'less' on the upgrades.

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