Windows 7 to be “more expensive” than Vista, XP

While Microsoft hasn’t yet revealed any pricing for Windows 7 it seems to have shared the details with its OEM partners – and one of the biggest doesn’t like what it sees.

A senior marketing executive from Dell has spoken out against the pricing plans for the forthcoming OS saying that Windows 7 will be more expensive than Vista.

“The licensing tiers at retail are more expensive than they were for Vista” says Darrel Ward director of product management for Dell’s business client product group in an interview with CNET. “Generally the ASPs (average selling price) of (Windows 7) are higher than they were for Vista and XP”

Ward’s concern is that an over-priced OS “may influence adoption make things slower or cause customers to pause… In tough economic times I think it’s naive to believe that you can increase your prices on average and then still see a strong swell than if you held prices flat or even lowered them.”

Windows Vista drew criticism for its own lofty pricing when it launched in January 2007 with RRPs stretching from $385 for Vista Home Basic and $445 for Home Premium through to $750 for Vista Ultimate edition.

Ward’s comments are likely to be a strategic ploy to drive down the licensing cost to OEMs or at least to Dell. The cost of lower-end versions of Windows 7 which are intended for budget-priced systems is of particular concern because the OS licence could represent a relatively high percentage of the overall system price.