Microsoft leaks Vista pricing on website

Microsoft posted pricing for premium versions of Windows Vista on its Canadian Web site before pulling the information.

Microsoft on Monday accidentally listed the pricing of the high-end consumer versions of Windows Vista on its Canadian Web site.

The Neowin.net blog reported Monday that Microsoft.com Canada posted a price list for Windows Vista Ultimate and Windows Vista Home Premium, but the page was pulled from the Web site soon after news of pricing leaked.

According to Neowin.net, list quoted the price for Windows Vista Ultimate as C$499 (US$450.18), while Home Premium will be C$299 (US$269.71). An upgrade to Vista Ultimate will cost C$299 (US$269.71), while an upgrade to Home Premium will cost C$199 (US$179.51), according to the blog. (http://www.neowin.net/index.php?act=view&id=34770)

In a statement through its public relations firm, Microsoft acknowledged Monday that it "inadvertently" posted Windows Vista Canadian retail prices on its Web site, but then removed the information. The company plans to reveal the official U.S. pricing for Vista when it makes available the first release candidate of Vista sometime before the end of September, Microsoft said.

Windows Vista Ultimate is a new edition of Windows that includes all of the multimedia capabilities currently available in Windows XP Media Center Edition, as well as a new 3D graphical user interface called Aero and security features that make it a good fit for small businesses as well, according to Microsoft.

Currently, Windows XP Media Center Edition retails for about US$320 or more per copy, so it's no surprise Windows Vista Ultimate will be more expensive than the highest-end consumer version currently available.

Windows Vista Home Premium also will include Windows XP Media Center Edition's multimedia functionality, as well as the Aero interface. If the Canadian pricing of the OS is akin to what the U.S. pricing will be, it might be a better deal than the comparable version of Windows XP now available.

Microsoft has said it plans to urge customers to purchase premium versions of Vista in favor of Windows Vista Home Basic, the entry-level version for U.S. consumers.

At the company's annual Financial Analyst Meeting last month, Kevin Johnson, co-president of Microsoft's Platforms & Services Division, said business users tend to buy the "premium" versions of Windows -- which both Windows Vista Ultimate and Home Premium will fall into -- more than home users do. However, the company hopes that will change once Vista is available.

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