Guess Who's Getting Cheap Vista?

Dennis Faas's picture

Want a dirt-cheap version of Windows Vista? Move to China.

Microsoft has posted an extremely low price for the new operating system in that country, with hopes of drastically improving sales. The Chinese will see a price reduction North Americans, for now, can only dream of. Vista Home Basic there will plummet from over 1,500 renminibi to just 499 renminibi ($66 USD). Home Premium will similarly drop, from 1,800 renminibi to 800 renminibi. That means Home Basic and Premium will drop 67% and 50%, respectively.

For the record, China's Vista price is now less than a third of that charged to Americans. Microsoft's U.S. suggested retail price remains $199 for Home Basic and $239 for Home Premium.

Although Microsoft recently boasted that it had sold some 60 million copies of Vista, the operating system has been plagued by complaints since it was released to the wider public in January. Although clearly Microsoft believes it must drop the price of its Chinese property in order to lure consumers, dissatisfaction has certainly not been limited to the world's most populous country.

Currently, China represents the second-largest PC market. However, the country's inhabitants have long complained that the price of Microsoft software, especially Windows Vista, is too high. Microsoft's price reduction of the operating system represents a "bulk barn" approach to winning over an ever-growing market. (Source:

Secondary reasons for the drop in price address the rampant popularity of counterfeit software in China. The idea is simple: cheaper legitimate products make it less likely a consumer will turn to the dark side, known as piracy. (Source:

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