Final pricing for Windows 7 hadn’t been announced yet, and what’s even less clear is how much Microsoft will charge PC makers who want to pre-load various versions of Windows 7 on netbooks. But DigiTimes is reporting that right now Microsoft wants to charge netbook makers around $45 to $55 for a copy of Windows 7 Starter Edition, which is almost twice as much as the company currently charges for Windows XP licenses.
It sounds like that pricing hasn’t been set in stone yet, but it could be enough to keep some netbook makers from upgrading until they have to. DigiTimes suggests that some companies are considering opting out of the “Upgrade to Windows 7” program that typically offers computer shoppers a free or cheap upgrade to a next-gen operating system when they purchase a new computer shortly before a new version of Windows is released.
The article suggests that some PC makers may just decide to hold off on offering Windows 7 at all until their next generation computers based on the upcoming Intel Atom N450 processor is available this fall. But the article is kind of all over the place, and I’m guessing the information is gathered from a number of industry sources who aren’t all saying the same thing. In other words, we’re kind of in the same place today as we were yesterday: All we know is that it’s going to be up to each netbook maker to decide how and when to offer Windows 7, and it’s not at all clear what strategy each company is going to take yet.