Well this is still in the "rumour" stage, but it's coming from a Dell marketing executive:
"“If there’s one thing that may influence adoption, make things slower or cause customers to pause, it’s that generally the ASPs (average selling price) of the operating systems are higher than they were for Vista and XP,” Darrel Ward, director of product management for Dell’s business client product group, said in a phone interview, referring to the various versions of the Windows 7 operating system that are expected to appear."
I really hope this turns out to be baseless, but at this point doesn't sound like it - this isn't coming from the Inquirer. I feel this would be one of the dumbest moves MS has made to date for several reasons:
1) Legitmately or not, Win7 is viewed as "Vista done right". The last thing you want to do is charge *more* for the OS that's supposedly fixing the problems of the first.
2) The economy. 'nuff said.
3) MS is one of the most profitable corporations alive. In their recent "down" quarter, they "only" made a profit of 4.4 billion - and responded with thousands of layoffs. This in one of the worst economic climates in decades and with their main OS being savaged by the critics.
4) Netbooks. Suddenly the Starter Edition makes a whole lot more sense.
What say you? I really hope the ire over this builds up and makes MS change its mind here. This is without a doubt the wrong product and wrong time to charge a price increase.