Vista's real price tag as high as $5,000
The Web is already buzzing about how much Vista will cost at retail. But most Microsoft customers either buy its operating systems already installed on a new PC, or through massive corporate deals.

And for corporate customers, the price of the OS itself is just a starting point. At Microsoft Watch, Mary Jo Foley has one fired-up correspondent, an enterprise user: The anonymous "Mr. Biz" contends that for companies, upgrading to Vista will cost $5,000 a pop.

Here's his math: To run Vista effectively, you need a dual-core processor, and those aren't cheap yet. He estimates those will cost at least $2,000 per. Add in a new, Vista-friendly version of Microsoft Office and other new software, and you're at $3,000. Add in support costs and new server software, and the bill comes to $5,000, "Mr. Biz" estimates.

Microsoft wouldn't comment to Microsoft Watch about Vista's total cost, though a product manager claimed some of Vista's new troubleshooting features might lower support costs. But one thing's clear: Vista's going to cost more than just the price tag on a box of software.
Posted by Owen Thomas 11:49 AM 8 Comments comment | Add a Comment

Excluding the cost of Vista, a dual core computer with 1GB of RAM from name brands sells for $650, $750 with 2GB RAM. Properly coded win32 software should remain viable, so the only software upgrade that might be particularly useful is office. $2k for hardware and $3k for software is rediculous.
Posted By Michael ONeal, Edmond OK : 7:50 PM  

I think "Mr. Biz's" price might be a bit high, but he's right.

Microsoft is trying so hard to make Windows Vista visually appealing that they forget about new hardware costs.

My honest opinion is that many users won't upgrade to Windows Vista. Windows XP has few flaws and runs quite fast on most machines... Unless people run out an purchase a new system with Windows Vista pre-installed, I'm thinking Microsoft will have to wait 3-5 years before Vista becomes a standard.

Microsoft might be shooting themselves in the foot by creating such high hardware requirements. Basic applications don't need quantum computing power. If Windows 98 could run office applications on a 200MHz PC, Windows Vista should simple be more efficient - not require MORE power. Many people are becoming technologically inclined, and it has been theorized that Microsoft is sided heavily with hardware developers. It only makes sense that they would set such high requirements (increase hardware sales, increase OS sales).

With that said, the customers that will take the biggest blow will be enterprise. Thousands of machines needing replacement (or upgrade), thousands of expensive Microsoft licenses, thousands of MS Office licenses, etc. - You're talking costs of over $1.5M.

I think Microsoft will start slipping up in the next 6-10 years. I don't think they fully grasp the idea of web-based applications, which could be a HUGE missed opportunity. I have a feeling that they will attempt to create individual applications rather than create a "platform" to bring it all together (just like the Windows OS did back in the 80's).
Posted By Robert, Rochester MI : 11:09 AM  

Why would a company 'upgrade' to Vista ? Its prime use is as a games console. You might as well stick with what you know and love.
Posted By Chris Ward, San Jose, CA : 12:06 PM  

This is grossly exaggerated. Honestly, dual PC's are not that expensive. I would estimate that a full per computer upgrade would be near $1000 per computer. You don't have to go all out and replace each computer - many boards are prepared to handle dual processing power. But still, Vista, as most OS's, will rely on memory which servers already have plenty of.
Posted By Justin, Covington, GA : 12:14 PM  

You can build a dual core processor PC with top of the line video cards and several gigs of the fastest ram available for under a $1000 - so I don't see where this $5000 is coming from.

A 22" widescreen flat panel monitor costs under $400 these days, a 300GB hard disk under $80.

Dual core AMD processors start at $150 and 2GB of high quality, matched PC6400 ram costs about the same.

There is no way you should have to reach this total, not unless you're an idiot and buy one of those under powered $2-3000 PCs from Dell, Gateway or Sony.
Posted By Andy, Anchorage, AK : 2:16 PM  

The security and maintenance features will have everyone upgrading. Corporate wastes hours per month on user installed/created issues and who hasn't spent time with mom removing a virus or running chkdsk? Mark my words Vista will have huge uptake, and begin the next wintel/amd upgrade cycle.
Posted By ken, Atlanta, GA : 8:43 PM  

I have been running Vista at home for several months on a 3Ghz P4 and it hums along quite nicely. Would I like to put it on Dual Cores or 64Bit AMD, sure but certainly not a requirement. Additionally, upgrading Office will not add a grand to the cost, I can buy Office XP Professional new out of the box for less than $500. While I have not seen a price for the New Office (which I am also running at home), I can't believe it will com in at twice the current price. I am not a MS "Fan" by any means but implying upgrade cost will reach 5-6K is not accurate.
Posted By Ira Keener Naperville, Il. : 12:20 PM  

"Here's his math: To run Vista effectively, you need a dual-core processor, and those aren't cheap yet. He estimates those will cost at least $2,000 per. Add in a new, Vista-friendly version of Microsoft Office and other new software, and you're at $3,000. Add in support costs and new server software, and the bill comes to $5,000, "Mr. Biz" estimates."

I want to know what Mr. Biz is smoking.
2,000.00 per to upgrade to dual core?

You need to take your head our of your respective nether orifice and look around at companies like CDW, Dell etc...

Dual cores are nowhere near what you are stating. Some can be had for less than half.
Posted By Eric Marlton, NJ : 8:06 AM  

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Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.