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Windows Vista pricing leaks out

And magically disappears again

Microsoft yesterday accidentally listed the pricing of the high-end consumer versions of Windows Vista on its Canadian website.

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

According to Neowin.net, the list quoted the price for Windows Vista Ultimate as C$499 (about £240), while Home Premium will be C$299 (£140). An upgrade to Vista Ultimate will cost C$299, while an upgrade to Home Premium will cost C$199 (£95), according to the blog.

In a statement through its public relations firm, Microsoft acknowledged yesterday that it 'inadvertently' posted Windows Vista Canadian retail prices on its website, but then removed the information. The company plans to reveal the official US pricing for Vista when it makes available the first release candidate of Vista some time 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 $320 (£170) or more per copy; it's no surprise that Windows Vista Ultimate will be more expensive than the highest-end consumer version currently available.

Windows Vista Home Premium will also include Windows XP Media Center Edition's multimedia functionality, as well as the Aero interface. If the Canadian pricing of the OS (operating system) is akin to what the pricing will be in the rest of the world, 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 favour of Windows Vista Home Basic, the entry-level version.

At the company's annual Financial Analyst Meeting last month, Kevin Johnson, co-president of Microsoft's platforms and 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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