Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 16th Sep 2009 18:01 UTC
Windows Microsoft has been very protective over its OEM pricing, and while various figures float around the web, the company has never really confirmed or denied any of them. At the Jefferies Annual Technology Conference, however, Charles Songhurst, general manager of Corporate Strategy, revealed some of the pricing details for OEMs.
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What I've seen...
by looncraz on Wed 16th Sep 2009 18:32 UTC
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I've seen Windows sold in the OEM space for as little as $45, but no lower (not saying it doesn't happen). Even on a few of the $400 machines, the cost of Windows did not change much, if at all, until more negotiating with Microsoft occurred.

Microsoft would dictate (somewhat reasonable) terms for an X-count order of X-priced licenses for X PC-configuration. When a key was issued, the hardware configuration was used to determine the charge for Windows based on agreements between the two companies, with Microsoft reserving the right to verify the configuration with Windows Update ( presumably AFTER the customer purchased the machine, probably just the first time would/could be used to assess a fine to the OEM ).

Of course... reserving a right isn't the same as exploiting it... I doubt many, if any, OEMs with licenses would take the chance.

I may be getting something wrong, I wasn't a part of the process - merely an occasional spectator. I just inferred most of the above given what I knew for certain versus what I overheard... but it seems about right.


And of course, the general market pricing then makes sense... if Microsoft can dictate some terms to the OEMs, they can control their income by just changing the price of Windows - they can also favor one OEM over the other to grow the market strategically.

The retail market price points are high enough that almost no OEM ( or small upstart ) can get very far without begging Microsoft for mercy. And then, of course, for the idiots that buy Windows at retail, Microsoft makes a killing! All the better :-)

--The loon

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