Microsoft has announced plans to cut the retail price of its Windows Vista operating system in 70 countries, at the same time as it ships Service Pack 1, Vista’s first major system update.
The company hopes that this will encourage customers still using Windows XP to switch to Vista.
Boxed versions of Windows Vista, sold online and through stores, represent less than 10 per cent of all licences of the operating system. Windows currently runs over 90 per cent of the world’s PCs.
The proposed changes are designed to help Microsoft sell more standalone copies of Windows.
In the US, Microsoft will reduce prices for the top-end Windows Vista Ultimate, from $399 to $319, for the full version, while the price of an upgrade version will fall from $259 to $219 from $259.
The price of the upgrade version of Vista Home Premium will fall to $129 from $239.
Instead of selling upgrade versions of Vista in emerging markets, Microsoft will move to selling Vista Home Premium and Home Basic, a stripped-down version of the operating system which will sell at the same price as the upgrade version.
Microsoft has sold more than 100 million licences of Vista since it was released in January 2007.