Based on the prices of OEM versions of Windows Vista, Information Week predicts Windows Vista will add only $10 on average to the price of a PC:
At such e-retailers as Newegg.com, the price of so-called OEM editions of Vista -- those sold to smaller-scale system builders as opposed to large computer makers like Dell or Hewlett-Packard -- are on average $10 more than comparable versions of Windows XP. The OEM price for Vista Home Basic, for example, is $100, while Windows XP Home costs $90. Vista Premium ($120) and Vista Business ($150) also compare closely with their XP cousins, Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005 ($110) and Windows XP Professional ($140). OEM it stands for original equipment manufacturer.
"No, Vista won't add to the price of PCs," says George Shiffler, a research director at Gartner who tracks PC prices and sales numbers. "Prices will, in fact, fall, but that's forged by larger forces in the market, such as saturation and an attempt to expand the market, not Vista."
The only version that will be significantly more expensive is Windows Vista Ultimate, there's no version of XP that can be compared to Ultimate. This version sells for about 33 percent more than the next-lower priced version, Vista Business.
However, this analysis doesn't take hardware into account. Some low and mid-end computer configurations may need more RAM memory or a better graphics card to run Windows Vista smoothly. And this may add a bit more to the price than just ten bucks.