Actually I hear around the water cooler it will be cheaper.... As far as how much,i cant tell you that... But know this, the entire process of 7 is to remove that "Sting" if you will from people that didn't like Vista. The price, the OS is all designed to be a better experience all around and that will include the final price tag.
Actually I think it WILL be cheaper than Vista -- Microsoft already knows there's a HUGE demand for it unlike Vista which was foisted on to a largely unwilling public.
If you look at another post I've made on this Forum there also is in general no need to go for an "Ultimate" or Business edition since the only extras included are not really worth the money and can always be sourced either via open source or with the hardware discs you get when you buy things like a DVD writer etc. Some commercial software also does the job cheaper than the difference in price between "Ultimate" and "Home Premium" - especially for a New (i.e not upgrade") product.
WHAT? $100.00 cheaper than Viscus, I err mean Vista? Man I hope you're right. I think you would have far more people migrating to 7 if they did that. The economy is in the crapper but at that price I could afford to upgrade right away instead of saving for six months. Time will tell.
Whatever the final pricing structure they set, I hope that they don't do what they did last time to us in the UK, and 'add' $100.00 to the price you'd pay in the US, and they also made it technically difficult to allow us to purchase the OS at US prices.
The price should be consistent across territories, and 'less' than Vista 'launch' prices; if MS really want to rid themselves of the 'Vista aftertaste' & encourage migration from XP, then a 'home license' package (One disk covers three computers in the 'Home Group') would be a radical plan to really get Windows7 into the market.
the 'Home Group' license idea would be logical too, given that to use the Home-Group and Remote Media Streaming features, both require your 'Home Group' to be running Windows7 as the OS on all machines!
In these grim economic times, this is the chance for MS to strike a deal with the Consumer....and not the Shareholder.
I saw this article when first appeared, it's one opinion from one source; intersesting to note though, that no 'other' sources in the PC manufacturing/supply sector has passed comment on this Dell point-of-view. But they too, think that the price should be on a par, or lower than Vista. As yet there's no 'formal' announcment from MS about pricing, so there's still time to re-think the price-point for General Availability.