In an inadvertent post to its Canadian Web site, the world's largest software maker revealed that it plans to charge $199 for a Windows Vista Home Basic license, with additional licenses fetching $179.
Windows Vista Home Premium will cost $239, the company said, with additional licenses costing $215.
Microsoft will also offer a $299 Windows Vista Business edition and $399 Windows Vista Ultimate, according to Web blunder. Additional licenses for these higher-end bundles were reported at $269 and $359, respectively.
By comparison, Apple Computer has traditionally released a single edition of its major Mac OS X operating system upgrades for just $129 dollars. A family pack with a five-seat license has historically retailed for just $199.
On Monday, AppleInsider reported on an in-depth comparative analysis of Apple's Mac OS X pricing strategy and Microsoft's Windows pricing strategy.
The analysis found that, despite Apple's lower OS pricing, the Mac maker is able to gain more profitability per user from its OS software than Microsoft because it releases upgrades at a more frequently and stable pace.
The Windows Vista price list was removed from Microsoft's Web site within hours of its appearance. However, Amazon.com is already taking pre-orders for Windows Vista Home Premium and Microsoft Windows Vista Ultimate, with preliminary ship date of January 30, 2007.