Those prices may or may not be accurate. But that's really irrelevant to me.
I agree with eeeeeeeeek . . . most of us are not going to buy the retail version . . . rather we'll get it OEM when we buy a new machine.
I usually go kicking and screaming to the next Windows OS. I remember I thought W3.1 was great, and went to 95 with much agony. Same to 98 and then to XP. After about six months, I'm a solid user pleased with the OS. XP seems fine to me . . . it does everything I want.
But I really didn't want to go to VISTA, mostly because of the trade journal reviews. Though I expect if I had to then that six month threshold would have pertained and now I'd be firmly in VISTA's corner.
Now I've tried 7 myself (have it on the virtual machine), and since I like it, the transition from XP may not be that agonizing. Looks like I may have dodged the VISTA bullet.
As I understand it, one of the marketing tactics for 7 is to entice XP users . . . and it seems to have done that.
OTOH, I understand that 7 is not that much different from VISTA, so perhaps my bad judgement of VISTA is misplaced.
In any case, the transition from XP up, which is inevitable, will not be as painful for me.