In looking at the reasons behind Thursday's price cut for Windows Vista, it's easy to blame the OS itself. After all, plenty of critics have panned it, users have grumbled and even Microsoft executives themselves were slinging arrows that the software wasn't ready for prime time when it launched last year.
But, it's important to note that this cut doesn't affect the bulk of the PC market, where folks get Vista as part of a new PC. Rather, the cut is limited to the comparatively small number of folks who buy a boxed copy of Vista to upgrade their machine.
NPD analyst Chris Swenson notes that the prices for boxed copies of Windows have remained fairly high while the cost of getting a new PC has fallen drastically since Windows XP made its debut in 2001. Prior to the price cut an upgrade to Vista Ultimate cost $299. Now, I've seen some ads where you get a whole Vista PC for that price or not much more.
One other interesting note, it appears that the price cuts are also designed to spur Vista-to-Vista upgrades. Has anyone out there paid to move to a higher priced version of Vista? If so, I'd be interested to hear when and why you made the move. Drop me a note below or e-mail me at Ina DOT Fried AT CNET DOT Com.