Being temporarily free and, most importantly, good has done wonders for Windows 7. The one thing that could temper everyone's excitement? Bad pricing. TechARP says it'll be announced in June, and CNET says it'll be steep.
A mid-June pricing announcement wouldn't be out of order in light of Microsoft's recent confirmation that Windows 7 would be released in time for the holidays. Up until now very little has been said—even in speculation—about how much the OS will actually cost.
CNET has a Dell Marketing exec on record saying:
The ASPs (average selling price) of the operating systems are higher than they were for Vista and XP
Meaning that, version for version, Windows 7 is apparently more expensive than any version before it. Prohibitively expensive, even.
String these two rumours together, and some day in mid-June, let's just call it the 15th—could be the day Microsoft squanders a solid year of positive hype in a single press conference. Some advice to Microsoft: this would be a bad thing. [CNET, TechARP via The Register]