Microsoft Windows 8 retail may be axed entirely

The latest Windows-related rumor might be a big one, depending on what you're tempted to believe. According to Microsoft insiders Paul Thurrot and Mary Jo Foley, the company may be looking to drop the retail version of Windows 8 entirely. This would leave Windows 8 with just two versions: the $40 upgrade DVD and the Windows 8 System Builder Kit (OEM version).

With the Windows 8 OEM licensing rate starting at $60, this rumor is leading some to believe that Windows 8 might end up costing quite a bit less than Windows 7 did. Consider, for a moment, that the OEM version of Windows 7 only cost $134.99, while the retail version's price tag came in at a whopping $299.99. It isn't that hard to imagine that with a price of admission that high, at least a few customers shied away from picking up the retail version of Windows 7.

So, it might be that Microsoft is looking to scrap the retail version of Windows 8 altogether and give potential users a couple less expensive options. Indeed, we were all a bit surprised when Microsoft announced a $40 price point for the Windows 8 upgrade DVD, so maybe this time around the company is more concerned with getting Windows 8 on as many computers as possible than it is with high profit margins. If it isn't looking to ditch the Windows 8 retail version entirely, it's possible that this particular iteration may run significantly less than past retail versions. We shall see.

[via Insideris]