There are free, open source alternatives, you know? But if you must use Windows (because of a specific business app or because you are a keen gamer) then that's the price.
langi27: I see pricespy have the Windows 7 pricing up.
So far the stand alone versions are at:
Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium Retail - $201
Microsoft Windows 7 Professional Retail - $280
Windows 7 Ultimate 32-bit English DSP OEI DVD - $325
These prices seem pretty resonable as Noel lemming have Windows 7 Ultimate for $599.
dmw: The issue, IMHO, is not the absolute pricing. The issue is the inequity of selling upgrades in USA for one third of the cost in NZ (if you want 3 upgrade licences).