There's been no shortage of rumors and speculation about how much Microsoft charges OEMs for a copy of Windows over the years, but Microsoft itself has stayed fairly mum on the matter -- until this week, that is. Speaking at the Jefferies Annual Technology Conference, Microsoft exec Charles Songhurst revealed for the first time that the company has "always charged about $50" for a copy of Windows on the average $1,000 PC, or about 5% of the total cost. Songhurst also seems to imply that Microsoft is looking to get about 5% across the board for Windows, meaning that it can rake in some impressive profits on high-end PCs while still being able to offer Windows on the cheap for netbooks or $300 desktops. Songhurst even went so far as to say that cheap PCs are a net benefit for Microsoft so long as they are "not cannibalistic to the total PC demand," and he and unsurprisingly further went on to extol the virtues of Windows 7
, saying that it is a "compellingly good product," and that "when Windows is executing well, Microsoft is in good shape."