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."

[Thanks, Sammy]