Microsoft has confirmed the UK estimated retail prices for the consumer versions of Windows Vista.

A spokesperson for Microsoft said that although the software giant doesn’t determine the retail prices for its operating systems – retail partners set the pricing – the figures discovered by PC Advisor two weeks ago are in accordance with its own estimates.

The estimated retail price for Windows Vista Home Basic has been confirmed by Microsoft as £179.99, while Vista Home Premium – the operating system Microsoft hopes most home users will choose – will cost £219.99. The price for Windows Vista Ultimate stands at £369.99.

The upgrade cost stands at £99.99 for Home Basic, £149.99 for Home Premium and £249.99 for Ultimate.

The UK prices for Windows Vista, which goes on general sale at the end of January, are likely to be significantly higher than in the US. According to prices leaked on Amazon’s US website last summer, home PC users in the UK could be asked to pay anything between 50 percent and 80 percent more for the new operating system than those living in the States.

Vista was made available to the business market in November 2006, but many firms have been slow to install it so far, according to reports.