Thank you for this. What I wish I could find was a way to buy a low-cost version of Windows to run in VirtualBox on a Mac, not for testing IE, but just to be able to use Windows occasionally.
I'm not sure why MS wants to make buying Windows without a PC so expensive. I suppose they feel that locking us into PC hardware (that won't run MacOS, thanks to Apple's lock-in policies) is the best way to lock us into Windows. For me, someone who uses Mac, Windows, Linux, iOS, and Android for different things, it all just drives me toward a policy of trying to find ways to get by without MS and Apple as much as I reasonably can. A $39 "Windows for VMs" package would keep my foot in the Windows world, but lacking Apple's (current) hardware quality advantage, MS is the easiest to learn to do without entirely.
It's my understanding that that's an upgrade price, not a new installation. They're doing it, because so many Windows users are saying they'll keep using Windows 7, an actual computer OS, rather than upgrading to the new "post-PC" Windows 8.
You could be right, and I could be wrong, though....