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Microsoft Reveals Windows 7 Pricing & Promotions

Gordon Kelly


Microsoft Reveals Windows 7 Pricing & Promotions

The reception to Windows 7 beta and the subsequent Release Candidate has been exceptional, but with pricing horror stories floating around the web in recent weeks will Microsoft fall at the final hurdle?

The answer thankfully is no. The revelation last week that a Windows 7 E (for Europe) edition stripped of Internet Explorer 8 - to abide by EC anticompetitive laws - does make things a little complicated but there are certainly some bargains to be had.

The news breaks down into four key points:

1. Guarantee. Beginning tomorrow (26 June) is the Upgrade option programme 'Tech Guarantee' . This means all customers who buy a new PC from accredited Microsoft dealers will be entitled to a free upgrade to Windows 7 come its launch on 22 October. The offer works like for like so Vista Home Premium, Business and Ultimate owners will get Windows 7 Home Premium, Professional (the new name for 'Business') or Ultimate respectively. The only potential cost involved will be the shipping of the CD while a maximum of 25 PCs per customer/business is allowed. The offer will run until January 2010 and can be redeemed until February 2010. A website detailing this will go live at microsoft.com/uk/upgradeoffer tomorrow.

2. Release. Windows 7 will launch in 14 languages on 22 October with the remaining 31 languages the OS ships in available from 31 October. This will be the fastest global Microsoft product launch to date.

3 Pricing. Windows 7 E Home Premium will retail for £149.99 (Vista Home Premium costs £169.99), while Pro and Ultimate stick to their Vista equivalents at £219.99 and £229.99 respectively. Where it gets complicated is because no upgrade editions of Windows 7 E will be sold in Europe. Microsoft says this is because it would port across Internet Explorer from the previous OS and put it on shaky ground with the European Commission. Frustrating yes, necessary? Let's not even go there. More importantly however Microsoft aims to counter this by selling the full edition of Windows 7 E Home Premium for £79.99 between 22 October and 31 December. This is the same cost as the upgrade edition of Vista Home Premium. It is still working on potential deals for Professional and Ultimate.

4 Promotion. Perhaps most exciting however is Microsoft will reward early adopters who pre-order Windows 7 E Home Premium or Professional between 15 July and 14 August by selling them for just £49.99 and £79.99 respectively. No details of stock level have been locked down yet with Microsoft saying it will respond to demand, but this certainly represents good value for money. Again more details come tomorrow at microsoft.com/uk/win7preorder.

"We are humbled and enthusiastic about where we are with Windows 7," said Windows UK product lead John Curran in an interview with me today. "Everyone is delighted with this product and we're excited to get it out and into consumer hands."

Downsides? Curran confirmed to me that existing Vista Ultimate users will not be made offers to upgrade to Windows 7 Ultimate, despite it having proved a largely underwhelming edition. Meanwhile Microsoft reiterated there will be no path for Release Candidate testers to upgrade to the full edition. Given that no Windows 7 upgrade SKUs will be available in Europe this would have been ruled out anyway.

So yes there are some disappointments here and I maintain to this day that simply stripping IE8 from Windows 7 was not the best course of action (my suggestions) while the elimination of upgrade SKUs in Europe altogether seems extreme. That said, the prices are competitive, the lengthy four month Tech Guarantee is generous and those early upgrade/pre-order options could prove the tipping point for many.

Let's all now breathe a sigh of relief...


Windows 7 Homepage


June 25, 2009, 7:20 pm

I have to admit the promotion pricing looks really good value so I think I'll pre-order the professional edition. who is the pre-ordering done with, i.e Microsoft or a retailer like PC World?.


June 25, 2009, 7:20 pm

Any indication of OEM pricing?


June 25, 2009, 7:29 pm

Wow, to be honest I am really happy. hacing used the Windows 7 beta's for the last few months and the RC version I am excited by the prospect of this OS in its entirity. The early adopter pricing is excellent. With 3 PC's running I will b able to licence all three for the cost of the full retail package from October. Microsoft have pitched this well and have struck a good balance in the pricing. Also, the fact that unbundling IE8 saves me money, I really cant complain.....Kudos


June 25, 2009, 8:25 pm

So if i'm reading that correctly - I can use the promotion to pre-order Windows 7E "full retail" Home Premium for £79.99. As opposed to our American friends who would only get an Upgrade SKU?

This would allow us to upgrade our XP machines cheaply, no?


June 25, 2009, 8:34 pm

Stonking promotion.

I'll be buying Home Premium for £49.99. I assume that's the "retail" version?


June 25, 2009, 8:35 pm


Windows 7 E Home Premium or Professional between 15 July and 14 August by selling them for just £49.99 and £79.99 respectively

Sounds amazing well priced. However, I am completly and utterly refusing to buy the E edition. I do not care what Eu/Microsoft thinks, a browser is part of an O/S these days. I fully intend to buy the normal version of windows 7 and IF and i stress IF it is not possible then I will have to get it from other means.

Hopefully though it will be a case of Windows 7 E keys working with Windows 7 (non E media) and I can purchase the E edition but install from a non E iso. I can dream...

Neil B

June 25, 2009, 8:49 pm

£50 as a promotional price, that's one hell of an incentive. If the price stayed at that I reckon it would fly off the shelves. Any ideas on the pricing for the OEM versions yet?


June 25, 2009, 8:55 pm

I'll just order a OEM copy of Win 7 Pro. Should cost a lot less than a full retail version (overclockers sell OEM copies for decent prices).


June 25, 2009, 9:07 pm

£50 for windows? Bargain, im definatly sold! As I was looking at the Acer Revo I could get the Linux version (now being shipped with 160GB Drive it seems), an extra 1GB ram for £10 and windows for £50, so save £40.. bargain


June 25, 2009, 9:22 pm

I don't particularly understand how you can say the prices are competitive.

I mean in terms of OS competition, your average Mac new OS release is the same price long term as the 'early adopter promotional' release of W7 Pro version, and Linux is well..free.

Mikey uk

June 25, 2009, 9:29 pm

Yeah, £50 for the new OS will suit me fine. I'm currently running Vista Home Premium pretty successfully, but I'd like to upgrade to 7. Not clear to me at this stage whether I'll have to do a 'clean' install (very inconvenient) or whether 7 will be clever enough to avoid this.

Lord Comben III

June 25, 2009, 9:34 pm

So does windows 7 still have the stupid policy of 1 copy 1 computer. Or can i finally buy 1 copy and put it on all the computers in my house, making it far better value for money


June 25, 2009, 10:12 pm

I'm very tempted by this, I've not actually used Windows 7 yet since I own a Mac, but I've been looking to install Windows on it using Boot Camp. I'm assuming Windows 7 will be supported by Boot Camp? I do hope so...


June 25, 2009, 10:59 pm

@all - no indication on OEM pricing at this stage.

@Ninjakettle - no, you can pre-order and get Windows 7 E Home Premium for £49.99 not £79.99


June 25, 2009, 11:00 pm

@Bry: "Never let your sense of morals get in the way of doing what's right" eh? It seems unfair to take out your anger at the EU's sily decision on Microsoft. If you want a disc with IE on it then why not buy the E edition and make your own slipstream disk? It's only that microsoft can't bundle IE, not that it won't work with the E edition.

@SJ: OS X will only install on Apple PCs so that's only a valid comparison if you're looking to buy Windows 7 for one of those and Linux is a special case.

@Mikey_uk: The details of this announcement seem to vary depending on who's reporting it but the general concensus seems to be that the European versions will only allow upgrades from lower versions of Windows 7 and not from Vista.

@Lord Comben: It's hardly a stupid policy, you may be honest but I know plenty of people who'd happily install it on all their friends computers as well as their own. Multiple computer discounts would be nice though.

The most exciting point that nobody's raised yet is that if there's no upgrade editions then will the student deals be for the full version this time? Windows 7 Ultimate Retail for £40 would be wonderful.


June 25, 2009, 11:09 pm

7 has the same policy as all versions of windows.

Retail edition: can be installed on as many different computers you like but, only one at a time.

OEM - Is tied to your motherboard. So technically can only ever be installed on one pc (motherboard)

Lord Comben III

June 26, 2009, 12:27 am

I suppose there are always those dishonest people :( It would just be so much better at 150 for a household. Or 50 for a single then it would be super amazing :)


June 26, 2009, 1:11 am

Am I right in saying I, as a UK customer cannot simply upgrade from Vista and must do a clean install? This is a need to know people so if someone will reply please I'm confused.


June 26, 2009, 1:14 am

@J4cK1505 - no, Microsoft is simply saying it will not be selling upgrade only editions of Windows 7 in Europe, just full editions.


June 26, 2009, 1:19 am

I've been using the RC as my main OS since it came out. Very pleased with speed, stability etc.

At £50 it is a bargain an I will probably get a second one for my laptop. As full editions they can presumably me moved from PC to PC, unlike OEM.


June 26, 2009, 2:10 am

That's not correct Gordon, the E editions will not be able to upgrade from Vista. http://go.microsoft.com/fwl...


June 26, 2009, 2:23 am

@Gordan - thanks there, I was getting a little worried. Sorry to be a pain, but is a clean install worth the hassle? Are there any downsides to simply upgrading my system to W7?

I cannot continue with Vista come October after using the RC


June 26, 2009, 3:57 am

@J4cK1505 - no upgrades will be allowed unfortunately, even with thee full version as that would carry forward IE8 so you have no choice but a clean install. Fingers crossed this situation may still change before October.


June 26, 2009, 3:59 am

@Xiphias - that was what I was trying to say. Poor phrasing, apologies


June 26, 2009, 5:24 am

Let's clear things up..

Upgrade options will be available in the Europe!

See hear...


You can buy upgrades for XP and Vista but only perform an upgrade install from Vista.

Upgrade paths

Vista Home Premium -> 7 Home Premium

Vista Business -> 7 Pro

Vista Ultimate -> 7 Ultimate

@Bry. It is highly likely that you can install a 32 or 64 bit non E version and activate with the key that came with the E version. E versions affect the software not the licence.

Extra Info:


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