So we're off...
Today at 12.01am Microsoft's next generation operating system, Windows 7, goes on sale in the UK at discount prices. In the company's own words however: "you'll have to be quick as prices are low, stocks are limited and it is first come first served!"
Microsoft hasn't quantified "stocks are limited" at this stage but, stock allowing, the offer will run from 15 July to 9 August and given you'll now find Windows 7 Home Premium and Windows 7 Professional available for £49.99 and £99.99 expect there to be a great deal of interest. At this stage there remains no sign of the triple licence Windows 7 Family Pack option recently outted in the US so bear in mind these editions cover a single computer only.
Also worth remembering is Microsoft's ongoing battle with the European Union has seen it strip Internet Explorer 8 from all EU versions, cancel upgrade editions and disable the ability for full versions to upgrade from any previous flavour of Windows (2000, XP, Vista, 7 Beta or 7 RC). Instead all users will need to perform fresh installs. All EU versions will be tagged with the letter 'E' to signal this, ie: Windows 7 E Home Premium, Windows 7 E Professional, etc.
Microsoft has also named participating stores during the discount period as Amazon.co.uk, Argos, Comet, Currys, Dixons, Ebuyer.com, John Lewis, Littlewoods, Micro Anvika, PC World, Play.com, Staples and Tesco. Many of which are expected to offer a secondary CD with either IE8 or a rival browser to help users get online. Yes, it's a bit daft for obviously and previously stated reasons.
All flavours of Windows 7 'E' will go on sale from 22 October, so if you want to save some cash and enjoy Microsoft's best OS for many a year I'd advise you don't hang around...