Just 20 more days to go and PC owners will have the full release of an operating system which no longer draws sniggers from the Apple and Linux communities.
With that in mind, Microsoft has announced pricing for OEM version of its best OS since Windows 95 and revealed when that rather handy XP Mode will be available. The former makes for interesting reading with Windows 7 Home Premium, Professional and Ultimate licences going for just $99.99 (£63), $134.99 (£85) and $174.99 (£110) - more than the early discount pre-order and bargain basement Student pricing, but as a long term cost undeniably good value.
Of course OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) editions are traditionally meant for system builders, but they have long been available to users who feel they don't need fancy packages and a manual three inches thick. Having used Windows 7 Beta, Release Candidate and now RTM over the past 10 months I can tell you without a shadow of a doubt whatever SKU you buy it's a very worthy upgrade.
In related news Microsoft has revealed users will have zero day availability of 'XP Mode' - the code which allows Windows 7 users to run a complete virtualised Windows XP environment on their PC. Consequently, while Windows 7 works with the vast majority of all XP software and hardware, should you run into a bump then XP Mode will ride to the rescue. It will be a free download for Professional and higher Windows 7 owners from 22 October.
OEM Pricing via DailyTech