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Windows 7 Pre-Order Sales Soar

Gordon Kelly


UPDATED: Windows 7 Pre-Order Sales Soar

It seems Windows 7 pre-orders are making hot cakes seem cold by comparison...

The Microsoft pre-order site briefly fell over with demand today, eBuyer sold out of stock (then restocked) and Amazon has confirmed sales have already outstripped Windows Vista's entire 17 week pre-order total inside the first eight hours.

"Both Windows 7 upgrade packages shot to the top of the Amazon.com software bestsellers chart over in the US as soon as they were made available for pre-order at the end of June," said Chris Poad, software director at Amazon UK. "With the significant discount currently on offer, a similar level of high demand was expected in the UK for what is undoubtedly the biggest software release for many years."

The excitement is understandable with Windows 7 Beta and Release Candidates giving Microsoft some of the most positive reviews it has enjoyed in years. The software giant is also using the pre-order period (up until 9 August currently) to sell Home and Professional editions at just £49.99 and £99.99 respectively.

On the downside targets may be hit with new PCs sales since market researchers iSuppli is reporting computers are seeing their first sales drop since 2001. A sharp 18.1 per cent drop off in desktop sales is largely to blame it claims which is not being fully countered by an 11.7 per cent increase in laptop shipments.

Microsoft may also be something of a victim of its own success in all this too since Vista's hefty requirements saw users upgrade their machines in order to make the move. By contrast Windows 7 actually runs faster than Vista (and some argue is more responsive than XP) so - when combined with the global economy being flushed down the toilet - the same motivation isn't there.

Can't win them all...

Update: It's a similar story from DSGi, owner of PC World, Currys and Dixons.co.uk. Incredibly, demand in the first 12 hours of the pre-order launch saw sales of Windows 7 exceed 25 per cent of DSGi's total annual sales of its predecessor, Windows Vista. Impressive.

"We are seeing an unprecedented level of demand for this new operating system, "said DSGi head of software trading Alan Dardis. "We are confident we will be able to continue to meet demand for this product for the duration of the pre-order service however, with other retailers already running out of stock, we expect demand to only increase so we would recommend customers order early to ensure they are not disappointed."


Windows 7 Pre-order Offer




July 15, 2009, 11:02 pm

Just ordered mine from Amazon for £45. Seeing as I have been...er...trialing vista for 6 months I feel its only right I buy this. Used the RC for a month and it only needs a few niggles fixed before it could be my main OS. looking forward to it


July 15, 2009, 11:29 pm

They're priced right, for a change, so no surprise they're flying off the shelves. as the article says I'm installing it on a notebook I bought last year with vista installed instead of building a new computer. can't see me building a new computer for a while yet as what I have is adequate for my uses at the moment. it would take a phenomenal game for me to upgrade now, unlikely to happen as last computer was built for battlefield 2.


July 15, 2009, 11:32 pm

Ordered mine today, well done Microsoft excellent price point!!


July 15, 2009, 11:45 pm

I agree with everyone, £50 is the right price for a Home centric operating system, £80-£100 is just right for a professional OS. I just hope Microsoft realises this when the pre-order finishes, HP price returns to £145 and sales plummet, Microsoft tries the £45 price again just to be sure and sales rocket again...

The huge sales are not a "oooo pre-order, me please me please gimme gimme!" it's a "wow, that price is just right, I'll buy this before it sells out and/or tripples in price!"


July 16, 2009, 12:56 am

I agree with the above, price is just right and this blow vista away. Seems to beat XP on my system too!

Plan to preorder at the end of the month (payday) but im still not sure which version, home has a piddly 16GB ram limit :( Why MS Why?


July 16, 2009, 1:01 am

@Keldon - you're going to hit the 16GB RAM limit? Why Keldon Why? There's no tangible benefit at this stage and no consumer motherboard that would support it!


July 16, 2009, 1:27 am

Yeah I pre-ordered the home premium from play, they have been going in and out of stock all day from all the stores, bit ridiculous.

That price is the absolute limit for me to buy an OS, if it was more I wouldn't bother and just wait for a new computer. An OS isn't a "fun" thing which they always try to sell it as, it's a component of a computer which you need. If you've already got one, you don't "need" another so all Microsoft can sell is reliability and speed. People will pay for both but can cope without them, so the "value" of Windows isn't anywhere near £150, that's crazy money.


July 16, 2009, 1:29 am

@Gordon - I agree no need at the minute and would need a 1366 triple channel board to exceed it but remember when people thought 32bit was enough? :p

I dont see windows 7 being replaced for a while and when XP came out 1GB RAM was like having a Gold Toilet, now I have 8GB and tbh thats a bit much but in the next 8 years alot could change!


July 16, 2009, 2:12 am

"There's no tangible benefit at this stage and no consumer motherboard that would support it!"

Hey just about every top end consumer X58 Mother board supports up to 24GB's RAM. I'd stick 24GB in my build if the 4GB chips weren't so expensive! I have no doubt I will upgrade over time ;)

I was unaware that MS had imposed limits on the RAM on it various OS's...that's pretty lame, but I {i}suppose{/i} I can cope with 12GB's for the time being :)

Rollo Tomasi

July 16, 2009, 2:30 am

The timing, marketing and even the name 'Windows 7' are going to prove to be an unbeatable formula for Microsoft over the next few months.

I bought my allotted 3 copies from PC world who will mail them to me for a total cost of LESS THAN 140 quid!

Having run RC on 3 computers for a while (including an Acer netbook) I can relax about my shares in this company too... (Up over 4% today!)

XP very quickly seems 'old hat' after using this and Vista victims finally have something to celebrate!

(PS... in the UK this new operating system does NOT come with an internet browser so download one and put it on a disc/card/stick BEFORE you upgrade or you'll be a bit buggered trying to check your email, etc.) Bloody interfering Euro idiots trying to save the world by trashing it first!

I doubt whether Microsoft will really allow stocks of this 'promotion' to really run out but just in case - get yours TODAY!


July 16, 2009, 2:43 am

@Keldon - I think the key with Windows 7 is it won't be around for 8 years like XP. Think Microsoft will move to a more incremental, dare I say it, OS X model in future.

Martin Daler

July 16, 2009, 2:45 am

Just curious, but I always thought that in the UK for a price to be advertised as a "reduction" the goods had to have been previously offered at the higher price.


July 16, 2009, 3:07 am


I believe MS still have time to decide the implementation of the 'e' version. The 'no browser at all' possibility has been thrown about, and seems backwards, but this is still to be confirmed.


July 16, 2009, 3:09 am

A fair point Gordon but will these incremental updates also have arbitrary ram limits?

Is there any real reason why Home is 16 GB and Pro is 190 odd?


July 16, 2009, 3:26 am

@Gordon: You say "OS X Model" and I read "start charging for service packs"

@Martin Daler: To advertise as a reduction, it has to be lower than the RRP and/or MSRP. In this case, the MSRP is £150 for Home Premium, reduced to £50 for the pre-order period.

Paul 19

July 16, 2009, 3:31 am

Anyone know if they will be selling the family pack in UK ?

so I can put it on 3 pc's ? Don't fancy buying 3 packs !!




July 16, 2009, 4:10 am

Ordered mine from Play.com today. A bargain at £50.

Now I just need Snow Leopard for my mac and I'm set!


July 16, 2009, 5:14 am

@Martin - no, they're reducing from a recommended price by the manufacturer - RRP.

Martin Daler

July 16, 2009, 1:00 pm

@ Greg - er, no, this is the price the manufacturer is offering also. The so called "reduction" is an illusion, based on a comparison against a fictitious price which has never pevailed.

This is from the OFT:

"The judgment clarified that for a trader's higher price to be genuine the goods must be offered for sale at that price in significant quantities and for a sufficient length of time for potential customers to be aware that the goods are for sale, to consider whether to purchase them and for such transactions to have taken place"

Clearly Windows 7 has never been offered or sold at the higher price. And yet traders are advertising "70% reduction".



July 16, 2009, 2:06 pm

I don't see MS adopting an OSX model, they're probably just go back to the way they did things before XP, releasing a new OS every few years.

Mikey uk

July 16, 2009, 3:07 pm

Ordered mine from Amazon yesterday morning. I'm really hoping that in the next 3 months, the "no browser/no upgrade" packaging of the E version changes - though I suspect it won't. Clean installs are clearly best anyway, but it's only 14 months since I completed the build of my Vista system on home brew hardware, and although it's fairly straightforward to plan a refresh in detail (I'm very systematic about keeping records of product keys, etc), it's a long winded process installing and updating all the drivers and software again, changing iTunes computer registrations, etc. My inclination is to partition the HD and build a parallel system then cut over. Actually it could be fun :-)


July 16, 2009, 3:43 pm


>"My inclination is to partition the HD and build a parallel system then cut over. Actually it could be fun :-)"

Freak. ;)

Seriously, if you're worried about leaving something behind when you do a clean install, just get a new hard disk to install 7 on. They're so cheap these days, it will save you a lot of hassle and it's safer than resizing partitions, which I've occasionally found to be a hit-and-miss practice.


July 16, 2009, 3:53 pm

Regarding the internet browser that won't be bundled with Windows 7, surely Microsoft can offer it as an optional update for those that need some sort of internet browser, even if just to download another browser?

Mikey uk

July 16, 2009, 4:11 pm


>"Freak. ;)"

Yeah, thats me, loadsa fun mucking around with computer hardware and software for the sake of it, used to be my career , now its a hobby lol.

And yeah, I did have at the back of my mind filling the second hard drive slot in my newish PC with another 500GB drive, installing W7 on that, then after eventual cutover, turning it into a RAID setup..


July 16, 2009, 4:19 pm

@darkspark88: You'd think so. As much as people berate Microsoft (often rightly so), they're not idiots. I can't imagine that they'll supply an OS without some means of downloading a web browser. I couldn't tell you what their solution is (even Microsoft might not know yet), but I think they will make it very simple for the user.

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