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Microsoft Names Its Price(s) For Windows 7

This morning, Microsoft revealed the last major missing ingredient to Windows 7, the upcoming replacement for the flawed Windows Vista: what it will cost.


A post on the Redmond, Wash., company's Windows Team Blog outlined four possible prices home users can pay in the United States:

* Starting tomorrow, if you buy a computer with Vista Home Premium, Business or Ultimate from a vendor participating in Microsoft's Windows 7 Upgrade Option program, you'll pay "little or no cost" for an upgrade to 7 when it ships Oct. 22. (In other words, if you were going to buy a new PC today, wait until tomorrow.)

* Also starting tomorrow, you'll be able to pre-order an upgrade copy of Windows 7 Home Premium for $49.99 (with an upgrade of 7 Professional going for $99.99). But this pre-order deal only runs through July 11 or "until supplies last" in the U.S., whichever comes first. How many copies will be available before these supplies run out? That's an excellent question...

* Otherwise, the upgrade edition of Windows 7 Home Premium will cost $119.99, $10 less than the $129.99 Microsoft charges for an upgrade to Vista Home Premium today. Upgrades to 7 Professional and 7 Ultimate will run $199.99 and $219.99. The usual upgrade path will be from Windows Vista to 7; published reports have indicated that Microsoft will also allow Windows XP users to buy 7 at the upgrade price--but they'll have to wipe their hard drives before installing 7 and then reload their data and programs. (Run Microsoft's free Upgrade Advisor application on your PC before contemplating any upgrade to 7.)

* A full, non-upgrade copy of 7 Home Premium will cost $199.99, with full copies of 7 Professional and 7 Ultimate going for $299.99 and $319.99.

Customers in the European Union, however, will face an extra wrinkle. In response to inquiries from EU regulators about including a choice of Web browsers in Windows 7, Microsoft decided to excise its Internet Explorer browser from the European version of Windows 7--which it's now calling Windows 7 E. Today, Microsoft announced that it will sell a full version of 7 E at upgrade prices. But as ZDNet's veteran Windows watcher Ed Bott warns, a normal upgrade won't work with those copies--EU users will need to wipe their hard drives and do a clean install, just like XP users here. [Bott sent me a message on Twitter clarifying this point; you won't need to wipe your drive, and restoring your data won't be as tricky as I'd suggested.]

The reaction on the other side of the pond seems... less than charitable. (Sample word: "insane.")

What's your take on the deals Microsoft has put on the table? Will you pre-order at the low price? Or will you wait until 7 ships to see if it represents a good value?

By Rob Pegoraro  |  June 25, 2009; 11:43 AM ET
Categories:  Windows  
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I use Windows XP via VMware Fusion on my iMac. Do you have any information on how (if, when) Windows 7 will be available to use with this application? In other words, should I buy an upgrade now, or wait for VM to support Windows 7?

Posted by: MMRudy | June 25, 2009 1:07 PM | Report abuse

We never "advanced " to Vista so I'll wait and see whether or not an upgrade from XP is worth the hassle. Otherwise, we'll experience Windows 7 when/if we purchase a new PC.

I'm not getting rid of my MacBook, however.

Posted by: SC54HI | June 25, 2009 8:05 PM | Report abuse

MMRudy, I've run preview versions of 7 in Fusion without any trouble (I mean, except the fact that it's, y'know, Windows...). That's not saying they won't go add some bit of code to make 7 NOT work in Fusion/VirtualBox/Parallels, just that right now, 7 works.

Of course, as a clever .sig I saw recently attested, "the day Microsoft makes something that doesn't suck will be the day it starts producing vacuum cleaners..."

I just think 7 will be one more giant push for many people towards either Macs or any of the myriad linux distros out there.

Xubuntu, anyone?

Posted by: Bush--notrelated | June 25, 2009 10:09 PM | Report abuse

The Windows 7 Home Premium upgrade for $50 may be a good deal financially. However, how and when do I know which of my installed XP-compatible hardware and programs will run under Windows 7? In the past, compatibility has been an issue when migrating from one OS to its successor. Microsoft has a Compatibility Center on its Windows 7 website but seems to be talking about migrating from Vista to Windows 7. What about XP users?

Posted by: dandee81 | June 25, 2009 10:56 PM | Report abuse

I don't know about Fusion, but I've been running the Windows 7 beta on my aluminum iMac in BootCamp and it has been flawless.

Posted by: jhmaughan | June 26, 2009 12:33 AM | Report abuse

I can also attest to the fact that Windows 7, both the 32 and 64 bit versions, works well, both in VMware Workstation on Linux, and on OSX.

TCP/IP networking in Windows 7 is a vast improvement over the horrendous problems with Vista.

Personally I like Windows Server 2008 much better than Windows 7.

I think Microsoft is ripping people off. Windows 7 should be a Vista service pack.

Posted by: frantaylor | June 26, 2009 1:46 AM | Report abuse

Wow. Sheeple are going to pay Microsoft to fix Vista? A copy of the email addresses of everyone who buys Windows 7 would be worth millions of dollars to some distressed bankers in Nigeria...

Posted by: hisroc | June 26, 2009 2:06 AM | Report abuse

When Vista came out and it was pre-installed on my student-budget laptop, I played around with it for about a day and then installed Ubuntu linux(it was my first time with anything besides windows). It took a while to get used to it and it took a decent amount of help from troubleshooting forums to make everything work as planned. Now that I have it seems like the biggest waste of money for offices and schools to use such a mindlessly expensive product that always needs something fixed. Why pay to be disappointed?

Posted by: mfciam | June 26, 2009 2:47 AM | Report abuse

I went Mac and never looked back ;).

Posted by: veloboldie | June 26, 2009 5:05 AM | Report abuse

Windows 7 is unique as a Microsoft offering because 1) It works right out of the gate and 2) It requires LESS computing power to run than its predecessor O/S, which means 7 will own the Netbook O/S space quickly.

That said, I am an Apple convert, and have no plans to go back to "Vindows" (what their tech support people call it--you'll see).

Posted by: robert7ii | June 26, 2009 5:17 AM | Report abuse

Not surprisingly, I bought a new computer (online from HP) two days ago.

Posted by: filfeit | June 26, 2009 7:04 AM | Report abuse

I agree with "veloboldie": Once you go Mac, you never go back. I have been dealing with Windows Vista for about a year and, frustrated, switched to a MacBook, a move I should have done many years ago - after dealing with Windows since version 3.1. My computer-life is finally trouble-free. No need to look into Windows 7 and, really, why would you run Windows on a Mac? OS X is a much more effective operating system.

Posted by: Sandpiper158 | June 26, 2009 7:18 AM | Report abuse

Bush--notrelated - the thing that you "anything but Microsoft" butt-heads don't seem to understand is that Microsoft brought computers to the masses. Without them you'd still be living in your parent's basement playing pong on your TV.

I'm certainly not saying Microsoft is perfect, but without them this would be a much different world. They made computing easy and accessable to the masses.

Also, Bush--notrelated, you wouldn't have anything to whine about.

Posted by: xconservative | June 26, 2009 7:56 AM | Report abuse

I have one computer with a Windows partition, and I'll risk $50 to get rid of goddamVista in favor of Windows 7.

But if I don't see a marked increase in performance and reliability over goddamVista with Windows 7, I will bite the bullet and spend several thousand dollars and many hours of self-training time switching my video editing software from Sony Vegas to Final Cut Pro.

What I'd *really* like, of course, is a Linux version of Vegas, Final Cut or Adobe Premiere. That would free me from the whole proprietary operating system mess, which I *only* deal with for video editing. Everything else I do, I use Linux and have exactly zero problems as opposed to the endless crashes and general stupidity I experience with goddamVista.

Posted by: roblimo | June 26, 2009 8:38 AM | Report abuse

Of course I just bought a new computer yesterday to replace my motherboard damaged laptop. Great timing!

Posted by: wilewil1 | June 26, 2009 9:11 AM | Report abuse

I think Microsoft is ripping people off. Windows 7 should be a Vista service pack.

Brilliant comment. I liked M up until Vista. our laptop will certainly get 7 on it, thanks to the lovely people at

Posted by: salparadise661 | June 26, 2009 9:14 AM | Report abuse

XP Pro is still the best OS available for mainstream computing. It also is still available from Dell and others.

Posted by: rowens1 | June 26, 2009 9:28 AM | Report abuse

Microsoft would have to pay me at least a couple hundred dollars to get me to switch from XP to whatever pile of junk they are now releasing.

Posted by: wolfcastle | June 26, 2009 10:06 AM | Report abuse

The Fanbois are out in force.

Posted by: lostinthemiddle | June 26, 2009 10:15 AM | Report abuse

xconservative: "the thing that you "anything but Microsoft" butt-heads don't seem to understand is that Microsoft brought computers to the masses."

You need to research your history. Before the IBM-PC with Microsoft's OS, there were various CP/M computers and the Apple II. All of these computers were Personal Computers, with simple operating systems compared to the operating systems of today.

Posted by: bobdavis1 | June 26, 2009 11:13 AM | Report abuse

Not that this will ever happen, but Microsoft owes every Vista licensee a free "upgrade" to Windows 7, for all of the grief that Vista has caused. It would be an excellent PR move if Microsoft ever did so.

Posted by: AnnArborGuy | June 26, 2009 12:16 PM | Report abuse

When game developers start making more games for Mac or Linux, Windows will die.

Games are the only reason I still use Windows. Otherwise, I'd use Linux. (I have never liked Macs. Nothing personal, so don't take it that way.)

Posted by: financepirate | June 26, 2009 12:21 PM | Report abuse

xconservative: "the thing that you "anything but Microsoft" butt-heads don't seem to understand is that Microsoft brought computers to the masses."

You are quite wrong. Computers were brought to the masses by Apple, Atari, Commodore and Amiga. IBM with Microsoft's stolen OS brought the computer to business offices. The PC wasn't accepted by the "masses" until it was able to display more than 4 colors and produce sounds beyond "beep". Keep in mind that Microsoft developed the first versions of their "office" software for the "droid" Mac and NOT for the PC.

Posted by: john_in_dallas | June 26, 2009 12:52 PM | Report abuse

I hate the Premium, Professional, and Ultimate labels. Each of those words by itself connotes the best product. Use all three and they mean nothing. The only way to know which is better is to look at the price.

Calling them tree, rock, and fish would convey the same amount of information. Why not Silver, Gold, and Platinum? It's just another example of why I hate marketing.

Posted by: Booyah5000 | June 26, 2009 1:06 PM | Report abuse

After using that ram hog,slooow boot up/shut down, numerous critical update,UAC farce, slooow surfing, crash prone, piece of feces called Vista, I agree with other commenters that Microsoft should give ever Vista user a free download of Windows 7. Four months ago I switched to a Macbook running Leopard OS and my computing life has changed dramatically for the better. How Microsoft came to dominate 95% of the Pc world and continues to do so is a mystery to me.

Posted by: burrhead1 | June 26, 2009 2:20 PM | Report abuse

Soooooooooo... what was wrong with the old version?

Posted by: forgetthis | June 26, 2009 3:11 PM | Report abuse

Why do I care that Ed Bott sent you a message on Twitter? Why can't you just reference Ed Bott and what he said? So sick of the "cool" references to Twitter or whatever else the thing of the day is.

"But as ZDNet's veteran Windows watcher Ed Bott warns, a normal upgrade won't work with those copies--EU users will need to wipe their hard drives and do a clean install, just like XP users here. [Bott sent me a message on Twitter clarifying this point; you won't need to wipe your drive, and restoring your data won't be as tricky as I'd suggested.]"

Posted by: debrot | June 26, 2009 3:33 PM | Report abuse

I'm so glad I'm a Mac.

Posted by: TwoEvils | June 26, 2009 4:02 PM | Report abuse

One Upgrade on One Partition Once ONLY....
You don't get to install whole lotta upgrades on your Machine. Once & thats IT. if you lose partition & you will, thats it. DONE. Fini. NO MOre. Have to BUY 7 Software after ONE Install, ?then buy it again & again & again &....Remeber upgrade won't allow 'puter aNY Upgrade....So Go Figure.Its NO BRAINER on Yesterdays Platform. Heck theres
NO Guarentee of Drivers, Software Nor Even Feassibility. Just Click"Help Microsft Take Your Money".Ka Bam, Partition Over.
Program Rules Are Here:!


posted by : wHERES gUTS?, 26 June 2009

Posted by: thomasxstewart | June 26, 2009 7:47 PM | Report abuse

Being under no illusions that Micro$oft will offer free upgrades to all Vista licensees, I am left to wonder why isn't there a reduced-price pre-orderable version of Win7 Ultimate, the only one with BitLocker encryption? Guess I will have to bite the full-price upgrade bullet.

Posted by: 54Stratocaster | June 26, 2009 10:48 PM | Report abuse

Ha ha ha, pay for an operating system? What an archaic concept. My cost for last version of Ubuntu Linux- $0. My cost for next version- $0. Number of viruses in last five years- 0. Anybody who wants the same experience go to .

Posted by: hairguy01 | June 26, 2009 11:18 PM | Report abuse

How many times do people pay their mechanic for problems that weren't fixed the first time? Or the second? Or...

Posted by: MyPostYourPostLetsCallTheWholeThingOff | June 27, 2009 5:20 AM | Report abuse

I moved entirely to Linux a year ago and I'm very happy with it. It uses all hardware much more efficiently and effectively and it's never crashed. I have all sort of applications based on open source, which allow me to do everything I was doing (at home and at work) in the Windows environment and much more. Moreover, I know well what I've installed in my computer and can make as many improvements as I want to the applications I use most, and at no cost. Linux is the best operating system available now and you can find instant support on Linux users communities to any technical issue you eventually need to deal with.

Posted by: JohnCe | June 27, 2009 9:04 AM | Report abuse

I have been using XP Pro for years on my various PCs. None of my PCs crash. I didn't upgrade to Vista because I never found the need to and certainly didn't want to pay for it.

I can see why many are flocking to Linux but let's face it, the number of applications produced (past and present) for Windows vs. MAC and Linux is still quite large. That's why Linux and MAC can run Windows inside of them.

I probably won't upgrade to 7 either. XP Pro has all of the functionality that I need. Plus MS has gone out their way to make users of their new OS' feel like criminals when trying to copy or safeguard their data and OS with copies or backups. The registration process is just annoying.

As for switching to Mac, I don't see that as a cost effective solution. Mac hardware has always been outrageously priced. That is why the business world buys PCs.

When XP finally becomes a dinasour, I'll probably migrate to Linux. Until that time, XP Pro is the best thing going for me. It is paid for, will run on old and most new hardware, every application has a version that will run on it, is universal, etc.

Posted by: neil64 | June 27, 2009 10:25 AM | Report abuse

Rob asked:
Will you pre-order at the low price? Or will you wait until 7 ships to see if it represents a good value?
No. I will probably assemble a new low end business computer for my wife with Windows 7 to replace her old XP machine. I don't see the point in in putting new software on old hardware.

Posted by: b_100666 | June 27, 2009 7:10 PM | Report abuse

Windows 7 SHOULD be a SP for Vista... the POS that MS unleashed on the public... with less than 20% of businesses upgrading XP to Vista MS had to do something.

We have 34 desktops and 11 laptops, 4 are Windows based and are not connected to our Intranet, for security reasons. If you want security stay away from MS products.

Posted by: kkrimmer | June 27, 2009 9:00 PM | Report abuse

Dinosaurs, 8-track tapes, VCRs and computers all have something in common, extinct or soon will be. iPhone is the wave of the future. We don't need no stinking Windows 7.

Posted by: clothesliner | July 2, 2009 11:33 AM | Report abuse

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