Microsoft Chops Some Windows 7 Prices

By  |  Thursday, June 25, 2009 at 8:48 am

Windows 7 LogoMicrosoft has dropped one of the lat  remaining veils relating to Windows 7 by announcing the OS upgrade’s pricing.  It’s not exactly stunning that the company chose not to follow Gizmodo’s advice that Win 7 should be free for all Vista owners. But there are a number of price breaks associated with the rollout.

The largest and most interesting price cut is for folks who preorder Windows 7 right away: In the U.S,  you’ll be able to reserve a copy from Best Buy, Amazon, or the Microsoft Store at a discount of more than 50 percent. This preorder price for the upgrade version of Windows 7 Home Premium, for instance, will be $49.99, versus a list price of $119.99.

Many people very sensibly wait to install new versions of Windows until a few months have passed, Microsoft has identified and fixed the worst bugs, and major issues with application and driver compatibility have been resolved. But $50 for Windows 7 is so cheap that I could see preordering a copy and salting it away for a bit after the OS ships on October 22nd.

Microsoft is saying that the preorder price break is good from tomorrow until July 11th (in the U.S.)  or “while supplies last,” as if there’s’ a chance that the world will run out of  copies of Windows 7.

The preorder offer is the closest Microsoft is coming to a “We’re sorry about Windows Vista–please give us another chance” deal. But the company is also instituting a permanent price cut for Windows 7 Home Premium compared to Vista: It’ll be $119.99 as an upgrade (Vista Home Premium was $129.99, and originally listed for $159.99 when Vista shipped in 2007) and $199.99 foor the full version (versus $239.99 for Vista Home Premium). Other Win 7 prices are the same as the current ones for equivalent Vista versions.

And as usual, most anyone who buys a Windows PC from here on out will qualify for a cheap upgrade to Windows 7 or a free one (not counting shipping costs).

Are reduced prices for Windows 7 a reflection of a lousy economy in which people are willing to forego pricey upgrades? An acknowledgment that the Vista debacle has left a lot of folks skeptical about Windows upgrades in general? A reaction to increased competition from Macs and Linux? Microsoft isn’t going to share the behind-the-scenes details of its rationale. But it’s probably a bit of all of the above, heavily skewed to the first two factors.

I feel a poll coming on:


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6 Comments For This Post

  1. Joe Moore Says:

    I selected “I’m going to pre-order” only because I had a Vista PC, wiped it clean and put Windows 7 RC1 which has been running as my main OS for a while now.

    Probably should’ve thought that decision through a little more wisely…

  2. Jason Says:

    Thought what through? You can still order the upgrade version against your Vista license. Doesn’t matter if it’s not installed anymore.

    I definitely think that Microsoft should be offering a cheaper upgrade price to Vista users as opposed to XP users.

  3. drew Says:

    I would have cared more (and ordered) 6 weeks ago. I have now been running only Ubuntu on my desktop and netbook. I simply have not missed Windows, and I cannot see spending for an OS anymore, even if it is only $50 or so.

    I have a Windows machine at work, so I have that as a “fallback” if I need to run a Windows program. Aside from that, this is interesting news, but it won’t be me buying a copy.

  4. Sharon Says:

    Microsoft should be giving Windows 7 away WITH a personal apology to anyone that had the misfortune of buying a new computer with Vista installed.
    No wonder Bill Gates left.

  5. Becky Waring Says:

    I’m still not clear on what happens if you have already “upgraded” your machine with the Windows 7 RC. The FAQ for the pre-order offer says your machine needs to have Windows XP or Vista “installed.” Can you install Windows 7 release version on top of the candidate, and just give your license number for XP or Vista?

    I’m also not clear what version I can upgrade my Vista Ultimate license to. The Windows 7 info says I need to purchase an equal or better version. Does that mean I have to buy W7 Ultimate (which is supposed to have only limited distribution)? Or can I also buy W7 Professional?

  6. Tom Says:

    I will stay with what I have now..using windows XP Professional on my 2 desk top computers..The two laptops I have using windows vista ultimate one 32bit and the other 64 bit was a real pain at first. I just don’t see a reason to upgrade 4 computers to Windows 7 cost wise. Beside Microsoft isn’t offering a low cost upgrade to windows 7 Ultimate..From what I understand you will have to reformat your computer to downgrade to windows 7 premium..So no, thank you to that..Microsoft seems to want to charge way to much to entice users to change to a new operating system, I don’t see why Microsoft can’t follow in Apples footstep on a upgrade price..I think windows 7 will be okay if you just go out and buy a new computer.

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