Unless you have been living under a rock, you already know that Microsoft’s next Windows operating system is called Windows 7 and will replace the infamous Windows Vista.
It is expected that Microsoft will release box copies of Windows 7 on October 22, 2009, a few months ahead of schedule. Vaporware is no longer an accepted term at Microsoft’s Redmond campus.
Microsoft on Wednesday announced retail pricing for Windows 7 that’s at or below comparable Windows Vista prices, while also offering a chance for people to preorder the software at a substantial discount.
From Friday through July 11, consumers in the U.S. will be able to buy an upgrade copy of Windows 7 Home premium for $49 or Windows 7 Professional for $99. That offer is good for both XP and Windows Vista PCs, regardless of whether someone has been trying out the pre-release version of the operating system.
The offer, however, is limited in both duration and by the number of copies Microsoft is willing to sell, although Microsoft would not specify that figure. The upgrade will be available at Amazon, Best Buy, Microsoft’s own store, Office Depot, OfficeMax, Costco, Staples, Wal-Mart and several other retailers.
When boxed copies of Windows 7 are released on October 22, Microsoft plans to charge $119 for Home Premium, $199 for Professional and $219 for Ultimate. The Professional and Ultimate versions are priced similar to where Microsoft was with Vista. The upgrade prices apply to those moving from a previous version of Windows to Windows 7, but only those from Windows Vista will be able to upgrade without doing a clean installation of the product.
The full versions of Windows 7—the editions for those without a copy of Windows—will be priced at $199 for Home Premium, $299 for Professional and $319 for Ultimate. The Ultimate and Professional editions are again on par with their Vista counterparts, while Home Premium is down from the $239 that Microsoft had charged with Vista. Microsoft also plans to offer the operating system in an easier-to-open box.
Microsoft is speeding up the pace of the international launch of Windows 7 compared with past launches. Computer makers will be able to ship new PCs in all languages on launch day.
As for the retail product, Microsoft plans to have 14 languages ready by October 22: English, Spanish, Japanese, German, French, Italian, Dutch, Russian, Polish, Brazilian Portuguese, Korean, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, and Hong Kong Chinese.
Then, on October 31, Windows 7 will be available in the remaining 21 languages—Turkish, Czech, Portuguese, Hungarian, Swedish, Danish, Norwegian, Finnish, Greek, Ukrainian, Romanian, Arabic, Lithuanian, Bulgarian, Estonian, Slovenian, Hebrew, Thai, Croatian, Serbian Latin, and Latvian.
I’m taking these news with a lukewarm approach. My Windows XP is working just fine, so I have no immediate intentions of throwing my coins at Windows 7 on October 22nd. When time is due, then I’ll join the Windows 7 bandwagon. “If it ain’t broke, why fix it?” Good Day.