If you were to choose suitable words to describe the Windows 7 pricing system then ‘concise’, ‘clear’ and ‘consistent’ wouldn’t be three that immediately spring to mind — and after a month full of rumours, new options and the death of the ‘E’ version it’s time for a bit of a clear up.
Here at Zath we’ve already been over a load of the Windows 7 pricing details (including when they were released and the Windows 7 pre-order deals) but now with a sensible conclusion having been reached on the Internet Explorer problem with the EU and the introduction of the ‘Windows 7 Family Pack’ it’s time to clarify the situation.
Just under a month ago Microsoft announced that they would be releasing (although at that time just in the US and Canada) the ‘Family Pack’ which would allow a family (or I imagine any other group of people with computers) to install Windows 7 Premium onto three computers already running Windows from one ‘pack’ thus making life easier and saving a fair amount of money in the process.
But now they’ve announced that several European countries will also be able to benefit from this deal, to be more specific the UK, Ireland, Sweden, The Netherlands, Austria, France, Germany and Switzerland, and although it will be a ‘limited offer’ I imagine it will be very popular as the number of households with three or more computers is already high and rising.
As I said before, opting for this pack could save you quite a bit of cash — it will set you back only £150 whilst opting to upgrade three computers individually would cost you £240 making for a saving of 38.5% which amounts to around £90. However the reasons for why the European release has been announced later are interesting, and stem from the fact that Microsoft and the European Competition Commission have finally managed to come to a deal on the Internet Explorer fiasco.
For those who aren’t sure what I’m talking about here’s a quick summary — the ECC (European Competition Commission) decided that the inclusion of Internet Explorer within Windows 7 was unfair as it gave Microsoft a clear advantage over other internet browsers, and asked them to do something about it. Microsoft then opted to just exclude it altogether meaning that two versions of Windows 7 had to be made, the normal one and the ‘E’ version which would be sold in Europe; this also meant that upgrades weren’t possible and people purchasing them would be given a full Windows 7 version anyway.
But now Microsoft have come up with a ‘ballot screen’ idea which allows users to choose which web browser they would like to install including IE8 which satisfies the ECC’s criterion and means Microsoft can go on selling Windows as normal. Also people who have pre-ordered Windows 7, which previously wasn’t going to include IE8, will now get a copy that does.
We also have final news on the pricing: upgrades will be £80 for Home Premium (although only up to 2010, it will be £100 afterwards), £190 for Professional and £200 for Ultimate. Full versions will cost you £150 for Home Premium, £220 for Premium and £230 for Ultimate.
So, it’s still far from transparent, but hopefully it’s at least a little clearer; although it does leave me intrigued as to how they will arrange the options on the ‘ballot screen’ — by popularity or alphabetically? Surely by using the former you are defeating the object (as most people who don’t know will just choose the top one) or alphabetically (in which case you can expect Opera change their name to Aardvark)? Who knows!
However, on the whole I think Microsoft are certainly doing what they can to make the Windows 7 launch as successful as possible and the option of people buying a Windows 7 Family Pack as a way of saving some money for those with multiple computer is surely a welcome move!
Via — WindowsBlog