How Much Would YOU Pay For Windows 7 ? - InformationWeek

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6/26/2009
04:16 PM
Fredric Paul
Fredric Paul
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How Much Would YOU Pay For Windows 7 ?

Windows 7 has taken another big step toward reality as Microsoft reveals how much it will cost and announces a special early-bird discount. Meanwhile, PC makers begin to roll out promises of free upgrades.

Windows 7 has taken another big step toward reality as Microsoft reveals how much it will cost and announces a special early-bird discount. Meanwhile, PC makers begin to roll out promises of free upgrades.Here's the deal:

Windows 7 Home Premium will cost $120 for an upgrade, and $200 from a full license. Windows 7 Professional will cost $200 and $300, respectively, while Ultimate will set you back $220 or $320. The Home Premium prices are slightly lower than the $130 and $240 you'd have paid for Windows Vista, but the others represent no change from the current levels. Many people -- OK, everyone -- was hoping that Microsoft would use the new OS -- and the Great Recession -- as an opportunity to dramatically lower prices. After all, Apple priced its latest OS upgrade, Snow Leopard, at $29, and Microsoft has been making much of Window's price advantages vs. Macs. Didn't happen.

But wait, there's more. If you act now, you can get an advance price of a Windows 7 Home Premium upgrade for $50 or Professional for $100. Of course, you have to buy before July 11 and you won't get delivery until October 22 at the earliest. And prices and dates will vary outside the United States.

So, should small and midsize businesses rush out and lock in those awesome discounts? Even if you're sure you want to upgrade, you might want to move cautiously. For one thing, there's a limit of three copies per person. And as Ed Bott points out over at ZDNet, Microsoft didn't release the final list of features in each version, so it's kind of hard to tell which version is right for your company. The highly regarded Beta and Release Candidate versions that have been circulating are all the Ultimate Edition.

Of course, if you're buying new computers for your company, Windows 7's price will be baked in to the cost of the hardware. And Microsoft hasn't yet announced how much it will charge PC makers for the various versions of Windows 7. Stay tuned.

On the other hand, according to Paul McDougall at InformationWeek, Microsoft also offered more details of its upgrade program for buyers of new computers, which promises little- or no-cost upgrades for computers bought starting today. In line with that, HP today announced free upgrades to Windows 7 when it becomes avialable. Unfortunately, the deal doesn't apply to all HP machines.

Again, so does this mean it's safe to go out and buy new PCs for your business? Given my experience with upgrading from Vista to Windows 7, I'd say yes, at least for relatively low numbers of machines. It shouldn't be that big a deal to upgrade. But if you're buying lots and lots and PCs, why set yourself up for the potential hassle, when you can get the new machines pre-loaded in a few months?

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