Microsoft and PC makers introduce Windows 7 offers for consumers

Microsoft is really turning up the consumer-focused volume on the Windows 7 launch on October 22 -- despite the fact that the company makes a lot of money from selling Windows to business users, either via volume-license agreements and/or various other channels.

Microsoft is really turning up the consumer-focused volume on the Windows 7 launch on October 22 -- despite the fact that the company makes a lot of money from selling Windows to business users, either via volume-license agreements and/or various other channels.

Why so much attention on retail -- where Microsoft admittedly garners the least amount of Windows revenues? Microsoft officials believe if they can win over consumers with Windows 7, these consumers will push their workplaces to move to Windows 7 more quickly. There's also, undoubtedly, a large helping of Apple envy/fear that's part of Microsoft's consumer push.

To kick off the launch activities, Microsoft unveiled on October 21 a number of retail deals for the product that it has forged with some of its PC partners and retail outlets. Microsoft is calling the promotion "7 Days of Windows 7."  Company officials said to expect more Windows 7 deals to be added throughout the coming week and to check back on Windows.com if you're in the market for new hardware, upgrades, support, etc.)

Day 1 (October 22) offers include:

  • Best Buy offering Full home technology remodel, handyman included. Best Buy PC Home Makeover
  • HP laptop, netbook, desktop and monitor package with Windows 7. Geek Squad wireless home network with router and new PC setup is included for $1,199.00
  • Dell Studio XPS 13. Save more than $100.00
  • Acer AZ5610-U9072 23" Touch All-in-One (with Windows Touch) for $880.00
  • With the Buy a PC, Get a Discounted Upgrade offer, customers who buy a new PC running Windows 7 Home Premium can upgrade a Windows XP- or Windows Vista-based PC they already own with a discounted box copy of Windows 7. This offer will run through Jan. 2, 2010.
  • The Windows 7 Family Pack is available tomorrow in select countries while supplies last. With this offer, consumers can buy three Upgrade licenses of Windows 7 for one price.
  • The Student Offer begins tomorrow. For a limited time, the Windows 7 Student Offer gives college and university students in the U.S. and select markets worldwide the opportunity to purchase Windows 7 Home Premium Upgrade or Windows 7 Professional Upgrade for a discount.

I'm weighing which Windows 7 machine to buy and am open to suggestions. I'm looking for something that's lightweight and very durable. (I'm actually considering buying both a netbook and a laptop, making the laptop my primary machine and the netbook what I take on the road.) I don't care about running games. I don't want or need touch. I do value battery life and don't need anything flashy (though something with a little personality would be nice). Any suggestions out there?

One other note: If you're in the New York City area on October 22, feel free to come by our post-launch party. It's at the Antarctica Bar on Hudson and will start around 5 p.m. Lot of Microsoft bloggers -- including Ed Bott of ZDNet, Paul Thurrott of the Windows SuperSite, Tom Warren of NeoWin and more will be there. We're also expecting Most Valuable Professionals, testers, a few brave/crazy Softies and other hangers-on to show up to sample the seven beers on tap. Hope to see you there!

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