Microsoft announces most expensive way to buy Windows 7

Microsoft has announced the pricing of WIndows 7's Windows Anytime Upgrade - or WAU, if you're feeling excited - that will let people move between different editions of this yet-to-be-released operating system. As it was with Vista, there are various prices covering various combinations of upgrade: if you're feeling particularly flush, have Windows 7 Starter and want to end up on Ultimate you can take it step by step (Starter->Home Premium->Professional->Ultimate) and pay a rather plump £274.

Microsoft has announced the pricing of WIndows 7's Windows Anytime Upgrade - or WAU, if you're feeling excited - that will let people move between different editions of this yet-to-be-released operating system. As it was with Vista, there are various prices covering various combinations of upgrade: if you're feeling particularly flush, have Windows 7 Starter and want to end up on Ultimate you can take it step by step (Starter->Home Premium->Professional->Ultimate) and pay a rather plump £274.97 - £45 more than buying Ultimate at full retail.

Nobody will do this, of course. Going from Starter to Ultimate in one leap costs £140.

People wanting any of the upgrades -- which take the form of a new registration key -- can buy them from retailers or online.

MIcrosoft has also announced a Windows 7 Family Pack, a copy of the software plus a special key that allows three simultaneous activations, but says that this won't be available in the UK this year as it is "an upgrade SKU [Stock Keeping Unit - ie, version] and upgrade SKUs of WIndows 7 E will not be available in the UK until at least 2010".

No, we don't understand how the Family Pack is an upgrade while WIndows Anytime Upgrade is not. We'll get back to that on Monday.

Meanwhile, here are the prices for WAU. You may wish to compare them to the normal retail prices for Windows 7, announced earlier this month.

Windows 7 Starter to Windows 7 Home Premium £ 69.99 Windows 7 Starter to Windows 7 Professional £119.99 Windows 7 Starter to Windows 7 Ultimate £ 139.99 Windows 7 Home Premium to Windows 7 Professional £ 119.99 Windows 7 Home Premium to Windows 7 Ultimate £ 124.99 Windows 7 Professional to Windows 7 Ultimate £ 84.99

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