Microsoft unveils 'screaming deals' for Windows 7

Microsoft unveils 'screaming deals' for Windows 7

Summary: Earlier this year, Microsoft promised aggressive offers to win over would-be Windows 7 buyers. Today, the company made it official, touting a "screaming deal" for anyone willing to order a Windows 7 upgrade more than three months before the software officially goes on sale. Is a 50% discount enough to get you to buy now?


Move over, Crazy Eddie. Step aside, Cal Worthington. Ron Popeil, you’ve been pre-empted.

Earlier this year, Microsoft promised “aggressive offers” to win over would-be Windows 7 buyers. Today, the company made it official, touting a “screaming deal” for anyone willing to order a Windows 7 upgrade more than three months before the software officially goes on sale.

First hints of the “special, time-limited offer” first surfaced several weeks ago when a memo from consumer electronics retail giant Best Buy was leaked to Engadget. The details in that memo were correct; in fact, the program is actually more widespread than it first appeared. Here are the details:

  • The program kicks off tomorrow, June 26, in the United States, Canada, and Japan. It’s scheduled to end July 11 in the U.S. and Canada and on July 5 in Japan—”or while supplies last,” Microsoft notes.
  • The discount is 50% or more over the normal estimated retail price (ERP) of the two mainstream consumer editions. In the United States, you’ll be able to buy a Windows 7 Home Premium upgrade for $50 or get Windows 7 Professional for $100. Outside the U.S., Microsoft says, “the special low pre-order price will vary by country.”
  • The offer is available online at Best Buy and For the first time that I can remember, the online Microsoft Store will match these discounted prices instead of sticking with the full list price.
  • If you live in the United Kingdom, France, or Germany, the pre-order period will open on July 15 and close on August 15—or while supplies last.
  • Update 11AM PT: There's a per-person limit of three copies of each edition, according to Microsoft's FAQ. Also, you qualify for the upgrade pricing with any computer running any version of  Windows XP or Windows Vista. This is true even if you are not able to perform an upgrade installation.

So what happens to pricing when the promotion ends? As part of today’s announcement, Microsoft also unveiled its price list for retail copies of Windows 7 (upgrade and full packaged product). The bottom line? A modest price cut for the most popular Windows edition, Home Premium, compared to its predecessor, and no change for Windows 7 Professional and Ultimate editions. (My colleague Mary Jo Foley has an analysis of the impact of the new pricing on Microsoft’s bottom line.)

Estimated retail prices for packaged retail product in the United States are as follows:

Windows 7 Edition Upgrade Full license
Home Premium $120 (was $130) $200 (was $240)
Professional $200 $300
Ultimate $220 $320
The ERP for Windows 7 Home Premium is reduced by $10 (8%) for the upgrade and $40 (17%) for the full packaged product. Based on the newly unveiled prices, the limited-time early upgrade offers represent savings of at least 50% (for Professional edition) and as much as 58% (for Home Premium).

Mary Jo Foley: Is Windows 7 pricing too high, too low, or just right?

Microsoft’s announcement today left out several important details: There’s no hint of what price it plans to charge for its Windows Anytime Upgrade product, which allow a Windows user to move up from one edition of Windows 7 to another in a few minutes. Based on this price list, I would expect the upgrade from Home Premium to Professional edition to be $100 or so, with the upgrade to Ultimate edition adding another $20 or so.

Even more curiously, there’s no feature matrix to help you understand which features are in each edition. Microsoft has revealed some details about the differences between editions, but they’ve left it to bloggers like me to ferret out the longer, more detailed list. (See From Starter to Ultimate: What's really in each Windows 7 Edition?)

Today’s announcement also confirmed details of Microsoft's global  Windows 7 Upgrade Option program, which allows PC makers and retailers to offer free upgrades to Windows 7 (fulfilled by Microsoft) for any PC purchased with a premium edition of Windows Vista. The program starts June 26 and ends January 31, 2010; PCs with Windows Vista Home Premium, Business, or Ultimate qualify for upgrades to the equivalent Windows 7 edition.

Finally, another detail slipped into today’s announcements has a major impact on European customers planning to purchase a retail copy of Windows. I’ve got those details in a follow-up post.

Topics: Operating Systems, Microsoft, Software, Windows

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  • add at least 60% if you are outside the US! (nt)

    • Who is the idiot.....

      at ZDNet who puts this on the front page again weeks after the offer expired?
    • RE: Microsoft unveils 'screaming deals' for Windows 7

      @pico_D I really appreciate your work, you have been a great contributor and always share news that I can?t find on other resources.
      <a href="">Multimedia Design</a> |
      <a href="">E Training Design</a> |
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  • @pico_D: It cost that much to remove the browser? :) (nt)


    (Meant to be a reply to message, not user)
    • Your Sarcasm More True than You Realize

      It makes sense. The cost of doing business in the EU is high - especially
      with all the legal battles they've been in.
      • Pre-emptive Price Cuts; Result of Win 7 RC BSOD Feature! ;)! ;)

        The three greatest features of all Windows versions,just keep getting Better n Better. To keep those losses coming in the next generation of Winblows. :P

        They are, in no unnecessary order; M$ Mal&Spyware, Corporate Religious Doctrine (Embrace, Extend, Extinquish)and of course, where would we be w/o BSODS??? xD

        But perhaps the BSODS are Microsoft's sure fire way of us being sure it's a Microsoft Product. Now that they've completely reheated (Microslaved) Win 7 RC (from Old Vista), the BSOD's have become even more frequent than any RC release to date. (search the web or attempt to install Win 7 RC for proof)... LMFAO

        Now, not just Installing Windoze 7 causes BSOD's, but ""Security"" Updates cause BSOD's as well! ha ha if Windows has ever been or ever will be Secure!

        So fearing the worst, M$'s only alternative is Pre-Emptive PRICE CUTS! :D
        • Hey genius

          I have been running it since the first version became available. Not one single bsod. Not one crash of any kind. And I even overclock my cpu and graphics card.And run Crysis. So guess what that means? Those people having problems. Have piece of $hit computers or they don't know what they are doing. I also put it on an old 1.5 gig pentium 4 with 768 mb pc133 ram. It ran perfectly. How do you explain that? I can explain it. You don't know what you're talking about. You should stay with mac. Perfect for people, with a lack of computer skills.
          • Genius? this lad is more useless than the computer game he is playing

            [OS] Gentoo Base System release (2.6.29-gentoo-r5-MetaPhaze-KVM-R1) :: [Uptime] 1 day, 5:51 :: [CPU] 4-Intel(R) Core(TM)2 Quad CPU Q6600 @ 2.40GHz @ 2403MHz (4096 KB/2% load) :: [Memory] 595M Used, 4037M Total (85% Free) :: [Video] nVidia Corporation NV41GL [Quadro FX 1400] :: [Disk] 1112.69G Used, 1629.54G Total (32% Free) :: [Network] nVidia MCP55 Ethernet (eth0: 1.70G In, 950.99M Out)

            you my friend, have a lack of computer skills... if you knew anything about computers you would run *nix... not windows...
            You are just as stupid as the person your trying to insult, and probably know even less.
          • genius

            Well ,I can assure you, People who are many times smarter than you. Use Windows as well. And I didn't try to insult him. I did insult him. And now I'm insulting you DIP $hit. Your computer sucks.Why would You even want to use a sig with that old school crap.You display it on there like it's some amazing machine. I really don't have some high level of computer training. But I have built a lot of high end windows computers. And guess what genius. they work perfectly all the time. As I said genius, it's not that hard to keep one running well. I build a lot computers for people. I fix a lot computers for people after they screw them up. And it's easy... usually. I personally have no use for Linux. If I did I would use it. And if I were use it. Within a few months. I would Know it much better than you. And it would run much better for me, with my far superior machine. FX 1400? Q6600? LOL

  • regular pricing similar to that of

    Vista, Although I can get a better price buying OEM
    release of the software $190 for Ultimate than for what
    they have listed there with discount for retail.
    • $199.00 - $320.00 for bug maintenance...AGAIN?!!

      "Screaming Deals?!" Jeez! This is bug maintenance! These basic OS upgrades are getting ridiculously expensive, don't you think?!

      I've run Windows 7 for months; it's a bug fix of Vista; that's all. Nothing more. It should be given to all Vista owners at no cost AS AN APOLOGY!, or at least offered as a maintenance upgrade for a $10.00 CD shipping fee.

      What's with the "Fanboy" stuff from Ziff Davis? Are you guys journalists or cheerleaders? You better go look in the mirror and clean that stuff off of the tips of your noses, lest the obvious become even more obvious.

      These "deals" scream of Microsoft's hubris and the common user's ignorance; and I include corporate IT departments who continuously pay for these "bug fixes" masquerading as "x.0" platform upgrades in that assessment of ignorance.

      How much as_ can you guys kiss? I cannot believe you are jumping on this insult from Microsoft and trumpeting it as something special!

      Are you men or mice?
      • Try to be rational; people won't listen.

        Even linux owners bash OS X owners and won't be listened to, about hardware compatibility, app compatibility... been there, done that...

        Linux, especially Ubuntu 8.x and 9.x, are great, but OS X is indeed more refined, loads quicker, supports hardware Linux never will...

        10.6 will be a dream, given what 10.5.x already does.

        • do you even know tech?

          OS X is built for a specific platform only. Linux is built to be able to go onto anything, that means better compatibility for a wider range of hardware.

          The fact that you think OS X loads quicker means you haven't been using Linux on a comparable system. Linux will run on lesser hardware, it just takes more time to boot up when doing so depending on your distro.

          Some will boot in a few seconds (no more than 5), some take 30 seconds. Any that take more than that either call for modern hardware (made in the last 5 years) or were just not not programmed right and shouldn't be used.

          I'm currently using Ubuntu 9.04, it boots on a 1.87 GHz Pentium IV machine with 1GB DDR RAM in 30 seconds or less. With a dual processor, it would boot in less time. With a faster Pentium IV it would still boot in less time.

          You really might want to back up your statements or do some research before making comments.
          • Today's computer is like....

            a television. Nobody thinks of it in terms of hardware and software. Apple
            is the only one that has grasped that of all the manufacturers. A
            computer is nothing more than a machine that processes data where only
            the techies of this forum care about what is happening inside. That is why
            there is this continual banter about hardware and software rather than
            whole complete computers. Who cares what software runs inside of a
            computer, what counts is that it works well, it is reliable and doesn't get
            messed up by Trojans and viruses easily. Apple is still the only computer
            company that makes whole complete computers and does not buy their
            software from a third party.
          • @arminw

            "Who cares what software runs inside of a
            computer, what counts is that it works well, it is reliable and doesn't get messed up by Trojans and viruses easily. Apple is still the only computer company that makes whole complete computers and does not buy their software from a third party."

            Apple has patched so many security bugs this year it's pathetic. It gets messed up as easy, if not more easy, than a windows machine. I say more easy because securit wasn't something Apple concentrated on. It wasn't a big deal up to recently. All of a sudden, iPhone is the sexy new tech to have and there's vulnerabilites popping up all over the place.

            Also, they use Acrobat for pdf readers, etc. No, Apple doesn't buy their software from other companies, but they still use it. Flash, Adobe, etc. All these are well known and widely used systems that can be hacked just as easy on a Mac as on a Windows pc.

            When it comes to viruses, all computers are equal. :P
      • Jeez

        When someone asked, do you want wine with that, I think you misheard it for "do you want to whine with that". Could you seriously cry a bigger river?

        I can only imagine how hard it was to type whilst flailing your arms and stamping your feet.

        Clearly, you don't buy any sort of serious software as part of your profession, (assuming of course that you are old enough to have a profession, which I doubt) if you did, you would see very little difference between what Microsoft is doing to any other major software company... especially companies like Adobe. You want to look at their annual upgrade prices and feature list, when you have to pay for them, then you can feel justified in the tantrums.
        • Jeez, indeed!

          I stand by my points; they are valid and you have raised nothing of substance upon which any of them may be successfully refuted.

          And, for the record...

          1. Among decent people, name calling and disparaging people with whom one takes exception is considered the last refuge of the lowest of scoundrels who, when they have nothing intelligent to offer (which is almost always), must dig down (not very far) within themselves to grab for that most visceral of guttural utterances: "Ugg," or they'll lose their emotional composure in that very moment. I am sure you do not want to be seen this way so, you may want to think through your approach. You are wrong in your approach to your argument, displaying both immaturity and a lack of articulate reasoning.

          2. I've been working in this industry for over 20 years (DOS 2.2 forward on the Windows side -I don't expect you'd understand other OS/NOS platform references). So, you are simply wrong in your assumption.

          3. I own a small company in which I house a substantial lab with 40+ servers and I run environment simulations for companies who deploy specialized software on multiple operating systems in cross-platform production environments (UNIX, Linux, Windows, etc). I use, purchase and deploy a large catalog of software titles. So, you are wrong again.

          It looks like you are simply wrong on all counts.

          Now do you see how polite people converse? Not once did I resort to name-calling or rude comments. Good luck in your next debate.
          • Well stand by the outhouse then....

            ...because thats where your points emanate from. Seriously, are you out of your mind? You know that people actually use Vista, out there in the real world, not where you reside obviously. Anyone with a brain has actually looked at a computer with Vista running on it and can see it runs perfectly well. You sir are simply a cry baby, with no sign of maturity.

            No points to counter yours? How about REALITY. I am in an office full of Vista loaded computers and they all work great, no problems or issues. You are a simpleton who just seems to think you can say any dumb thing and reality will never arrive to bit you in the butt. Well it just did. Now lets see if you are so far gone you don't even notice.
          • You did not even read the original post

            Had you taken the time to read my original post, you would have seen that my disagreement with Microsoft is that they are charging $199.00 - $320.00 for what is essentially a bug fix of Vista, and that's true. I suggested it should be given to owners of Vista as an apology for their inconvenience; and it should.

            However, since you raised the issue, I'll tell you that my Vista Ultimate box ran great (for over a year) until I turned it on one morning, ran chkdsk, went out to get a coffee, came back to find every file on my computer had its security identifiers re-written and it was no longer accessible, without a ridiculous work-around. It is the chkdsk file 9 error and it is a 10 years old, very destructive, bug. Isn't 10 years kind of a long time to be selling defective software without fixing it for your customers?

            How's that for reality?

            Any company who sells computer software with its own self-destructive capability "built-in," is not in serious contention for my IT dollars anymore.

            You of course are welcome to do as you like over there by your outhouse.
          • Sorry, Win7 is not a Vista bug fix so you loose. Nuff said.