Huge demand for Windows 7 pre-orders in Europe

In addition to an apparent sellout at some Amazon sites and at spots in Germany, Microsoft's European online store was apparently overwhelmed by demand for Windows 7.
Written by Ina Fried, Contributor
A discounted offer for Windows 7 appears to be selling out quickly in Europe.

In addition to an apparent sellout at some Amazon sites and at spots in Germany, Microsoft's European online store was apparently overwhelmed by demand, meaning that those who turned up to buy the software were instead greeted with a multilingual error message.

"Due to the eagerly anticipated Windows 7 pre-order offer we're experiencing a higher level of demand on our website than usual," Microsoft said in the English-language posting. "This means you can't access the site right now and we're sorry about that. We'll be back up and running as soon as we can so please try again soon to get your hands on a copy of Windows 7!"

The European pre-order deal, which offers roughly half off the cost of Windows 7 Home Premium and Professional is slated to run from July 15 through August 9, although Microsoft is capping the number of copies that can be ordered. A similar pre-order offer in the U.S. ended July 11, although supply appeared to be ample here for those who wanted it.

Microsoft hasn't said how many discounted Windows 7 pre-orders it is willing to offer either in total, or in any particular region. In Germany and France, Microsoft is selling pre-orders of Home Premium "E" edition at 49.99 euros ($70.59) , with Windows 7 "E" Professional selling for 109.99 euros ($155.31). In Britain, the Home Premium version is selling for 49.99 British pounds ($82.10), while Professional edition is priced at 99.99 pounds ($164.21).

Things are a little different in Europe given that Microsoft is selling the operating system without a browser there. As a result, for now Microsoft is not offering an "upgrade" version of Windows 7 "E" but is instead selling the full boxed version (which does not require a prior Windows installation) at the upgrade price.

All users will also have to do a clean installation, even if they are upgrading from Windows Vista, as well as getting a copy of their browser of choice. Microsoft will offer copies of Internet Explorer, combined with Windows Live programs, on a separate disc for those who want it.

Microsoft didn't comment directly on the sellouts, but said in a statement that it and its partners "are excited with the great response from U.S. and international consumers for the Windows 7 pre-order discount program."

"We will continue to work with our partners and expect to have other great offers in the future as we lead up to and beyond general availability," Microsoft said.

The software maker said it is "looking into the status" of its European online store.

Microsoft is due to finalize Windows 7 any day now, with the product scheduled to land on store shelves and new PCs on October 22.

This article was originally posted on CNET News.

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