Today we have some news to share around Windows 7 including answering what may be some of the “hottest” questions people have as we head toward General Availability (GA) on October 22nd.
I had the opportunity to sit down with Brad Brooks, Corporate VP for Windows Consumer Marketing, to talk about today’s announcements.
Special thanks to Brad for taking the time to talk through these details with me. You’ll find a transcript of the video here.
As Brad discussed in the video, today we’re announcing details for the Windows 7 Upgrade Option Program, pricing, and a special pre-order offer for select markets.
But first, I want to talk a little bit more about GA and the worldwide availability of Windows 7. We’ve really focused a lot of our efforts on getting the product out to as many people around the world as quickly as possible. OEMs will start shipping PCs with Windows 7 in all language versions beginning on GA, October 22nd.
And for our retail software, we’ve made significant strides in terms of timing. Gone are the days when it could take months for all language versions to be available. In fact – we’ve narrowed the gap to just over ONE week!
On October 22nd, Windows 7 will be available in the following 14 languages: English, Spanish, Japanese, German, French, Italian, Dutch, Russian, Polish, Brazilian Portuguese, Korean, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese and Chinese (Hong Kong).
Then on October 31st, the remaining 21 languages will become available: Turkish, Czech, Portuguese, Hungarian, Swedish, Danish, Norwegian, Finnish, Greek, Ukrainian, Romanian, Arabic, Lithuanian, Bulgarian, Estonian, Slovenian, Hebrew, Thai, Croatian, Serbian Latin, and Latvian.
Windows 7 truly is a global release and I’m excited to be able to tell my international friends that when I say Windows 7 will be available for the holidays – I mean everywhere in the world.
But, you don’t have to wait until GA to get a new Windows PC. In fact, we know many people need that new PC sooner – for back to school specifically. And we have the answer for people who need a new PC now but still want to get Windows 7 and that’s the Windows 7 Upgrade Option Program, which kicks off tomorrow, June 26th! Anyone who buys a PC from a participating OEM or retailer with Windows Vista Home Premium, Business or Ultimate on it will all receive an upgrade to the corresponding version of Windows 7 at little or no cost to customers. The Windows 7 Upgrade Option Program will be available until January 31st, 2010 – and is global! For more information on taking advantage of the Windows 7 Upgrade Option Program, visit www.windows.com/upgradeoffer.
Another one of the most common questions I get is: how much will Windows 7 cost? Well, today we’re sharing these details.
For Windows 7, we are reducing the price on our most popular retail product for customers, the Home Premium Upgrade, by approximately 10% (depending on the market). In the U.S., this means a customer buying Windows 7 Home Premium upgrade will pay only $119.99 instead of the $129.99 being charged today for its predecessor.
Overall, customers will be paying less and getting more with Windows 7. This includes fun new features such as HomeGroup, Device Stage, Aero Shake, Snap, Peek, Jump Lists and our completely redesigned Windows Taskbar (one of my favorite new features in Windows 7 today). These new features make your PC simpler and much easier to use.
So here’s the low-down on pricing for Windows 7. The estimated retail prices for upgrade packaged retail product of Windows 7 in the U.S. are:
- Windows 7 Home Premium (Upgrade): $119.99
- Windows 7 Professional (Upgrade): $199.99
- Windows 7 Ultimate (Upgrade): $219.99
And the estimated retail prices for full packaged retail product of Windows 7 in the U.S. are:
- Windows 7 Home Premium (Full): $199.99
- Windows 7 Professional (Full): $299.99
- Windows 7 Ultimate (Full): $319.99
This means that Windows 7 Home Premium full retail product is $40.00 less than Windows Vista Home Premium today.
As Brad describes in the video, for Europe, we will not have a separate upgrade SKU for the packaged retail product versions of Windows 7 at GA. But we will be offering upgrade pricing on our full licenses to make sure that European customers who want to upgrade have the pricing options available in the rest of the world.
Finally, as a way of saying thank you to our loyal Windows customers, we are excited to introduce a special time limited offer! We will offer people in select markets the opportunity to pre-order Windows 7 at a more than 50% discount. In the US, this will mean you can pre-order Windows 7 Home Premium for USD $49.99 or Windows 7 Professional for USD $99.99. You can take advantage of this special offer online via select retail partners such as Best Buy or Amazon, or the online Microsoft Store (in participating markets).
This program begins tomorrow in the U.S., Canada and Japan. The offer ends July 11th in the U.S. and Canada and on July 5th for Japan or while supplies last. Customers in the UK, France and Germany, can pre-order their copy of Windows 7 starting July 15th and will run until August 14th (or supplies last) to ensure folks don’t miss out on this. Act fast if you want to be the first in line to get Windows 7 at this screaming deal! Note: The special low pre-order price will vary per country.
For more information on this special pre-order offer, click here.
I am really excited to be sharing these Windows 7 announcements with you today. Because of the great feedback we received from you, we are confident we are poised to deliver a great product this fall!