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June 25, 2009

Windows 7 Pricing and Offers Q&A Transcript

Windows 7 Pricing and Offers Q&A Transcript

Brad Brooks, Corporate VP for Windows Consumer Marketing
Brandon LeBlanc, Windows Communications Manager

BRANDON LEBLANC:  Hi.  My name is Brandon LeBlanc, and I’m a — I’m with Windows Blog, and I’m here with corporate vice president Brad Brooks, and we’re going to talk today about some really important Windows 7 announcements that I think you’ll find really exciting.

So, what exactly are we going to be talk about today?  What are the announcements that are happening?

BRAD BROOKS:  You know, we’ve got four different things I want to talk about.  Number one is the Windows upgrade option.  Number two is around some things that are changing around international availability around the GA date of October 22nd.  Number three is around pricing.  There’s a lot of questions about pricing, and we clarify that, and some announcements around that.  And then the last one is something a little special.

BRANDON LEBLANC:  Okay.  Well, I look forward to hearing about that.

So, let’s start with the Windows upgrade options.  So, tell us a little bit more about what that means.

BRAD BROOKS:  So, the Windows upgrade option for Windows 7 is something that we’re bringing back from the Windows Vista era.  As we started this where we gave people a free upgrade to Windows Vista at that timeframe for no charge from Microsoft, we’re going to do the same thing for Windows 7.  And there’s been a lot of speculation about when that’s going to start, you know, is it going to start 30 days before GA or when, and, no, what I’m here to tell you it’s going to start tomorrow on June 26th.

And so what that means for customers is that if you buy a Windows Vista Home Premium version, a Windows Vista Business or a Windows Vista Ultimate PC is that we will give you a similar version of Windows 7 at no charge from Microsoft.



BRANDON LEBLANC:  That’s a pretty sweet deal there.

BRAD BROOKS:  It is a good deal.  There’s no better time to buy a PC than right now.

BRANDON LEBLANC:  So, I’m also hearing some really exciting things happening in terms of a global launch for Windows 7.  What are we doing for the international part of getting Windows 7 into people’s hands?

BRAD BROOKS:  Windows 7 is really a global release in every sense of the word, and it really is our first release where we’ve done a lot of different things to make this a global release.  One of those big things is around the international availability of Windows 7 and how fast we’re going to make it available.

So, first, on October 22nd is that all of the OEMs will be able to ship all languages simultaneously.

Now, what else we’re doing is that for retail packaged products we’ll be rolling out the first set of languages at retail for the retail packaged product on October 22nd, and then we’ll roll out the next set of languages on October 31st.

BRANDON LEBLANC:  That’s rad that we’re able to get all languages taken care of by the end of October.


BRANDON LEBLANC:  All at the same time.  That’s —

BRAD BROOKS:  It’s very cool.


BRAD BROOKS:  Very cool.

BRANDON LEBLANC:  So, let’s talk about probably one of the hottest topics relating to Windows 7 today, and that’s pricing.  So, tell us a little bit more about the pricing.

BRAD BROOKS:  Yeah, you know, it has been a pretty hot topic is a couple things around pricing.  Number one is we’ve got our retail software pricing coming out, price list coming out today, and we’ll talk a little bit more about that, but a couple big things that I want to highlight.

Number one is that for our most popular version of consumer software today, which is the Home Premium version, is that we are going to take that price down by approximately 10 percent. 

And so what’s that mean?  Well, in the U.S. is currently the pricing for Windows Vista Home Premium at retail is around 129.99.  For the Windows 7 generation that means that the Home Premium version of Windows 7 will be available for 119.99.

BRANDON LEBLANC:  So, last week, we also announced some — we announced the Windows 7E for Europe.  How does that factor into the pricing that we’re announcing today?

BRAD BROOKS:  Well, there’s certainly has been a lot of discussion about that.  We wanted to make sure that all of our customers got Windows 7 at the same time.  And because of what needed to occur around testing of Windows 7E, it became very clear that we would not be able to offer a retail upgrade version of that piece of software on October 22nd. 

So, we had a choice to make.  Either we delayed the launch of Windows 7 in Europe or that we brought it all together and did something different.  So, what we decided to do is do something different. 

And so in Europe we’re going to basically offer Windows 7E full version at upgrade prices. 

And so what’s this mean for European customers?  It means they get Windows 7 on time with the rest of the world at the best possible price.

BRANDON LEBLANC:  So, now is the time to talk about that little something special you hinted at earlier.

BRAD BROOKS:  Yeah.  You know, that is the best thing about what’s happening with Windows 7 is all the excitement that’s going on.  I’m still humbled by the amount of customers that have participated in this process.  We have literally had millions of customers downloading, using, and giving feedback on our beta and RC product, more than any other version of an operating system that we’ve done in the history of Microsoft.

We have also got a lot of enthusiastic customers that have been following every day all the news coming from Windows 7.

For those customers I’ve got something special, which is for customers in the U.S., Canada, and Japan, starting tomorrow on June 26th, is they will be able to pick up a copy or they’ll be able to pre-order, excuse me, a copy of Windows 7 for delivery on October 22nd of either Home Premium or Windows 7 Pro versions.  Home Premium in the U.S., example pricing will be 49.99, and the Pro version will be for 99.99.

We’ll be doing a similar type of offer in the UK, France, and Germany starting on July 15th.

BRANDON LEBLANC:  Wow, that’s pretty cool.

BRAD BROOKS:  Yeah.  By far our most aggressive pricing that we’ve ever done for any type of offer with Windows, but it only goes to show the level of excitement we have about this product, not just our customers.

BRANDON LEBLANC:  Very, very cool.

Well, thank you, Brad, for taking the time to kind of highlight these announcements.

BRAD BROOKS:  Thank you, Brandon.

BRANDON LEBLANC:  So, in the meantime for more information on these announcements, be sure to visit us at the Windows blog at