Microsoft has announced that upgrade versions of Windows 7 will now be available in the UK at launch on 22 October.
Initially the software giant was only going to offer pricier full versions of its operating system in the UK after its tussle with competition officials in the EU.
Which? has already reported how consumer demand for the upcoming operating system has set a new record for pre-ordering Windows, according to online store Amazon.
Now Vista and XP users will be able to upgrade to Windows 7, but only Vista users will be able to perform an ‘in place’ upgrade, which will keep their data and programs intact.
The Which? review of an early version of Windows 7 says it’s ‘the product that finally shakes off the lacklustre reputation that Vista has acquired in some circles.’
The move also means that Microsoft will now offer a Windows 7 Family Pack to UK customers from 22 October. The Family Pack will allow users to install the same copy of Windows 7 Home Premium on up to three PCs for a reduced price of £149.99. Although Microsoft has warned that the Family Pack will be available in limited quantities.
Meanwhile, Apple’s next version of its Mac operating system, Snow Leopard, which is released on Friday will cost £39 for a five-licence Family Pack, although the Which? review of Snow Leopard found that it’s not a major upgrade like Windows 7.
The Windows 7 upgrade versions are designed for use on a computer that is already licensed for an earlier version of Windows XP or higher, while full versions are for new customers, or for users wanting to transfer their software from one PC to another.
Windows 7 prices
Microsoft has also provided an update on the price of the upgrade and full versions of Windows 7.
UK customers will be able to purchase an upgrade version of Windows 7 Home Premium between 1 September and 31 December 2009 at the special introductory price of £79.99. From 1 January 2010 onwards, the price for a Home Premium upgrade full packaged product will be £99.99. The price for the full version will be £149.99
Microsoft has also announced the pricing of each version of Windows 7. Here, we’ve listed the estimated upgrade price with the full version price in brackets. Windows 7 Professional will cost £189.99 (£219.99) and Windows 7 Ultimate £199.99 (£229.99).
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