Other than various editions of Windows 7 on various languages that going to be available for general public, Microsoft is also rolling out a new edition of Windows 7 specially for Europe, which does not include Windows Internet Explorer (or specifically IE8) web browser, thanks to stiff and probably unreasonable anti-monopoly antitrust regulations, where European Commission rules that pre-installed IE bundle on dominant Windows operating system is blocking competition on web browser market.
As a result, Microsoft will be offering Windows 7 E Edition in European Union countries, which is Windows 7 without Internet Explorer 8. Unlike Windows Vista N Edition (Windows Vista without Windows Media Player, WMP), which is optional and user can choose between normal Windows Vista or N editions, Windows 7 E Edition will be the only edition available in EU markets.
The catch about Windows 7 E Editions is that there won’t be upgrade SKUs of Windows 7 E available, at least until December 31, 2009. All Windows 7 E Editions will be full version product, or known as full packaged product (FPP). Users of previous Windows version such as Windows Vista cannot perform in-place upgrade, and must perform fresh clean install of Windows 7 E.
The reason behind only full version of Windows 7 E Editions is available is that Microsoft wants to make sure all customers can get Windows 7 at the same time. As most existing Windows Vista system has already been installed with a version of Internet Explorer web browser, direct in-place upgrade to Windows 7 E without IE will involve some complication that requires more testing. Thus, Microsoft said it’s unable to offer a retail upgrade version of that piece of software on October 22nd, 2009, the scheduled official general availability date of Windows 7.
The only good news about Windows 7 E SKUs is that the full versions of Windows 7 E Edition will be selling at lower upgrade prices (see Windows 7 price). From now till December 31, 2009, when a dedicated Windows 7 E Upgrade SKU is scheduled to be available, all European Union customers will have the privilege to buy the full version packaged Windows 7 E at upgrade pricing, no matter they are upgrading from earlier version of Windows or clean install on new or old PC. The special privileged introductory pricing for Europe and UK customers who will receive Windows 7 E full version packaged product (FPP) is as follow:
Windows 7 E Home Premium: €119.99 / £79.99
Windows 7 E Professional: €284.99 / £189.99
Windows 7 E Ultimate: €299.99 / £199.99
The original full version package of Windows 7 has the following estimated selling Euro and UK pound price:
Windows 7 E Home Premium (Full): €199.99 / £149.99
Windows 7 E Professional (Full): €309.99 / £219.99
Windows 7 E Ultimate (Full): €319.99 / £229.99
For some European Union countries such as France, Germany and UK, Microsoft also plans to offer similar Windows 7 pre-order discount deal. The pre-oder sales of Windows 7 E edition is supposedly for upgrade edition, but again, customers in Europe will receive full retail version instead, at the following great price. The pre-order will start from July 15, 2009, and run till supplies last or until August 14th, 2009.
Windows 7 E Home Premium: €49.99/£49.99
Windows 7 E Professional: €109.99/£99.99
Update: Windows 7 E no longer available, no matter web browser ballot screen option is approved. However, the pricing should remain the same. Users who interested can download the leaked Windows 7 E RTM ISO and Internet Explorer Feature Pack for Windows 7 E and N.
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