June 25, 2009

Microsoft To Release Windows 7 At Competitive Prices

Microsoft Corp. announced on Thursday that the cost of its new Windows 7 operating system will be 8 percent less than Vista, and that those who purchase a PC before the new system hits stores in October will be offered a free upgrade.

This sales pitch is geared to entice those who have cut back their spending on technology in lieu of the global economic downturn.

Microsoft, the world's leading software company, recently released ads highlighting the low prices of PC's in comparison to the pricier Apple Inc computers. They say that people can expect to see the new system offered at even lower prices temporarily, just in time for the holiday shopping season.

Microsoft hopes that the new operating system will get a much warmer welcome on October 22 than the poorly received Vista. It will be available for pre-order in U.S. stores such as Best Buy, online retail giant Amazon.com and the company's own website starting Friday.

As a result, Microsoft said it would wait on the recognition of an expected $200 million to $300 million in Windows revenue until later quarters.

The Redmond, Wash.-based software maker said it will cost people $120 to upgrade their existing machines to the Windows 7 Home Premium version, $10 less than the comparable Windows Vista package. Upgrades to the Professional and Ultimate versions will cost $200 and $220 respectively, the same as Vista.

The cost is identical regardless of whether the upgraded machine was running Windows XP or Windows Vista.

Versions installed from scratch on a computer will cost $200, $300 and $320 for Home Premium, Professional and Ultimate.

Prices for the full retail versions of the software are also being reduced or held for customers wanting to install from scratch.

Microsoft and the manufacturers are hoping that by making an incredible offer, they will be able to curb the already waning PC sales by encouraging customers not to hold off on purchases until Windows 7 is available.

Microsoft said Windows 7 would be available in 14 languages on October 22 and 21 more on October 31.

Versions for sale in Europe will not include Microsoft's Internet Explorer 8 web browser because of the company's decision to detach it as a pending European Commission antitrust ruling accuses Microsoft of not allowing fair competition among browsers by including its own on its operating systems.

However, Microsoft said it would offer IE8 as a separate package at no charge. Customers can also install a competing browser.

Microsoft said on Thursday that only versions of Windows 7 would be available in Europe rather than both full and upgrade versions.

Microsoft also says they have reduced the packaging of discs for the operating system and would use recyclable plastic.


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