Method 5: You can easily download Windows 7 from the official Microsoft website. However, you need a Windows 7 product key to complete the installation process. To obtain a legitimate copy of Windows, you must purchase a Windows 7 Ultimate product key from the Microsoft Store. Unfortunately, many people cannot buy a Windows product key for some reason.
But as soon as the sheet was yanked off the price board, people started asking questions. How much for this? What will I pay for that? The questions were endless, it seemed, even though Microsoft culled Home Basic from the line-up, exiling it to the "emerging markets" category and banning it from retail. You'd think that with just three retail editions -- Home Premium, Professional and Ultimate -- navigating price waters would be a snap.
Not so. Your questions on cost, our answers on prices follow. What's the cheapest price for Windows 7? Unless you're buying a new PC -- more on that later -- the best bet now is to reserve your copy at Microsoft's online store or one of the retailers participating in the discount offer.
Actually, "until July 11" might not be accurate, as Microsoft has made it clear with repeated references to "until supplies last" that it may cut short the deal.
Since the company hasn't been straight about what that limit is, if you know you want Windows 7, get it sooner rather than later. Most retailers have followed Microsoft on prices, but some have strayed. Sam's Club, Wal-Mart's members-only, mass-quantity chain, has the lowest prices we've seen: Should I wait?
Is it possible Windows 7 will be cheaper in a month? Probably not, say analysts. Microsoft may return with another discount later -- as the Oct. How can I find the best deal online? If you don't trust our scouting report see above , or figure there's an even better deal, reach out to the participating retailers to see their upgrade prices.
In the U. Microsoft's posted links to each retailer, as well as to its own online store, here. I keep hearing about a free upgrade. What gives? That's the premise of what Microsoft has dubbed the "Windows Upgrade Option" WUO program, the newest version of what it called "Technology Guarantee" in the run-up to Vista's launch. The upgrade, of course, won't be available until after Oct. Is the upgrade really free?
Microsoft's said it isn't charging computer makers for the upgrades, but some OEMs will slap on a shipping and handling fee. Others won't. Hewlett-Packard, the world's biggest seller of PCs, has promised it won't charge a dime. But No. Each computer maker has its own list, so check with your preferred OEM or retailer for more info. Do I get a free upgrade to Windows 7 if I buy a shrink-wrapped copy of Vista now?
Not every retailer is doing this -- at least, we couldn't find mention of it on every online store we checked -- but the upgrade is prominently mentioned on such online retailers as Newegg and Amazon. Are those upgrades really free? Again, it depends. Yes, but you'll have to do a "clean install" on your PC, which means you'll need to back up your data, install Windows 7, then restore the data and reinstall all applications.
There's no "in-place" upgrade path from XP to Windows 7, unlike the route available via Vista. What price will I pay if I dawdle and don't buy Windows 7 until after July 11? Once the discount deal expires, pre-order prices will revert to their suggested list; that's what you'll pay after the Oct. The editions marked "Upgrade" are cheaper in every case than the corresponding FPP; the former is the overwhelming choice, since it presupposes an older version of Windows on the PC.
That doesn't prevent you from using an "Upgrade" edition as a first-time install on a PC, or in a virtual machine on, say, a Mac. For quick references, see our price chart below. What about cheaper OEM editions? How much will they cost?
Unknown for now. We weren't able to find any "OEM" edition pricing at the usual suspects, but assume that Microsoft will be offering Windows 7 to small mom-and-pop computer makers who build PCs. OEM prices are traditionally cheaper than even "Upgrade" editions. The downside: The license bans users from transferring the license from one PC to another, and comes sans support of any kind. I live in Europe. What will I pay for Windows 7? More than if you lived in the U.
European prices are a veritable snake pit of confusion. First of all, Microsoft won't be selling "Upgrade" editions of the new OS until at least , since it faces technical issues with upgrading from Windows Vista. In fact, Microsoft will block customers in the European Union from doing "in-place" upgrades, which would leave some version of Internet Explorer IE on the machine.
That stems from its decision to head off EU antitrust regulators, who have charged the company with illegally tying IE to Windows and are considering more drastic measures.