Windows 7: Will you pay to upgrade or won't you?

Windows 7 prices compared to Windows Vista

Windows 7 SKU Full retail MSRP Upgrade MSRP Comparable Vista SKU Full retail MSRP Upgrade MSRP
Home Premium $199.99 $49.99 (reg. $119.99)1 Home Basic 2 $199.95 $99.95
Professional $299.99 $99.99 (reg. $199.99)1 Business $299.95 $199.95
Ultimate $319.99 $219.99 Ultimate $319.95 $219.95

1 Limited offer, expected to end no sooner than July 11.

2 Last February, Microsoft confirmed to Betanews that a Home Basic edition of Windows 7 would not be offered to retail customers in the US, Canada, and Western Europe. So although Microsoft has said that Windows 7 Home Premium is analogous to Vista Home Premium, from a retailer's perspective, the new Win7 SKU actually replaces Vista Home Basic.

The prices that most PC users will pay for fresh Windows 7 versions and Windows 7 upgrades were announced this morning; and while the word "free" is bandied about as a possibility for some, the fact is that most PC users will pay something for Windows 7. For a limited time, however, some discounts may be involved.

Although some PC manufacturers will be allowed to offer free Windows 7 upgrades to new buyers of Windows 7 PCs, Microsoft announced this morning, the small print makes it clear that manufacturers will also be allowed to charge their customers as they will. Betanews is investigating which manufacturers will be offering free upgrades and which will not, and we'll let you know more the moment we do.

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