Buy Windows 7 in Europe … at Half the US Price!

By Craig Buckler
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Windows 7 boxesIt’s been a confusing few months for Microsoft’s European customers:

  1. In February 2009, the European Commission investigated Microsoft for anti-competive practices because Internet Explorer was bundled with Windows.
  2. In March, Microsoft revealed that IE could be uninstalled from Windows.
  3. In June, Microsoft announced there would be a special “E” edition of Windows 7 released in Europe. IE would not be provided and it would not be possible to upgrade from XP or Vista.
  4. In July, Microsoft allowed people to pre-order Windows 7 E at a 50% discount. The OS has received positive press, which resulted in all pre-order copies selling out on day one.
  5. The EU slammed Windows 7 E; they considered that offering no browser was not an alternative to offering a choice. Microsoft relented, Windows 7 E was abandoned, IE would be installed, but European users would be offered a ballot screen to choose their default browser.

The ongoing EU spat has resulted in a marketing muddle for Microsoft. It’s not possible to order upgrade versions of Windows 7 in Europe — you must purchase the full version. However, it’s been attractively priced because, originally, no browser would be provided:

Yes, you read that correctly. The UK price of Windows 7 is significantly less than the US price! EU residents can also choose their default browser, whereas US users must install one manually!

I’m stunned. UK and European residents normally accept they’ll be ripped off owing to various undisclosed shipping and currency conversion ‘costs’. It looks as though the EU investigation has done us a big favor (it’s about time!)

Related reading:

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  • I actually preordered Windows 7 Home Premium E for €115 (missed the limited special offer). That’s roughly $160 with the current rates, which means:

    – It’s still a better deal than the US price.
    – It’s €30 more than the UK price.
    – It’s nice not to suffer from the $1 = €1 (or even €1.2) that software vendors use all the time (i’m looking at you, Adobe!).

  • A couple of weeks ago you could actually get Windows 7 Premium for £59.99 in the UK

  • Actually, you could get it for £45 from some places (Pro was £90).

    Florent V – you can still order from the UK if delivery costs aren’t too exorbitant. I’m sure Amazon UK will deliver anywhere in Europe (link above). Try it and cancel your current order!

  • I bought the Win 7 Professional on Amazon a few weeks back for £90. Lucky.

  • @RyanR
    Yep, I did too. Running IE6 in XP Mode will save so much time!

  • PCSpectra

    Where do you download the Canadian version of Windows 7? I’m willing to trade two beaver pelts and a hockey stick for Ultimate. :)

  • rowie

    wow that’s nice. i think im going to buy too.

  • Bill M

    Not sure why MS continues to bother with the EU. Seriously, they are providing a good product for a decent price, but some browser company there feels that it cannot compete with Microsoft? Is that really the case? Here in the US we have figured out how to download and install new browsers. Why don’t you runn off and sue Mozilla while you are at it, they are unfairly competing against whatever browser can’t compete by being free. We know the internet is hard, but the EU should be able to figure it out by now…….

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