Microsoft has released the retail prices for Windows 7, so let's dive right in.
For full retail versions:
  • Home Premium Full: $199
  • Professional Full: $299
  • Ultimate Full: $319
For retail upgrades:
  • Home Premium Upgrade: $119
  • Professional Upgrade: $199
  • Ultimate Upgrade: $219
This doesn't include OEM pricing. OEM versions cost significantly less since the license is non-transferable from one computer (defined as a motherboard by Microsoft) to another, but due to volume discounts we don't know what the exact pricing will be. Individual units tend to go for one-half the price of a full retail kit, so adjust accordingly.

This means that we also don't have the prices for Home Basic and Starter. Home Basic is limited to developing countries, but Starter is not. Presumably Starter is going to be dirt-cheap (relatively speaking) to match the margins of the Netbooks Microsoft is trying to pair it with. Copies of XP for use on Netbooks have been rumored to be as cheap as $15 for the biggest OEMs.

Of note, users hoping for a cheap upgrade path from Vista are going to be disappointed. The retail upgrade kits are for Vista and XP, and are priced accordingly. This may be good for picking up the stragglers who are still on XP, but it's not going to do any favors for Microsoft in picking up Vista users. Vista-to-Win7 pricing is likely too high for the limited differences between the two.

As compared to Vista pricing, Win7 Home Premium is roughly 10% cheaper than it is for Vista, in particular hitting the somewhat magical $199 price point for a full version that Vista Home Premium never reached. I had been expecting Microsoft to do $99 for the Home Premium upgrade (never underestimate the value in manipulating consumers when superficially chopping off a digit in a price) but it looks like that's not in the cards.

Win7 Professional prices are unchanged compared to Windows Vista Business. Microsoft will be selling this as a reasonable price since Win7 Professional is not stripped of Home Premium's features like Vista Business was, but the OEMs in particular aren't going to be amused. There has been some saber rattling recently between some of the OEMs and Microsoft over this matter, as they wanted the price to come down on Professional/Business to shore up their margins.

Last, Ultimate is going to be priced significantly lower than it was for Vista's launch, although in recent months it has been priced lower because of slow sales due to its silly price in the first place. Microsoft's list price of $319 is well above what Vista Ultimate is going for right now ($250 at Newegg) so some things may still be in flux, or Microsoft is trying to burn off boxed copies of Vista Ultimate. Regardless, Win7 Ultimate will only be priced $20 above Win7 Business, an appropriate price given the few differences between it and Professional. However given that it's just a few differences and Microsoft's own intentions to downplay it, it's probably not going to be a big seller.

On a final note, Microsoft is starting to pander to the bargain hunters early, so if you have been waiting for a Win7 version of Power Together, The Ultimate Steal, or other Microsoft discount promotions, pay attention. Microsoft will be taking pre-orders for Win7 upgrades through some of their closest retail partners (Newegg, Best Buy, etc) starting tomorrow and ending July 11th. The Home Premium and Professional upgrades will be priced at $49 and $99 respectively. I'll update this post tomorrow with links once we have them.
Meanwhile in a strange turn of events, Europe is going to be getting an even better pre-order deal. Microsoft has been having legal issues in the region, most recently with regard to Internet Explorer, so this may be an attempt to placate the European Commission. Pre-orders there will be for the full versions, and will be priced at roughly €49.99 ($70) and €109.99 ($154) respectively for Home Premium and Professional, with prices likely varying some between countries. This may end up being the cheapest way to get a full version of Win7 at the moment, depending on one's ability to find a participating retailer that will ship to North America, and what those shipping charges will be alongside Customs fees and taxes.
The pre-order sales have started. Microsoft has a site up with all of the participating vendors, including Newegg, Amazon, and Fry's. It looks like a couple of vendors have broken the MSRP, Costco is selling both versions for $5 less.
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  • qax - Saturday, June 27, 2009 - link

    Went to MS homepage, but it wont change country to united kingdom..!
    so i cant get full copy at discount price.
    And i realy realy want to buy it NOW, secure a copy for myself.

    Can someone point to a e-retailer in europe?

    Thanks guys.
  • chop2113 - Saturday, June 27, 2009 - link

    So what if i am running win7 rc only. No xp or vista am i still eligible for the upgrade. I went from xp pro to win7 ultimate rc. After i got everything that i used working left xp behind and committed myself to the RC.
  • Slug - Friday, June 26, 2009 - link

    You can also order directly from the Microsoft Store. Link on MS home page.
  • bill3 - Friday, June 26, 2009 - link

    i'm figuring by the fall when these deals are over, the upgrade discs will be worth more than 49 on ebay anyway. so if it turns out you dont want it..ebay it later. you're covered. of course, it still sort of hurts to lay out the cash now..
  • initialised - Friday, June 26, 2009 - link are offering free upgrades to 7 with new PCs and their UK outfit are offering the update for £10.
  • raulr - Friday, June 26, 2009 - link

    "The pre-order sales have started. Microsoft has a site up with all of the participating vendors, including Newegg, Amazon, and Fry's. Everyone has it at exactly the same price, so the differences come down to vendor preference and S&H costs."

    Costco has it for $5 less than everywhere else @ $44.99
  • Kougar - Saturday, June 27, 2009 - link

    Yes, and several others (Best Buy, Newegg) offer free shipping instead, which seems to be the best option. Throw in Bing Cashback with Newegg and that's probably the best option.
  • KITH - Friday, June 26, 2009 - link has Vista OEM with tech guarantee - Free win7 upgrade coupon

    Get the preorder price for upgrade version or order Vista oem with upgrade coupon.">
  • fishbits - Friday, June 26, 2009 - link

    Enthusiasts should keep in mind the accessible RAM limit with Home version. Last I'd heard, it would be 16GB. Not the biggest deal in the world today, but might be say 3 years down the road or so.
  • Jeff7181 - Friday, June 26, 2009 - link

    You've GOT to be effin' kidding me...

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