Discounted Windows 7 pre-orders start today

As of today, Microsoft's new operating system goes up for pre-order for about three weeks, and the prices are inviting to say the least

Today, our chief sub-editor Nick Hide handed senior editor Nate Lanxon a large bag of delicious-looking hand-made Cumberland sausages, for his services to data recovery. It's the sign of a terrific Wednesday getting underway. And if you want Windows 7 dirt cheap, today is going to be better still for you.

As of today, Microsoft's new operating system goes up for pre-order for about three weeks, and the prices are inviting to say the least. Amazon UK, for example, is offering Windows 7 Home Premium for £45 instead of £150, and Windows 7 Professional for £90 instead of £220. Other sites such as Play.com, PC World and Currys are offering similar deals.

Note these aren't upgrade-only copies, so you don't need a previous version of Windows installed. This could give Microsoft a much-needed PR boost after Vista stagnated in the eyes of many, and bump up the number of sales it can announce when the OS ships in October .

Remember Windows 7 doesn't come with Internet Explorer, or indeed any Web browser, in the European version. Why? Kind of a long story, but we've explained it here . Also, if you bought Windows Vista after 1 July 2009, you could get Windows 7 for no cost at all !

Our complete guide to Windows 7 and its features can be found here.

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