Microsoft has announced prices for Windows 7 in the UK, and they're basically the same as for Vista, apart from a tasty-looking pre-order promotion. Gates' mates also confirmed Internet Explorer will be axed from the European version of the magnificent 7, which will be known as Windows 7 E.
Windows 7 E will start at £80 for users installing the Home Premium edition. The Professional and Ultimate editions will cost £190 and £200 respectively. Microsoft has sent us this graph to show all the prices, including current Vista costs. The 'upgrade' prices are only valid until the end of the year, after which the 'full' prices will apply.
The decision to drop IE heads off European regulators' antitrust concerns, leaving PC manufacturers to add their own choice of browser, whether it be IE, Firefox or no browser at all. Consumers will have the option to buy IE separately, which they might well do if they're completely insane.
From Friday until up the 22 October release date, any customer buying a PC with Vista Home Premium, Business or Ultimate will also get a free licence for Windows 7 E.
To make things a little more complicated, there will be a pre-order promotion in Europe, running for about a month from 15 July. In France and Germany, customers who pre-order a copy of Windows 7 E will get it at a promotional price of €49 (£42) for the Home Premium edition, or €109 (£93) for the Professional version (Microsoft hasn't confirmed the pricing or the availability of a pre-order Ultimate edition).
Over here, the pre-order prices will be £49 and £99 respectively -- more expensive than the cost for our European counterparts, but pretty decent in comparison to the final price. You'll be able to place orders at DSGi stores, such as Currys and PC World, as well as with Amazon, among other vendors.
What are your thoughts on Windows 7 E's pricing? Too pricy or just right? Would you consider pre-ordering for £50? Have your say in the comments section.
Update: This story has been amended to make the options available clearer and to clarify the European pricing.