Apple threw down a considerable gauntlet on June 8 when it announced it would only charge users $29 to upgrade from the existing Leopard operating system to the forthcoming Snow Leopard. Now Microsoft has responded.
The Redmond-based software giant will let customers pre-order upgrades beginning tomorrow, June 26. And if you act fast, you can save a fair bit.
Windows 7 Home Premium is the entry-level version of the system. Upgrades from previous versions of Windows will normally retail for $120. But for pre-orders placed for an unspecified “limited time,” the company will only charge $50.
Windows 7 Professional upgrades will normally cost $200, but will drop to $100 for that same nebulous time frame.
The discounts will only be given on a select number of licenses, thus the lack of a specific end date for the promotion. You’ll be able to place the pre-orders at retail locations and Microsoft’s Website.
If you’ve got an outdated machine and are about to buy a new PC, anything bought after June 26th will be eligible for a free upgrade.
The pre-order ‘sale’ is a nice touch, but the standard pricing for the upgrades could hurt Microsoft in the long run. Vista has left a lot of its customers with a bad, bad taste in their mouths. Apple is a more expensive initial investment, but with its Snow Leopard upgrade prices, it’s positioning itself to be a more customer friendly company.
It won’t overtake Windows’ market share, of course, but it could continue to chip away at it, particularly with trend makers.
Windows 7 will launch on Oct. 22.