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Hey, Mister, Wanna Remade Windows Cheap?

Microsoft has priced Windows 7

Microsoft has priced Windows 7.

At retail the Home Premium version will list for $200, Professional $300, and Ultimate $320. That's the full kit and Windows rarely sells for list.

The upgrade prices are supposed to run $120 for Home Premium, $200 for Professional, and $220 for Ultimate.

Microsoft has cut the price of the Home Premium, expected to be its most popular retail product, 10% below what Vista Home Premium theoretically went for when it came out.

Considering the economy plus the hash it made of Vista, Microsoft, obviously nervous about the response to 7, evidently sees itself currying favor this way.

Folks who pre-order Windows 7 from, say, Amazon, Best Buy, or Microsoft direct can theoretically get a better deal: better than 50% off either the Home Premium SKU or the Professional edition or for $50 and $100, respectively but the offer will only run until July 11 in the U.S. and Canada and July 5 in Japan.

A similar offer will start on July 15 in the UK, France, and Germany.

Europe, where Microsoft's got this little unresolved problem with the regulators, it's handling differently. Remember Microsoft is proposing to detach the operating system from the IE browser and package the browser separately so, it says, "we will not have a separate upgrade SKU for the packaged retail product versions of Windows 7 at GA. But we will be offering upgrade pricing on our full licenses to make sure European customers who want to upgrade have the pricing options available in the rest of the world."

The AP points out that Apple has said that the Snow Leopard upgrades to its operating system will cost $30.

As previously reported thanks to a Best Buy leak, starting Friday June 26 most any PC sold anywhere in the world with Vista or XP on it will be eligible for a free or almost free (vendor depending) upgrade to a comparable version of Windows 7 under a global Windows 7 Upgrade Option Program that will run until January 31, 2010.

That would be after October 22, 2009, when Windows 7 is supposed to GA.

Microsoft means to have the operating system available in the top 14 languages that day and its other 21 languages on October 31. That's at retail; OEMs will already be loading all the local editions.

With Microsoft selling two operating systems at a time, it says it will defer recognizing 50% of the revenue from Windows 7 Upgrade Option Program until either the buyer claims the upgrade or the program ends, whichever comes first. That means this quarter it will defer an estimated $200 million-$300 million.

Wall Street has estimated that revenues deferred in the September quarter could run $1 billion-$1.5 billion.

Windows 7 Starter edition is only available pre-installed, Basic is only available in the Third World, and Enterprise comes with big corporate volume agreements.

More Stories By Maureen O'Gara

Maureen O'Gara the most read technology reporter for the past 20 years, is the Cloud Computing and Virtualization News Desk editor of SYS-CON Media. She is the publisher of famous "Billygrams" and the editor-in-chief of "Client/Server News" for more than a decade. One of the most respected technology reporters in the business, Maureen can be reached by email at maureen(at)sys-con.com or paperboy(at)g2news.com, and by phone at 516 759-7025. Twitter: @MaureenOGara

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