Windows 7 Coming to Europe at Half Price
Article by George Norman
On 15 Jul 2009
It may be true that when it comes to software and online services, the good bits are made available to US customers/users first, but it is also true that the same software and the functionality provided by the online services is eventually delivered to other parts of the world as well. This certainly holds true when it comes to Microsoft and the next iteration of its operating system, Windows 7.

As of today, the 15th of July, you can pre-order Windows 7 in Europe and get the operating system at half price. If you live in the UK, France or Germany, you can pre-order Windows 7 Home Premium or Windows 7 Professional and it will cost you 50% less than the retail price. The offer is limited by time and stock: it will either end on the 9th of August, or it will end when the stores run out of stock.


The thing is that you will not exactly get Windows 7 Home premium and Windows 7 Professional – instead you will get Windows 7 Home Premium E and Windows 7 Professional E. The “E” stands for Europe, marking the fact that these Windows 7 versions have been especially built for the European market.

Here is what the E really stands for: Windows 7 provides the same functionality as versions from the US, but it comes with no web browser. Because Microsoft had to deal with an anti-trust case in the EU (European Union), the Redmond-based software giant decided to ship Windows 7 without Internet Explorer.

Here’s one better: Windows 7 E comes as a full package, not as an upgrade package. This means that you will not be able to upgrade from Windows Vista or from Windows 7 RC to the final version of Windows 7; instead you will have to perform a fresh installation. And when the installation process is complete, you will come face to face with an great operating system that has no browser. The first thing I always did after performing a fresh windows installation is launch IE to get Firefox (my browser of choice) and other free software products I frequently use. Now I will have to keep a copy of Firefox on a thumb drive or a disk, or somewhere else, which I have to say it less than convenient.

Details on how to pre-order Windows 7 in the UK are available here.

Tags: Microsoft, Windows 7 E, Europe
About the author: George Norman
George is a news editor.
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