Starting with the launch of Windows 7 on October 22nd, Microsoft's customers will be able to buy a Family Pack in the US & Canada. This allows users to install Windows 7 Home Premium on up to 3 existing Windows PCs for a reduced price.
On July 24th, 2009 ? Microsoft announced a new proposal to the European Commission address competition concerns regarding the Windows OS and Internet Explorer web browser.
Under this new proposal, Microsoft's customers in Europe who buy a new Windows PC with Internet Explorer set as their default browser would be shown a "ballot screen." Through this ballot screen, people can easily download and install the browser of their choice from the web.
As the result of Microsoft's new proposal, as announced on July 31, the company will no longer offer E versions of Windows 7 in retail, OEM or other channels. European Economic Community countries will have the same version of Windows 7 as the rest of the world.
As well as allowing for a Family Pack offer, it means that Microsoft is now able to have an upgrade version of Windows 7 available in Europe at launch. Windows 7 retail boxes will be available in both Full and Upgrade versions via pre-orders through Microsoft online stores where available and the company's retail partners starting September 1st and at General Availability on October 22. However, Microsoft will continue to make Windows 7 N versions available that does not include Windows Media Player.
For Microsoft's customers who have already pre-ordered the full version of Windows 7 E in the EU ? either as part of special pre-order offers or otherwise ? they will receive full versions of Windows 7 that include Internet Explorer 8. These customers, and any other customer who pre-orders Windows 7 before upgrade versions are available on September 1, will still be able to get upgrade pricing for Windows 7 full versions.
Users can also wait for September 1st, 2009 when they will have a choice of an upgrade or full version of Windows 7 at separate pricing. "So essentially if you?re in Europe, you will have the product and pricing options available on a worldwide basis as of September 1st through the Microsoft Store and our retail partners," Microsoft explained at the Windows 7 blog.