Windows 7 Upgrade Cost

Category: Windows-7

I've heard so many different stories about the cost of upgrading to Windows 7, that I don't know what to think. Can you clarify the Win7 upgrade price for me?

Windows 7 pricing

What Will a Windows 7 Upgrade Cost Me?

Microsoft Windows 7 will be released to the general public on October 22, 2009. I have discussed the pros, cons, and and migration considerations of upgrading to this long-awaited operating system previously.

Now it's time to see just what a Windows 7 upgrade will cost. Like most things Microsoftian, the answer is not simply "X bucks". It depends on who you are and what version of Windows 7 you want.

Generally, retail pricing of Windows 7 upgrades is cheaper than comparable upgrades to Vista were. That's good news for consumers. Microsoft surely wants to put the embarassment of Vista behind it as quickly as possible, so it's pricing Win7 to sell.

If you bought a copy of Windows Vista or a PC running Windows Vista after June 26, 2009, then you can upgrade to Windows 7 for free. Check the PC vendor's website for details on getting your Windows 7 upgrade.

If you're a student, you can buy Windows 7 for a mere $30 after jumping through some hoops online. This seems to be a shot at Apple which has been wooing the college market with discounts for ages, and released Snow Leopard at prices everyone had to read twice.

Students who bought Windows 7 at $50 during the June-July pre-release promotion are stuck with that receipt; those who waited save $20 more. Non-students will have to pay $120 for Windows 7 Home Edition, or $200 for the Professional Edition. So hurry up and enroll somewhere, even if you drop out as soon as your Windows 7 DVD arrives.

You could also get married, adopt a teenager, and buy the Windows 7 Family Pack, which will cost $149.99 for three Windows 7 Home Premium licenses. That'll save you more than $200 over the regular cost of three licenses.

Will Windows 7 Price Drop Further?

Or maybe, like those wise students who didn't snap at the $50 offer, you should wait and see if Microsoft caves in to protests about this discrimination against the unschooled and drops the price of Windows 7 for everyone, at least during the holiday season. The company has done stranger things, like Vista for example.

At least we don't have seven different versions of Windows 7 from which to choose, as Vista offered at first. Yes, Windows 7 comes in six editions but only Home and Professional will be generally available. The others target niche markets like netbooks, "developing countries" and enterprises. That deals a blow to freelance tech journalists' incomes but simplifies life for the rest us enormously. It may even be possible for Microsoft to keep two operating systems updated and patched properly.

If cost is the decisive factor in your upgrade intentions, don't neglect the Linux option. Its price - free if you download it somewhere, generally the cost of a CD and shipping otherwise - cannot be beaten unless the vendor includes a check payable to you. Desktop consumer-friendly flavors of Linux are getting better and more popular all the time. See my related article Which Linux Version Is Right For Me? if you're thinking about exploring Linux.

Consider, also, the cost of upgrading hardware or buying a whole new computer capable of running Windows 7 at an acceptable level of performance. Take these official minimum hardware requirements (for 32-bit machines) and double them, to get a realistic idea of what you need:

Processor1 GHz
Memory (RAM)1 GB
Graphics CardDirectX 9 graphics processor with WDDM driver model 1.0(For Aero)
HDD free space16 GB of available disk space
Optical driveDVD drive (only to install from DVD/CD Media)

If you want to use the BitLocker To Go feature, that requires a USB flash drive. And if needed, the Windows XP Mode feature in Win7 requires an additional 1 GB of RAM, an additional 15 GB of available hard disk space, and a processor capable of hardware virtualization. The good news is that Windows 7 seems a little lighter on its feet than Vista. So it will probably run just fine, even on computers that are 3 or 4 years old.

Do you have something to say about Windows 7 pricing? Post your comment or question below...

 
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Most recent comments on "Windows 7 Upgrade Cost"

Posted by:

Ted Martin
14 Oct 2009

Is there a test program available that will tell me whether the programs I am running will be compatible with Win 7? What I will need to upgrade?

EDITOR'S NOTE: The vast majority of software that runs on XP or Vista will run on Windows 7. There is no major architectural change. Here's a little more info: http://askbobrankin.com/windows_7_xp_mode.html


Posted by:

Alexander Nicol
14 Oct 2009

A few days ago i was on a web site that said Windows 7 could be bought for $80
I think the site was newegg but i did not save
the information.


Posted by:

MerryMarjie
15 Oct 2009

I first encountered Vista in a new laptop purchased the week Vista arrived, and later in the fall with a whole new desktop, and I'm definitely sorry I didn't stay with XP. Vista brought more nightmares than could be counted, the majority in networking four computers. Easy? Yes, if you don't want to share files. At any rate, I'm not about to jump into Win 7, despite all the glowing reviews, until I see six months of ordinary user assessments, and even then I might wait for Win 8.

I like Microsoft, but not enough to toss more money down the software drain.


Posted by:

leon dombroski
15 Oct 2009

hi bob; i have a DELL inspiron. i signed up a couple of months ago to get windows 7 thru DELL for the cost of shipping the disc. can't get much cheaper than that! of course you realize my opinion of DELL is up a few notches!


Posted by:

Rodney Paige
15 Oct 2009

Yeah, the Windows 7 upgrade sounds great, but what should us Senior disabled vets do. We are on the Govt.s dollar. Live below the poverty line, and only dream of having finances great enough to up-grade!

EDITOR'S NOTE: Check into Ubuntu Linux, it's free.


Posted by:

Mary
15 Oct 2009

According to several sources, one of the early selling points for Windows 7 wass its ability to make system image backups without resorting to 3rd party software. However, those same sources say this feature will only be available on Win 7 Business, Enterprise and Ultimate editions. If this is true, then I''ll seriously reconsider getting Win 7 Pro, regardless of cost. Have you heard anything to the contrary?

If Home and Pro users are going to be forced to buy software like Acronis or Ghost, I think Windows 7 is another example of Microsoft being out of touch with reality. Or do they really think Home and Pro users will never have a need for a full system image backup?

EDITOR'S NOTE: What I've read indicates that System Image will be available on ALL flavors of Windows 7.


Posted by:

Dri-Anna Davis
17 Oct 2009

I and my companion pre-ordered Qty 2 of Win7 Home premium some 3 or 4 months ago. We expect delivery in late October.

My computer is rather old being an emachines T3504, Intel 3.2gh CPU, and originally containing 256mb of RAM. I eventually did a bit of upgrading: 2GB DDR 4200 333 Ram (which is the max for the Motherboard), 600 Watt Power Supply, double monitors, Nivida 7300 Graphics Card and four USB Hard Disc Drives

Two months ago I ran Windows Up Grade Ad-visor. At that time the Ad-visor indicated that I would most likely have problems running the Win7 Aero package due to having only 2mb of RAM and only 7300 Graphics Card. They also indicated that I would need to update the Drivers for my Cannon i550 Printer and my RealTec Sound Package.

Gee, so much for Win7, I thought. However, I ran the Ad-visor today and the only things that it pinged' were needing the Driver Replacements for my Printer and Sound Package.
I now feel that perhaps the Win7 Upgrade Ad-visor may not be very accurate. Anyone else had different information each time they ran Ad-visor?

Even though I am now informed I am good to go with Win7, I think I am going to delay installing the new System for awhile.


Posted by:

Kyle
17 Oct 2009

I have been very pleased using Vista Ultimate on a system with with lots of RAM and processing power. I am also a student so the discount for Windows 7 Pro sounds almost like a "must do". My concern is that the Pro version will be less than what I have with Vista Ultimate. Any thoughts about this?


Posted by:

sg
18 Oct 2009

If you're concerned about a system restore, backup solution, I'd advise trying Macrium Reflect free backup software from one of the main software download sites. (Won't mention any names.) Having a laptop with no floppy drive caused me to search for and test free software instead of depending on Ghost or XP system restore. That was last Spring and there's been a new release. It worked perfectly and didn't take any longer to backup the C drive. They may have a version for Wins7?


Posted by:

Keith
21 Oct 2009

I had heard that those stuck with Vista will be able to upgrade to Win-7 for free. Is this no longer the case?

EDITOR'S NOTE: Good catch! If you bought a copy of Windows Vista or a PC running Windows Vista after June 26, 2009, then you can upgrade to Windows 7 for free.


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