Windows 7 pre-orders thrown into doubt

Thousands of people who have pre-ordered Windows 7 are today left wondering what version of the software will show up in October, after Microsoft decided to scrap the E editions.

Windows 7 pre-orders thrown into doubt

Microsoft announced late on Friday that it was abandoning the Internet Explorer-less E editions, and would ship the same version of the operating system worldwide.

In a bid to appease European competition authorities, Windows 7 users will now be offered a ballot screen that allows them to pick the browser of their choice during installation.

However, the decision creates uncertainty over what happens to the thousands of people who pre-ordered the E editions.

Because of the difficulties involved in extracting the browser during the upgrade process, Microsoft had decided not to sell upgrade versions of Windows 7 in Europe and instead offer pre-order customers the full version of the software at upgrade prices.

Now that upgrades are once again a possibility, pre-order customers are left wondering whether they’ll actually receive the full software they were promised. Windows 7 Home Premium was available for as little as £45 on pre-order.

Microsoft was unavailable for comment at the time of publication.

Microsoft’s announcement has clearly not filtered through to its retail partners. Sites such as and were still selling the E versions this morning. Even Microsoft’s own store was still selling Windows 7 E, more than 48 hours after the company announced it wouldn’t be shipping.

Microsoft also has some questions to answer over the company’s in-place upgrades. The company announced late on Friday evening that it would be charging UK customers more than twice as much as their US counterparts to upgrade from Windows 7 Home Premium to Professional using its Anytime Upgrade Scheme.

Anytime Upgrades allow users to simply purchase a code from Microsoft, which unlocks the features of a superior version of Windows 7 to the one they have installed on their PC.

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