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 Amazon.co.uk and Play.com 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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