Windows 7 Family Pack available for pre-order early online

The special upgrade for households with more than one PC was not meant to be available for pre-order until Oct. 18

A special Windows 7 upgrade package for households with more than one PC is now available for pre-order online ahead of schedule and at a discount from Microsoft's previously announced price.

Windows 7 Family Pack, which offers the ability to upgrade from an existing version of Windows to Windows 7 on three PCs for a discounted price, is available for pre-order on several online retailer Web sites, including eCOST.com and Provantage, for $US146.99 and $US140.31, respectively.

Microsoft previously said the limited-time offer, which is available until supplies last, would be available for pre-order for $US149.99 on Oct. 18 and then generally available on Oct. 22, the official worldwide release date of Windows 7.

The Family Pack allows users to install Windows 7 Home Premium for a reduced price on up to three PCs in a household that already has a version of Windows installed.

Microsoft originally said Family Pack would only be available in North America.

However, earlier this week the company extended its release to eight countries in Europe -- U.K., Ireland, Germany, France, Switzerland, Austria, the Netherlands and Sweden -- because of its decision to release Windows 7 with Internet Explorer 8 installed in those countries.

Previously, Microsoft had said it would offer a Windows 7 E version of the OS without IE 8 as a remedy stemming from the European Commission's antitrust suit against the company.

The company recently changed its mind and said it would pre-install IE8 on Windows 7 in Europe but give customers a ballot-screen allowing them to choose to install a competing browser if they like.

Windows 7 E was not going to have a browser, so a user would have to do a clean install of the new OS rather than upgrade from a previous version of Windows to ensure no browser was installed during the process.

Both upgrades and full versions of Windows 7 have been available for pre-order on Amazon.com since July.

(Agam Shah in San Francisco contributed to this report.)

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Elizabeth Montalbano

IDG News Service
Topics: Microsoft, Windows 7
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