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The Microsoft Windows 7 SKU Strategy Revealed Rev. 5.2
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Easy Upgrades

  • Windows 7 allows for easy upgrades with no trade-off on features and simplifies the OEM testing and manufacturing process.

  • Starting from any version of Windows 7, customers can move up to the next version of Windows 7 without losing any features, provided they have the necessary hardware.

  • If customers want to move from one version up to the next, there will be no trade-off on features. All features of the previous version will be available in the higher version.

  • For business customers this means that consumer features, including for example Windows Media Center, will be available in Windows 7 Professional, Windows 7 Ultimate and Windows 7 Enterprise (through Software Assurance) offerings.


Developed Market Restrictions

  • Microsoft will simplify the available Windows 7 SKUs in developed markets by eliminating Windows 7 Home Basic. It will be offered solely in emerging markets.

  • In developed markets, Windows 7 will have two primary editions - Windows 7 Home Premium and Windows 7 Professional. It is anticipated that these two SKUs will meet the vast majority of customer needs.


Updated! Windows 7 Pricing Details

Here are the final pricing details for Windows 7 :

Product Type



Home Premium

Full Packaged Product (FPP)

US$ 319.99

US$ 299.99

US$ 199.99

Retail Upgrade

US$ 219.99

US$ 199.99

US$ 119.99

Upgrade Pre-Order


US$ 99.99
CAN$ 124.99
¥ 14,073
£ 99.99
€ 109.99

US$ 49.99
CAN$ 64.99
¥ 7,407
£ 49.99
€ 49.99

Of course, the upgrade pre-order program was only available for a short period of time. In the US and Canada, it was available from June 26th until July 11th; while in Japan, it was available until July 5th. In the UK, France and Germany, Microsoft offered the same deal from July 15th until August 14th.

There are actually no upgrade versions for the European Union because of the EU requirement (see here) for Windows 7 to ship without Internet Explorer 8. So all upgrades purchased in the EU are actually the full versions of Windows 7, sans Internet Explorer 8.


More Windows 7 Information

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Windows 7 Product Map


Two Primary Versions


Specialized SKUs


Windows 7 In Europe
Windows 7 SKUs In Europe


Concurrent App Limit In Windows 7 Starter
Windows 7 Starter Vs. Windows 7 Home Premium


System Hardware Requirements


Max. Hardware Specs. For Small Notebook PCs
New Hardware Limitations & Comparison


Windows 7 SKU Summary


Easy Upgrades
Developed Market Restrictions
Windows 7 Pricing Details
More Windows 7 Information


Questions & Comments

If you have a question or comment on this article, please feel free to post them here!

Date Revision Revision History



Initial Release.



Added a new section on the final System Hardware Requirements for Windows 7.



Added a new page detailing the hardware limitations for Windows 7 Starter and Home Basic SKUs for Small Notebook PCs.
Added some preliminary details on the pricing of Windows 7.



Added a new page detailing the removal of the concurrent application limit from Windows 7 Starter Edition and the differences between Windows 7 Starter Edition and Windows 7 Home Premium Edition.
Updated the Windows 7 SKU Summary section.



Added a new page detailing the new E and N versions of Windows 7.
Added the latest Windows 7 Product Map.



Added a small update on the issuance of new Blue and Rose PC COAs for Windows 7 Starter products, instead of the usual Green PC COAs.



Added an update on the Maximum Hardware Requirements for Small Notebook PCs (Windows Starter Edition).
Added an update on the pricing of Windows 7 editions.

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