Earlier this year, looking to placate anti-trust concerns in Europe, Microsoft proposed a browser-less version of Windows 7 for the region and then scratched that plan to favor the so-called browser ballot screen option. Its initial plan prevented European users from doing an in-place upgrade from Vista, though, so those who bought a copy of the operating system early were set to receive full licenses at upgrade prices.
Microsoft of course plans to honor those purchases but has now confirmed that, starting September 1, upgrade editions of Windows 7 with Internet Explorer 8 included will be available in the region as well. This leaves a one-week window in which European customers may continue to pre-order full versions of the OS at the upgrade price of €119.99.
Additionally, in a blog posting today at the Windows 7 Team Blog, Microsoft’s Brandon LeBlanc revealed that since upgrade editions will now be offered in Europe, the software giant will also be selling the three-license Family Pack - which contains upgrade editions - in select European countries. These include the UK, Ireland, Germany, France, Switzerland, Austria, the Netherlands and Sweden.
LeBlanc mentioned that versions without Windows Media Player, marked with a prominent “N” and a big red box, will also be available for all Windows 7 SKUs in both full and upgrade editions, but for no discount off the regular price. This version is the result of a previous European antitrust suit over the inclusion of that software in Windows.