Windows 7 pricing to start at £49.99

Those of you who have been waiting with bated breath for the latest full version of Windows to appear on 22 October will now also know exactly how muc

Those of you who have been waiting with bated breath for the latest full version of Windows to appear on 22 October will now also know exactly how much to save up – Microsoft has finally announced the pricing structure for its latest OS.

Due to a host of legal wranglings concerning EU anti-trust issues, Internet Explorer 8 will not be included in the European bundle of the new Windows, but there is some good news for potential customers – Windows 7 Home Premium will be available for a special pre-order price of £49.99, with Windows 7 Pro clocking in at £99.99.

This offer will be available from 15 July until 14 August, so good news for all those enthusiastic beta testers who want to rid themselves of Vista pronto.

But be warned: there's no direct upgrade from Vista to the browserless European version of Windows 7E, so users will have to do a full custom installation, so make sure that all your files and settings are backed up before you begin. Upgrade options are available for all those XP users who have been waiting for a better browser.

From 22 Oct launch until the end of the year, pricing for full versions will be £79.99 for HP, £189.99 for Pro and £199.99 for Ultimate for full versions of Windows 7.

If you've procrastinated into 2010 about getting Windows 7, then expect another hike to £149.99 for HP, £219.99 Professional and £229.99 Ultimate.

And there's no need to hold off buying a new PC until July either – any new PC running Vista from tomorrow will be eligible for a free upgrade when W7 becomes available.

Confused? Scared? Tired? See here for the Windows Upgrade Offer or here for the Pre-Order Offer, or see the pricing details below:

Pre-order

Home Premium £49.99

Professional £99.99

Upgrade (Upgrade price available for full editions until 31 Dec 2009)

Home Premium £79.99

Professional £189.99

Ultimate £199.99

Full price

Home Premium £149.99

Professional £219.99

Ultimate £229.99