back to article Microsoft store crumples as Win7 promo kicks off

Microsoft kicked off its massive pre-order promo for Windows 7 today, and promptly saw its European online store decide it was time for a little lie down. The software giant styled the promo as a "perfect way to [say] thank you" to beta testers who'd given it feedback on the (potentially industry saving) operating system. It …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What a good way

    to create a fake perception of demand and encourage people to get in on it.

  2. ChrisInBelgium

    50% off?

    Mine's the one that comes out in September and costs € 29.

  3. g e

    The great fresh smell of Irony

    No doubt this will be spun as the world and his wife (and brother and cats and dogs) rushing to try and get their copies of The Most Secure Windows Yet so they can experience its Dazzling Multimedia Performance.

    Or suchlike.

  4. Lionel Baden

    me a cynic ... Nooo

    mebbe they crashed it to make it appear that it was in great demand ??

  5. Greg J Preece

    Hold the phone...

    Went to find a copy of Windows 7 Professional/Ultimate and found this comparison chart:

    Where one of the advantages of Win7 Ultimate is apparently:

    " Work in the language of your choice or switch between any of thirty-five languages."

    Eh? Have they removed alternate languages from the other versions?

  6. Phantom Wibbler


    It was also at pains to point out that Windows 7 was "an incremental release".

    I thought it was an excremental release!!

    Mines the one with XP in the pocket.

  7. censored

    I'll wait until December

    and torrent it

  8. Gareth.

    ebuyer are selling it cheap as chips

    Just saw that the Premium edition is available for £80 at ebuyer -

    As a Linux user, it's £80 more than I will pay for an OS (and my OS is better than Windows 7 and it's available right now!).

    But, for anyone that has to get their fix of Microsoft's software, then £80 seems to be a good price for it.

  9. David Licence

    Quiet launch

    The 'launch' seemed quite quiet from MS's partners as well.

    This morning Amazon seemed to be the only one where you could actually find the products by running a search for 'Windows 7' on their site - ebuyer, Currys, and PCWorld showed nothing, whereas Play only showed the Premium version.

    Clicking through to the partners sites from the MS site worked, but trying to add Windows 7 to your ebuyer basket to actually buy the thing resulted in a 'Sorry this product is not in stock' error.

  10. James 12
    Gates Horns

    Exchange Rate

    Anybody else a little bit miffed that the US version was $49.99 but the UK version is £49.99

    Which gives the exchange rate of 1:1... when according to my search on MSN is a little off, but we all knew that we would pay for the EU fines.

    Still 50squid for an actual legal copy of win7... just imagine actually having a legal copy of windows for the first time in almost a decade... From using the beta as my main media centre for the last 6 months I am seriously considering this...

    PS: I've tried the penguin, but it was too much like hard work just to get an ATI graphics card working... I, like stuff to work first them configure second, not the other way round.

  11. Martin Glenn

    Great if you can find it

    Most of the the retailers sold out in minutes, Ebuyer I believe sold out at 12.30 last night.

  12. Greg J Preece

    Pre-ordering now

    Just spotted this as I Googled for it. Let's play Spot the Shill!

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    The price it should be?

    Home £49.99 or Windows 7 Pro for £99.99 that's more like it.

  14. Carl Smith

    Don't bother with the Microsoft store

    It's cheaper on Amazon - £44.97 for Home Premium and £89.97 for Professional.

    Web site works too - I've already got my order in...

  15. Fred Flintstone Gold badge

    And just how much trust can we invest in this?

    I must admit to a substantial amount of suspicion to all these announcements, for a number of reasons:

    1 - Are you nuts? You would have thought that people knew better since the Vista debacle to just buy the latest version on the hope that this time they may have gotten it right. Well, I wish you luck.

    2 - Biased reporting. There's nothing that sells better than an impending shortage. It costs Amazon nothing to announce this to drive up sales, and Microsoft too has a vested interest in making it appear there is demand (and point accusingly at the EU for allegedly making installation more difficult). So thank you, but no, thanks.

    In matter MS, reporting should be taken with a boatload of salt.

  16. Ian Ferguson
    Thumb Down

    "free PC healthcheck"

    Bahahahahaha. Ha.

  17. Sooty

    pc world at it's best

    whats the point in a pc health check right be fore you install a fresh OS?

  18. Radio

    Healthcheck, seriously?

    Given windows 7 over here will generally need a complete reformat, what would anyone get out of a 'free healthcheck' from PCWorld?

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Running on IIS

    Why am I not surprised?

  20. Jonas Taylor


    It's not like the other stores held up much better. When I checked Ebuyer they had 268 in stock but a refresh a few minutes later saw that drop considerably; I got my order placed in time but it took less than 25 mins for the rest of the stock to disappear.

    It's hardly surprising, though. Win7 is actually a decent operating system and it's been my default OS since January. It's not perfect but certainly it's a worthwhile upgrade, unlike the Office 2010 Preview I tried earlier - Microsoft has really dropped the ball on that one.

  21. Neal 5


    What is wrong with the people who keep on trying to buy this product, do they not know that within minutes of the official launch, that it will be freely and widely available by the torrent networks.

    Does this constitute a DDoS?, repeated requests that bring down a website.

  22. Britt Johnston

    50$ is okay?

    If Windows were 5$, it would be a great product. At 50$ it is an okay product. At 500$ it is unsellable. Why isn't Windows tracking other software or hardware costs down?

    Isn't the definition of a malign monopoly one that hinders real competition to keep the price high? Rather than fines to EU coffers, I'd take the low price.

  23. Mark 164
    Gates Horns


    Maybe I'm being unfair but I can't help but wonder if this is deliberate to make it *look* like demand is higher than it actually is.

  24. Jay 2
    Gates Halo


    I pre-ordered a copy of Home Premium from Play to plonk on a VM (may sort something out for BootCamp) and play with. Maybe a tad overkill for a VM that will prob gather dust more often than not, but £50 for a full (erm) retail Microsoft OS isn't bad. Always useful to have something running Windows around just in case.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Halo

    Pre ordered 2 Copies

    I Pre Ordered 2 copies from, they clearly state that they are retail versions, not upgrades or OEM.

    I am hoping that they will let you install one copy on several computers at once as it has been hinted at.

    I find it funny they released an E version, the first thing 99.99% of people will do is install IE8, what a pointless waste of time.

  26. Ehrine

    @James 12

    In the US they were paying $49.99 to pre-order a windows 7 _upgrade_ while in the uk we're paying £49.99 for a windows 7 full retail package. Can't really complain at a full license costing more then an upgrade.

  27. Annihilator
    Thumb Up


    Ordered from Amazon this morning, having watched the MS site display a variety of error messages throughout the early hours.

    Definitely a price I'm happy to pay. Anyone noticed it's cheaper than OSX at this price?...

    The one advantage (I think) the MS store would have is the ability to download the ISO instead of waiting for Mister Postman. In fact I believe you can opt for both. Hate to see how they'd cope with that given they can't even serve up an html document... MSDN to the rescue?

    MS Store still down.

  28. MrT

    Healthcheck by PC World

    Ah yes, and just what is Gary Glitter up to these days...?

  29. MrT

    Full version costs, US vs UK

    Windows 7 Full Package Retail Price (US)

    * Windows 7 Home Premium (Full): $199.99

    * Windows 7 Professional (Full): $299.99

    * Windows 7 Ultimate (Full): $319.99

    Windows 7 Full Package Retail Price (UK)

    * Windows 7 Home Premium (Full): £149.99

    * Windows 7 Professional (Full): £219.99

    * Windows 7 Ultimate (Full): £229.99

    Still doesn't match the exchange rate difference, but it's not far off and is fairer than comparing the US 'upgrade' costs to UK 'full version'. Oddly, some places list a UK cost for the upgrade versions, which are about £30 less than full across the board, even though these aren't officially available.

    So, the £44.97 price from Amazon starts to look like a good deal, especially as it ships with both 32 and 64-bit versions. Nearly as cheap as the 'free' Windows 7 upgrade offers on new PCs (which will actually cost about £12, if the 'free' Vista upgrades are anything to go by). When mine arrives I'll also buy a WD Scorpio Black and set about it all from a fresh start. I hope they've got around the problem of providing SATA or RAID drivers on a floppy disk before Windows will do a fresh install...

  30. Tone

    $ v £

    UK prices included taxes, I dont think the US ones do.. so you need to add it on

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Pay for an Operating System?

    haven't people heard of Linux Systems?

    Bizarre perhaps someone could sell some ice to some Eskimos.

  32. alanjr_uk

    Family pack?

    Just ordered a couple via Staples (never ordered from them before but they seemed to be one of the few stores still with stock!). I've been using the beta for a couple of months on my NC10 netbook and it's been excellent so fairly happy to pay for the full version. One thing I've heard mentioned before though is a 'family pack' (I believe OS X is available like this) - it put me off slightly from purchasing but I £50 for the full version still isn't too bad a deal.

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Umm ...

    ... at the bottom of the store site:

    "Powered by arvato distribution GmbH, an independent reseller of Microsoft"

    Suggests it isn't a Microsoft run site in the first place?

  34. Shadow Systems

    @James 12

    "PS: I've tried the penguin, but it was too much like hard work just to get an ATI graphics card working... I, like stuff to work first them configure second, not the other way round."

    Not sure why you had trouble...

    My "bleeding edge" system (AMD quad-core 3Ghz, 12Gb RAM, ATI Radeon HD4880 w 2Gig VRAM) was detected just fine with Ubuntu (9.04, "Jaunty Jackalope", released in April of this year).

    The *only* reason I bothered to install the "restricted" ATI drivers was to see if video quality improved significantly.

    It didn't, and I switched back to the default video drivers, which correctly identified the monitor's capabilities (1920x1200), the video card's capabilities/specs (2Gb VRAM), and are currently working just peachy.

    I accept that our stories are anecdotal at best, but every version of Linux (Debian, Gentoo, Suse, Ubuntu, Xandros, and even a beta version of "Lindows") I've ever installed were all able to properly detect/drive my ATI cards.


    Maybe give it another try?


  35. Rex Alfie Lee

    Pied Piper Patron Saint of Software Dev

    "pre-order Windows 7 Home Premium E for £49.99 or Windows 7 Professional E for £99.99", I can't wait to ditch Ubuntu for this. I'm so over Linux. Who wants a system that just works like a reliable dog, when you could have something that does exciting & unexpected things the way Windows does? You learn so much more from Windows bcoz it just never ceases to thrill when something new comes along, you know, that moment of fear when you're thinking, "blue screen of death or will it handle a failure properly or just freeze or the excitement is over & it actually worked".

    Lets not forget supporting this wonderful company that has never given any guarantees that their software would work at all. I think what I love best about them is their use of society to test their software & depending on how loudly the world screams, perhaps fix it. If they scream loudly enough M$ makes a whole system update. I'm not sure that these actually do anything but at least you feel like it is. Oh & you feel like you're taking charge of your stuff, protecting it from all the worms & viruses & trojans on the Internet that won't run on Linux. What's the point of that? Do you feel like you're in charge when you don't have to do that stuff? Not at all, so follow the Piper, past the Vista, which was really only ever there for you to take the ultimate in protection by making it so it couldn't be used & then making Windows7 a real option that you had to have bcoz Vista didn't work.

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    No stunt

    Online retailers saw a huge level of additional traffic and orders due to W7 home and office - the MS website crash was no stunt.

  37. Zap
    Thumb Down

    RipOFF UK Again

    This might of been interesting but US customers pay only $49 for the same deal.

    Not so much a thank you and a F you.

  38. MarkOne

    re: RipOFF UK Again

    Anyone notice when it's a Microsoft product that overpriced, then it's the UK to blame, when it's a Sony product, everyone bashes Sony...

    I rarely defend Microsoft, as they are corrupr corporate scumbags, but in this instance, Europe gets the FULL version for £49, whilst US gets the UPGRADE version fro $49.

    Europe is getting a very fine deal indeed.

  39. Tom 1
    Gates Halo

    @Shadow Systems

    I have 4 monitors with 3 different graphics cards. Try getting that to work!

    Linux takes me (on average) and hour longer to install and configure that a windows machine - and I earn more that £50 an hour, so, linux is actually MORE expensive for me than a £50 copy of windows 7....

  40. lukewarmdog

    Full version

    In fact don't we HAVE to have the full version in Europe? An upgrade would allow Microsoft to retain IE as a default browser. This was the only way to ensure compliance with the stupids that apparently run the EU.

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