Pre-Order Windows 7 before July 11 and save 50%
Through July 11 you can pre-order Windows 7 Home Premium for $49.99 and Windows 7 professional for $99.99, a discount of 50% from the retail price in October.
Unlike the trouble many consumers ran into with Windows Vista upgrades, Windows 7 runs smoothly on many older computers and netbooks, making it a worthwhile upgrade option. You can even try out a release candidate version of Windows 7 for free right now, to see how it runs on your computer. But be warned: this isn't the final version, and you shouldn't use it as your primary operating system.
If you don't want to purchase in the next few days, there will likely be more discounts as Windows 7 is released, although you run the risk of getting stuck paying more. Dan de Grandpre, CEO of Dealnews.com, points out that there is a rumor that Microsoft will be offering a Windows 7 Home Premium 3-pack for $137, but he doesn't feel that the additional $13 in savings are worth the risk.
Dan also warns consumers "...that no one -- and I mean NO ONE -- should buy the Ultimate upgrade." For users looking for the Ultimate package's drive encryption program, he offers a much cheaper option: "By buying the Windows 7 Pro Upgrade now and installing TrueCrypt, you've just saved yourself $120 -- and gotten ALMOST the same product."
If you are planning to purchase a new computer before the October launch, you don't need to use the pre-order since most computers sold between now and October 22 will come with a free upgrade to Windows 7. The only other people who might score a better deal by waiting are students, who may see a version of Windows 7 available on Microsoft's Ultimate Steal page where Vista Ultimate currently costs $65. It is also possible that students will be able to find discounted versions of Windows 7 at their campus bookstore this fall.
So, if you plan to use Windows 7 and you aren't a student or aren't buying a new computer to use Windows 7 on, you should definitely pre-order Windows 7 at half price. You can learn more about Windows 7, including a list of retailers to purchase the pre-order from, at Microsoft.com.