Windows 7 pre-orders begin, now (update: but not for Europe)

Tomorrow is today which makes it time to get your Windows 7 pre-order in. Amazon issued a big 'ol press release telling us that it's now offering the Home Premium Upgrade and Professional Upgrade packages for $49.99 and $99.99 though July 11th, while supplies last -- nothing special there as it's the standard pricing you'll find at all your favorite on-line retailers. Amazon does promise, however, that you'll "receive the product" when released to shops on October 22nd. Note a 3 per customer limit so don't get greedy, ok? It's not like Microsoft can just press the OS onto another disc or something.

Update: Reduce priced pre-orders for the UK won't begin until July 15th with prices set at £49 for Windows 7 Home Premium E and £99 for Professional E, both will ship without Internet Explorer.

Update 2: For those wondering about the upgrade prices for Europe... there aren't any. In the UK, the Home Premium "upgrade" is actually a full-version of the OS and will cost £80 (about $131), Professional "upgrade" will cost £190 (about $312), and Ultimate will cost £200 (about $328) until the end of the year -- they'll cost £150 ($246), £220 ($361), and £230 ($377), respectively, starting January 1, 2010. According to the BBC, Microsoft claims that it can't offer the lower upgrade pricing ($120, $200, or $220 for Home Premium, Professional, and Ultimate in the US) in order to comply with European competition regulations, a claim that EU regulators dismiss. As such, going from Vista to Windows 7 will require a clean install in the EU in order to remove Internet Explorer -- no in-place upgrades will be possible according to Microsoft. Look EU, if you're going to fine Microsoft billions for anti-competitive behavior then you have to expect this kind of tail-between-the-legs retribution, honest or not. You certainly can't say that Microsoft is using its market dominance to push out the competition when Apple's Snow Leopard is coming in September for a mere $29. Happy now?

[Thanks, Gavin]