British consumers had been set to miss out on the Family Pack - which allows computer users to install Windows 7 on up to three PCs in the same household - because of an ongoing tussle between the European Commission and Microsoft over whether the technology company's practice of pre-installing the Internet Explorer web browser on computers was anti-competitive.
The dispute meant that Microsoft had to sell copies of Windows 7 in Europe without Internet Explorer pre-loaded, but the company has since reached a deal whereby it will offer users a choice of browser when installing the new operating system.
That means that full copies of Windows 7 can now be sold in European Union countries, paving the way for British consumers to buy the multi-license Family Pack when Windows 7 goes on sale on October 22.
The Windows 7 Family Pack will cost £150, which is considerably less than three separate copies of the software. However, Microsoft has warned that the multi-license pack will only be available "in limited quantities".
Microsoft's decision to offer a "ballot screen", so that users can decide which web browser they want to use, also means it can now offer upgrade editions of Windows 7 in the UK. For computer users already running Windows Vista on their machines, upgrading to Windows 7 will cost £79.99 for the Home Premium version, £189.99 for the Professional version, or £199.99 for the Ultimate version.
Computer users running Windows XP will find the upgrade and installation process more complicated, as it will require a clean install of a full version of Windows 7. Prices for those versions start at £149.99 for the Home Premium version, £219.99 for the Professional version, and £229.99 for the Ultimate version.
Microsoft's pricing plans are in sharp contrast to Apple, which launches its new operating system, Snow Leopard, on Friday. It will cost just £25 for existing Leopard users to upgrade to the new OS, while the £39 Family Pack can be installed on up to five computers within the same household.
No responsibility can be taken for the content of external Internet sites.
Return to internet news headlines
View Internet News Archive