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Summary:

I’m not sure how many netbooks will come with Microsoft Windows 7 Starter Edition after October 22, but I do know how much it will cost to upgrade those devices to higher editions of the operating system. The Windows 7 Team Blog offers up the details […]

windows-7-starter-upgradeI’m not sure how many netbooks will come with Microsoft Windows 7 Starter Edition after October 22, but I do know how much it will cost to upgrade those devices to higher editions of the operating system. The Windows 7 Team Blog offers up the details for just such a situation, using the Windows Anytime Upgrade option. The cost to move from the Starter Edition (or Home Basic) to Home Premium is $79.99. The upgrade nets you Aero Peek, taskbar previews, customizable desktop themes, and remote streaming, to name a few of the features.

I’ve personally beta-tested the Windows Anytime Upgrade feature, and it performed very well for me. In under 10 minutes, my “transaction” was processed and the new features were installed and unlocked. So I don’t foresee major upgrade issues for netbook owners running Microsoft Windows 7 Starter Edition. The question is one of value for the upgrade features. Microsoft did drop the concurrent three-app limitation from Starter, but there are still quite a few restrictions.

I suspect that most companies selling netbooks will build in at least a $50 to $60 premium for a netbook running Home Premium over Starter Edition — if the price difference is less than the $80 upgrade cost, it will make sense to order the Home Premium option at point of purchase.

By the way, you can use Windows Anytime Upgrade to get Windows 7 Professional or Ultimate Edition, as well. Upgrade costs from Windows 7 Home Premium are pggged at $89.99 and $139.99, respectively. And the Windows 7 Family Edition is now official as well. $149.99 gets you three licenses of Windows 7 Home Premium for use in the same household.

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  1. Sounds so messy, I need an excel chart just to understand how to install windows. Why can’t MS just make it easy?

    Personally the “upgrade” process sounds terrible, I would rather it be there from a clean install.

  2. With Vista and W7 I’ve found all the different versions confusing. I bought my first version of Vista thinking I’d get the tablet facilities, but those weren’t on the version I bought. That was money down the drain.

    Which version of Windows 7 will have tablet and touch facilities?

    1. All versions from Home Premium up should have tablet and touch components.

  3. GoodThings2Life Monday, August 3, 2009

    I think the process is simple enough, unlike with Vista, but I find the upgrades to be too expensive. The simple thing is to just buy all home systems with Home Premium and all business systems with Professional or volume-licensed copies of Enterprise *if* BitLocker is required.

    In any case, I get my copy through my TechNet subscription, which is $350/year for fully-licensed copies of every app and server system they make… now THAT’S a value!

  4. Fascinating, but all these prices are for upgrading over top of an existing OS – providing its not XP.

    For all those users of XP (and, most especially, those owning one of the millions of netbooks that have been released in the past 20 months – or will be bought before October 22nd) that will mean a full OS purchase.

    For netbook users, unless one is simply a fan of the latest and greatest, the Win7 (aka Vista SP3 or WinME 2009) full OS costing well over half as much as some netbooks (and with the inevitable new OS bugs) will not be attractive to those who find they have a device that already works. Microsoft is hardly encouraging these users to migrate anytime soon.

    Goodness knows netbook users (thru their use of XP – however ‘low-end’ it might be to Microsoft) have kept the company relevant in many users’ eyes (if not afloat) and its time Microsoft show their thanks….

  5. The economics are simply crazy. Starter is going to cost $45-$55 for oems. If the netbook costs $300 then everything else, including design, hardware, marketing, and distribution, will be $245-
    $255.

    If the buyer decides to upgrade he will have spent a total of $125-$135 for the os, and $380 total. That is like a third of the total. That’s crazy.

    Now compare that with a $200 ARM netbook runing Windows CE, how much better is Windows 7 Home Premium that the customer is going to shell out almost twice as much? Especially if he is using it just to access the web and send email? For that matter, how much better is it than the same ARM netbook that is even chepaper because it is runing Linux/Android/Chrome OS?

  6. This was a bait and switch.

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