Upgrades to Windows 7 Home Premium, which includes improvements to Vista's sluggish-yet-pretty Aero interface as well as multitouch features, will set Vista users back just $49.99, according a leaked Best Buy memo posted by Engadget. Updates to Windows 7 Professional, targeted at business users, will cost $99.99.
The Best Buy "presell" deal will start June 26 and run 16 days through July 11. Other retailers will offer the promotional pricing as well, the memo states. It's unclear, however, whether the upgrade prices will continue beyond the promo period.
While Vista users can order Windows 7 this summer, they won't get the OS until the October launch.
Compared to current upgrade prices for Vista, the Windows 7 deals are relatively cheap. Online retailer Newegg, for instance, sells the Vista Home Premium SP1 Upgrade for $123, and the Vista Business SP1 Upgrade for $188.
Best Buy's memo also took a shot at the much-maligned Vista by saying that Windows 7 is much more than simply a "Vista that works." Given the positive previews and high hopes placed on Win 7's shoulders, let's hope the memo is right.
Best Buy will also start a "Technology Guarantee" program whereby customers who purchase a PC that runs Vista Home Premium, Business, or Ultimate between June 26 and the Win 7 launch will get a free Windows 7 upgrade.
Personally, I think Microsoft should extend the discount Win 7 upgrades beyond July 11. The low prices would mean more sales to Vista users, and the move would be good PR for Redmond, which has suffering through months of embarrassing -- and deserved -- Vista bashing.