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Microsoft's "Seven Days of Windows 7" Promotion

Posted by: Peter Burrows on October 21, 2009

Attention, Would-Be Mac Shoppers: Check out these killer deals on Windows 7 PCs.

Judging from this promotion, that just showed up on Best Buy’s website, this is going to be a key message from Microsoft as it launches Windows 7 tomorrow. The retailer is offering a “PC Home Makeover” bundle that includes an HP Slimline desktop, laptop and netbook, together with an LCD, a wireless router and set-up service from the Geek Squad, all for $1,199. Says Tami Reller, chief financial officer of Microsoft’s Windows division, “That’s less than the cost of a Mac,” says .

It’s all part of what sounds like a fairly massive “Seven Days of Windows 7” promotion to be announced tomorrow. Among the deals on the first day will be a 13-inch Dell Studio XPS laptop for $999 (must be a higher-end machine, since Dell’s website shows the product already starting at that price), an all-in-one desktop from Acer for $899 (down from $1000-plus), and a student version of Windows 7 for $29.99 (the same price Apple charges for Snow Leopard).

Reller says Microsoft is subsidizing these “killer deals,” as she puts it. She says this is the first time Microsoft has ever done this. And at least with regards to that Best Buy Home Makeover offer, the savings are substantial. Currently, the retailer lists that Slimline desktop going for $1200 all by itself. Based on current prices for these products on the Web, the overall savings to the consumer from this bundle is more than $2000.

When she made the comment about “cheaper than a Mac,” I asked whether Microsoft was going to overtly go after people who might be considering a Mac so long as they have to buy a new machine. That’s a phenomenon executives at Apple clearly think could work in the company’s favor. But Reller says the anti-Apple theme won’t be so overt. “It’s just part of the overall message,” she says. “Because of the choice [of different types of devices) and value we’re delivering, we think Windows 7 will resonate with many different audiences—including people who might be considering a Mac.”

UPDATE: I just spoke with BestBuy, who tells me my estimate of the savings on the Home Upgrade Bundle was way too high. Rather than $2,000-plus, the savings are more like $550. The difference is that the Slimline Desktop that’s part of the deal is a lower-cost model created specifically for this bundle by HP. Also, BestBuy plans to keep this deal in place until the end of the year, so it’s not technically part of the “Seven Days of Windows 7” promotion.

Here’s the full press release from Best Buy:

Best Buy Makes Transition to Windows(r) 7 Easy

Exclusive deals on gear and Geek Squad(r) services help customers get the most from new operating system

MINNEAPOLIS, October 22, 2009 - The countdown is over. Windows 7 is available now for purchase at all Best Buy (NYSE: BBY) stores nationwide, preloaded on a broad selection of PCs for people who have waited until now to purchase new computing gear. And for those who want to convert their existing PCs to Windows 7, Best Buy is selling the new platform in-store for $89.99 to $219.99, as well as offering the convenience of Windows 7 upgrade services from Geek Squad for just $39.99 (excluding software).

Leading Best Buy’s broad selection of Windows 7-ready gear is an exclusive bundle from HP that delivers in-home networking on the Windows 7 platform. Dubbed “PC Home Makeover,” for only $1,199.99 customers can purchase an HP desktop, monitor, laptop, netbook, wireless router and Geek Squad setup and networking. The exclusive HP offer is available today through mid-January.

“Customers tell us they want the flexibility of multiple machines and networking, and together with HP we’ve created a robust solution at a very attractive price,” said Jason Bonfig, vice president of computers at Best Buy. “Only Best Buy can give you all of the computer products you want plus a Geek Squad house call to make sure your new gear is setup and connected and helping you share content like movies, music and pictures.”

Best Buy’s Broad Windows 7-Ready Selection and Service Best Buy has converted the majority of its large assortment of PC products to Windows 7 so customers can feel free to interact with the new platform in-store before they buy. And to address diverse budget and user requirements, the selection of netbooks, laptops and desktops spans leading PC brands Acer, Asus, Dell, Gateway, HP, Lenovo, Sony and Toshiba, at prices ranging from $299.99 to $1,999.99. Best Buy Blue Shirts are ready to help customers find the right computer for them and ensure they have everything they need to get up and running.

For those customers who want to upgrade to Windows 7 without buying a new PC, Geek Squad has reduced its $129.99 operating system install service charge to just $39.99. The service allows customers to upgrade their Windows XP or Windows Vista operating system to Windows 7 without the hassle of doing it themselves. And people who have purchased their PCs from Best Buy between June 26, 2009 and October 21, 2009, will likely qualify for a free upgrade on Windows 7 software. Those customers can simply bring their PCs and sales receipts to the nearest Geek Squad Precinct and receive a free Windows 7 upgrade installed on their computers. Geek Squad Precincts are located inside every Best Buy store.

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Reader Comments

Dennis McElroy

October 21, 2009 04:45 PM

Until Windows 7 shows a better track record than Vista it will not sway purchases away from Macintosh unless buyers are only worried about the dollars they spend rather than the quality of the product and user experience. Vista was a disaster and there are currently no clues that show 7 will have corrected the myriad of problems that surfaced in the last Macintosh killer from Microsoft.


October 21, 2009 06:48 PM

Can I get this package with XP?


October 21, 2009 07:11 PM

Unless they offer Windows 7 for $50, I'm not interested.


October 22, 2009 12:16 AM

Another shameless advertisement for Windows 7? I'm no Mac fanboy (I own ZERO Apple products) and I'm clearly not a fan of Windows Vista or 7. But, I don't see why the general public doesn't get this -> the future of OS is with Linux. Open-source is the way forward. Stop wasting your money on these fancy, eyecandy products and support the real cause, which is Open Source.

Linux all the way!


October 22, 2009 12:29 AM

I think windows 7 has a much better track record than you said, everything has been positive, it's been frowned upon due to the similarity it has to Vista. windows 7 does a lot of upgrades and fixes from it's predecessor. So far microsoft stuff has been holding up pretty well for me. I use my son's Mac too but not very keen using it due to several reasons. Although the programs run on both platforms, I still use some older ones developed for PC's. can't help it there.
my google sniper coach

Navin Kumar

October 22, 2009 01:13 AM

Is there a list of features , i meant KEY FEATURES provided by Windows 7?

Wormy Apple

October 22, 2009 04:35 AM

Actually, there are a wealth of clues that show 7 makes the Snow Pussy obsolete. Read almost ANY industry review of Windows 7, and you only see glowing terms of endearment. In fact, don't just read them...'Read 'em and weep.'

A Lamborghini runs better than a Chevy too, but which do you see more of on the road?


October 22, 2009 06:45 AM

Launching of Windows 7 worldwide. Market larger than the US Indo-Pak sub-continent where Windows 7 is launched today, with no promotional offer. More Windows XP, Vista, Open Source licenses are used in the sub-continent. Is promotion only for the US consumers. Being at the launching ceremoney in Karachi Oct. 22, there was no Windows 7 offer at the launch ceremoney, just to relieve the naive users with old XP, for a breather space. Request to please look for major markets where majority of users are for Microsoft OS. They would want to upgrade and take license of Windows 7. Would Microsft listen. Hello!

Rick Johnson

October 22, 2009 07:09 AM

^^^ This guy nailed it! Instead of trying to fix the problem they go and make a new windows! WTF!


October 22, 2009 08:42 AM

Better track record than Windows Vista? Windows Vista is still a multi-million dollar success, far more than Apple's OS. While there was definitely a perception problem, I'm sure Jobs would love to have had such a 'disaster'.

Here's the facts:

Apple's market share continues to sit at around 3%, despite their ads, new mice, etc. In comparison, Linux has 2% of the market!. Windows has 95%. So it appears that public opinion is still solidly in the Microsoft Windows camp.


October 22, 2009 09:27 AM

@Dennis McElroy - I don't think MSFT needs to sway Apple users away; the total number of Apple OS users remains at around 5~8% of the total market. That's like a drop in the bucket. Instead, the real target is people like myself who have held onto WindowsXP, and are looking to upgrade (already preordered upgrade license). A lot of savvy consumers and most corporations skipped Vista, and have been waiting for Windows7 to arrive. With the extremely positive experiences from beta testers (especially large group because MSFT opened it up to anyone), I'm quite certain that a lot of people - as witnessed by the huge preorders around the world - are excited. And as is the case with new technology, people have been holding back on purchases, waiting for new products with Windows7 preinstalled. I'm just saying...why target the minnow when a whale is out there?

Jordan Po

October 22, 2009 11:28 AM

I honestly believe that Windows 7 is much more improved than that of Vista. I have been using a beta version and have yet to have a problem, Maybe it's just me, but I have programmed, Played games, image and sound editing all with this beta and it went smooth if not great.

Just my 2 cents.


October 22, 2009 11:29 AM

I received a HP laptop for my birhtday and I was told that I would get a free Windows 7 How do I do that?


October 22, 2009 11:39 AM

Just watched a portion of the live presentation. Streamed 8 different videos on 8 TVs at the same time. I don't think Microsoft is that concerned about Apple.


October 22, 2009 12:06 PM

MS lost me with Vista. Too frustrating & too slow. I put g/OS (Ubuntu Linux) on my Toshiba laptop & never looked back. My performance is MUCH better, boot time halved, wireless networking, CD burning, MP3 ripping, playing, video codecs, bluetooth, Open Office, FireFox, and with the "Package Manager" to install my apps, I'm Windows (and virus) FREE! My Linux laptop connects to my Win98 print server--better than my XP machine ... and Vista doesn't do it AT ALL!


October 22, 2009 01:04 PM

"cheaper than a Mac"... That may be true but you get what you pay for.

I could eat McDonald's for lunch. It would be "cheaper" but in the end, I'm gonna get a stomach ache, the runs and in the end i'll be fatter and much slower and wish I would have spent the extra money and ate real food.

Mac's just work, period!


October 22, 2009 02:21 PM

Why am I having to pay even one penny for the product I thought I bought a year ago when I bought a new PC with Vista? A $120 price is a slap in the face to anyone who now has Vista installed.


October 22, 2009 03:32 PM

I guess who don't know what you are talking....this bundle could be had for little more price buying these items separately....and you will get better products that way.

I will say don't even think of buying this package!


October 22, 2009 07:50 PM

Windows 7 Beta is quite good. I started using it a while ago. When you keep a lot of programs open it doesn’t seem to lag. There are some nice features that Microsoft introduced into Windows 7. I found it faster and easier to use. It’s a serious improvement on vista and I think it’s a necessary one. I have written in some detail about Windows 7 Beta and my experience using it. Please take a look at it and comment on what you think.

Because Windows 7 Beta is still so new it’s hard to know what problems it could have in the future but it looks like it’s going to be a fantastic operating system.


October 23, 2009 10:00 AM

I'm a Mac fan, but I'll give credit where credit is due. Windows 7 is a huge step forward for Microsoft in the right direction.

@Dennis McElroy Windows 7 does have a much stronger track record than Vista out the gate. Most programs and peripherals designed for XP and Vista will run with little to no tweaking in Windows 7. For programs that absolutely require Windows XP, users get a free virtual machine of Windows XP to run their software. That's a functionality that you have to pay extra money for with a Mac.

@gerrrg Microsoft isn't too keen to go after the Windows XP market because there's no direct upgrade to Windows 7. That's why Apple put out the ads encouraging people to switch to them since the upgrade will be a "hassle" (for end-users, not tech-savvy folks). Just like with Vista, I believe Microsoft is hoping the XP crowd will be ready to buy new machines instead of upgrading.

@Wormy Apple - Most of those reviews are so glowing because Windows 7 is everything that Windows Vista should have been when it was released. Kind of like Windows XP was everything that Windows ME should have been when it was released. Microsoft was humbled by a second OS failure (how did they let it happen twice?), and they learned their lessons from it. Hopefully, they don't make this kind of mistake a 3rd time.


November 25, 2009 01:55 AM

I love people that talk about how bad windows 7 is when they haven't even tried it. I have the professional edition and it's great. Better than Vista, which was great as well. Vista NEVER crashed for me once and I don't expect Windows 7 to do as well. I built my entire trifilliate payday website on windows 7 in about 5 minutes. The speed is incredible.

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BusinessWeek writers Peter Burrows, Cliff Edwards, Olga Kharif, Aaron Ricadela, Douglas MacMillan, and Spencer Ante dig behind the headlines to analyze what’s really happening throughout the world of technology. One of the first mainstream media tech blogs, Tech Beat covers everything from tech bellwethers like Apple, Google, and Intel and emerging new leaders such as Facebook to new technologies, trends, and controversies.



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