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.