Microsoft revealed Monday that it will expand availability of the Windows 7 Family Pack—which provides for three upgrade versions of Windows 7 Home Premium at budget pricing—to several countries in Europe. This new availability comes courtesy of the software giant's recent decision not to sell a stripped-down Windows 7 "E" Edition in Europe, which would have only initially come in a "Full" or non-upgrade version.

Beginning with the general availability of Windows 7 on October 22, consumers in UK, Ireland, Germany, France, Switzerland, Austria, the Netherlands, and Sweden will also be able to purchase the Windows 7 Family Pack. Previously, Microsoft had announced that the Family Pack would ship in the United States and Canada.

Microsoft also revealed how it would handle the transition from the Windows 7 "E" Editions that were originally announced for Europe, because the company had previously offered low-cost pre-orders there. Those pre-orders consisted of the Full version of Windows 7 "E" at upgrade pricing. Consumers who ordered Full versions of Windows 7 "E" will now get the corresponding normal Full version of Windows 7 instead.

Additionally, customers in Europe who pre-order Windows 7 before September 1 will still receive the Full versions of Windows 7 at upgrade pricing. From September 1 on, Microsoft will switch to a normal stable of both Full and upgrade versions.

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