Microsoft began its' limited Windows 7 pre-order offer for UK customers in the early hours this morning.
Microsoft has partnered with several retailers in the UK to offer both Windows 7 Home Premium E (£49.99) and Windows 7 Professional E (£99.99) to early adopters. A Microsoft spokesperson confirmed to Neowin that early indications show orders have been "strong" despite the fact Windows 7 in the UK comes without Internet Explorer.
Microsoft will only be offering Windows 7 E in Europe, without Internet Explorer. Company officials confirmed that no upgrade versions are available so customers who purchase Windows 7 E using the pre-order offer will get full versions of Windows 7. The downside, users will need to clean install Windows 7 meaning you cannot use the copy to upgrade from Windows Vista or Windows XP. Microsoft's decision to remove Internet Explorer for European markets was due to the European Commission's ongoing concerns at Microsoft's IE integration.
An Amazon spokesperson has confirmed to Neowin that within the first eight hours of pre-sale, Windows 7 had outsold Vista pre-sales. Pre-sale orders for Windows Vista were available for 17 weeks. Microsoft confirmed that "overnight, unprecedented numbers of people have been visiting the Microsoft UK store and it is temporarily unavailable to some visitors. We are working very hard to ensure that all visitors to the store will be able to pre-order Windows 7 as soon as possible. We apologise for any inconvenience that may have been caused."
Microsoft will run the pre-sale offer from July 15th 2009 until August 9th 2009, "whilst stocks last".