There's been plenty of talk over the fact that you can't upgrade from Windows Vista to Windows 7 in Europe, but we can now reveal that there will also be no upgrade path from Windows 7 RC either because of the EC.
Microsoft confirmed to TechRadar last week that its decision to release an 'E' version of Windows 7 which would not allow you to upgrade your system from Windows Vista, but would require a clean install, was down to the integration of Internet Explorer in the operating system.
Now, Microsoft has confirmed that there will be no upgrade from Windows 7 RC either – closing a potential loophole for people who were considering using the relese candidate as an upgrade stepping stone.
"There definitely is no upgrade path from Windows 7 RC to the full version," confirmed Microsoft's Leila Martine to TechRadar.
"Moving to the full version in Europe will require a clean install."
This is very different news to those in the rest of the world who are trialling the RC version – who, it was confirmed this week WILL be allowed to upgrade.
Microsoft's decision to release the European Windows 7 version without IE8 bundled is likely to prove unpopular, but the company took that action as a direct response to the investigation launched by the European Commission into the potentially anti-competitive behaviour of including a default browser.
Europe will get upgrade pricing for full versions
Microsoft has also reiterated that the lack of an upgrade option means it will be offering full versions of Windows 7 for the price of the upgrade package available to the rest of the world.
"What we are saying is 'we don't care as a consumer if you had Windows Vista or not because we can't tell that and we don't want to penalise you for our decision to take IE8 out of the Wndows 7 E version and to not give an upgrade option," added Martine - who is the UK Windows Marketing Lead.
This means that Microsoft is insisting that, certainly at least until 31 December 2009 and probably (but not certainly) beyond, a full version of Windows 7 Home Premium will be available for the upgrade price of £79.99, full Windows 7 Professional will be available for the upgrade price of £189.99 and Windows 7 Ultimate will be available for £199.99.
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Patrick Goss is the ex-Editor in Chief of TechRadar. Patrick was a passionate and experienced journalist, and he has been lucky enough to work on some of the finest online properties on the planet, building audiences everywhere and establishing himself at the forefront of digital content. After a long stint as the boss at TechRadar, Patrick has now moved on to a role with Apple, where he is the Managing Editor for the App Store in the UK.