It's all because of the IE8 deal with the EU.
When Windows 7 hits on October 22, it’ll come in flavors that are familiar to us from before with full and upgrade versions. Countries that a part of the European Union, however, won’t be getting the upgrade version due to the recent events between Microsoft and the European Commission.
“To ensure that Microsoft is in compliance with European law, Microsoft will be releasing a separate version of Windows 7 for distribution in Europe that will not include Windows Internet Explorer,” the Redmond company said in a memo to PC manufacturers.
The result of that is that European consumers looking to jump into Windows 7 will have to back up their own data and perform a clean install, according to Gizmodo. Apparently the decision behind the lack of an upgrade option stems from quality assurance. Microsoft can be relatively sure about what happens with a clean install, but it is unable to control what happens when Windows 7 is upgraded onto a system that already has browsers already installed on it.
“We don't want to break anyone else's software, we don't want to break our own software, and we don't want the customer on the phone with support,” said Mike Ybarra, general manager of Windows Product Management, to the gadget blog.
Fortunately, those running Windows Vista or XP won’t be stuck with paying for full version prices. Microsoft said that it would offer upgrade pricing on the full licenses (for those who qualify), though didn’t detail how it would go about verifying existing licenses. European customers will also get an offer for discounted upgrades starting July 15.