I went ahead and pre-ordered two copies of Windows 7 Professional today. The pre-order deal ($99) is supposedly half the price that they’ll normally charge for an upgrade ($200). Microsoft has been kind of vague about when the pre-order deal expires, so it may be safe to wait until a lot closer to October to order, but it can’t hurt to do it now. I’m pretty sure Amazon won’t charge my credit card until it ships.
My intention is to upgrade both my desktop machine and my laptop to Win 7, soon after the release. They’re both running Vista Ultimate right now. There’s no half-price deal on the Win 7 Ultimate upgrade, so that’s only available for the full price of $220, effectively more than twice the $99 Pro deal. I don’t think there’s enough extra stuff in Ultimate to justify that price, so I’m going to drop back to Pro when I go to 7. It’s all very confusing. I don’t know why Microsoft broke Vista into so many SKU’s, and I don’t know why they’re not simplifying it with 7. (Maybe they are simplifying it a bit, but the whole “Ultimate” thing is still dumb.)