Apple seems to get a real kick out of announcing its products just an hour or so before rival Microsoft's. Today it's managed to gazump Microsoft's announcement of upgrade pricing for Windows 7, as well as the offering of a family pack.

The Family Pack will give you the option of installing Windows 7 on up to three machines at a slightly reduced price - £150. Upgrade versions of Windows 7 will be offered too - for £80 before the end of 2009 and £100 from 2010 onwards. That's for Home Premium - Professional upgrades will cost £190, and Ultimate upgrades cost £200.

As for the pricing for the full versions of Windows 7, it appears that reports that UK users would pay considerably less than their US counterparts weren't true. Home Premium is £150, Professional is £220 and Ultimate is £230.

Some people have already pre-ordered the full version, which was previously not going to include IE8 thanks to shenanigans with the European Union. That's changed, however, and they'll now get one with IE8 in. Anyone else who pre-orders Windows 7 before 1 September will be able to get upgrade pricing for full versions.

Alternatively, you can wait 'till 1 September, when you get to pick between an upgrade or a full version, at the pricing above. Confusing? Yes. Who knows - maybe it's on purpose, so that people just think "sod it" and buy the full Ultimate edition.

Windows 7 will be available on 22 October.