Pre-orders for Windows 7, Microsoft’s latest incarnation of the leading operating system, have sold out on day one.
The company is permitting customers to pre-order the product prior to its release on 22 October. Significant discounts are available in most countries. For example, UK customers ordering between 15 July and 9 August will receive the full European version at a 50% discount (note that it requires a clean install, won’t upgrade from XP or Vista, and comes without Internet Explorer).
Windows ‘stocks’ are limited and they have been flying off the shelf. Most retailers sold out within the first 8 hours of trade. Amazon’s recorded sales for Windows 7 have already exceeded the entire 17 week pre-order sales for Windows Vista.
The Windows 7 betas and release candidates have received positive press. The OS is stable, fast, and fixes many of the issues introduced in Vista. Thankfully, Microsoft has also simplified the editions:
- Home Premium is the version most people will choose. It has the standard components, utilities, and media facilities. Web developers should also note that it includes the IIS web server.
- Professional includes everything in the Home edition plus Windows XP Mode, better corporate networking, and backup facilities.
- Ultimate includes everything in the Professional edition plus data encryption and instant language switching.
XP Mode is an optional download for Professional and Ultimate users. It is a fully licensed copy of Windows XP SP3 running in Microsoft’s Virtual PC emulator. However, new integration facilities allow XP applications to run as if they were part of the Windows 7 system. The main advantage to web developers is that you will be able to load real copies of IE6, IE7 and IE8 alongside each other. 0DAY
Yes, even I’ve ordered Windows 7. This is the first time I’ve been compelled to buy a shrink-wrapped copy of Windows (other than buying it indirectly via a PC purchase). XP Mode was a factor in that decision. The pre-order price also helped. But perhaps my primary motivation was to simply to replace Vista: I’ve had enough of slow booting and daily crashes!
However, it’s not all good news for Microsoft. In a recent survey of 1,100 IT administrators, 60% stated that their company had no immediate plan to switch to Windows 7.
Will you buy Windows 7? Will the OS be a success for Microsoft?
Craig is a freelance UK web consultant who built his first page for IE2.0 in 1995. Since that time he's been advocating standards, accessibility, and best-practice HTML5 techniques. He's created enterprise specifications, websites and online applications for companies and organisations including the UK Parliament, the European Parliament, the Department of Energy & Climate Change, Microsoft, and more. He's written more than 1,000 articles for SitePoint and you can find him @craigbuckler.