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Microsoft Corp. on Thursday started to sell its long-awaited Windows 7 operating system. The company hopes that the new Windows will boost its revenues, whereas the whole industry expects the OS to boost demand towards personal computers in general.

“With Windows 7, there’s never been a better time to be a PC. Together with our partners, we’re bringing more choice, flexibility and value to the market than ever before. With Windows 7, you’re sure to find a PC that fits your life” said Steve Ballmer, chief executive officer of Microsoft.

Although Microsoft Windows operating systems are used on over a billion of personal computers used worldwide, the previous-generation Windows Vista OS appeared to be rather unpopular among end-users, partly due to issues with hardware, partly because of software incompatibilities, partly because of annoying notices, partly because of low performance, partly because of instabilities and partly because of other issues. Windows 7 is supposed to correct all the problems that users experienced with Vista.

One thing that Microsoft openly promises with Windows 7 is simplification of usage of a personal computer. Since simplification means a change compared to Windows Vista or Windows XP, it remains to be seen, whether that change actually simplifies user experience to customers, who are used to the old technology.

In addition to correcting Vista’s problems, Microsoft has done a tremendous job to improve user interface as well as performance in Windows 7 and make the new OS much more user friendly overall. Windows 7 brings numerous further improvements, including DirectX 11 application programming interface that brings higher performance to specially optimized video games, support for touch-based input, more robust support of solid-state drives, more advanced power saving features, faster boot up time and other advantages.

“A project with the global customer reach of Windows can only be done as a team. We are grateful for the valuable contributions from customers, partners and developers around the world that helped make Windows 7 such a collaborative project,” said Steven Sinofsky, president of the Windows and Windows Live division at Microsoft.

The estimated retail prices for full packaged retail product of Windows 7 in the U.S. are:

  • Windows 7 Home Premium (Full): $199.99
  • Windows 7 Professional (Full): $299.99
  • Windows 7 Ultimate (Full): $319.99

The global availability of Windows 7 is joined by an unprecedented array of new PCs and software programs. With more PC options available for customers today at a wide range of price points starting under $300, customers can choose the PC that fits their personality, style and needs, from netbooks, ultrathin notebooks and highly interactive multitouch laptops to all-in-one desktops and high-end, water-cooled gaming machines.

Tags: Microsoft, Windows


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