by Ross Haig
Windows 7, the latest operating system from Microsoft, will be given its full launch across the UK tomorrow. It has the difficult task of repairing the damage inflicted to the Windows brand by its predecessor Vista, which was widely criticised on its release in 2005 and has consistently failed to match the market share of the system it was meant to replace – the ageing Windows XP.
Microsoft is heavily relying on its new operating system to tide the company over into the new decade – Windows accounts for over half of the software giant’s annual revenue, and with increased competition from the likes of Apple and Linux, Microsoft is far from the monopoly it held just a few short years ago. Windows 7 has been preceded by an advertising campaign which aims to recreate some of the excitement surrounding earlier releases by encouraging customers to hold launch parties, and while response to the ads has been mixed, Microsoft will be reassured by the industry’s optimism for Vista’s successor.
Ideal Computing in the Bruntsfield area of Edinburgh has been stocking Windows 7 for the last week and told Edinburgh Napier News that it is selling well. “We’re confident that it offers consumers an improved experience,” a spokesman said. “I can definitely see it surviving in the marketplace for a good few years to come”. It’s an opinion that seems to be shared by most other retailers – PC World will be opening its flagship London store at midnight tonight to let eager fans get their hands on the system.