Microsoft said Tuesday that Windows 7, the next version of its computer operating software, will go on sale Oct. 22, in time to possibly give the slumping PC industry a lift in the holiday season.
Windows 7, which will replace the controversial Windows Vista, will be available then on new PCs. Microsoft, the world’s largest software maker, will also sell versions that people can install on existing PCs.
PC makers and resellers will offer free upgrades to Windows 7 for people who buy a new computer running the Home Premium, Business or Ultimate version of Windows Vista shortly before Windows 7 arrives. However, Microsoft did not say whether the upgrade program will begin in time for back-to-school shopping, another crucial period for the PC industry.
The arrival of the new system is a big event for the computing world, as more than 90 percent of the world’s PC’s run on Windows, and strategically important for Microsoft, which gets more than half of its profit from its operating system unit.
The latest release is crucial to win back public confidence after the disappointing launch of Vista in 2007. Vista was incompatible with some low-power machines and perceived by many to be too complicated.
The world’s largest software company also faces new threats to its dominance in operating systems, especially in the fast-growing “netbook” market for small, portable PCs ideal for surfing the Internet and sending e-mail.
Earlier on Tuesday, netbook pioneer Acer and Asutek said they plan to sell small PCs that run on Google’s new Android operating system, making it the first manufacturers to do so.
Microsoft has said that Windows 7 will come in five different editions in most markets—Starter, Home Premium, Professional, Enterprise and Ultimate. A “Windows 7 Basic” will also be sold in emerging markets, Microsoft said.
The software maker has yet to announce pricing for the product.
I’m happy as a bird with my XP software and don’t plan to upgrade anytime soon. If it ain’t broke, don’t fit it. Good Day.