Windows 7 debuts in NZ

Hewlett-Packard front and centre at launch

Microsoft launched its new operating system, Windows 7, today, in Auckland’s Queen Elizabeth Square, matching its "7" with All Black number 7 Richie McCaw. HP was front and centre with a new notebook powered by the new operating system, but other PC makers, such as Sony, were also rolling out new offerings to exploit the occasion. McCaw was the first person in New Zealand to receive a Windows 7 powered, HP Pavilion dv7 notebook, worth $2,999, which is being auctioned on TradeMe, with proceeds going to Lifeline. “Customer feedback has played a key role in the development of Windows 7, with more than 8 million people taking part worldwide in our pre-launch testing programme," said Ben Green, Windows 7 business group manager at Microsoft New Zealand. "The result is an operating system that’s more reliable, more responsive, and more intuitive." Windows 7 replaces the ill-fated Windows Vista, which struggled for acceptance after early issues with sluggish performance and incompatibility with many drivers written for its popular predecessor, Windows XP. Windows 7 is more responsive, according to most benchmarks, and should not suffer the same driver incompatibility issues. Windows Vista was also criticised for coming in too many versions. In contrast, Windows 7 comes in three flavours: Home Premium, Professional and Ultimate. However, for those not eligible for one of several deals offered ahead of the launch, pricing is significant. A Home Premium upgrade costs $249 at Noel Leeming, while a new installation costs $389. Ultimate and Professional cost $599. According to one recent estimate, Windows Vista usage sits at a disappointing 18 percent. Warwick Grey, SMB marketing manager for Hewlett-Packard New Zealand, says that HP has designed a range of products to take full advantage of Windows 7.  “We have been looking forward to the launch of Windows 7, and by the number of pre-sales our retail partners have received, our customers are truly excited about the launch too,” Grey says. Microsoft and HP will also be holding a Windows 7 launch event in Wellington, at the city's Civic Square, commencing at 8am.

Meanwhile, Sony claimed it is the first to offer the advanced 64bit edition of Windows 7 as standard on every model, except those using an Intel Atom processor.

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