In an effort to bash flagging PC sales, computer giant HP has begun promoting in the US Microsoft’s four-year-old operating system Windows 7 on a number of new consumer machines alongside the brand spanking new Windows 8.1.
The move, unlikely to cheer executive honchos in Redmond, Washington, also sees HP offer a US$150 discount with certain models.
HP is offering Windows 7 on five consumer computers, including a Pavilion desktop, two Envy desktops, one Pavilion laptop and one Envy laptop.
While at first glance the move raises questions about the popularity and impact of Windows 8, which was rapidly followed with an improved Windows 8.1 featuring a restored start button, the strategy is a time-honoured tradition amongst PC sellers.
It harks back to previous strategies honed by PC sellers whereby the unpopularity of Windows Vista, Windows 7’s predecessor, made the sale of machines running Windows XP (an OS debuted in 2001 which will see support end in April) very popular.
The fusion of tablet and touch computing with traditional desktop computing may not be every consumer buyer’s cup of tea and Windows 7 was perhaps Microsoft’s most popular OS of all time.
While Microsoft bosses would prefer seeing Windows 8 and 8.1 welcomed with open arms, Windows 7 was a solid and fine operating system that served as an antidote to the confusion caused by an over-ambitious Vista and consumers still want choice.
Variety, they say, is indeed the spice of life.