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Windows 7 Launches In UK (24 Hours Early)

Gordon Kelly


Windows 7 Gets UK Launch (24 Hours Early)

Windows 7 is here... 24 hours early.

Yes indeed the UK is jumping the gun today with copies of Microsoft's next generation OS dropping through users' letterboxes up and down the country. Why? It's all thanks to the national postal strike which begins tomorrow (finally something to thank Royal Mail for).

Consequently Microsoft held its Windows 7 launch event this morning and I popped along to take a look. What did we learn? As you might expect, not a great deal given the RTM has been in our possession for some considerable time already. In fact if you want in depth analysis check out our Windows 7 New Features and Windows 7 Performance guides. We also already know about upgrade RRPs, OEM pricing and even Student offers.

So perhaps what was most interesting was the change in attitude of Microsoft at the launch. In stark contrast to the pomp and ceremony that greeted Vista, the event was pleasantly low key and reasonably informal with no new toe curling slogans like "The Wow Starts Now". Of course the big difference this time around is the glowing reports from Beta and Release Candidate testers has done Microsoft's marketing for it, so it doesn't need to shout from the rooftops - something it acknowledged.

Where the company wouldn't be (understandably) drawn however was Windows 8 only stating it was "acutely aware of what our rivals are doing" and re-emphasising that "making Windows work well with cloud services is our long term goal."

Mistakes? I'd suggest just (a qualified) one: transition. No-matter the programming hassle involved Windows 7 should have offered an upgrade path from XP, but it could easily be counter-argued that wouldn't be in the best interests of key Microsoft partners like Dell, HP and Acer who rely on Windows 7 to greatly boost shipments of new PCs. Less acceptable is the inability to upgrade from a higher version of Vista to a lower edition of Windows 7.

For example, Vista Ultimate owners will not be able to upgrade to Windows 7 Home Premium or Professional and Professional owners will not be able to upgrade to Home Premium. The justification is Microsoft doesn't want to "potentially take away features" from users making this move, but that doesn't take into account the new and added functionality they gain from moving to the new platform in the first place. Tut, tut.

That said it seems Windows 7 is destined to be the most successful and well received OS in Microsoft's history. Amazon UK, for example, today declared Windows 7 has become its biggest grossing pre-order product of all-time overtaking the likes of ‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows' and the Nintendo Wii.

We'll have a full review of Windows 7 soon, but I suspect - should you be one of the lucky users to get their pre-order copies today - you already know how good it is...


Windows 7

notbenjamin 1

October 21, 2009, 5:46 pm

I'm absolutely gutted by this - my upgrade order through toshiba has apparently been delayed til december because of a drivers disc they need to send with it :(


October 21, 2009, 5:48 pm

I too was down on Royal Mail until I read this: http://www.lrb.co.uk/v31/n18/m...

P.S. I've been running retail Ultimate for a week, thanks to Houseparty!


October 21, 2009, 5:58 pm

My copy arrived in the post yesterday...a very pleasent surprise :o) Already installed & working well with all my software, without a single blue-screen too. Very happy indeed!


October 21, 2009, 6:10 pm

Got mine two days ago from Dixons (online) which was a nice surprise. Threw it on a sammy NC20 netbook and have to say it's impressed me so far. A couple of the hardware drivers i had to use were designed for XP only, but just enabling the XP compatibility mode on them means they work perfectly in Win7. Very nifty.


October 21, 2009, 6:21 pm

I'm sure Windows 7 is going to be a hit, for me though Vista was the last straw. The thing is when Vista first came out it wasn't too bad, but after so long with Service packs and such, it's now a dog. Now what would worry me as a new W7 user is it would just end up going the same way again, it always has. Every single install of Windows after so long requires a clean install.

What really got me away from Windows is that I wanted to create a Media PC, ok simple eh. So installed Vista, enabled the Media Center stuff, now I want to play some MKV's, well getting MKV's etc to play in MCE is like getting blood from a stone. What should have been simple just ended up wasting hours of my time.

So decided to install an Ubuntu with XBMC on, oh my goodness windows really does look pants now. And this was V9.04(Jaunty), things look even more interesting in 9.10(Karmic) -> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v...

Anyway TR, you ever thought about doing a review of Ubuntu Karmic when it's released, or do you only review retail products?


October 21, 2009, 6:38 pm

Bit sooner than 24 hours. PC Word and Curry's sent out their stock before the weekend, play.com posted mine Monday. Amazon have been the slow ones.


October 21, 2009, 6:43 pm

Got mine this morning, am now going through the pain of having to back-up everything / format and re-install some 30 programs, numerous plug-ins, widgets, codecs, encoders, decoders, favourites, passwords, searching for old serial numbers and codes, updates, updates, updates...drivers and the literally hundreds of small software add-ons you can collect that help things run smoothly that you forget about.

Thanks for the easy upgrade route Microsoft :(


October 21, 2009, 7:36 pm

Actaully received my copy on monday (PC world pre-order) so its more than 24 hours! Now just have to finish building the HTPC that its intended to be used on... :-)


October 21, 2009, 7:38 pm

Amazon informed that they'd posted my copy yesterday so I hope it's going to be waiting expectantly on the door mat when I get home. This OS isn't coming a moment too soon for me my 3 year old XP installation (yes... I KNOW!) is getting a bit creaky and needs a shot in the arm.

I remember when I used to get excited about spending Saturday nights going clubbing and hanging out with my mates, now I get excited about spending Saturday night installing a new operating system. Parenthood... just say no!

Martin Leventon

October 21, 2009, 7:51 pm

Im still waiting for my copy that I ordered from Play, seems it has been caught up in the wildstrike actions aswell as the official ones :(


October 21, 2009, 7:57 pm

@lifethroughalens - try Windows Easy Transfer Wizard, the Windows 7 implementation is excellent.


October 21, 2009, 8:06 pm

I'm using the RC still which is valid for a good few months yet.

However, when I buy a retail copy, will I be able to install over the top or even just validate RC with the retail code?

I'll do a full install if I have to, but I'd rather not!

Billy Rubin

October 21, 2009, 8:10 pm

Painless clean install here, I used MozBackup to save all my Firefox add-ons, bookmarks and other settings.


October 21, 2009, 8:33 pm

@vivid- Amazon are using Home Delivery Network so i wouldn't be surprised to see a "you were out when we called" note through the door, they are rubbish in my experience and i'm expecting to find the same thing even though 2 of my housemates are at home today.

tom 6

October 21, 2009, 8:40 pm

I got my copy on monday from pc world only £44.99.


October 21, 2009, 8:41 pm

Still waiting for my copy of W7Pro from Amazon to get delivered. I wish i had order a HP copy too for my Aspire One as it now is £80 on ebuyer. I think i will see how Karmic Koala works on it before i commit.


October 21, 2009, 8:42 pm

@Mik3yB - not officially though there are some hacks about.

@Billy Rubin - not tried MozBackup before, sounds excellent. Resetting up FF is one of the most time consuming things I find.


October 21, 2009, 9:06 pm

@Billy Rubin - Do you have a cousin called 'Verdin'? Excellent name...wonder how many people get the gag... ;o)


October 21, 2009, 9:45 pm

@Keith, Ever heard of "K lite mega codec pack"

Ben 3

October 21, 2009, 10:32 pm


Amazon are using lots of couriers! Mine came via Citylink at 10 am this morning (and took 20 mins to install) and other people are reporting DHL


October 21, 2009, 10:51 pm


Post Office have blocked my upgrade plans. Preordered from Play and it did not arrive today.

Saturday now.. Maybe... Assuming it's not at the bottom of the backlog of post by then...


October 21, 2009, 11:19 pm

My 3 copies arrived on the 19th!

One installed on my 3+ year old Sony SZ2 laptop. Very easy and only 3 drivers required - just fed it the entire Vista driver set and it grabbed what it needed. Winows Update had a few updates, I got a free version of the UPEK fingerprint stuff and that was it - a full install including finger print logon :)

Will do the other machines in the fullness of time - main desktop on 7 RTM in any case.


October 21, 2009, 11:28 pm

Got mine from Amazon and arrived today. Will Install over RC tomorrow. Im very happy


October 22, 2009, 12:42 am

Yeah Amazon are using just about anything other than Royal mail, a friends arrived from Amazon via HDNL. I'm waiting for my download details to be emailed to me and my disc kit to arrive in the post as I went for the £30 student deal. Hopefully tomorrow will be the day.


October 22, 2009, 1:55 am

Waiting for mine to arrive from Play.


The combined community codec pack is equally good. Love MPC!

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