Well, it looks like Microsoft had a very good day. October 22, 2009 will go down as one of the company’s better days, it seems. It launched Windows 7, the much improved operating system and it also opened a cafe in Paris and a retail store in Scottsdale, Arizona.
The store opening is particularly interesting because of the fanfare it opened to…a seemingly endless line of people, many of which had lined up the day before the opening. On the surface, it looked like an Apple event and kind of weird. Weird because I cannot remember that much excitement about ANYTHING from Redmond since the Windows 95 and XBOX 360 launches.
Windows 7, of course, was THE event of the day. Worldwide, Microsoft launched the new operating system. It seems the excitement from have a well received operating system was shared among consumers. In London, for example, there were, reportedly, over 500 people waiting in line at a ‘PC World’ store to buy a copy of Windows 7. When was the last time you remember hearing of something like that? I don’t recall even Apple having a reception for one of its OS releases, it is possible, but I just don’t remember that.
Windows 7 has received overwhelmingly positive reviews from many different outlets and two have struck me as really saying something about Windows 7. The first, from Walt Mossberg, says that Microsoft has closed the gap between the Mac OS and Windows. While I’m not sure there was a gap, it does say something because Mr. Mossberg is a well known fan of Apple products, especially the Mac OS. The second review, from Andy Ihnatko of the Chicago Sun-Times, was probably one of the more balanced and fair reviews I’ve seen to date. Mr. Ihnatko is also a well known Apple Mac OS fan but does not treat it as a religion. His review does a good job of pointing out the new features, areas that Microsoft has improved and a few where they need to improve.
CNet, which pretty much destroyed Vista in the first year of its release, was also one of the more balanced and positive outlets. They had video coverage of the festivities in New York and also video reviews of the operating system.
For me, I was pleasantly surprised to find my copy of Windows 7 waiting for me when arrived home from my day job. Amazon delivered, as promised. I will be installing it on my HP Laptop and will write about that experience.
Microsoft has also followed Apple’s lead and released a three-license ‘family pack’. It is normally $150 (US), but you can purchase a copy from Costco in the US for $139(US) or, if you have the coupon, you can get it for thirty dollars off at Staples.
Microsoft is also fortunate that it was a relatively slow news day, nothing seemed to overshadow them. For once. Good for them.