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Is HP Really Shunning Windows 8, Or Is This Just A Cheap Marketing Ploy?

HP is now pushing PCs with Windows 7 instead of Microsoft’s latest OS. But not for the reasons you’d think.

Is HP Really Shunning Windows 8, Or Is This Just A Cheap Marketing Ploy?
[Image: Flickr user 123 Chroma Pixels]

This week, in an attempt to boost lackluster PC sales, Hewlett-Packard began promoting Windows 7 PCs to lure customers who may be leery of Windows 8’s bad rap. The company claims that Windows 7 is being brought back to its lineup due to “popular demand,” leading customers to believe that the OS was previously unavailable and is now being brought back. That’s not the case.

But as Ed Bott writes for ZDNet, the promotion is merely a classic selection from the advertising playbook: making it appear as something is different–that Windows 7 is “back by popular demand”–when in fact nothing has changed at all except HP exec’s priorities:

In January 2014, HP offers a total of 5 PCs running Windows 7 and 68 running Windows 8 or 8.1. Last summer, HP offered 8 Windows 7 PCs and 61 Windows 8 models. Back by popular demand? Not exactly.

In fact, any PC manufacturer can still sell Windows 7; there’s no need for it to be brought back. According to the Microsoft’s OS support lifecycle, manufacturers could continue to sell new hardware with Windows 7 installed up until October 2014–a date that, in December, was retracted and has not been updated.

While we haven’t quite reached Windows Vista levels of fervor, still clamor for change is growing. Even after Microsoft’s big Windows 8.1 update last October, the OS’ adoption rate remains painfully low when compared to how its predecessors performed–in December, 14 months into it’s lifecycle, Windows 8 and 8.1 combined only make up for 9.3% of the market share. Windows 7, in comparison, had captured 17.3% of the market share 10 months after it was released–almost double.

But change is on the way. Last week, rumors spread that Windows 9–codenamed “Threshold”–was being accelerated in order to be officially announced at Microsoft’s Build conference in April. Although hopes are high for a major course correction, chances are we won’t be seeing the next Windows OS for at least a year.

Hat tip: Slashdot