The world’s largest software maker Microsoft today launched the ‘Windows 7’ operating system (OS) with a host of tools for multimedia applications for business and retail customers.

Smarting under the failure of its earlier operating system ‘Vista’, Windows 7 promises significant improvement in productivity levels, enhanced security, reduced risks and costs.

PC makers HCL Infosystems, Acer and Hewlett Packard have started shipping Windows 7 pre-loaded PCs and notebook computers from today.

HP India will retail Windows 7—preloaded PCs at Rs 27,990 to Rs 90,000, company Country Category Manager, Consumer Desktops, Personal Computers, Ketan Patel said.

While, the pre-loaded Windows 7 notebooks will be priced at Rs 39,990 onwards, HP India Consumer Notebooks Category Manager Diptesh Ghosh said.

At the same time, Acer PCs with Windows 7 OS will be priced between Rs 15,000 and Rs 35,000, while the notebooks will be priced at Rs 21,000—Rs 70,000, Acer Chief Sales Officer Harish Kohli said.

HCL Infosystems’ Executive Vice President George Paul said HCL will price it between Rs 16,000 and Rs 55,000, and the notebooks would cost Rs 22,000 to Rs 80,000.

The new version that comes in as many as six editions targeted at different segments has been priced accordingly.

“We have launched Windows 7 in six editions, targeted at specific user groups and would be available on desktops, laptops and netbooks across the varied price range,” Microsoft India Chairman Ravi Venkatesan told reporters in New Delhi.

Off-the-shelf sale

Windows 7 that is available pre-loaded with PCs now can be bought off-the-shelf once the company receives the nod from Customs. Customs clearance is imminent, and the software would be available off-the-shelf as well, Venkatesan said.

While the Home Basic package (off-the-shelf) could cost about Rs 5,800, Windows 7 Ultimate could cost Rs 11,000. A user can save about Rs 500-Rs 800 per desktop in terms of security features and power usage, Mr. Venkatesan believes.

Sixteen Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) will launch about 100 more models by the end of this month with Windows 7 OS installed, he added.

The six editions launched today are: Windows 7 Home Premium (for home consumers), Windows 7 Professional (for small and medium businesses), Windows 7 Starter, Windows 7 Home Basic (for emerging markets), Windows 7 Enterprise and Windows 7 Ultimate.

With a host of new features in Windows 7 like Home Group, Play To, Windows Live Movie the new version aims to do away with flaws that hampered Vista sales.

“These new features along with shorter booting (start-up) time, makes Windows 7 exciting for the consumers,” Venkatesan said. The new version is also equipped to handle multimedia functions better than its predecessor Vista.

Industry analysts have already given a thumbs-up to the new operating system. However, some analysts believe the economic climate, which has hit sales of PCs globally, could in turn, impact sales of Windows 7.

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