Usually, we don’t publicise events for companies. But tomorrow being the release of one of the most anticipated Windows versions in years, we’d have to tell you about a fabulous deal tonight at the midnight launch of Windows 7.
The deal: S$77 for the upgrade edition of Windows 7 Home Premium. The usual price is at S$219. This, of course, comes with a catch. You have to be the first 177 in the queue by midnight.
If you’re late, you can still buy it at S$147 tonight. The catch here: you have to sign up for a Challenger Superstore membership (S$27).
As you’d guessed by now, this is happening at Challenger Superstore at Funan DigitaLife Mall – the site of the several Windows launches of years past.
These, of course, included a really lacklustre Windows Vista launch two years ago, when four people, yes, four, turned up in the queue for a special deal. It was partly down to poor execution (little or no publicity in the media), and partly because of the negative publicity surrounding the OS (not helped by several delays and buggy drivers from third-party vendors).
No such problems this time, as Windows 7 has been getting glowing reviews from users and reviewers alike (is it because more users are actually trying out the stuff, rather than reading it first from Mac-loving magazines?).
My advice: go down early tonight, as the buzz surrounding Windows 7 has been on like it was for Windows 95 and Windows XP – two of the biggest releases from Microsoft. Both times, fans packed the launch events.
Windows 95 was a big leap into the GUI era for previous Windows 3.1 users who had to contend with DOS ever so often. Despite its warts and all (including a lack of CD-ROM drivers – yes, you needed those for some drives), Windows 95 was to be a big step up for many PC users, and began an era where DOS got shunted to the background.
Windows XP was the next big release that brought stability to the frequent blue-screens and crashes that Windows 95 could cause. It was, to me, still the best Windows release by far. I actually queued up at the Orchard launch event to get a copy at S$99 (off the original S$199) because my office then was in Paragon, and I spied the queues forming!
And now, we come to Windows 7, touted by many as one of the bright lights in the long Windows family line.
Why is it cool? Among the things I’ve seen so far, the convenience. For oldies, for example, there’s no longer the need to maximise or minimise windows. Just drag the title bar off the top of the screen to reveal the desktop, or drag a window to the top to maximise it. Simple things that actually work.
More crucial to me, the new code base has meant that things run more more smoothly. You can’t say this with most Windows releases, but old hardware might actually run faster on Windows 7 than Windows Vista.
I’ve seen a netbook – with nothing more than a humble Intel Atom chip and onboard graphics – run the nice Aero interface with transparent menu bars and fancy animation. Try doing that with Vista – you’d find things getting sluggish in no time.
Heck, Windows 7 has gained so many plaudits, including even New York Times reviewer David “I love everything Apple” Pogue, who grudgingly said this was a “refined” version of Windows.
So, go on down to Funan tonight after a few beers at the pub, and you might just save yourself the cost of the drinks by buying Windows 7 at a steal.