HP is making a marketing push to customers, touting the option of buying new PCs with Windows 7 installed on them, rather than Windows 8.
HP’s website says this option is “back by popular demand” and the site lists a number of desktop and laptop PCs with Windows 7 for purchase.
When asked why HP was making this push (which appeared to have first been noticed by website Neowin), HP sent a statement, saying: “We have been offering Windows 7 since Windows 8 became available, and we will continue to offer a broad set of choices for our customers.”
Michael Thacker, an HP spokesman said: “It’s not uncommon for partners to sell a mix of different PC models including previous versions of Windows, until the operating system no longer is under maintstream support.”
Thacker declined to say why the marketing slogan used the word “back,” implying that HP had stopped selling Windows 7 PCs.
HP is also continuing to offer Windows 8 and 8.1 devices. But it’s notable that the world’s second largest PC maker is making such a prominent display of pushing devices that do not carry Microsoft’s latest operating system.
Perhaps it’s not surprising given Windows 8’s reception, which has been lukewarm and which some users found confusing or jarring, given its radical departure from Microsoft’s traditional look and user interface.
The arrival of Windows 8 in late 2012 did not halt the slide in PC sales and such sales suffered their biggest decline last year (though analysts believe that has bottomed out).
Journalist Paul Thurrott, in an article for his SuperSite for Windows, writes that “Windows 8 is tanking harder than Microsoft is comfortable discussing in public” and compares Windows 8 to Vista, the long-delayed OS that was bug laden on arrival. Microsoft is now working on Threshold, the code name for what will likely become Windows 9, he writes.
For its part, Microsoft says, in a statement, that it’s “pleased with the adoption of Windows 8 and 8.1, which now hold over 10 percent of the OS market share according to Net Applications. We remain committed to continuous innovation to not only help our customers realize their full potential, but make the most of every moment—wherever they are, wherever they go; at any time, on any device.”