Software giant Microsoft on Thursday launched Windows 7, the latest version of its popular operating system (OS) that sports a host of new and cool features aimed to charm a world in which mobile devices and the Internet will be linked seamlessly to the desktop that it ruled for decades.
Windows 7 boots up and shuts down almost instantly, trying to outgrow the slow-and-clunky image of the platform. It offers customisable taskbars for easy use, and helps a dashboard-like view of several Web or remote “cloud” sites or software applications on which a user can simply move the cursor to get large previews that help smooth navigation.
It is also geared to help make compatible laptop and PC screens work like touchscreens on which you can access files by fingering the display.
“Our vision is to have seamless connectivity between the three screens (Internet, mobile and television) and the cloud, that is the holy grail we are striving towards,” Ravi Venkatesan, chairman, Microsoft India told a glitzy launch news conference.
The platform has to make up for the bugs that its predecessor, Vista, faced after its launch in 2007, the last big release.It also faces competition from an impending OS from search giant Google that could tilt the balance.
Diptarup Chakraborti, analyst at research firm Gartner, told Hindustan Times that Microsoft faced challenges because people were becoming OS-agnostic because more experience was on networks, not desktops.
“Windows 7 is the last throw of the dice for Microsoft,” he said.
The software is expected to be priced between Rs. 5,899 for an upgrade to the basic version and Rs. 11,799 for the new one with full features.
About 16 computer manufacturers are expected to launch 100 Windows 7-enabled devices within a month.
Microsoft spends Rs $9.5 billion annually (close to Rs 45,000 crore) on research and development annually. Windows 7 is supported by a community of 50,000 developers and is being sold through 45,000 retailers worldwide. The company says already 1,000 companies in India are using Windows 7, sent out in trial versions.