Over the weekend a very interesting story broke in technology circles. HP communicated to customers that they are able to acquire Desktop PC’s and Notebooks that have Windows 7 pre-installed as the operating system. That in itself is a big deal as it shows indirectly that the adoption of Windows 8 has been poor.
Can you remember the last time a software company had partners that were selling devices with an older generation software? I can’t recall any previous occasions where this has occurred. Imagine the behind the scenes negotiation between HP and Microsoft. This may seem to be a small news story but it highlights a problem that is becoming a recurring theme for Microsoft. Microsoft once had the entire computing ecosystem under its control but systemically the dominance has been affected by the move away from notebooks and desktop computers. Those post PC thoughts uttered by the late Steve Jobs are really becoming a reality.
HP ultimately pays licensing fees to Microsoft to be able to offer the software to the customers and can do as they please. Ideally Microsoft would not want them to sell an older version of their software as that will negatively impact the sales and installations of Windows 8. The truth is that HP and other computing manufacturers are beginning to look for creative ways to entice customers to buy notebooks and desktop computers.
Will customers be more willing to acquire a Windows 7 based notebook or desktop PC? I tend to think so as most users are regretting the upgrade to Windows 8. The problem Microsoft has is that other manufacturers will be keeping an eye on this news and potentially follow suit. Could this be a start of a trend or is this a once off occurrence?