Windows 7 Is Here! Now What?

By Jessica Mintz, AP Technology Writer

SEATTLE (AP) β€” Microsoft Corp. put a new edition of Windows on sale Thursday, hoping for a fresh start after a bad reception for the previous version of the software that runs most of the world's personal computers.

Windows 7 is now available on new computers, and as a software upgrade for some older PCs.

A Fry's Electronics store in Renton, Wash., several miles south of Microsoft's headquarters in Redmond, opened at midnight to give customers an early shot at buying a new PC or a disc that they could use to put Windows 7 on their existing computers. Such upgrade discs start at $120.

"We're geeks, that's what geeks do. This is our excitement," said Mike Naramor, 55, who runs a consulting business called My Computer Guy and was one of about 50 people who were waiting outside the store when it opened.

Naramor said that he also had bought copies of the last two operating systems, XP and Vista, the nights they were released and that he planned to go home and install Windows 7 right away.

"Vista took me about 72 hours," he said. "I expect this to take me 20 minutes."

Indeed, Microsoft hopes people like Windows 7 more than its most recent predecessor, Vista, which was slow and didn't work well with existing programs and devices. Microsoft fixed many of Vista's flaws, but it was too late to repair the system's reputation.

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