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Windows 7 Released Early In UK 194

Posted by kdawson
from the getting-the-worm dept.
CNETNate writes "UK customers have been reporting that they received their copies of Windows 7 in the mail today. Currently the British postal service is threatening industrial action over pay, and planned walkouts may result in Windows 7 not being delivered on its release date. It is understood that Microsoft has agreed to let some retailers send out copies early to avoid disappointment, and to make the UK the first country in the world to have Windows 7 in customers' hands."
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Windows 7 Released Early In UK

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  • by Flibberdy (780254)
    that this postal strike actually has some kind of benefit to the general public? And kudos to MS for allowing this to happen, some good PR they got going there.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by sakdoctor (1087155)

      I've noticed a few companies using this as a marketing device.

      "Free UK delivery" (for a limited time)
      "No postal delays!" (posted using a different service)

      I'm sure there is a succinct, yet cheesy marketing term for using current events as a selling points.

      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by rvw (755107)

        "Free UK delivery"

        I'm sure there is a succinct, yet cheesy marketing term for using current events as a selling points.

        I think FUK=D would be an appropriate and somehow cheesy term.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        Why if the UK Post Office goes on strike, and nobody notices, because UPS, FedEx, and other private companies (plus email) fill the gap? It would be ironic if the Government Strike proves that the government-run service is no longer needed.

        Hmmmm.

        I hope the U.S. Post Office goes on strike next. Who need them? Not me.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward

          Not going to happen. For large business needs, maybe. But even then, the Royal Mail beats its competitors hands down on price, which really matters when you start talking in bulk terms.

          Is it really worth paying up to 10 times as much to get it one day early? Especially when you consider the sorting offices for post offices are local and often within 1-2 miles of you address. Whereas the FedEx style companies have only one office/distribution centre and its always outside of town/city in some crappy industri

        • by drsquare (530038)

          That might be an issue when the private operators bother to do anything other than cherry pick the most profitable deliveries.

        • by zmollusc (763634)

          Pfffft, I would like to see UPS and fedex et al do the number of drops that the post office does. They (UPS etc) take on more than they can deliver now, the only way the drivers complete their rounds is by 'carding' a proportion of their packages.

      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by CrossChris (806549)
        I've noticed a few companies using this as a marketing device.

        It's been really funny to see the first Windows 7 targeted malware - there are several trojans and even more "scareware" nonsense. The malware writers obviously assume (often correctly) that early adopters of Windows 7 will be the usual knuckle-draggers who persist in using Windows brokenware and the Windoze fanboys who are mostly too stupid to install their own operating systems...
    • by cbhacking (979169) <been_out_cruising-slashdot&yahoo,com> on Tuesday October 20, 2009 @06:27AM (#29805597) Homepage Journal

      I'll be honest; I'm not sure why there's so much delay before the general release anyhow. The RTM build was signed off on months ago, and went up for MSDN subscribers (a very small portion of the general public, but often people with very little connection to MS) only a few days later. At my school, through the MSDN Academic Alliance program (free MS software to endingeering students) we've been able to get Win7 for some weeks (and via http://dreamspark.com/ [dreamspark.com] all students with a .edu email address can get Server 2008 R2, the server version of the Win7 release).

      So... why so long before boxes hit shelves? It seems very odd to me.

      • Same, my university has had the ISOs available to burn for weeks, as well as being able to download with student info on the MSDNAA site.
        So summary is only correct for certain values of "customer".

      • by asdf7890 (1518587) on Tuesday October 20, 2009 @07:07AM (#29805767)

        So... why so long before boxes hit shelves? It seems very odd to me.

        Basically: getting enough manufactured to cover initial demand and getting those units shipped to retailers. Many retailers might have had boxed copies in their warehouses weeks ago but they will have signed a deal saying they won't make them available until the official release date in order for the public release to be coordinated in all territories.

        As well as accounting for manufacturing processes and regional shipment delays, they will have also allowed extra time for other unexpected extensions to these delays and other issues. There would also be a final test phase of the activation infrastructure to fit in too, to ensure it can cope with the sudden glut of activity on, and shortly after, release day.

        There is also co-ordination with OEMs to consider. They would not be happy with retail copies going out before they had chance to update and test their offerings in time for release date - yes MS has them over a barrel to a certain extent so could tell them to go hang if it wanted to, but this isn't the right climate to be annoying major customers in. There are probably other marketing reasons to pick a coordinated date near, but not at, the end of the year too.

        Releasing to MSDN subscribers is much easier. Most are download-only subscriptions now so just put the ISOs on subscriptions.msdn.microsoft.com and there is no need for physical anything never mind coordinated physical anything. For subscribers who still get disks that is just a plain DVD (and/or ISO files on a plain DVD) with no fancy hologram label and no box or other additional materials. It is not expected that developers have to wait for coordinated retail release, so there are no OEM concerns to worry about (in fact the OEMs would prefer developers to have early access - it will reduce problems and returns at their end of the market if there is less stuff out there with compatibility issues by release day).

        • by Antique Geekmeister (740220) on Tuesday October 20, 2009 @07:35AM (#29805917)

          And there's coordination with support providers: call centers need to retrain staff and write new support "scripts" for their personnel. And the manufacturers of other software, such as Microsoft Office need time to get the secret internal documentation of available libraries and toolkits so they can weave it into their releases. And third party hardware and software providers need a chance to test and integrate their components with Microsoft's release, or they may repeat what happened with Vista and ignore the release.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by mlts (1038732) *

        If I were to hazard a guess, it would be so that any possible show-stopper bugs would be found and hopefully fixed before the public got their hands on the copy and the rumor game started up.

        MS was bitten by this with Vista. Once Joe Sixpack heard from his friend who is slightly more technical than he was, that Vista sucked (even though the reasons why were not listed), Vista rapidly got a bad reputation that it could not shake even with multiple service packs and several generations of hardware. With Win

        • by b4dc0d3r (1268512)

          My gf is not technically savvy - she learns quickly, but doesn't go looking up stuff. She's perfectly happy to move the mouse to something and click and wait, and click something else, and reinstall the application, and reboot, because that's what computers do. She doesn't understand why I curse at my computer, even when I show her exactly what I find annoying.

          Still, she hates Vista, and doesn't understand why Microsoft made such stupid decisions. And not just for the reasons I curse about - sh actually

          • She's perfectly happy to move the mouse to something and click and wait, and click something else, and reinstall the application, and reboot, because that's what computers do.

            That's what a typical user does: rarely installs something, and if they do, it's a good chance they're doing so inadvertently – so alert them to the fact so that they can figure out whether or not they meant to do it. UAC can, of course, be turned off if you're a serious hacker and planning on going on a lengthy installation spree. Just remember to turn it back on when you're done (okay, perhaps you'd prefer to keep it turned off, but it is there for a reason).

            Or should it keep the info to itself until either the app finishes or someone clicks on it?

            Actually, doesn't it? The "(Not respondin

      • by ozmanjusri (601766) <aussie_bob.hotmail@com> on Tuesday October 20, 2009 @08:06AM (#29806095) Journal
        I'll be honest; I'm not sure why there's so much delay before the general release anyhow.

        Microsoft is carefully stage-managing the hype.

        They are well aware that they need a win, some way to coax computer users off XP without frightening them into jumping off the Windows ship altogether. They can't take a risk by producing an innovative or interesting OS, but they still need to generate some excitement to erase all the bad feeling generated by Vista.

        So they release a mildly facelifted version of their failed OS, rely on improved hardware to mask the worst of the sluggishness and hype it to the max.

        Profit.

        • by drsmithy (35869)

          They can't take a risk by producing an innovative or interesting OS, [...]

          What would qualify as an "innovative or interesting OS", in the context of the average user ?

          • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

            by ozmanjusri (601766)
            What would qualify as an "innovative or interesting OS"

            Are you guys SO desperate for ideas for Win 8 that you have to ask random Slashdotters for hints?

            • by drsmithy (35869)

              Are you guys SO desperate for ideas for Win 8 that you have to ask random Slashdotters for hints?

              I just want to know what you would consider "innovative or interesting" for the average user. Seems like a simple request.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            It's all wrong.

            Your OS shouldn't be shiny, showy, or dazzling. It shouldn't be interesting. It should exist simply as a framework for launching other programs, and it should do so in as unobtrustive and as small a manner as possible. If you're taking up resources that should otherwise go to productive programs, you are stealing from me.

            When I'm diving, I wear fins so I can move around underwater and I use a regulator so I have air. I don't want to be thinking "wow, this is a great regulator" or "these fins

          • by westlake (615356)

            What would qualify as an "innovative or interesting OS", in the context of the average user ?

            That's a fair question - and one the geek should be asking himself more often:

            PulseAudio Creator Responds To His Critics [slashdot.org]

            But he may not always like the answer.

            The Win 7 HTPC that ships with a Blu-Ray drive will ship with a licensed Blu-Ray player and integrated HDMI multi-channel audio and video out as standard. PPV, rental and subscription services of every sort will install painlessly and work as advertised.

            The

        • So they release a mildly facelifted version of their failed OS, rely on improved hardware to mask the worst of the sluggishness and hype it to the max. Profit.

          Isn't the business formula for all mature product lines?
          release a mildly facelifted version of their <PRODUCT X>, rely on improved <DEPENDENCY Y> to mask the worst of the <PROBLEM A> and hype it to the max. Profit.

      • by Ihmhi (1206036)

        (free MS software to endingeering students)

        None of whom have a minor in English apparently. d:

        • (free MS software to endingeering students)

          None of whom have a minor in English apparently. d:

          Maybe they're Walt Disney Imagineers who decided to go into eschatology.

      • So... why so long before boxes hit shelves? It seems very odd to me.

        So that there will be working apps available at launch.

        Yes, I've been running the final bits for a long time too. The point is, I can test my app against those final bits, and make sure everything works correctly. If needed, I've got time to make changes, spin a new version, and get updates available before customers start installing Windows 7.

      • by DeadboltX (751907)
        It gives MS more time to catch/fix bugs found by the early adopters before the general public has to pay out cold hard cash for the product.
      • by MrNemesis (587188)

        It took MS alot of time to resurrect Michaelangelo, Da Vinci, Holbein and Rembrandt so they could finally contribute to making the Windows 7 Table Centrepiece a truly worthy work of art fit for the launch parties. Man does that thing look sweet! I hear it took Da Vinci three years just to produce the hand-polymerised arbor-cellulose used for it's sculpted form.

    • At my place of work we can receive up to 20,000 items of Royal Mail each day. During the last strikes in '07 the Communication Workers Union message was that the manager's "modernisation" plan was really just a massive cut in service whereas RM management claimed they were just trying to eliminate "Spanish practices".

      Immediately after the imposition of the managers plan the quality of the service we receive decreased substantially. It used to be the case that we'd receive about 80% of our post by 7:30 with

  • by ZP-Blight (827688) on Tuesday October 20, 2009 @06:24AM (#29805581) Homepage

    Not only the U.K.,
    Windows 7 is already on sale in Israel.

  • The reviews are out for months. Anybody who really cared has it already anyway. Students could have it for weeks for free via MSDN AA. Not that I would say that there might still be some people waiting for this, but is this really worth a Slashdot story??
    • The reviews are out for months. Anybody who really cared has it already anyway. Students could have it for weeks for free via MSDN AA. Not that I would say that there might still be some people waiting for this, but is this really worth a Slashdot story??

      Hey, listen buddy. It's always worth a Slashdot story when even the hint of Microsoft screwing something up comes to light. Didn't you read your Slashlaws when you signed up?!? It's right there in Article 3, plain as day. Admit it, you don't read EULAs either, do you?

      • is this really worth a Slashdot story??

        Hey, listen buddy. It's always worth a Slashdot story when even the hint of Microsoft screwing something up comes to light. Didn't you read your Slashlaws when you signed up?!? It's right there in Article 3, plain as day

        Article 3- 'Any Slashdotter caught sniffing the saddle of the exercise bicycle in the women's gym will be discharged without trial'?

        Hmm, I'm sorry, that doesn't quite get to the nub of the matter for me.

    • *I* Care!! (Score:5, Funny)

      by Mateo_LeFou (859634) on Tuesday October 20, 2009 @08:14AM (#29806135) Homepage

      They're totally spoiling my launch party! After I spent all day organizing my "Activities" and picking my favorite "Features" to share with everyone! Now they'll all go to someone else's launch party the day before.

      The hell with them, I'm installing FreeBSD then.

  • by thrakkattack (1646531) on Tuesday October 20, 2009 @06:50AM (#29805701)
    There was a release party in the small Dutch village of Zevenhuizen (' Seven houses') , last Saturday: http://www.windowszeven.nl/Windows_7_nieuws.php?post=76 [windowszeven.nl]
  • Europe always gets hit first in disaster movies. Case in point - Scotland was first to freeze in The Day After Tomorrow. Though I bet a new ice age would be much less destructive that this...

    [Just kidding. Though I will keep Vista on my machine for a while longer, I actually think 7 is a pretty good OS...]
    • by node 3 (115640)

      Europe always gets hit first in disaster movies. Case in point - Scotland was first to freeze in The Day After Tomorrow. Though I bet a new ice age would be much less destructive that this...

      Whereas in actuality, the day after tomorrow is when rest of the planet gets hit with Windows 7...

  • by ctrl-alt-canc (977108) on Tuesday October 20, 2009 @07:09AM (#29805785)

    It costs just about 3 USD [reuters.com], probably its fair value...

    • FTFA:

      Chinese have been able to buy pirated copies this month for just 20 yuan ($2.93) each

      In my experience, a bit of haggling and threatening to walk away will bring the price down to 10 yuan. Assuming half goes to the retailer, that leaves about $0.73 for Bill and his gang of merry robbers :-)

  • I get to throw my Windows 7 Install Party [youtube.com] early!
  • Not exactly first if you include MSDN and TechEd subscribers. I've had the release version from MS for a week or two now, installed it last week over my RC build.

  • all i can say is, "those poor bastards."
  • I bet they never even saw it coming.
  • Not about pay (Score:4, Informative)

    by PhilHibbs (4537) <snarks@gmail.com> on Tuesday October 20, 2009 @08:57AM (#29806511) Homepage Journal

    Minor correction to the story, the dispute isn't really about pay, it's about changes in working conditions. There are some aspects that cover what counts as overtime so pay is involved, but it's not just "we want more money".

  • by elrous0 (869638) * on Tuesday October 20, 2009 @09:05AM (#29806593)
    Wouldn't it be more accurate to say that the postal service is threatening industrial inaction over pay?
  • Patch later?

  • "Windows 7 Released Early in UK. No word as of yet if the rest of the world has received any further communication from the British Isles."
  • I was most perplexed to get up yesterday, anticipating having a day off work to just unwind and go for a walk, and find Windows 7 arrived in the post...
    Now in and working, and pottering around with it to see how it handles.. I was part of the pre-order group, so the pro version only cost about £70 or so, which I think is reasonable for an OS..
    Must say, good PR for MS to allow the early release, rather than have these things stuck in the post (which means probably never arriving)..

  • Microsoft has been shipping out the party packs for a while now. My neighbors installed the signature edition this last weekend. And it has been available for months on Microsoft Volume Licensing Sites.

  • Nobody expects the British Windows 7!
  • Here in CA I saw Windows 7 desktop machines in Walmart on Saturday. 64-bit with 6MB of RAM for $398, sitting on the shelf ready to be purchased.

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