HP Pushing Windows 7 PCs ‘Back by Popular Demand’

Hewlett-Packard managed to generate press this week with news of an operating system throwback it hopes will spur otherwise lackluster PC sales. In an online promotion, the tech giant is offering discounts on consumer PC models that come with Windows 7 installed, as opposed to the current version of the Windows operating system, which is 8.1. But some industry watchers wonder how it will impact an already strained HP-Microsoft relationship.

Just to be clear, HP does still sell Windows 8.1 PCs, but is apparently hoping to increase overall PC sales by actively promoting a Windows 7 option.

Windows 7 PCs are EUBack by popular demand,EU says the marketing line on the front page of HP.com. The company is offering $150 off PCs that shun Windows 8 for the more popular Windows 7 operating system.

Five discounted models are available -- three desktops and two notebooks. The HP Pavilion 500-205t desktop is selling for $479.99; the Pavilion 15t-n200 notebook runs $599.99; the Envy 700-215xt desktop goes for $699.99; the Envy 15t-j100 sells for $779.99; and the Envy Phoenix 810;135qe runs $999.99.

Testing the Waters?

So, whatEUs HP up to? Just selling PCs, it seems, and trying to increase sales.

The company has posted declines in PC shipments for seven quarters in a row. By bringing back custom Windows 7 PCs and notebooks, HP is running a publicity stunt that could turn heads by leveraging the more popular version of Microsoft's flagship software.

Microsoft still supports Windows 7 and thereEUs no indication that itEUs nearing the end its lifecycle, unlike Windows XP. HP may be testing the waters for the thousands of diehards who cringe at the thought of upgrading to Windows 8.1 when Microsoft stops supporting XP this April.

We caught up with Rob Enderle, principal analyst at The Enderle Group, to get his take on the...

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