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Hewlett-Packard (HP), the world's second largest PC maker by volume, is giving potential customers the ability to configure systems with Windows 7 instead of Windows 8 or Windows 8.1. The OEM is advertising that Windows 7 is "back by popular demand," and as a bonus, customers can save up to $150 instantly. Based on the available systems, that's a savings of anywhere from 13 percent to 20 percent off the normal price.
You can still purchase Windows 8/8.1 PCs from HP, but what's interesting here is how aggressive the OEM is pitching the return of Windows 7 as a default option. If you head over to the Desktops & All-in-Ones section of HP's Home & Home Office Store, Windows 7 machines are the only ones displayed, located prominently above a Windows 8.1 section with a "Learn More" link.
There's no sugarcoating the fact that this is a condemnation of sorts against Microsoft's touch-friendly Windows 8 OS. This is the world's second largest OEM, after all, and it's openly advertising a previous generation OS for no other reason than that's what its customers are demanding.
As far as we know, HP is the only major OEM promoting Windows 7 in such a fashion. It will be interesting to see if its competitors do the same thing.