HP has brought back a Windows 7 option "by popular demand", offering desktop and notebook PCs with Microsoft's old OS amid patchy public support for Windows 8. The range of five computers spans an entry-level Pavilion desktop through to ENVY performance towers and both Pavilion and ENVY laptops, with HP even offering a $150 saving to sweeten the deal.
HP isn't the only PC manufacturer to still offer Windows 7 as an option, but it's probably the most blatant. Other companies position the superseded OS as for business buyers, who might be yet to update their enterprise to Windows 8 (or, most recently, Windows 8.1), though still push the newest version to consumers.
The five Windows 7 PCs HP is offering, however, are from its consumer line-up. After the saving, in fact, they start at under $480 for a desktop and under $600 for a notebook.
Windows 8 was Microsoft's attempt to blend tablet and desktop computing together, though the strategy met with mixed responses. Although the Metro-style interface works well with a touchscreen, it's less successful when a more traditional keyboard and mouse are used, leading to Microsoft tweaking the UI in Windows 8.1 late last year to improve legacy navigation.
Even with that, reactions to the OS have been mixed, and many have refused to update from Windows 7 machines as a result. HP's decision to cater to that market isn't, perhaps, surprising, though Microsoft is unlikely to be pleased with it.
It may be BUILD 2014 later this year where we see Microsoft fight back. The company has promised details on Windows 9, which will "put Windows 8 in the rear-view mirror", at its annual developer event.