Windows 8 London launch: 'Is this a queue for the iPad mini?'

Windows 8 London launch: 'Is this a queue for the iPad mini?'

Summary: Microsoft's Windows 8 is here, but with no UK launch activities I was slightly dubious as to how many people would drag themselves to central London for Currys/PC World's launch event. So, just how many did?

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  • It's finally here: Windows 8 has arrived. And my 60-inch touchscreen is bigger than yours.

    Ok, well, it's not my touchscreen, it's Currys & PC World's touchscreen on Tottenham Court Road, put there to excite (or placate) the throngs of customers waiting for the midnight launch of Windows 8 in the UK.

    While the live-streaming official introduction of Windows 8 started in the UK many hours earlier, Currys and PC World decided to throw their own party in London to welcome in the new touch-friendly OS - starting at one minute past midnight, on the dot.

    To entice people to the store, there were a number of special offers. For example, an HP Pavilion G6 E2 with 6GB RAM and a 750GB hard drive was going for £249, while the same company's DV7 i7 with 6GB RAM and 1TB of memory was £599 - around £400 off the usual price, according to the retailer.

    "The team at our Currys & PC World store on Tottenham Court Road is anticipating a long queue outside the store throughout Thursday evening in the run up to the 00:01 opening on Friday, October 26," a spokesman for the retailer said in a statement before the event.

    Image: Ben Woods

  • While Currys/PC World was predicting big queues, I had my doubts before setting out. After all, the shop couldn't even sell the headline-grabbing Surface tablet - Microsoft is doing this only through its own channels.

    Somewhat to my surprise, though, when I arrived at Tottenham Court Road there was a queue of around 300 people or so - almost exactly the number that got free Beats headphones with an HP purchase.

    The lucky chaps at the front (pictured) had been waiting since 5pm for the store to open its doors. Number one and two were brothers - one had even flown over from Madrid for the event.

    In the number-three spot was David Wiggs, who had only travelled up from Surrey but was clearly keen to get his hands on a bargain.

    "It's just too good a deal to miss out on; so perfect a marriage of technology," Wiggs said. This was only the second launch event of any kind he had been to - and the first was for Windows XP. Wiggs was there to snap up an HP DV7 with Core i7 processor (and the free headphones).

    Image: Ben Woods

Topics: Microsoft, Laptops, United Kingdom, Windows

Ben Woods

About Ben Woods

With several years' experience covering everything in the world of telecoms and mobility, Ben's your man if it involves a smartphone, tablet, laptop, or any other piece of tech small enough to carry around with you.

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39 comments
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  • Windows 8 London launch: 'Is this a queue for the iPad mini?'

    The Microsoft Windows 8 London launch was a success! Look at all those people lined up. I wish I could have been there but London is a bit far for me. Good to see the smiles on their faces because Microsoft Windows 8 put it there.
    Loverock Davidson-
    • Um...

      Those smiles are probably more to do with a heavily discounted HP laptop and a free pair of headphones that they can stick on ebay. How long would that queue have been if they were queueing _just_ to buy Windows 8? My guess is not very.
      ajo1979
      • .

        Did somebody not have his nap time?

        Longer than girls would queue to see you judging by your picture.
        danjames2012
        • A classic example of an ad-hominem attack.

          I am truly appalled by some of the responses from MS Zealots.
          Zogg
          • Zealots...

            When I see someone use that term I usually just apply it to them. I mean why do you care? I don't own any Apple products but I don't call the people who queue up for gadgets zealots. It's their money.
            mikedees
          • Eh? What are you talking about?

            I'm commenting on the appalling rudeness of danjames2012's post. How on Earth did you believe otherwise?!

            Do you have reading difficulties?
            Zogg
          • ....

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QbVUwbAM1Kg
            danjames2012
          • A classic example of a reactionary ad-hominem attack

            to a pro Microsoft reply, IMO
            William Farrel
      • Its because of Microsoft Windows 8

        These people are in line and they are getting Microsoft Windows 8. A lot of media was made about this store having the midnight special. Its so cool that Microsoft can still get that kind of interest i their products.
        Loverock Davidson-
        • No...

          No you're just a big stupid biased trolling jerk. Don't worry about it.
          Naryan
          • No I'm not

            Look at the pictures. Read the story. Microsoft Windows 8 is released at midnight. People are lined up at midnight. People are smiling.

            Windows 8 + People = smiles
            Loverock Davidson-
          • 213

            Yes, in line 213. Wonder if they have tried Windows 8 yet?
            mytake4this
        • Maybe change your username?

          Your stuff has become so transparent and cloying, I should think you'll find a better response by changing your name. Do you get the bonus either way?
          gregv2k
      • Perhaps

        Either way, the price on that HP is amazing, and I would have snatched up a couple!
        omdguy
    • Perhaps not so much?

      http://www.theinquirer.net/inquirer/news/2220288/currys-and-pc-world-struggles-to-shift-windows-8-devices-on-launch-day

      A little premature?
      D.T.Long
      • Yawn.

        Lets see - on one day you point out that that nobody buys PC at these places, they get them cheaper online, then point out that nobody is buying a new tablet at the store?

        Could it be they might get one cheaper online? And they weren't selling the Surface. But then I also remember there where no lines for the release of Windows 7, yet it alone has outsold the total number of Mac computers combined.

        So I'm not sure what you're getting at. Though I am sure of one thing -I see some of the usual ones here getting even more frantic now that it's officaily released. Look what Windows 8 has reduced SC to.

        Sad and funny at the same time.
        William Farrel
        • Confused, illogical and desperate

          What a pathetic response.

          "on one day you point out that that nobody buys PC at these places, they get them cheaper online, then point out that nobody is buying a new tablet at the store?"

          Please provide a link. I never made such a post/claim.

          I responded to LD's proclamation of a launch success in London with a link, suggesting his proclamation may be premature. You respond with a largely incomprehensible rant.

          Utterly pathetic, even for a shill.
          D.T.Long
      • Article is wrong

        The Inquirer is known to be biased against Microsoft so I took the whole article with a grain of salt. It never stated how long they were there and how long the sales rep they talked to had been working that day or how many sales reps they talked to before one said that he didn't see any Microsoft Windows 8 devices due to his shift just starting. Also the article doesn't add up when you have that many people waiting in line for the known Microsoft Windows 8 launch and they are saying not one person bought it. I just can't find that to be plausible. Article has too many holes it in to take it seriously.
        Loverock Davidson-
        • Too dumb for words

          They were there and you were not.

          You drew conclusions based on a picture and The Inquirer actually went to the store.

          But you know the facts.

          I guess that makes sense to your tortured mind.
          D.T.Long
          • the article

            And I showed you why the article was wrong.
            Loverock Davidson-