Windows 7 became available to UK consumers for pre-order on Wednesday, with retailers offering heavily discounted prices during the run-up to the product's official release.
Amazon UK took more pre-orders for Microsoft's upcoming operating system in the first eight hours of Wednesday than it took for Windows Vista in the whole of that OS's 17-week pre-order period, the online store said.
Two versions of Windows 7, Home Premium and Professional, are available for advance purchase. The Home Premium edition has a recommended retail price of £150, but is currently available from Amazon UK for £45 and from PC World for £50. The Professional version is available from Amazon UK for £90 and from PC World for £100.
Thirteen UK stores are taking advance orders for the operating system, including John Lewis, Argos and Tesco, according to Microsoft. People who pre-order Windows 7 will receive their boxed copies on 22 October, the official day of the operating system's release.
DSGi-owned PC World is offering a free in-store 'PC Health Check', involving a virus scan and performance advice, to those who choose to pre-order the operating system through them.
On Monday, Microsoft said business customers would be able to get Windows 7 before the official retail release date, but a recent ScriptLogic survey suggested that nearly 60 percent of businesses had no plans for rolling out the new operating system.