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October 24, 2009

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Windows 7 to boost IT sector

MICROSOFT Corp launched Windows 7, which is the most significant upgrade in the global personal computer industry in eight years and is the latest version of the Windows family, in China yesterday.

More than 1 billion people, or 95 percent of the global PC users, install various Windows systems in their computers, and analysts said demand by users to upgrade to Windows 7 will give the PC and the entire IT industry a huge boost.

Each 1 yuan spending on Windows 7 will bring the IT industry an income of 27 yuan, Microsoft said.

"The upgrade of the operating system, if it proves successful, will boost the PC industry revenue," said Arthur Chen, Acer's director of east China region.

The highlights of Windows 7 include multi-touch support, a redesigned improved home networking and media sharing functions.

"Starting from today (yesterday), it's not only a PC but a Windows 7 PC," Simon Leung, Microsoft China's chairman and chief executive, said in Beijing yesterday.

Windows 7 has also added features specifically for Chinese consumers, who purchase 40 million PCs annually. The system supports China Mobile, China Unicom and China Telecom networks, better recognition of handwritten Chinese and the domestic standard for digital and high-definition TVs, Leung said.

In China, Windows 7 costs from 399 yuan (US$59), 20 percent lower than that of Vista which it succeeds. The Windows 7 family version costs 699 yuan, almost 50 percent lower than that in the United States market.

Also yesterday, Microsoft said its net income fell 18 percent in the last quarter, largely because it deferred revenue to let summertime PC buyers get free upgrades to Windows 7.

Microsoft said its earnings dropped to US$3.6 billion, or 40 cents per share, but that was much higher the analysts' estimate of 32 cents per share in a Thomson Reuters survey.



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