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hpA visit to HP’s website this morning will feel like a time warp … or maybe a welcome return home.

In a move that will cause headaches at Microsoft, the computer maker is running a special promotion for $150 off new Windows 7 PCs, touting the operating system as “Back by popular demand.” The company is still offering Windows 8 on new computers, particularly for tablets and laptops, but the first products shown when browsing for desktops on HP’s site are Windows 7 machines.

The situation is a reminder of previous comparisons of Windows 8 to “New Coke,” the infamous soda remake that sparked a consumer backlash and a return to the classic formula. In Microsoft’s case, the radical changes in Windows 8 require some adjustment for longtime Windows users, particularly on the desktop, although the company has been rolling back some of those changes with the return of the Start button and the ability to boot directly to the desktop in Windows 8.1.

Windows 8 has been increasing its market share, as the default on most new machines, but Windows 7 is still refusing to fade away. Year-end numbers for 2013 showed Windows 7 ending the year at 48 percent market share, up a few percentage points from the beginning of the year. Windows 8 and 8.1 topped 10 percent market share.

HP’s promotion was spotted by Neowin and also reported by The Verge.


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