It’s 22nd October 2009 3 AM in India, one of the biggest days of 2009’s tech calendar – Windows 7’s consumer launch worldwide. With the enthusiasm around the world regarding Windows 7, the two promotional campaigns run by Microsoft India, one for the consumers & the other for the corporates (nobody knows what happened to them), one would expect there to be some amount of excitement generated by Microsoft India for the product on which Microsoft’s reputation rides. Unfortunately (for Microsoft) there is or was absolutely NO campaign for the big day. Zilch. Nothing. 0. Nil.

There were no pre-orders or discounts for India. One might argue that Windows isn’t bought off the shelf here in India as much and most people get their Windows when they purchase a new PC, it is baffling to see none of the OEMs have done ANY promotion for their products for the 0-day. Nobody even knows the retail price of any of the SKUs of Windows 7! Sheesh! As a matter of fact, Microsoft has let journalists talk on Windows 7 without knowledge! No electronics retail store has put up any promotional material for Windows 7 either! It seems like the Microsoft India advertising department has been sleeping all this while or the division was shut down due to the lay-offs.

Contrast this to the enthusiasm in other parts of the world:

  • UK, US and other countries get pre-orders at heavily discounted prices.
  • Student discounts for Windows 7.
  • Dell, HP and other OEMs announce major bundles and offers for new PCs & Windows 7 in the US.
  • Best Buy, Wal Mart have been stacking up Windows 7 & pre-loaded PCs for the big day.

The only Windows 7 launch events happening are being done the communities and technology enthusiasts.

Microsoft doesn’t seem to be interested in India, this despite me conveying my thoughts to the top brass of Microsoft India and even Steve B.

When Vista was launched there was an extravagant event held at the Taj Mahal, of course Supreme Court of India had issues with that… wonder if that caused the bosses to have no celebrations this time? Microsoft India welcomes Windows 7, from the Taj Mahal to … err nothing. Truly disappointing. Wake up Sid! Damn even Yahoo! ran a full page ad on India’s leading dailies! Though there was news about Microsoft planning a launch on the Bandra-Worli sea link, which might not happen.

The only possible explanation to this could be the timing of Windows 7’s launch. Last week was the week when most Indians spend crazy amounts of cash, the festive season Diwali & Dhanteras are when ritually people buy new products (cars, clothes, gadgets, houses, anything major they plan to buy is postponed for these festivals.) The build up to these festivals is when shop owners and manufacturers clock their highest sales. Immediately post this festive season I doubt OEMs/retailers would expect any sales, which might explain the lack of interest. But, the OEMs didn’t push free upgrades to Windows 7 for their festive promos either. Kinda sad that I have to do such a post for this global event.

UPDATE: So Microsoft India launches Windows 7 with a Press Release. And prices have been leaked.

Windows 7 Home Basic – Rs. 5,899
Windows 7 Home Premium – Rs. 6,799
Windows 7 Professional – Rs. 11,199 (this I was told was around 8-9k.)
Windows 7 Ultimate – Rs. 11,799

I confirmed these prices with Croma Juhu, Bombay.

UPDATE #2: Here are some details as to why the Indian launch of Windows 7 has been delayed.

UPDATE #3: One can order Windows 7 online in India from here. (Discounts available.)