Windows 7 stampede pummels Amazon, brings down Microsoft store

Windows 7 has surged to the top of Amazon.co.uk's software chart, just hours after the new operating system became available for pre-order

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Demand for Windows 7 has brought down Microsoft's own online store today, just hours after the new operating system became available for pre-order on the site.

Windows 7 also surged to the top of Amazon.co.uk's software chart.

More copies of Windows 7 have been pre-ordered in its first eight hours on the site than Windows Vista achieved in its entire 17-week pre-order period, said Amazon UK.

Starting today, the next version of the Windows operating system became available for pre-order at a discounted price. A limited number of copies will be available at £49.99 for Home Premium version, and £99.99 for Windows 7 Professional. This represents a large saving on the SRP for Windows 7: according to Microsoft, Windows 7 Home Premium Edition should cost £149, while the Professional version will be £219 and the Ultimate Edition £229.

However, customers hoping to grab a discounted copy of the OS were greeted with this error message on the Microsoft online store site: "Due to the eagerly anticipated Windows 7 pre-order offer we’re experiencing a higher level of demand on our website than usual. This means you can’t access the site right now and we’re sorry about that. We’ll be back up and running as soon as we can so please try again soon to get your hands on a copy of Windows 7!"

By 10am today, Windows 7 Home Premium E held the number one spot in Amazon's software chart, while Windows 7 Professional E was at number two. The two versions were the only software packages to have been in Amazon's chart for less than 100 days.

Preorder Windows 7

"Both Windows 7 upgrade packages shot to the top of the Amazon.com software bestsellers chart over in the US as soon as they were made available for pre-order at the end of June," said Chris Poad, director of software at Amazon.co.uk. "With the significant discount currently on offer, a similar level of high demand was expected in the UK for what is undoubtedly the biggest software release for many years."

Windows 7 was made available at midnight last night on a first-come first-served basis.

The OS is available from selected UK Windows 7 retailers, including Currys and Tesco. Users can purchase licences for just £49.99 for Home Premium, and £99.99 for Windows 7 Professional. This represents a large saving on the SRP for Windows 7: according to Microsoft, Windows 7 Home Premium Edition should cost £149, while the Professional version will be £219 and the Ultimate Edition £229.

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