If you've already read my thrilling tale of the Windows 7 midnight launch, you won't be surprised to hear that excitement over Windows 7 doesn't exactly have throngs of customers lining the streets. In fact, Electronista reports that Japan is the only country that saw queues of significant size. They had several (still limited) lines outside of Yodobashi Camera and other major retailers.
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There were a few Western stores, like the Fry's I went to, that did midnight openings. Most of them saw very small, to modest lines. These were likely due to the give-aways those stores were holding as a way to celebrate the release. My store had a big software raffle, and pretty much every major retailer is giving out free Windows 7 shirts.
The lack of a major reaction to the Win 7 release shouldn't be seen as a bad sign for the future of the OS. Most users don't rush out to buy a new OS the instant it's released. Many people are buying Win 7 to upgrade (it's doing pretty well on Amazon.com), but most of them will probably wait until it's time for them to buy a new PC anyway to make the switch. That's what Ballmer expects.
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There should be a slight-to-substantial boost in PC sales as a result of the launch, but everyone and their dog aren't going to rush out and buy new machines. I think we'll really start to see a huge rush in sales around Black Friday. The economy is tight, and people are going to wait to buy their big ticket items until they can get the best possible deal. I think the recession, combined with the launch of new Macs and PCs, will combine to create one of the biggest Black Fridays for computer retailers in recent memory.