Hundreds of enthusiasts wait for hours in Akihabara for Windows 8 OS

Microsoft launched its new Windows 8 operating system and Surface tablet in many countries on Thursday night including Japan. Hundreds of enthusiasts waited outside electronics stores in Tokyo’s Akihabara for two hours before the midnight sale began. Such was the enthusiasm of buyers in Akihabara that they sat down on the sidewalk outside the store and installed the Windows 8 OS on their laptops immediately. Windows 8 devices and new Surface tablet are seen as a challenge to Apple’s popular iPad.

Windows 8 represents the biggest change in Microsoft’s user interface since Windows 95 came out 17 years ago. Microsoft is offering several versions of the new system. The basic Windows 8, the full Windows 8 Pro and Windows 8 Enterprise for large organizations will all run on the traditional PCs, laptops and new tablets using Intel chips.

Windows RT is a new version of Windows that will be pre-installed on its Surface tablet and other devices using low-power chips designed by ARM Holdings. Through the end of January, users running Windows XP, Windows Vista or Windows 7 can download an upgrade to Windows 8 Pro for $40.

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