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Will Windows 7 crash?

Microsoft is hoping that Thursday’s release of Windows 7, a retooled version of its controversial Windows Vista program, will work out some of the technical kinks that killed Vista’s heavily promoted marketing momentum in 2006.

Already the PC world is crackling with anticipation.

“We expect to have a pretty good release day,” said Ken Hall, inventory manager of the Best Buy in Tupelo. “We have doubled the staff in that portion of the store and will have about 20 units on display for customers to play around with as well as three to four hundred units that are ready to sell.”

Managers at the Jackson Best Buy say their store opened an hour early to accommodate customers, including many companies who are making large purchases of the software for their employees.

Windows 7, while largely an updated version of Vista, runs faster, requires less memory and hard drive to operate and comes with new features including better DVD burning and easier navigation tools like taskbar “pinning” for multitasking users, Microsoft claims. Fans are already calling it the most complete and debugged version of an operating system that Windows has ever released.

Joseph West, an IT consultant for Best Buy, said that Microsoft moved “a thousand feet forward” with Windows 7 adding that it brings back some of the best features of the popular Windows XP program while eliminating the original bugs in Vista. Many programs that were written with XP in mind but that didn’t work for Vista will now be operational in Windows 7.

Best Buy couldn’t be happier with the unveiling of Windows 7. Hall said that sales activity in his store’s computer department has been lighter in recent days likely due to customers eagerly awaiting the new software.

West says that the company’s Geek Squad technicians have been training on preview versions of Windows 7 for weeks and that they will be on standby to offer certified help to offices and homes as they get used to the new product.

By STEPHEN MCDILL and DON SMITH

MBJ Staff Writers

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