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briefs: Windows opportunity

Windows opportunity

Will Windows 95, Microsoft's next version of its operating system, really prove to be an improvement on version 3.1 when it is launched on 24 August?

Compaq, the world's largest PC manufacturer, is hedging its bets. Buyers of PCs on and after that date will be given the option of upgrading to the new operating system, using a voucher valid for three months from the purchase date. "We will probably be the last manufacturer to pre-install it as standard," says Joe McNally, Compaq UK's managing director. "We will initially give clients three to four months to decide whether they want Windows 95 or if they want to stay with 3.1."

However, Gateway 2000, another big PC vendor, says anyone in the UK or Ireland buying one of its PCs after 14 July will receive a coupon allowing a free upgrade to Windows 95, plus free lifetime support.