After months of previews, reviews, analysis and much hand-wringing from Microsoft, the next-generation of Redmond's flagship operating system — Windows 8 — finally launched to the public. Here's how the whole affair went down.
Around 50 people crowded around a stage in Sydney last night for the midnight launch of Windows 8. Balloons and colourful streamers decked the Harvey Norman concept store as Gerry Harvey, flanked by Harvey Norman's head of computing Ben McIntosh, spoke about the upcoming first sale of Windows 8.
Customers who were there to buy had filled out forms and went into a raffle to win the prize of being the first person in Australia to buy a copy of Windows 8, and a sweet prize: a Toshiba ultrabook worth around $1700.
At the stroke of midnight, Gerry Harvey sold the first copy of Windows to the lucky winner and handed over "a little gift" of the ultrabook.
Microsoft managing director Pip Marlow watched on as the clock passed midnight and much hugging took place between Gerry and the lucky winner.
Gerry commented that it had been his first sale in a store in 20 years.
The dust is now settling in Harvey Norman's Alexandria store, and we'll be bringing you full coverage of the Windows 8 launch events happening around the world and here in Australia in the coming hours.