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Apparently Windows 8 hasn't been selling well enough that HP can afford to leave behind its predecessor completely. The computer manufacturer is prominently promoting that Windows 7 is available on its new laptops and desktops — "by popular demand."
Windows 8 includes many improvements to 7, but the new Start menu and "Modern" user interface have been divisive to say the least. Although these changes are more or less optional (it's not difficult to replace or revert many of the controversial UI elements), they are also new and unfamiliar to many and evidently HP's customers would rather just go with what they know.
The older operating system also saves $150 off the order — meaning that even people who might have been fine with Windows 8 before may now wonder whether it's worth paying extra for.
HP, in fact, never stopped carrying Windows 7 PCs — but like other PC companies such as Acer and Dell, did not advertise it nearly so prominently to consumers.
Rumors over the last month have suggested that the next version of Windows will bring back bits of the old interface, though Microsoft isn't likely to backtread too much. We'll likely learn more during the company's Build developer conference in April.