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Microsoft Showcases OEM Windows 7 PCs in 'The Collection'

Microsoft's U.K. subsidiary is firing a shot across Apple's design bow with a showcase of attractive Windows 7 PCs called, somewhat presumptuously, "The Collection."

The 30 PCs in The Collection will be featured at retail stores across the United Kingdom.

In launching The Collection this week, Ashley Highfield, managing director of Microsoft U.K., was quoted in the Telegraph newspaper saying that it was a mark of the "end of the beige-box era of computing and the beginning of another where computers are appealing things to own and use."

The Collection consists of five categories of systems: Everyday, Mobile Companion, Professional, Entertainment and Gaming.

The two business-focused categories in the collection are Mobile Companion with seven PCs and Professional with four PCs.

The Mobile Companions are the Toshiba NB550D, Dell Inspiron Duo, ICONIA TAB W500, Asus EeePad EP 121, Acer Aspire 1830T, Asus U36JC and HP Pavilion dm1. The Professional PCs are the Samsung Series 9, Toshiba Portege R830, Sony SB Series and Dell Vostro V130.

In addition to a slick site design, Microsoft also comes right out and explains for each model "Why we love this PC." For example, of the Samsung Series 9, Microsoft writes: "Exquisite design, razor thin, stunning screen and powerful too. Prepare to impress."

Whether Microsoft replicates the approach in other subsidiaries, the U.K. Collection does provide a useful resource for Microsoft partners worldwide looking for a directory of the hottest Windows 7 PCs to recommend to clients. (Another useful resource is RCP's "12 Notable Windows 7 Notebooks.")

Posted by Scott Bekker on April 21, 2011 at 11:58 AM