Windows 7 Retail Packaging is Lighter, Friendlier

A lot of what we talk about regarding Windows 7 has to do with pricing or performance enhancements, but today we learned from Microsoft a different sort of tweak – the revised retail packaging.

Although most Windows 7 users will undoubtedly get the new OS through the purchase of a new computer, some will be paying for it over the counter and getting it delivered as a shiny disc in the plastic box. We’ve seen the box art before, but Microsoft went into more detail about it in a recent blog post.

“We approached the packaging for Windows 7 the same way we approached the product – by listening to what our customers told us they wanted: make it a simple clean design, easy to open, and reduce waste,” said Windows Communication Manager Brandon LeBlanc. “We’ve reduced the number of elements in the package down to three: the plastic case, the paper sleeve, and a simple Getting Started Guide. The plastic case opens easily like a standard DVD case and it will have a single easy-to-remove seal at the top - and that’s it!”

Microsoft is also interested in its environment impact with Windows 7.

“The plastic case protecting the Windows 7 disk is lighter and is recyclable. The packaging itself has a 37% weight reduction and the econometrics score has improved by 50% over it’s predecessor,” LeBlanc continued. “Essentially, the packaging is what customers told us they were most interested in picking up to learn more about Windows 7.”

Along with new packaging comes a new logo and colors that set each different SKU apart. The new logo features nature-themed details inside each window quadrant and can be seen in greater detail in the latest Windows 7 build’s wallpaper.

“Customers told us they liked the big bold Windows logo and how it clearly communicates that it’s Windows 7. They like larger typefaces to make it easy to read. They also like the background colors for each edition that make it easier to differentiate between Windows 7 Home Premium all the way to Windows 7 Ultimate. In their own words, the ‘clean’ design gives off a ‘fresh’ feel.”

Marcus Yam
Marcus Yam served as Tom's Hardware News Director during 2008-2014. He entered tech media in the late 90s and fondly remembers the days when an overclocked Celeron 300A and Voodoo2 SLI comprised a gaming rig with the ultimate street cred.
  • jhansonxi
    A lighter box is definitely an important aspect of an OS - NOT!
  • jdamon113
    I guess if apple did that, it would be the smartest thing since slice bread.
  • imrul
    ^ agreed. Microsoft gets a lot of bashing and not enough credit...
  • Upendra09
    Microsoft is perfecting every aspect of there products, they should've done that before.
  • I actually like their approach. Makes more likely that I will keep the box and manual instead of tossing it away. Also, less clutter is always a good thing, regardless of the product. Thumbs up for the initiative.
  • Mrbumbum
    New case must cost less to produce, then they put a "green" spin on it to make it appear as if the environment is their number one concern when in reality money is.
  • Humans think
    Come on guys at tomshardware, with so much news about Windows 7 you are creating a hype, I really feel like a stupid consumer wanting to buy this product after seeing all this "commercials". Thank god I will get legit Win 7 Pro for free from MSDNAA otherwise I would feel miserable, I steel feel kind of underprivileged, I won't be getting this beautiful box though...
  • bfstev
    Every aspect of a product needs to be there for the retail market. That includes "shelf appeal".

    Personally i think it looks nice and with it not being so large I can actually keep the whole case instead of just the cd sleeve inside. Whatever the reason, monetary or otherwise, going green and reducing waste isn't a bad thing.
  • IzzyCraft
    jhansonxiA lighter box is definitely an important aspect of an OS - NOT!I still use my windows xp box to shove all my cd's in for my computer.
  • jsloan
    i liked the original xp packaging.

    hate the fancy vista packaging, disks fall all over the place and it takes a degree to figure out how to open it.

    i guess the windows 7 packaging is an improvement over the vista one, at least people with low iqs, like myself, can figure how to open it without having to get help or take additional courses. ;-)