Windows 7 to get midnight launch in Tokyo's Akihabara

Retailers in Tokyo's Akihabara electronics district are gearing up to give Windows 7 the midnight launch treatment.

A number of shops have said they plan to open their doors on Wednesday evening and begin sales as Thursday, Oct. 22, begins. Some are also promising events or sessions to inform customers about the new features in Windows 7.

The midnight launch will make Japan one of the first places in the world where Windows 7 will be available to consumers.

But it's likely that many of those enthusiastic enough to queue at midnight will already have gotten their hands on a pre-release version of the software. Microsoft has given Windows 7 a wide preview release and at one point made versions available for download from its Web site.

The shops planning to open their doors on Wednesday evening are specialist PC retailers and will be selling distributor versions of the software, according to a local media . The retail package version of Windows 7 isn't expected to go on sale until major electronics stores open their doors at 9:00 a.m. on Thursday morning.

In addition to stores in Akihabara, specialist PC and parts retailers across Japan are also planning to begin sales at midnight.