This is Your Windows on Drugs

Microsoft (MSFT) on Thursday took another step towards the launch of its most important product in years, Windows 7, with the release of a near-final version of the operating system. There are a number of new features in the latest version of Windows 7, but the most eye-catching is–-drum roll, please–-wacky wallpaper!

That’s right, the “release candidate” version of Windows 7 that Microsoft made available Thursday has some of the most visually arresting background images ever to ship with a piece of software. They make all the pretty pictures of bamboo, flowers and fish that ship with Apple’s (AAPL) Macintosh computers look hopelessly stuffy by comparison. Windows 7 wallpaper images, including some fairly conventional ones, have been posted on the Web; here’s one collection on Flickr.

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