Those that pre-ordered Windows 7 are already seeing their copies drop through their letter box as the US software giant has been forced to ship early due to the threat of postal strikes here in the UK.

Microsoft has authorised retailer PC World to send out copies of the OS ahead of its general release date of 22 October, with customers receiving their discs days ahead of the due date.

"October 22nd sees both the launch of Windows 7 and a planned postal strike in the UK.  In order to minimise the impact on customers, Microsoft has authorised those partners who participated in the pre-order programme to ship Windows 7 to those customers who pre-ordered it." A Microsoft spokesperson told Pocket-lint.

Other retailers have apparently been given the go ahead to do similar with Microsoft stating it is "aware of the planned postal strike and has taken action to minimise impact on those customers who pre-ordered their copies of Windows 7".