Ballmer expects some businesses to upgrade quickly and others to wait for better economic times

Microsoft and much of the technology world is preparing for the October 22 launch of Windows 7. The operating system is perhaps the most important that Microsoft has ever offered with it replacing Vista, one of the most maligned OS'.

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer played down the roll that he and Microsoft expect Windows 7 to have in increasing PC sales when it launched.

Ballmer said, "There will be a surge of PCs but it will probably not be huge." Ballmer is trying to temper expectations for Windows 7 at the same time he and Microsoft's marketing arm are in overdrive to promote the new OS. Microsoft went so far as to offer a 90-day trial of Windows 7 to enterprise users to help woo them to upgrade from Vista or XP.

The question of whether or not businesses will quickly adopt Windows 7 or wait has varied answers. Ballmer feels that some businesses will upgrade quickly, while others will wait until later in 2010 when the economy is hopefully improved.

Microsoft is keen to transition as many users to Windows 7 as it can as a way to improve profits, which for the first time are down for the software giant. In fiscal Q4, eWeek reports that Microsoft posted a 17% drop in revenues compared to the previous year. At the same time the company posted earnings of $13.10 billion, $1 billion below Wall Street estimates.

Surveys are split on whether or not upgrades to Windows 7 by corporations will happen quickly. A report from Deutsche Bank in July showed that companies would adopt Windows 7 quickly while a similar report by ScriptLogic found that companies would wait until later in 2010 to move to Windows 7.

Ballmer told financial analysts at a meeting, "It's the middle of a down economy. I'm not going to sit here and give you a one-year optimistic guidance. I'm just not going to do it. But it’s not that I'm not optimistic."

"We basically took a look at this situation and said, this is bullshit." -- Newegg Chief Legal Officer Lee Cheng's take on patent troll Soverain
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