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A leaked release schedule from Microsoft shows Windows 8 possibly arriving in 2011.  (Source: MSDN Blogs; Chris Green (former Microsoft developer))
Microsoft has plenty to feel good about these days

Microsoft struggled under a negative public image during the Vista years.  However, the work it did would help to lay the foundation for Windows 7, perhaps Microsoft's most popular operating system to date.  The new OS, which was released last October, was extremely well received thanks in part to an unprecedented public test program that saw millions download free trial builds of early versions of the OS and suggest ways Microsoft could improve it.

Now Windows 7 has hit a market share of 10 percent according to market research firm Net Applications.  To put those gains in context, Windows Vista did not hit over 10 percent until May 2008 – what took Windows Vista 16 months to achieve, Windows 7 did in a mere 5 months.

Currently, Windows Vista has around a 20 percent market share, while the nine-year-old Windows XP holds 60 to 70 percent market share.

Despite the emphatic success of Windows 7, the fastest selling OS in history, Microsoft is hard at work improving the operating system and its successors  Microsoft is reportedly readying Windows 7 Service Pack 1 for a June 2010 beta release and a September 2010 final release.  The SP1 will bring out of the box support for USB 3.0, one of the most exciting new computer technologies.

And according to Chris Green, a former Microsoft developer, Microsoft is already hard at work on the best-selling operating system's successor, code named Windows 8.  The next-gen Windows may be released on July 2011.  He leaked an entire release schedule which includes the upcoming Office 2010 and its successor Office 2012.

Microsoft also had some other good news to report.  In January 2010, Internet Explorer 8 became the world's most used browser, passing IE 6.  IE 8 currently has about a 22.31 percent market share worldwide.  Internet Explorer 8's gains have been partially fueled by Windows 7's success -- IE 8 is the default browser on the U.S. edition of the OS.  

IE 8 also has benefited from a recent push by Microsoft to get users away from IE 6 and IE 7, both of which have a flaw that was exploited by Chinese hackers to steal corporate data.  Microsoft is urging users to upgrade to the new browser.  Amazingly 20.07 percent of users in January still used IE 6 (many of these were likely business users).  Google recently announced that it would be phasing out support for IE 6.

Microsoft appears to be firing on all cylinders.  If it can continue its momentum with the release of Office 2010 later this year, it should be in a very favorable position at the year's end.

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RE: IE 8 top browser
By inighthawki on 2/3/2010 11:01:34 AM , Rating: 3
I think a more important way to think about this is, how many people actually bother switching browsers? IE8 is probably sufficient for most people. What those stupid charts with IE8 at a dominate share aren't telling u is that 90% of ie8 users are using it because they DONT CARE what browser it is.

RE: IE 8 top browser
By therealnickdanger on 2/3/2010 11:26:39 AM , Rating: 2
What those stupid charts with IE8 at a dominate share aren't telling u is that 90% of ie8 users are using it because they DONT CARE what browser it is.

Not sure the charts are stupid. Reminds me of a time when I sold computers at CompUSA (in the 1990s). An older woman came in and I showed her a couple models within her budget that could get the job done. We're walking up to the register and she said, "Oh wait, I almost forgot, does this computer have Mac?"

... "Have Mac?"

Apparently, she had been using a Mac at her job for 10 years and this was to be her first home computer. Even though I showed her Windows machines and she picked out the Windows machine she wanted, she couldn't tell the difference. She was oblivious. I went on to tell her that Apple computers that use the Mac OS were a different item altogether and that she should consider sticking to what is familiar (because it was obvious she had no clue what she was talking about). I offered to show her one of the many fruity-colored iMacs we had in stock, but she just said, "Nah, I'm sure it will be fine."

I could probably go on ad nauseam with similar stories.

RE: IE 8 top browser
By inighthawki on 2/3/2010 11:38:40 AM , Rating: 3
I didn't say that people weren't oblivious to other browsing solutions, and weren't informed or anything like that. The fact is that even when giving that choice, they don't care enough to bother getting a new browser.

RE: IE 8 top browser
By therealnickdanger on 2/3/2010 2:30:38 PM , Rating: 1
Ah, I assumed the mysterious "90%" you referred to was the mainstream folks who wouldn't know they had a choice in the first place.

"We don't know how to make a $500 computer that's not a piece of junk." -- Apple CEO Steve Jobs

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