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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 sabrewulf on 2/3/2010 12:43:21 PM , Rating: 4
Firefox is more established, better supported, MUCH more flexible, and has the superior ad-blocking extension. Firefox is also faster, in my humble opinion. But then again I don't spend all day surfing sunspider benchmarks or hundreds of unique sites, nor would I guess do most people. Firefox handles cached page loads much more smoothly than Chrome, at least to my eyes.

Chrome is nice if you need something that launches a little faster on slow machines and you don't mind doing things Google's way and no other (utter lack of UI customization options).

RE: IE 8 top browser
By quiksilvr on 2/3/2010 6:24:13 PM , Rating: 2
I agree to an extent. I do get tired of constantly deleting Chrome's cache, but that can easily avoided if you set Google Chrome to open in incognito mode by default:

Also, you can customize the UI and alot more on Google Chrome as well (not to mention Adblocking):

And Chrome is not a little faster, it is a magnitude faster. It's almost insulting to see a webpage open with advertisements nearly twice as fast as Firefox with no extensions or add-ons on except for Adblock Plus.

Firefox 3.6 is amazing. Its faster, it gives you easier customization and has better compatibility. But it just doesn't hold a candle to Google Chrome's ridiculous speed and simplicity.

RE: IE 8 top browser
By Byte on 2/4/2010 9:01:57 AM , Rating: 2
I always have about 7 browsers always open, for web dev and whatnot. But for pure speed from cache you just can't touch Opera 8 period. Try open up ebay, do a search click something. Now go back on fox, chrome, and opera. U will see.

"Spreading the rumors, it's very easy because the people who write about Apple want that story, and you can claim its credible because you spoke to someone at Apple." -- Investment guru Jim Cramer

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