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Company expects another year of record sales, despite imminent successor incoming

Microsoft Corp.'s (MSFT) Windows 7 has by far surpassed the company's expectations, becoming the fastest growing operating system in history.  The well liked product already achieved the distinction of passing Windows XP.

Now, even with Windows 8 looming ahead for a late 2012 launch, Microsoft says it expects to move a record amount of Windows 7 personal computers -- 350 million -- in 2012.  The figure came courtesy of Microsoft's larger than life CEO Steve Ballmer, who told reporters at a conference in Seoul, South Korea, "It makes Windows the most popular single system."

The implied message is "more popular than Apple".  Apple, Inc. (AAPL) has been challenging traditional PC makers in sales, assuming you count the best-selling iPad tablet as a "personal computer".

Gartner, Inc. (IT), a top market research firm estimates that 103 million tablets will be sold in 2012, with two thirds of those being iPads.  That places cumulative iPad sales close to 70 million units.  Apple sells many more tablets than traditional personal computers.

Windows 8 hopes to gobble up some of Apple's tablet sales [Image Source: Lenovo]

Still Windows devices will outsell the popular tablet, based on Mr. Ballmer's numbers by roughly a 5-to-1 ratio.  Microsoft hopes Windows 8 will expand on that margin, with both Intel Corp. (INTC) and various ARM Holdings plc (LON:ARM) licensees planning major tablet pushes.

Of course Microsoft could face a backlash if Windows 8 is perceived as too much of a "tablet-centric" operating system and a poor choice for traditional personal computers.

Source: Bloomberg

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By kleinma on 5/22/2012 5:28:20 PM , Rating: 3
Or it will sell like a beast. I think sometime within a month, all windows 7 sales will get free windows 8 upgrades. That will get those people on board. Once the flood of tablets, hybrids, and other form factors hit the market running windows 8 and windows RT, we will see how your prediction holds up.

By AEvangel on 5/22/2012 5:51:30 PM , Rating: 2
I think that will be the key....if they offer an inexpensive price point to upgrade from 7 to 8.

Then most of the average users might do it. Thus allowing them to use the new system and push the average user more into purchasing Windows phones and tablet products.

By kleinma on 5/22/2012 5:47:15 PM , Rating: 2
The people who will benefit the most from upgrading will be those who have gotten the AIO machines over the past few years. Even though they only have 2 touch points, they will be able to use metro quite well, as MS made sure all core touch is based on 2 touch points. They will get an instant boost in feature usage by going to windows 8 from windows 7.

I am running Windows 8 on my laptop and on 1 desktop here, neither of which have touch, but I like Windows 8 all the same, and like the metro interface. I don't miss the start menu. So far the one thing I have found annoying is the number of clicks to shut the machine down, versus start -> right arrow -> enter, which I am very used to now. On a laptop I can just set it to sleep/power down on power button press, or on lid close. Nothing should take MORE steps than it used to.

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