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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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These things are 4 years too late
By flyingpants1 on 5/23/2012 3:26:20 AM , Rating: 2
January 2008 - Macbook Air released

April 2010 - iPad released, it's about the size of a Macbook air. Ever see them side by side?

October 2011 - Manufacturers finally release "Ultrabooks" (AKA Macbook Air clones)

January 2012 - Lenovo Yoga convertible tablet announced at CES. It's a Macbook Air with a touchscreen. Congratulations, Lenovo!

These things should have been out years ago. Manufacturers should be ashamed.

By nafhan on 5/23/2012 10:13:39 AM , Rating: 3
They could have come out years ago, and there have been concepts like the MBA for years. However, historically, not many people have been willing to pay > $1000 for a nice looking, yet underpowered, PC that doesn't have a fruit logo on it.

In other words, this wasn't an engineering or even a design problem. It's actually selling these things that the other resellers haven't been able to wrap their heads around.

By sbtech on 5/24/2012 12:15:14 PM , Rating: 2
Except, that in 2008, Lenovo release X300.

Internal rollcage design.
Integrated Dual layer DVD Burner which can be swapped with another battery
Removable main battery
Ethernet port
And built like a tank!

Ohh did I mention, it fits in that damn envelope too.

Go figure.

"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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