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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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RE: I'd like to say that...
By mellomonk on 5/23/2012 11:10:24 AM , Rating: 2
You don't have to use the Metro UI on the desktop. It can go strait to the traditional desktop.

The problem with that approach is that MS is pushing for developers to move to writing Metro Apps and develop for the new APIs. That is also where the software store is going to be. In time you may find you will have to Metro as it becomes a place where more and more of your software lives. Even access to the 'traditional desktop' comes in the form of a metro app.

Metro apps will be the only software outside of a few ported apps on tablets as well. Older X86 (desktop) software will not run on ARM based devices. And MS is not giving developers the ability to write desktop applications for ARM (WinRT). They have announced an undetermined version of Office will be ported, but that is it. Metro is slick, but you have no choice but to use it and it's apps on tablets. That is going to be terribly confusing to a good many folks.

This Frankenstein two OS-in-one approach feels rather disjointed and confusing. It is going to interesting to see how it works out with millions sitting on their 'traditional' Win7 (from my cold dead hands) while much of the development push will be for the more mobile computing that much of the world is going to. Which for MS means Metro apps.

"Google fired a shot heard 'round the world, and now a second American company has answered the call to defend the rights of the Chinese people." -- Rep. Christopher H. Smith (R-N.J.)

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