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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 JediJeb on 5/23/2012 2:54:28 PM , Rating: 2
I can see it for people who use their computer for browsing and office apps, but for me in an industrial setting, it would mean trying to get vendors of expensive pieces of equipment to rewrite their software which usually doesn't happen. Our biggest vendor just now started to release software with their new equipment that is compatible with W7, up till then the best you could do is something with XP SP2, if you had SP3 the software would refuse to install. When you pay $150k for a piece of equipment the vendor can pretty much say you use whatever OS they wish. We have some equipment now that works perfectly, yet if we wish to move away from a WinNT OS we will need to spend another $100k to replace it with a new piece what is compatible with the software running on W7.

Rewriting operating systems just because someone can ever few years is great for OS vendors and may be acceptable in shops and homes that only use basic apps, but for those using specialized programs and hardware interfaces it can be a nightmare. They still make a lot of this equipment that uses COM ports and those are becoming difficult to find on a PC, especially when you need more than one.

By nafhan on 5/24/2012 10:15:13 AM , Rating: 2
To be fair "people who use their computer for browsing and office apps" make up essentially the entire non-server market.
It sounds like you guys should not upgrade to Windows 8 on your industrial control machinery. With embedded stuff in general, I'd say if it is not online and it works fine, upgrading the OS isn't really necessary. So, it's kind of a non-issue. Upgrade when you have to for a good reason, not when a new version comes out.

"A lot of people pay zero for the cellphone ... That's what it's worth." -- Apple Chief Operating Officer Timothy Cook

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