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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'm afraid to laugh...
By Brett Kline on 5/23/2012 3:55:23 PM , Rating: 1
I think Microsoft has underestimated how saturated the tablet market already is. For most people, iPads and Android tablets already offer all the capabilities they need from a tablet and Windows mobile OS's don't have the best track record.

Brett Kline

RE: I'm afraid to laugh...
By sbtech on 5/24/2012 12:10:32 PM , Rating: 2

That is really for some people. But you should consider the fact that a windoes 8 tablet suddenly opens up the complete windows software world to you, which neither Apple nor Android does.

Here is a small example, if I am carrying a tablet, that is carrying something in my hand/rucksack, I would not carry another laptop along with it - say over the weekend. Then if I get a mail from customer to make a short adjustment to their project plan and resend, I can read that mail in Android/Apple, but in windows, I can actually make that short adjustment in MS Project, and send it to them in say 15 mins. Otherwise depending on the urgency, or how much you value that customer, I may have to cut short a trip and get back to office/home to do that 15-20 mins work.

I know that was an example with a specific software, but extrapolate that with all the stuff people do on their Windows PC and you have a compelling case of using windows tablet. I am sorry to say, but if you want to do real work with tablet (what Bill Gates visioned), Android or Apple still dont cut it...

...For some.

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