Microsoft Expects 500 Million People to Use Windows 8 Next Year [UPDATED]

Microsoft Projects Breakthrough for Windows 8 Sales Thanks to Compatibility with Different Devices

by Anton Shilov
05/23/2012 | 08:23 PM

UPDATE: Microsoft Clarifies Its Exec's Claims: 500 Million Windows 8 Copies in 2013 Are "Potential" Upgrades.

 

Many experienced Windows users do not like what Microsoft Corp. is making under the Windows 8 moniker as the software giant seems to be sacrificing loads of things in a bid to gain compatibility with ARM architecture processors and make the operating system usable on tablets and systems with touchscreens. But the company itself believes that Windows 8 will mark new sales records for Windows in general.

The Windows 8 is not just an operating system, but is a critical element of the Microsoft global ecosystem. The latter will include mobile and desktop personal computers as well as tablets running Windows 8, smartphones powered by Windows Phone platform, Xbox entertainment and gaming service as well as SkyDrive cloud service that is supposed to sync not only Microsoft-based devices, but also other ecosystems. No surprising is that the head of Microsoft believes that Windows 8 is a new beginning of the OS.

"It is really, in some senses, a dawning of the rebirth of MS Windows. It is certainly the most important piece of work we have done," said Steve Ballmer, chief executive officer of Microsoft, at the Seoul Digital Forum, reports AFP news-agency.

Mr. Ballmer estimated up to 500 million users will have Windows 8 next year, promising the "best economic opportunity" for device makers and app developers who adopt the new system.

The chief executive of Microsoft puts a lot of hopes onto new portable devices that will employ Windows 8 operating system and will get extremely popular from the very start so that the company could sell half a billion of Windows 8 licenses in a little more than one calendar year. By comparison, it took Windows 7 two years - from October, 2009, to September, 2011 - to sell 450 million copies. Although Microsoft Windows is without doubts the world's No. 1 operating system, selling half a billion of copies in the first year will be pretty hard.

Microsoft Windows 8 operating system will be available in three versions later this year. Two versions will be designed for x86 processors and one will be aimed at ARM-powered systems. All three will support  touch-screen, keyboard and mouse, all general capabilities of Windows and Metro-style apps. The version for ARM will also include touch-optimized versions of Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote, but will not run Windows applications designed for x86 processors.