Microsoft: 500 million will run Windows 8 in 2013

Microsoft: 500 million will run Windows 8 in 2013

Summary: With analysts expecting Windows 8 to flop and PC sales likely to suffer as a result, Microsoft's chief executive thinks sales will reach at least 500 million by the end of 2013.

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Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer predicts more than 500 million people will be using Windows 8 by the end of next year, reports AFP.

Ballmer, who was speaking at a forum in Seoul, South Korea, also expects Windows 7 to hit the 350 million device milestone later this year.

Windows 8 was described by Ballmer as the "deepest, broadest and most impactful" operating system the company has made to date. He promised the "best economic opportunity" for hardware makers and Metro application developers who opt to support the upcoming operating system.

It is thought corporate and enterprise demand has boosted Microsoft's sales in Windows 7, reports Bloomberg, following the more than half-decade of success from Windows XP --- and inadvertently helped along by the sudden requirement to shift away from Windows Vista.

One of the reasons why Windows XP remains so popular is the reluctance to upgrade to Vista in the first place. With many legacy applications still running suitably well on the decade-old platform, there was no incentive to upgrade. Vista suffered with poor backwards compatibility and performance issues which led to many upgrading to Windows 7 as soon as it was released.

Windows 7 shot ahead of Vista and became the fastest selling operating system to date. According to Net Applications, Windows XP has a declining share of 46 percent while Windows 7 has a rising share of more than 38 percent.

At the current trend, Windows 7 could overtake Windows XP in October --- coincidentally the month slated for the forthcoming release of Windows 8.

Windows 8 should be an interesting and testing time for Microsoft. While the upcoming operating system will run on PCs and tablets alike, the ultrabook market is still developing --- in competition with Apple's MacBook Air --- and will likely boost sales in the slimmer and more aesthetically attractive notebooks.

Gartner says more than 100 million tablets will be sold in 2012, with the figure tripling to more than 320 million tablets in 2015. The research firm estimates Windows 8 will gain more than 12 percent of the tablet market, which is only a fraction compared to Apple's around-about 60 percent with the iPad.

Last week, BMO analysts cut HP and Dell's price targets after one of its analysts claimed, "Windows 8 will prove to be a disappointment, at least out of the gate.” Analysts do not think Windows 8 will be as successful as Windows 7 was and continues to be, and PC sales could suffer as a result.

Having said that, if Windows 7 continues to sell hot off the shelves and overtakes Windows XP in time for an October arrival, Windows 8 could push through the expected worst of it and prove analysts' wrong.

Image/data credit: Net Applications, Lance Whitney/CNET.

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Topics: Windows, Microsoft, Operating Systems, Software

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80 comments
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  • wet dreams from Ballmer

    windoze 8 will only accelerate M$ decline.
    P.S. Why is Linux progress not shown on that chart?
    The Linux Geek
    • Because there needs to be some progress to show

      Subject says it all...
      ian.aldrighetti
      • Was LinuxGeek secretly hired by Ballmer ...

        to embarrass the FOSS folks on ZD? HOHO.

        I mean there's no need. FOSS folks are good at self-embarrassing just on their own already.
        LBiege
    • Wow

      Linux isn't on the chart because it rounds to zero? Hey, it's great for servers, but consumers have decided it's not for them.
      Jeff Kibuule
      • How can consumers decide?

        Since all new hardware comes with Windows pre-installed 99% of consumers don't even know there is any alternative, let alone know what it is.
        AndyPagin
    • Mac OSX barely makes the chart

      Vista has nearly double the share of Mac OS X, and OS X has more than that over Linux. Linux is not what people want on their desktop.
      grayknight-22253692004129760887070084760051
      • Let's break that chart out by consumer vs.

        enterprise and see what the numbers look like. So, you know, we can compare sales among people who actually have a role in deciding what computer they will use.
        baggins_z
      • baggins: good idea

        Then we could also see what skilled computer professionals pick when compared to your average Joe off the street who knows nothing about computers. I know if I want to buy a high quality tool, I'll prefer the opinion of a real mechanic over my next door neighbor who "tinkers".

        My guess is that Windows is the overwhelming choice of real computer professionals, people trained in their field, people who know the difference between good computers and bad computers, people who are in charge of making sure that 10,000 computers work all the time.

        So yeah, bring on the chart showing enterprise vs consumer. It will be interesting to see whether Windows or OS X is preferred by educated computer professionals.
        toddbottom3
      • No choice

        Windows is what you get, like it or not. Ordinary non-tech-savvy consumers will never know there is a choice.
        AndyPagin
    • true

      agree with you
      shellcodes_coder
  • analysts are always wrong.

    Tell me one instance where analysts??? got their tech prediction correctly?

    Win 8 will sell like hot cakes, its a super duper version of Win 7 and Metro.
    owllnet
    • Errrr

      You sniffing the same thing Ballmer has? Metro will probably sink Windows 8. On a tablet and a smsartphone it is the right thing to do. On a non-touch screen desktop or laptop, it is planely stupid.
      But yes, analysts are always wrong - but maybe not in this case.
      Gisabun
      • Check current sales data

        Microsoft phones are doing well. This OS is real innovation. Stop being like the author and being Apple fan boy. If you haven't tried something how do you make an educated guess on how it will do. You are just trash talking like the author is trying to do by using only negative facts and leaving out the awards that that Mmicrosoft is winning for changing hte way we use computer. Go shove your iPad in your *** backpack and say I love you to your Steve Jobs poster before you get too sad
        123qqq123
    • Windows 8 = Vista

      Just go through the survey of Windoze 8...more than 50% don't recomment that crap
      shellcodes_coder
  • Microsoft: 500 million will run Windows 8 in 2013

    That is a great number to hear and I trust Microsoft's sales numbers a lot more than I trust the analysts numbers. It makes sense though, Microsoft Windows 8 is getting a lot of praise for its ability to think outside of the box with its new Metro UI. Add in all the improvements and you got a #1 best seller OS.
    Loverock Davidson-
    • Still a Troll Loverock?

      I thought you would tire of such games after all of these years.
      nucrash
    • Thanks for the blog fodder

      Another idiot post by the resident idiot of Microsoft....
      Pete&Pete
      • I seriously don't get ZDnet readers any more.

        When did the Microsoft fan boy mentality come about?

        Windows 7; I will give them credit for, but Metro's GUI looks like a step back to before Windows 3.11.

        The Ribbon interface is an annoyance that tends to hide pretty much every needed feature further deeper than before. But hey, I am glad some tools out there are fans. After Justin James decided to abandon Win7 phone development for iPad's environment I pretty much decided that Windows 8 is headed to dethrone the one area Microsoft held as far back as I could remember. That's right, I think Microsoft might end up losing the desktop.

        Also Windows XP after a decade still retains a good chuck of market share. Does Mr Ballmer think that every single one of them seats is going to jump over to Windows 8 when legacy support ends?

        Someone with some good solid information care to explain why Steve Ballmer actually seems to have support on this prediction?
        nucrash
      • Nucrash, the MS fanboy has always been here

        You're only just noticing it because their claims have become so delusional as to make it obvious to everyone.

        The new rating system is a perfect example. Hopefully one day we'll be able to get a report on others votes. Whilst I'd expect the result to be entirely predictable, it would get it out into the open.

        Wonderful times to be in IT. After decades of stagnation and abuse the market is shifting, creating massive new opportunities and ideas. The witch is dead.
        Richard Flude
      • I also don't get ZDNet posters ;-)

        @nucrash

        When everyone in the room is losing their head and you're not, then perhaps you've misunderstood the situation ;-)

        You obviously haven't understood the ribbon, but apart from all the people who find it productive and a great change from hidden menus, there will always be a few people who can't change.

        You also don't understand Metro. The big picture is this. One UI to rule them all. Metro will run on consoles, phones, PCs, laptops, ultrabooks, tablets and convertibles and support mouse/kb, touch, gesture and facial, body and voice recognition. You may like having different UIs on all your devices, but I prefer to use the same one on all of them and in the end, so will the majority of humanity.

        I'm sure the engineers at Google and Apple are taking time from modding and patching their clones of ancient Unix and are desperately trying to come up with a new UI that doesn't look too much like Metro.

        Welcome to the future.
        tonymcs@...