Ballmer: Windows 8 To Have '500 Million' Users by End of 2013

Steve Ballmer, Microsoft's CEO, predicted on Tuesday that 500 million users will have Windows 8 devices by the end of next year, according to a press account.

That lofty forecast came in a speech given at the Seoul Digital Forum, as reported by France-based newswire AFP RelaxNews.

"It's really, in some senses, a dawning of the rebirth of MS Windows....It's certainly the most important piece of work we've done," Ballmer is reported to have told attendees.

Ballmer characterized Windows 8 as the "deepest, broadest and most impactful" version of Windows in Microsoft's history. Indeed, Windows 8, with its Metro-style interface that will run on both tablets and PCs, is a substantial departure for Microsoft's OS.

During the same talk, Ballmer estimated 350 million Windows 7-based devices will ship this year, AFP reported. Microsoft has already shipped 525 million copies of Windows 7 as of January, the last time the company released sales figures for its current client OS.

Ballmer's remarks come as Microsoft is expected to issue the "release preview" of Windows 8 next month.

It remains to be seen whether Windows 8 can in fact come close to that "500 million" figure, given the steep competition from Apple, which has sold 67 million iPads since the debut of its tablet two years ago.

A Microsoft spokeswoman on the Windows team was unable to confirm AFP's report but said she believed what Ballmer meant was that with 525 million Windows 7 PCs now in use, they can all be upgraded to Windows 8 when it ships. According to various published reports, Windows 8 will be available in November.

About the Author

Jeffrey Schwartz is editor of Redmond magazine and also covers cloud computing for Virtualization Review's Cloud Report. In addition, he writes the Channeling the Cloud column for Redmond Channel Partner. Follow him on Twitter @JeffreySchwartz.

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Reader Comments:

Sat, Oct 27, 2012 mr.roberts

I concur. I cannot exaggerate how ugly I find the tiles windows 8 intereface. this will be my last windows OS.

Thu, May 24, 2012 Brian West Coast

He's dreaming again...still.

Wed, May 23, 2012

Oh my, that's the kiss of death for Windows 8! I was telling someone today I smell a tremendous flop. And, no, I'm not some Apple fanboy. I use Windows 8 Consumer Preview on a hybrid daily and I'm not feeling the love. I spend most of my time in the crippled desktop mode (except when I'm constantly forced to flip-flop to butt-ugly Metro to load apps) even using it as a tablet. All the massive negative feedback Microsoft has gotten back on Windows 8 and Steve Sinofsky points back at an inch thick print out of user analytics to paint it all as a bunch of whiners. You'd have to be insane to run Windows 8 on a desktop where that 500 million figure comes from! On a tablet, it is several orders of magnitude less polished than an iPad not to mention completely lacking in the eye candy (that Aero offered some of). On a phone Windows 8 might be solid enough for me to trade in my Android for and Metro, ironically, isn't nearly as aesthetically objectionable (e.g., the space-wasting huge fonts and white space add readability on a small screen).

Wed, May 23, 2012

Yeah like his predictions about Android and iPhone came true ...

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