Redmond-based software giant Microsoft is gearing up for the release of Windows 8, its next-generation operating system, and it expects the OS to turn into a great success, it seems.
In fact, the company sees the upcoming platform loaded on almost half a billion computers next year, which would indeed translate into a successful launch.
Windows 8 will arrive on shelves later this year, and it will be loaded on both traditional computers, as well as on new tablet PCs, offering enhanced touch capabilities
Yesterday, Microsoft’s CEO Steve Ballmer said in Seoul, Korea, that Windows 8 would continue the success of Windows 7, and estimated up to 500 million users for the OS next year, AFP
According to Bloomberg
, he also said that shipments of Windows 7 devices were expected to top 350 million this year.
Ballmer has always been a big promoter of Windows, and it does not come as a surprise that he is optimistic about sales of Windows 8 devices, that’s for sure.
However, given the new approach to the user interface
that was introduced in Windows 8, with a dominant Metro UI and various appearance changes in the desktop mode
, it remains to be seen if the platform will indeed be as successful in the traditional PCs area.
Many people are already complaining about the fact that the Metro UI, designed mainly for the touchscreens of tablets, is hard to use on PCs relying on keyboard and mouse for input, and many say they would gladly stick with Windows 7 because of this.
Of course, Microsoft is confident that people will eventually learn to adapt to the new approach introduced in Metro, even if there are those who reject it at the moment.
Windows 8’s arrival in the tablet PCs segment
should help adoption go up, but these devices are not that commonly used so as to ensure volume sales in the manner the Redmond-based company expects.
Not to mention that Windows 8 will have to fight against Google's Android platform and Apple's iPad devices in the tablet area, which might prove a tough battle for it in the end. Update: A Microsoft spokesperson reached to us to clarify that, when mentioning the half a billion users of the upcoming platform, Steve Ballmer was refering to the number of Windows 7 devices that could be potentially ugraded to Windows 8.
Back in December 2011, Microsoft mentioned the same number when suggesting that Windows 8 would benefit from a large user base when it comes to upgrades.