While with Windows 7 Microsoft did not need a repeat of Windows Vista, the same is not valid for Windows 8
and its predecessor. Essentially, the Redmond company needs Windows 8, the next major iteration of Windows to fall as close as possible to the Windows 7 tree. Windows 8 needs to be a repeat of Windows 7, at least in terms of market success, although Vista’s successor is delivering a performance that will be very hard to beat. Still, Microsoft’s Chief Executive Officer Steve Ballmer recently revealed that he believes the software giant will manage to take it to the next level, during the Microsoft Financial Analyst Meeting, at the end of July 2010.
One product “I think is most important -- it is the most important -- from a financial perspective, and that's Windows. You know, this was an amazing, amazing year. In the sense that Windows is our flagship product, Windows and Windows' success is a tide that floats all boats, so to speak. Suffice to say, I didn't love everything about where we were in the market, say, two years ago. And yet today we launched Windows 7. It got exceptionally well-reviewed. We've got 94 percent customer satisfaction on the product, which is stunning. Sales of Windows 7 PCs have skyrocketed. We built the team that I think has a very strong capability now to repeat -- not easy -- but to repeat the kind of great work that delivered Windows 7 itself, which I think as an investor is an important capability for you to think about
,” Ballmer said. (emphasis added)
Of course, Ballmer doesn’t mention Windows 8, per se. But it’s easy to infer what Microsoft’s CEO is referring to from the highlighted segment of text above. The software giant is hard at work building Windows 8 to replace Windows 7, a release which is reportedly planned for 2012, with a Beta possibly coming in mid-2011.
The team references made by Ballmer are extremely interesting. Back in early 2007, just as Windows Vista was launched, Jim Allchin, the head of the project, became Former Co-President, Platforms & Services Division. Microsoft brought in Steven Sinofsky from the Office group, to occupy the position of vice president of the Windows and Windows Live engineering group.
After Windows 7 was wrapped up, Sinofsky was promoted
to President, Windows and Windows Live Division, while Bill Veghte, senior vice president for the Windows Business, (the other Windows 7 top dog left the company for Hewlett-Packard). It’s clear that Microsoft credited Sinofsky for the success of Windows 7, but there are additional members of the team that deserve praises, such as Julie Larson-Green, now Corporate Vice President, Windows Experience, and responsible for the look and feel of Windows 7
, and future versions of Windows.
At just nine months since it became available at retail, Windows 7 sold over 175 million licenses worldwide, namely in excess of 7 copies of the OS per second. At the start of August 2010, Windows 7’s market share outgrew that of Windows Vista, leaving the platform the second most used OS in the world
. Microsoft certainly has high standards with Windows 8. Windows 7 RTM Enterprise 90-Day Evaluation is available for download here.
Follow me on Twitter @MariusOiaga.