Yesterday Tami Reller, Windows Chief Marketing Officer and Chief Financial Officer, released at Microsoft’s annual Worldwide Partner Conference some new information on the upcoming Windows 8 operating system (OS).
Tami has confirmed that Windows 8 is on track to Release to Manufacturing (RTM) in the first week of August and enterprise customers with Software Assurance benefits will have full access to Windows 8 bits as early as August. Microsoft will be turning on the commerce platform for developers at the same time as the RTM is released so that developers can start earning money from their apps.
Tami then announced that Windows 8 will reach general availability by the end of October this year meaning that new Windows 8 and Windows RT PCs will be available to purchase and you’ll also be able to upgrade your OS. Windows 8 will be available in 109 languages across 231 markets worldwide.
Now, you’d think that with the imminent release of Windows 8 you would see the number of Windows 7 licenses sold declining, but Tami went on to say that it is in actual fact continuing to grow. More than 630 million licenses have now been sold worldwide to date and more than half of enterprise desktops are now running Windows 7.
That’s a pretty incredible announcement for an OS which is nearly three years old and it begs the question as to why Microsoft are pushing ahead with another OS when sales are clearly still growing with Windows 7. I know it’s got the advantage of having better touchscreen capabilities, but wouldn’t it have made sense to push this as 7.5 or RT to slates and tablets and then release another full OS titled Windows 8 for all platforms either a year or two down the line? I think it would certainly allow Microsoft to judge how people accept the new Metro interface and try to gain a market share against the likes of Apple and Android devices before fully integrating touch input into an OS.
Source: Windows Team Blog.
Alexander “AJ” Bridgwood