Microsoft’s Ballmer Excited With The Possibilities Of Upcoming Windows 8
Software behemoth Microsoft is preparing a new version of its operating system in a bid to challenge a market increasingly under pressure by mobile devices.
Without providing comparative figures, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer claimed that the current Windows 7, “makes Windows the most popular single system,” at the Seoul Digital Forum in South Korea this week.
At the same time, Ballmer was generating excitement for its upcoming flagship operating system, Windows 8, “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,” reports Bloomberg´s Jun Yang.
Demand for programs by corporate customers, including Windows 7, helped Microsoft report third-quarter profit last month that exceeded estimates.
The upcoming Windows 8, the newest version of the operating system can also be used in touch-screen devices, in a bid to help win back consumers. It is expected to ship around October of this year but no hard dates have been announced. A preview edition is expected next month.
The release of Windows 8, coupled with increasing demand for ultrabooks and other thin notebooks, should drive personal-computer sales in the second half of this year, after modest shipment growth in the first six months, IDC said in March.
The new Microsoft system will also support a wider range of devices, including touch- and stylus-based smartphones and tablet PCs as well as desktop and laptop machines, AFP reports.
Windows 8 will allow users to readily store and share personal data among various devices under the SkyDrive cloud computing service. Other rivals offer such a service already such as Apple´s iCloud service. Amazon and Google have similar services already in operation.
Ballmer is also “super excited,” he explained at a speech in Beijing yesterday, about growth in the China market. China is unique in being the largest for both phones and personal computers and is the fastest growing.
Gary Locke, US Ambassador to China, recently said China´s lack of protection for intellectual property rights is hampering companies doing business in the country and that strengthening enforcement needs to be a top priority.
The country´s illegal software market was worth almost $9 billion last year, versus a legal market of less than $3 billion, according to the annual report of the Business Software Alliance this month.
“China is a market that adopts technology, and yet China is a market where intellectual property protection is still weak,” Ballmer told more than 2,000 students. “In Microsoft´s case we are fortunate we can sell our products outside of China. For a Chinese developer, it´s probably tougher because your domestic market is a tough one in which to really sell software.”
Ballmer also met Vice Premier Wang Qishan yesterday, Xinhua News Agency said. Wang said provincial governments will be using authorized software by the end of June and city and county governments will be in compliance by the end of 2013, the official news service reported yesterday. Central government organs “accomplished this goal” last year, Xinhua said.
Ballmer´s address came a year after the company pledged to invest as much as 1.3 billion yuan ($205 million) to stimulate startup companies in China, and the opening of a new research and development campus in Beijing.