Microsoft announces it will launch Windows 7, its latest operating system, on Oct. 22. Microsoft needs a successful operating system to eliminate bad memories of Windows Vista and to help mend its bottom line, which has been ravaged by the global recession. Rumors abound that Windows 7 will also be ported onto mininotebooks, aka netbooks.
announced June 2 that Windows 7, the operating system designed to replace Windows
Vista, will roll out for general commercial availability on Oct. 22.
Bill Veghte, senior vice president for Microsoft Windows, was quoted in a
June 2 Wall Street Journal article as saying, "We feel confident that we
will deliver Windows 7 with our partners on Oct. 22."
Veghte also mentioned that Microsoft hardware partners would be "betting
heavily" on the new operating system. PC makers such as Dell
looking at the operating system as one way to reverse sluggish sales in the
midst of a global recession.
Windows was responsible for roughly $20 billion in Microsoft sales in 2008,
or roughly a third of its overall revenue. However, for the fiscal third
quarter ended March 31, the company reported a 6.5 percent year-over-year
decrease in revenues, its first-ever quarterly revenue decline, putting
pressure on the company to deliver a considerable OS success.
Vista, which rolled out in January 2007, encountered considerable problems
from the outset, to the point where vendors started exercising downgrade rights
to put Windows XP on machines they sold to consumers.
A number of analysts have predicted, however, that Windows
7 will have more appeal for both the enterprise and consumers,
given that applications built for XP are predicted to port with no issues to
Despite rumors that Microsoft 7 will be adapted for mininotebooks,
popularly as netbooks, Microsoft also seems determined to install the operating
system on as many traditional PCs as possible, which are likely to provide
"They want to push
the overall [Windows] market towards their premium market,
customers and the enterprise," John Spooner, an analyst with Technology
Business Research, said during an April 24 interview with eWEEK.
Nonetheless, netbooks remain a rising factor for both consumers and the
enterprise, with one analyst report showing that the percentage of
Windows-equipped netbooks jumped from under 10 percent of the market
first half of 2008 to 96 percent in February 2009.
Whether Windows 7 ends up on more top-of-the-line desktops or netbooks,
however, it seems more important than ever for Microsoft that the operating
system be a hit.
CEO Steve Ballmer reportedly said during a classroom-style conversation
with 1,200 Stanford students on May 6: "A product like software is only as
good as the last release ... or two."