The Result

By Nicholas Kolakowski  |  Posted 2010-10-21 Print this article Print


The Result

Windows 7 sold-doubtlessly helped by offers such as the Windows 7 Family Pack, which dangled the prospect of three upgrade licenses to Windows 7 Home Premium for $149.99. (That offer would be discontinued in December 2009, only to be revived again in September.)

In any case, while consumers snatched up the operating system in substantial quantities, businesses at first seemed more reluctant to upgrade. Microsoft tried to tempt businesses with other deals, including the Windows 7 Enterprise Trial program, but corporations seemed reluctant to open their wallets in the wake of the global recession.

"There will be an enterprise refresh cycle," Microsoft Chief Financial Officer Peter Klein told a Morgan Stanley investor conference in March. "It's not precisely certain when that will happen or how fast that will happen, but we expect it to happen this calendar year and go into next calendar year, and that will be a really good catalyst for growth in our PC business."

Despite businesses' fitful spending, the pent-up need for users to refresh aging PCs-and for many, eliminate Vista or XPs from their PCs-led to strong sales for Windows 7. According to analytics firm Net Applications, Windows 7 currently occupies some 17.10 percent of the operating-system market, behind Windows XP at 60.03 percent and ahead of Windows Vista at 13.35 percent.

Microsoft claims more than 240 million Windows 7 licenses have sold to date. Those sales seem good enough to solidify the company's grip on the operating-system market, even as it faces a substantial challenge-from the underdog position-of penetrating the smartphone operating-system market with its new Windows Phone 7.

Rumors are already swirling about possible features in Windows 8.


Nicholas Kolakowski is a staff editor at eWEEK, covering Microsoft and other companies in the enterprise space, as well as evolving technology such as tablet PCs. His work has appeared in The Washington Post, Playboy, WebMD, AARP the Magazine, AutoWeek, Washington City Paper, Trader Monthly, and Private Air. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.

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