Microsoft corrects itself: 'We expect fewer people to use Windows 8'
El Reg drills into Ballmer's '500 million by 2013' figure
Microsoft doesn’t really expect that 500 million "users" will have Windows 8 next year, but it’s still juggling the numbers.
The company has said reported comments by chief executive Steve Ballmer on Windows 8 uptake in 2013 are a "restatement of data" by a company employee in December 2011, and that these stats relate to Windows 7 licence upgrades.
Ballmer was reported by the AFP to have told the Seoul Digital Forum in South Korea this week: “500 million users will have Windows 8 next year.”
In a statement, Microsoft now says:
Steve Ballmer's comments at the Seoul Digital Forum on Windows 8 usage predictions were actually a restatement of the same data announced in December regarding the number of Windows 7 devices that could potentially upgrade to Windows 8 – so in fact, there is no new data here.
That December 500 million number came from a Windows store blog here, written by store partner programme manager Ted Dworkin. Dworkin wrote:
We’ve just passed the 500 million licenses sold mark for Windows 7, which represents half a billion PCs that could be upgraded to Windows 8 on the day it ships. That represents the single biggest platform opportunity available to developers.
So Dworkin, and Microsoft, are drawing a direct connection between Windows 7 and Windows 8, and the upgrade potential between the two.
This is a strong claim. Consumers typically don’t upgrade between operating systems in large numbers – they are more likely to buy a new PC with the new Windows.
If anybody does the upgrading, it’s business customers – especially those on Microsoft enterprise licences under programmes such as Software Assurance (SA), who are trying to squeeze the most life from their existing PC hardware.
Also, "licences sold" is not the same as "PCs sold". It's a measurement of how many copies of Windows have been sold – to OEMs, the channel and to customers. And, with licences come downgrade rights to the old version of Windows. This was an option exercised by end users who'd bought Windows Vista and retreated to Windows XP.
So, is 500 million a tenable number of upgrades next year for this group? Unlikely. Businesses are only now rolling out Windows 7, while Windows 8 has a decidedly heavy consumer thrust from Microsoft. Moreover, as Directions on Microsoft analyst Rob Helm points out here: the “Metro-style” Windows 8 apps that’ll come from the Microsoft market won’t run on Windows 7 – only on Windows 8. The number of Windows 7 sales are irrelevant to Windows 8. ®
500million Linux users next year
We’ve just passed the 500 million licenses sold mark for Windows 7, which represents half a billion PCs that could be upgraded to Linux on the day it ships.
When I first read the 500m number I laughed.
Enterprises take a long time to switch. Also, regular folks rarely jump on an OS upgrade outside of a new of purchase.
I'm a developer and a business owner. We're on 7 and have absolutely no plans to roll to 8 when it ships. Our machines are fast, stable and they work well. I haven't heard anything regarding security improvements so it really boils down to user interface changes. And the win7 interface looks great as it is.
In short, sure MS has 500m opportunities. Odds are that their conversion rate is going to be sub .1% though.
my ass, methinks they mis-understood this for miss-ass-essment of mis-facts.
And it's one of those cuckooland re-statements along the lines of: our software has been illegally downloaded by 100,000,000,000 pirates, multiply that by £200 a pop asking price, thus we have lost 100,000,000,000 gazillions last year, oh no, we're going bust, somebody do something, quick, we're bleeding, and when we go down in flames, the whole world is doomed!!!
At work, we're all still on Windows XP Service Pack 3 and we just had a mail that we might go to Windows 7 by the end of this year. Windows 8? Yeah, maybe in 5 years or so?
Windows 8 = Windows Vista
No one will "upgrade" to that crap. Windows 7 is the next XP.
If you stay on windows and dont move to apple, android, linux, etc. you will be on 7 for the next 8 years.