back to article Ballmer says 500 MILLION 'users' to 'have' Windows 8 in 2013

Microsoft's given its first indication of how many devices it expects to ship running Windows 8 next year. Chief executive Steve Ballmer is reported to have said 500 million "users" would "have" Windows 8 next year - he was speaking at the Seoul Digital Forum, in South Korea. There were no more specifics, and there was no …

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  1. Bob Vistakin
    Happy

    Why should he care?

    He'll have long gone by then.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Why should he care?

      Having seen various video's I'd say he was long gone a while ago now.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Why should he care?

      The only deep penetration he will get is the shareholders boot up his a*se.

    3. Bob Vistakin
      Holmes

      Re: Why should he care?

      Do not mock the Blamer, for his tech visionary insight is like no other.

      1. Giles Jones Gold badge

        Re: Why should he care?

        There's millions who had Vista but don't use it. OEM licences ship with most computers and companies often wipe the OEM licence and use their site licence.

  2. Anonymous IV
    Thumb Down

    "the navigation is streamlined and intuitive..."

    Not a use of the word "intuitive" that I recognise!

    1. Eddy Ito Silver badge

      Re: "the navigation is streamlined and intuitive..."

      I think he is saying the final release will have a pair of silky tapered orbs which are controlled by a matched set of nipples. Meh, it couldn't be worse than having Metro on your workstation and IMHO a much better replacement for Aero eye candy.

    2. Field Marshal Von Krakenfart
      Mushroom

      Re: "the navigation is streamlined and intuitive..."

      These are the most amazing versions of Windows and Office ever. The visual effects are spectacular; the navigation is streamlined and intuitive.

      Sooooooo....... Just like Windoze 7 and the MS Orifice Ribbon...

      Bollocks I say.

  3. Jason 6
    Stop

    As much as I like the Windows 8 Metro concept....

    It's game over for Ballmer with Windows 8. No one would disagree with the idea that Microsoft needs to do something with the Windows franchise to put some vim and vigor back into it, but foisting Metro on the entire world is not it.

    As much as I both admire and detest Apple, they are on the right track with splitting the traditional desktop/laptop interface from the new and cool tablet/mobile interface to a degree. Some concepts are shared but the people who still want to use a laptop are not penalized for using one. Honestly, tablets are NOT GOING to fully replace a laptop. There is no way on Gods green earth I could get my job done on a touch screen tablet. I still need a full sized keyboard (I type a lot) and I have a mouse (why the Hell would I use a touch screen, it won't do the trick) so I may as well have a laptop.

    Microsoft has gambled big on Windows 8 and, oddly, I applaud them for having the stones to do so, but coming out and saying that Aero looks dated and cheesy is a ridiculous thing to say.

    My prediction is that Windows 8 will be one of the single most polarizing things Microsoft has ever done and will have people heap praise on it as well as decry it as being the worst operating system ever. Ballmer will be gone by the end of 2012 and so will Sinofsky as Microsoft goes into damage control.

    Microsoft will survive, no question about that, but will be diminished somewhat. Will Apple reap the benefits? Maybe a little, but not anywhere near as much as others expect.

    1. Iain Griffiths
      Mushroom

      Re: As much as I like the Windows 8 Metro concept....

      Splitting mobile/tablet and desk/laptop makes decent sense as the input devices are totally different.

      OK Mobiles and tabs can have keyboards, but they aren't natural bedfellows. So Apple have made the distinction and it works - MS have Winphone7/8 and should be stretching that to Tabs not shrinking the desktop. Someone at the top needs to actually think (big stretch), which devices match each other more and why.

      So win8 willl be a dogs breakfast and MS will lose more ground - not that I am sorry , might mean a better mix of systems all round and less crap we all have to put up with.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: As much as I like the Windows 8 Metro concept....

      Ballmer may indeed be gone by the end of the year...but my sources tell me Sinofsky is the heir apparent. He is being groomed to take over from Ballmer and provide a "new vision" and "get things done on time."

      Shareholder support for Sinofsky is high.

      It's also why my next PC will be a Macbook.

    3. Giles Jones Gold badge

      Re: As much as I like the Windows 8 Metro concept....

      Tablets have come along, but they aren't going to replace the desktop or laptop. Just like people still have desk phones in their office, paper and pen, photocopiers and so on.

      IMHO the popularity of the tablet in enterprise (Microsoft's typical strength) is down to it being a device which can replace paper forms.

      So people who are walking around a building such a health professional doing the rounds in a hospital can press buttons, tick boxes and the data can then be sent immediately back to an operations database and a dashboard somewhere can be updated so the decision makers can see what is going on.

      This replaces the need for paper forms, scanning or data entry and eliminates errors as electronic forms can be validated.

      It's hard to see how a vastly complex weighty Win8 tablet will do the above efficiently with enough battery to do a whole working day.

      1. qwarty

        Re: As much as I like the Windows 8 Metro concept....

        @Giles Jones. The theory is by next year Intel will reach a point where the 22nm process can deliver a better or comaparable power/performance story to ARM . If this is accomplished new Win8 devices will work in your scenario and Microsoft will have the OS relased and ready to work with this new generation of hardware.

        If Haswell etc. prove more disappointing than predicted all bets are off and we get to talk 14nm.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: As much as I like the Windows 8 Metro concept....

      I installed Windows 8 CP on an old PC on Monday and have to agree. Metro does not work for me on the desktop. I really liked Metro when I got to play with it for a day on a phone, and I suspect it will be fine on a tablet, but I want multiple windows on my laptop and I didn't like having to flip back to Metro when I wanted to start a new application. I certainly wouldn't use the metro E-mail App.

      As you say, it's ballsy to try and force the new metro/tablet style paradigm on us all, but a bad move I think. However I'd say it was a political battle rather than a technical one. I suspect it would be a relatively trivial change to allow (the non ARM based) PC's have the option to run Metro Apps in windows, and for the app screen to also be able to be presented as a start menu. It’s really just a presentational issue for me.

      Hopefully somebody in Microsoft already has a fix to do this in their back pocket. The question is will we have to wait until SP 1 for it?

      I might buy a windows tablet if they are priced to compete with Android, but as it stands I'm not putting it on my main desktop PC.

      1. jason 7

        Yes Metro Off Switch by.......

        ...SP1.

        Then we can all get on with stuff as before.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Yes Metro Off Switch by.......

          There is a reg hack to switch back to a standard windows desktop - or at least there was on the release candidate. Rumor has it that you will be able to choose your GUI at install time or as an option under a control panel applet. No one will know for sure until it gets released.

          1. Fuzz

            Re: Yes Metro Off Switch by.......

            There hasn't been a release candidate, we've had an early developer build which had the reg hack you mentioned and then a beta (consumer preview) release which doesn't. Of course there is still a chance MS will put the switch back for the upcoming release candidate.

    5. CraigW
      Thumb Up

      Re: As much as I like the Windows 8 Metro concept....

      This is the correct answer.

    6. N2 Silver badge

      Re: As much as I like the Windows 8 Metro concept....

      Good post & much as I used to like Windows, the latter versions seem to obstruct productivity.

      Im sure Windows 8 is a good operating system underneath but MS fail to realise what people (like me) want is the choice to use what ever we are familiar with, so for example, I'd turn off Metro & use the Windows 2000 desktop, whilst others may choose XP, Vista, 7 or what they feel comfortable with.

      AFAIK the operating system has to be transparent & just run your stuff.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    One of you, folks, is in great danger

    because I'm not going to get Windows8 so in order for Ballmer to get his 500 million users somebody else will have to accept sacrifice and take the hit. Once again, sorry for that!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: One of you, folks, is in great danger

      Ehh, yeah um, make that two! Sorry!

      (Been using Linux for a long time, I could never go back to Windows...)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: One of you, folks, is in great danger

        Aye, Cinnamon for me gents, and the Macbook on the side. Linux for the work, Macs for the games (Steam!) and I’m putting my money into porting apps to open standards like HTML5.

        So that’s the 800 some odd licences under my care exiting the ecosystem. Truly sorry for whomever has to make up my share…

        1. JDX Gold badge

          Re: One of you, folks, is in great danger

          Oh jeez, yes let's port every application to be a website. Goodbye consistent UI and multiple monitors.

          1. Dan 55 Silver badge
            Trollface

            "Goodbye consistent UI and multiple monitors."

            Still not seeing the difference between HTML5 and Mac OS X Lion/Windows 8.

          2. Armando 123

            Re: One of you, folks, is in great danger

            "Oh jeez, yes let's port every application to be a website. Goodbye consistent UI and multiple monitors."

            I hear what you're saying, but there are big differences between what works best among, say, Eclipse and Photoshop and a POV racing game. Granted, there are things that SHOULD be consistent ... anyone who changes CTRL-C, -V, and -X (s/CTRL/CMD/g if $apple) should be shot, slowly and painfully ... but obviously they are different applications doing different things for different reasons.

            1. Bakunin
              Holmes

              Re: One of you, folks, is in great danger

              "anyone who changes CTR-C, -V, and -X (s/CTRL/CMD/g if $apple) should be shot, "

              Like when CTR-C became Copy rather than SIGINT? I still have a moments hesitation every time I use it.

              1. Mostor Astrakan

                Re: One of you, folks, is in great danger

                Gods yes. Luckily, Ctrl-Ins, Shift-Ins and Shift-Del still work. C for Cut? No... Copy. X is for cut because it looks like scissors, see? And V for... well, being conveniently next to C.

                At least vi has the excuse of being able to run on anything from a paper terminal to my Linux laptop.

                1. Kubla Cant Silver badge
                  Holmes

                  Re: One of you, folks, is in great danger

                  I've always assumed V for looking vaguely like a caret except upside-down.

  5. Jeebus

    Think nearer 50 Ballmer. Windows 8 is a product people openly despise. Much like you yourself. Forced bloated and increasingly irrelevant.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Call Windows 8 anything you want...

      ...but don't call it bloated. They've actually kept it reasonably trim, and its quite a bit faster than Windows 7.

      That said: you'll install Metro on my PCs only after you've disposed of my rotting corpse.

      1. jonathanb Silver badge

        Re: Call Windows 8 anything you want...

        It is undoubtedly faster on the desktop (or MacBook Parallels VM in my case), but how does it compare to iOS or Android on tablets?

    2. Chika
      Happy

      50 Ballmer? Isn't one enough? Or maybe even over the top?

  6. Wibble
    Windows

    There's two types...

    ... of people who call their customers "users". One group are drugs pushers...

    1. LinkOfHyrule
      Happy

      Re: There's two types...

      Seriously dude, I was going to make this exact same comment, hate it when this happens!

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Correct on one thing...

    "most impactful" Windows yet.

    You got it.

    Negative impact that is :-D

    1. Chika
      Happy

      Re: Correct on one thing...

      Most impactful Windows? I'd say that this would depend on how hard you threw it...

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

  8. Mat Child
    Coat

    it's gonna tank

    MS are doomed to repeat their cycle over and over, it's win ME and Vista all over again. People are already saying they do not want Metro and how do they respond, by ripping out any alternative.

    As for single screen apps - that is not going to fly in the business world. Maybe they are already resigned to the fact that most industry will stick with win 7 and ignore 8.

    The firm i work for is still running winXP on 100,000+ devices. All discussion is around getting onto win 7, no-one has even considered waiting for 8

    1. dogged
      WTF?

      Re: it's gonna tank

      surely, by your logic then, Win7 is a horrible failure since your company is still running XP.

    2. Boothy
      Thumb Up

      Re: it's gonna tank

      Single screen apps = Fail, I wouldn't be able to do my job if that was the case.

      We too (about 80,000 users) are mostly on Win XP, and have just started to roll out Win7 32bit, with a trial of Win 7 64bit (which is what I'm waiting out for). It was looked at to wait for Win 8, but decided it was going to be too different from existing Windows to migrate smoothly. (Training etc. needed more for Win 8 than with Win 7).

  9. banjomike
    FAIL

    "deepest, broadest and most impactful"

    I hope he is wrong. I'm sure he is wrong.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "deepest, broadest and most impactful"

      > deepest, broadest and most impactful

      If we think of Window 8 as a person falling to their doom after jumping from a tall building then words like 'deep', 'broad' and 'impact' are actually rather appropriate.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not a snowball chance in Hell

    Unless people are forced at gun point to download/use Win 8, there ain't a snowball's chance in Hell of 500 Million fools actually paying for or using Win 8 by 2020.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Not a snowball chance in Hell

      For PC users it's a done deal, they will suck it up. No chace in hell an OEM will dare to disobey good old Microsoft.

      1. thecakeis(not)alie

        Re: Not a snowball chance in Hell

        Interesting premise. Would you care to place a wager on the odds of OEM bankruptcy over the next two calendar years?

        You know how to reach me, and I wager in scotch. Single malt; speyside or from the highlands.

      2. Mikel

        Re: Not a snowball chance in Hell

        On Windows PCs the OEMs don't make any profits to speak of anyway, so what sort of leverage could MS have with them any more?

        It seems PC OEM Samsung has found the new way to profit: the Android smartphone is the new PC.

        1. dogged

          Re: Not a snowball chance in Hell

          the Android smartphone is the new PC.

          Is there a House Rule against posting while high?

    2. nematoad Silver badge
      Unhappy

      Re: Not a snowball chance in Hell

      "there ain't a snowball's chance in Hell of 500 Million fools actually paying for or using Win 8 by 2020."

      Sadly I won't be putting any money on that; to quote Phineas T Barnum " you can fool some of the people all the time..."

      1. dogged
        WTF?

        Misquote

        Er, no, that was Abraham Lincoln.

        Phineas T Barnum said "There's a sucker born every minute".

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "no switching of web sessions"

    "there’s no switching of web sessions between the versions of Internet Explorer that will run in the planned “classic” Windows 8 desktop and Metro UI on the Intel machines that you can switch between."

    In English, that means what?

    Not that it greatly matters, it's already perfectly clear that we're looking at an approaching disaster for MS shareholders and indeed perhaps significant parts of the Wintel-dependent ecosystem.

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