Microsoft’s annual Worldwide Partner Conference got underway in Los Angeles earlier today with a keynote by Steve Ballmer, who took the opportunity to thank the software leviathan’s partners for making Windows 7 the fastest-selling operating system in history and to apprise them of the record-shattering OS’s latest feat. According to Ballmer, the company has now sold more than 400 million Windows 7 licenses.
Windows 7 has reached this milestone well within two years of its October 2009 launch. Despite the sustained sales momentum, the latest version of Windows could not prevent Apple Mac shipments from growing at a much faster rate than the PC market during this period.
But Ballmer is satisfied with the fact that Windows-based PCs still account for most of the PC market. Comparing the sale of Windows-based machines with that of non-Windows PCs over the past twelve months , Ballmer said: "350 million, 350 million new PCs sold. That might compare with numbers from other guys that are in the 20 million range... now, 20 is too much, but 350 the last time I checked is a lot more than 20."
The company revealed that Windows XP can still be found on 200 million PCs . Both Ballmer and Tami Reller, corporate vice president and chief financial officer of Windows and Windows Live, called on partners to persuade Windows XP holdouts to finally move to Windows 7. An upgrade now, Reller feels, will "set them up for the future [read Windows 8]."
Even as the company no longer wants Windows 7 to co-exist with its 10-year-old granddad, it sees “a future with a heterogeneous enterprise environment of Windows 8 devices and apps alongside Windows 7 PCs and apps."
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