Anyone expecting Microsoft to take an artificially conservative approach to Windows 8 market acceptance is going to find this news interesting: A senior Microsoft executive said over the weekend that the software giant will see much better than expected success with Windows 8, thanks to its new “pivot” on consumers.
The numbers promised are somewhat amazing.
First, the app count. Critics have recently pointed out that Windows Store, the online marketplace for Windows 8, has thus far seen slow app delivery, with just a few thousands apps, most of which are low quality so far. But that’s going to change. “We’re expecting to aggressively pursue [delivering] 100,000+ apps [to Windows 8’s online marketplace] over the first three months,” Microsoft Vice President Keith Lorizio told Beet.tv in a video interview.
As for Windows 8 and its ARM-based brother, Windows RT, Lorizio says the systems will sell much more quickly than its PC-based predecessor, Windows 7. “When Windows 8 goes live on October 26, the [size of the market] is [over] 1 billion consumers. Our goal … is conservatively over 400 million units in the marketplace by July 1.”
That’s just 9 months, for those of you counting fingers, which would set Windows 8/Windows RT on pace to sell more than 530 million units of the new OS in its first year. With PC sales stuck in the 365-to-375 million range for the past few years, you might be wondering how Microsoft intends to hit that lofty target. It’s simple, Lorizio explains: Microsoft is targeting consumers with these releases, not just businesses.
“Windows 8 is going to be a really special experience,” he says. “Prior to now … we never had the operating system engaged in that [consumer-oriented] ecosystem. Now, with Windows 8, it’s not just pivoting around productivity, which every Windows release has been known for; we’re now going to pivot off the consumer.”
“There are three things that [will] make Windows 8 a guaranteed success,” he added. “It’s the massive marketplace [of PC users]. It’s about providing the same experiences across all devices in the Microsoft family—not just across the PC, but across mobile, across Xbox, and across the phone. And third, we’re going to have beautiful, relevant, and personal ads. So all of the ads are going to be integrated; they’re not going to be disruptive to the user experience, but beautiful, relevant, and useful.”
Confused by that last bit? Lorizio is Microsoft’s vice president of US sales and marketing, so he’s clearly heavily involved in this aspect of the company’s businesses.
So, 400 million new Windows 8 and Windows RT PCs and devices by July 2013? And more than 100,000 Metro-style apps within 90 days? We’ll see. But those are two very exciting revelations from a company that has spent the past few years collectively keeping its goals secret from the public. That fact alone makes this information all the more fascinating.