Microsoft today unleashed their latest and arguably greatest operating system, Windows 7, to the world.
Unless you've been living under a rock recently then you may have heard of Windows 7 and more than likely some of you will be reading this from a Windows 7 computer. Microsoft has put a huge amount of time and effort into Windows 7 and this was clear when Microsoft officials first introduced the OS at the Professional Developers Conference nearly a year ago. At PDC, Microsoft developers introduced new features with excitement and then perfected them over the beta and release candidate stages ready for today.
Yesterday at a launch event in London, Julie Larson-Green, Corporate Vice President of Windows Experience explained that Microsoft had 8 million beta testers for the original beta launched in January and 7 million beta testers that "got the product by other means". A total of 15 million testers meant Microsoft were able to perfect Windows 7 with millions of machine data. Julie joined the Windows team 3 years ago, fresh from overhauling Office with the new ribbon UI. Previously she had worked at Microsoft for 16 years without touching Windows but had used it since Windows 1.0. Julie's work on Windows 7 combined with Steven Sinofsky, President of Windows and Windows live, is undoubtedly the reason Windows 7 worked out so well.
Steve Ballmer, Microsoft CEO, couldn't be more happy with Windows 7. Today at a packed out audience in New York City, excited Ballmer donned the stage to introduce Windows 7 to the world. Ballmer was passionate, relaxed and jolly whilst introducing Windows 7. Kylie from the Windows adverts introduced Ballmer who seemed thrilled to see her. The audience aahd and oooed at Kylie and then Ballmer began to talk about 7. After the revelation that 15 million people tried the Windows 7 beta, it was also revealed that with the data Microsoft gathered during the beta test and feedback surveys, 91% of people part of the RC stage said they would recommend Windows 7 to friends and family. Perhaps more interesting was the fact that over 80% of those who identified themselves as Mac users in the surveys said they would recommend Windows 7 too.
Later in the presentation there were several impressive product demos including the introduction of a new Amazon Kindle reader for Windows 7 with some interesting new touch features. The focus throughout the entire presentation was on making the PC simple once again and Microsoft's new vision of 3 screens and the cloud. Without hinting too much on the Windows Mobile side it's clear that Microsoft is pushing hard for cloud computing in 2010 and linking up Windows itself, Windows Mobile and many of the Windows live offerings is the main goal for Microsoft next year. We are expecting the upcoming Professional Developers Conference next month in Los Angeles to have a major focus on cloud computing and the upcoming Office Web Applications and Office 2010. With the public beta of Office 2010 expected to debut at the same time as PDC. Whether Microsoft can regain market share in the mobile market and position itself to offer compelling cloud based services remains to be seen.