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Microsoft Claims a Billion Windows Installs by End of 2008 365

eldavojohn writes "Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer claimed yesterday that there will be a billion machines running Windows within a year. 'The install base of Windows computers this coming 12 months will reach 1 billion. If you stop and just think about that, parse that for a second, by the end of our fiscal year '08, there will be more PCs running Windows in the world than there are automobiles, which is at least to me kind of a mind-numbing concept.'"
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Microsoft Claims a Billion Windows Installs by End of 2008

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 27, 2007 @09:03AM (#20009199)
    They are the McDonald's of software
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Onos ( 1103517 )

      And, in the applications department, there's really no open source offering that comes remotely close to Visual Studio 2005 and C#, SQL Server 2005, and certainly not even Office 2000, let alone newer versions of Office. Sure, OpenOffice word processing is ok, but the spreadsheet is crap, and the "Access" clone is terrible.

      Um Visual Studio 2005 is not a good application. Go take a look at any of the Java based open source IDEs - eclipse/netbeans. VS2005 is missing key features like on the fly compiling. (I had to install a paid plug-in to get that in VS). As for C# I believe you can find Java which is now open source, which works on ANY platform (well almost). C# generally beats Java in local apps while Java beats the crap out of c# server side. SQL Server 2005? Derby and MySQL come to mind as open source. Office is true, t

      • It depends on which version of VS you buy. The Team versions have quite a lot of nice features. On the fly compiling is not a key feature and its usefulness is in doubt. If you really want, try, as it does have on the fly compiling.

        Java has its own problems; "well almost" doesn't cut it for multiplatform development. C# performs great server side. Derby and MySql don't even hold a candle to Sql Server 2005. Does MySql even have transactions yet? Sql Server 2005 includes .Net integration, come
        • And on the fly compiling is terrible in VB.Net if you have really large projects. I wonder if the Java IDEs are faster. I've used them, but never on a large project. I have a PIV 3.0 GHz, and it pauses for about 5 seconds every time I change something at the class level. Wnen the project gets too big, VS.Net becomes unusable.
      • VS2005 is missing key features like on the fly compiling.

        Visual studio has had that since VS2003 and it works really well most of the time (sometimes it decides it can't compile something silly and forces a full recompile, but it works OK).

        I've never seen an opensource editor that could do it.. eclipse certainly couldn't last time I tried a few months ago (it didn't even have an integrated debugger which would defeat the point anyway).
    • by eebra82 ( 907996 )
      So according to your claims, Apple is Taco Bell with white walls?
    • by ( 463190 ) * on Friday July 27, 2007 @09:58AM (#20009985) Homepage

      to McDonalds. When was the last time you had a Big Mac? It may not be the most nutritious thing in the world, but at least it's TASTY. I have eaten many an XP installer CD, and I can assure you it is neither.
  • Mind-numbing (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Slider451 ( 514881 )
    • Billion?

      I match your billion, and raise you one gazillion bagillion... and one old laptop running Ubuntu... abandoned where it lay... alongside a keg of beer and a stash of afghan gold.
  • Something fishy? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by kraemate ( 1065878 ) on Friday July 27, 2007 @09:04AM (#20009205)
    How is this possible? Do that many people even have access to a computer?
    • by NuSuey ( 1133627 ) on Friday July 27, 2007 @09:06AM (#20009239)
      i guess they count the illegal copies too .. *smile*
    • by aleph taw ( 1113487 ) on Friday July 27, 2007 @09:06AM (#20009251)
      some people have more than 1 computer
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by arth1 ( 260657 )
        True, some people have more than one PC. But some people also run other operating systems than Windows, even if the PC came with Windows. And quite a few people have Windows licenses for machines that no longer work, no longer are used, or which have been thrown away.

        Does Ballmer count licenses to get a high number, or conduct polls to get a true number?
        What do you think? :-)

        • by Yetihehe ( 971185 ) on Friday July 27, 2007 @09:41AM (#20009735)

          Does Ballmer count licenses to get a high number, or conduct polls to get a true number?
          What do you think? :-)
          I think Ballmer counts licenses to get high.
        • I have two licenses for XP (one home, one pro), one for NT 4, one for 2K, two for 98 (one came with VirtualPC for Mac, no idea where the other came from) and one for 3.11. I wonder how many of these Microsoft counts. The only one I have installed is Windows XP Pro on my ThinkPad, on a small partition which I use for the occasional old game. 90% of the time the machine is booted into FreeBSD, so I should probably count as 0.1 Windows install, but I suspect Microsoft will count me as at least 4.
    • 1- In developping countries, many people don't own a car either.

      2- In large non-US towns, many people who could afford a car prefer not to.

      3- There are also work machines (personnaly, I own 2 PC (one for gaming, the other (older) one for multimedia) and work with 3 (my dev PC, a test system and the reference generation system)).
    • by arth1 ( 260657 ) on Friday July 27, 2007 @09:18AM (#20009423) Homepage Journal
      Also note that he said "running". I highly doubt that claim. :-)

      Of course, he could have meant "running" as in "with scissors".
    • Not that this will explain it, but it helps: In manufacturing environments computers are quickly replacing electrical panels as the operator interface for machines.

      Where an equipment builder would once have used giant metal panel full of buttons and toggle switches and analog meters as the means to run his product, he now plugs in a computer with an HMI/SCADA package. And these computers are usually running Windows. In the US Rockwell Automation has a good chunk of the market, and RS Views is Windows only.
  • vm's (Score:4, Interesting)

    by misfit815 ( 875442 ) on Friday July 27, 2007 @09:04AM (#20009207)
    Yeah, he's probably right... if you include all the vm's we run to sandbox stuff...

  • by jollyreaper ( 513215 ) on Friday July 27, 2007 @09:04AM (#20009221)
    Does that include reinstalls?
  • The main question (Score:4, Interesting)

    by baudilus ( 665036 ) on Friday July 27, 2007 @09:05AM (#20009233)
    Are they counting pirated copies?
  • ST. PETERSBURG - WarezOv Industries announced today a new initiative in partnership with Microsoft that promises to put shared web hosting on every desktop.

    "With Microsoft's help, we have brought web hosting services to nearly one billion PCS across the Internet," announced WarezOv CEO dRO0m@t. "Windows allows us the opportunity to bring value-add to the customer."

    WarezOv's suite of administration tools allows easy management of all aspects of web hosting, including DNS, mail services and -- most important -- failover. "By tapping into Window's remote API calls, WarezOv's tools can scale web hosting to nearly any degree, and make it easy for the hoster as well," said Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer. "This -- and their tool's ease of install -- is what Windows is all about."

    Free Software Foundation president and founder Richard M. Stallman was unavailable for comment. "He's talking to Google about building something similar for GNU/Linux," said a source close to Stallman.

  • No chairs were harmed in the making of this press release.
  • Ob (Score:3, Funny)

    by edittard ( 805475 ) on Friday July 27, 2007 @09:08AM (#20009289)

    there will be more PCs running Windows in the world than there are automobiles
    To do: Insert joke about crashes.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      With a billion installs, I wonder how many PCs are displaying a BSOD at any given moment in time. Perhaps a million or so?
  • A billion computers running Windows at one time? How many are in the process of rebooting at any one time?

    Does that count as running? :)

    Or are they counting the number of copies of Windows they have sold? In that case the actual number of systems running windows today is going to be much less.

    Someone needs show their work on these numbers...
    • Add number of instance licenses sold
      to maximum population estimates of site license holders
      to the highest out-of-thin-air web or internally reported estimate of unlicensed instances
      add the results of rolling some chicken bones

      Repeat until your number sounds psychologically significant.

      But all that's ok. McDonalds still has them beat in the meaningless BS accounting department. They gave up at "Billions and Billions Served" though you can occasionally find one with a number in front of the billions. All t
  • by ceeam ( 39911 ) on Friday July 27, 2007 @09:11AM (#20009333)
    I think that the average household has more Unix systems running for them than Windows. For example - I know for sure that my DVD player and my ADSL modem have Linux running in them. My TV, phones, etc - frankly no idea. Maybe some Unix too, maybe something else. But I heard that this thing runs them most: []

    Yeah, desktop is still important but with things like these: [] gaining momentum I hope Windows will be further sliding into irrelevancy.
    • That's why I work in embedded real time/driver development: I had not a single day of unemployment in 8 years and worked for a large variety of manufacturers, plus, the job is usualy rather easy once you made the initial effort of knowing your system.
      • by ceeam ( 39911 )
        Wise you are. I wish I could too. Unfortunately it's a bit tricky freelancing on that market and available employment is somewhat crappy around here.
    • by laffer1 ( 701823 )
      Yes, if we widen what we count as a device, I bet Windows is irrelevant. I only wish we could train users to realize this.

      Microsoft can count Windows installs on desktops, virtual machines, PDAs, xbox (and 360) consoles, Sega Dreamcast, smart phones, cash registers and ATM machines, and coffee tables. I'm sure I'm forgetting something.

      Linux is used on countless embedded devices, PS3 systems, desktops and servers.

      They you get into BSD, Solaris and Mac OS X systems, iPhones, Apple TVs, iPods, palm and other
      • Yes, if we widen what we count as a device, I bet Windows is irrelevant.
        If you widen the definition enough then Windows, Linux, MacOS and every flavor of UNIX combined have nothing on ITRON [] at over 3 billion units.
  • "more PCs running Windows in the world than there are automobiles"

    soon to be

    "more automobiles running Windows in the world, not just PCs" []

    and don't forget boats for that matter: Windows for Warships [] (not a joke)

    luckily, even though one of microsoft's original software hits in the early 1980s was a flight simulator, this is still a joke []... for now

    someone else can find the reality/ joke based depiction of windows running submarines, or spacecraft... or donkey mule carts... (mind numbing complete)
  • by denis-The-menace ( 471988 ) on Friday July 27, 2007 @09:11AM (#20009337)
    I'm not talking XP and Vista either.

    I'm talking when a company buy a PC and has a corporate version of Windows XP (no activation req'd)
    That means MS gets:
    -one license for the PC leaving the store/reseller
    -one when the company buys a corporate license for that PC.

    Therefore MS get a 2-for-1 deal, everytime!
    • by jimicus ( 737525 )
      You should perhaps read the corporate license. It's an "upgrade only" license - you can upgrade PCs to the version of Windows you're licensed for but you still need an OEM license on them in the first place.

      Of course, this is a blatant lie in order to prop up Microsoft's sales figures. I present as evidence:

      1. The contract states that should you choose to buy this corporate license, you must license enough seats for every PC you own, not just the ones which shipped from the factory with some older versio
    • and a third when the box gets repurposed on end-of-life and a fresh license is required for the machine when it gets donated to charity.: []

  • by rongage ( 237813 ) on Friday July 27, 2007 @09:14AM (#20009373)

    Let me see... I had to reinstall Windows 12 times on my son's computer, 8 times on my Wife's computer, 5 times on my computer at work, 15 times on my dad's computer, and so on....

    Yeah, I can see how Microsoft can claim 1 billion installs - let's see them filter it out to "unique computers" and see where that number goes.

  • Why surprised? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by gstoddart ( 321705 ) on Friday July 27, 2007 @09:16AM (#20009405) Homepage

    If you stop and just think about that, parse that for a second, by the end of our fiscal year '08, there will be more PCs running Windows in the world than there are automobiles, which is at least to me kind of a mind-numbing concept

    Not sure why that's so mind-numbing. I personally own more computers than I do cars, and I have my laptop from work. Two out of my three machines are Windows.

    I'm sure most of us work in environments where computers outnumber people. And, I'm sure the back-room infrastructure of most IT departments consists of a fair number of machines doing various things. (And, any sufficiently large organization is gonna have at least one IT department/location.) Hell, I bet Microsoft and Google combined have several hundred thousand machines if not more.

    Now, I have no idea of how they estimated this 1 billion machines, but I don't find it a surprising number at all -- I bet my office of 50 people has well over 100 computers running Windows, and we're one office in a multi-national corporation.

    • Re:Why surprised? (Score:4, Interesting)

      by pogson ( 856666 ) on Friday July 27, 2007 @10:31AM (#20010491) Homepage Journal
      see []

      There are lots of PCs out there. I have seen a few '95 and '98 machines still in use (Horrors!).

      The aspect that eludes M$ is that of the existing PCs, very few can run Vista. M$ plans to kill off XP next year for new licences, and upgrades of XP soon. Will the world trash hundreds of millions of working PCs, PIII and later? Why would they? The world will find Linux ready to run on them with modern software. It takes a salesman to announce a problem with the M$ empire is an advantage.

      Whether it likes it or not, the world will not trash that many working PCs and M$ will have to supply a product for them or drop out. This is not like the good old days when M$ had to persuade folks to shift from 8MHz CPUs to 400MHz CPUs where they could see a real benefit. Nowadays, 3000 MHz CPUs are idling and they want folks to run dual core models that can do 200 frames per second in high resolution to read text.

  • by Vicegrip ( 82853 ) on Friday July 27, 2007 @09:19AM (#20009431) Journal
    What they're counting is the number of times WGA pops up to confirm that your copy of Windows is valid.

    It's just retarded how many times that fucking thing pops up.... Microsoft wants to double quadruple check or something....

    User: "but you already checked!!!" ....

    MS: "yes and we're going to check again, bend over please .... you like using the computer you paid for right? We'll fix you good if you don't comply."
  • by Anne_Nonymous ( 313852 ) on Friday July 27, 2007 @09:21AM (#20009465) Homepage Journal
    Just think of the energy savings [] if they had made it the black screen of death.
  • They already have 1 billion Windows installations in China, all with the same activation key.
  • So many support calls!
  • I cannot imagine a billion Vista installations within a year.... Even on new PCs in India, the local hardware shop only offers PCs with 256MB RAM, 15" CRT monitor, DVD drives and pirated Windows 2000 - the software is installed gratis, there's no profits for the h/w dealer or Microsoft.

    Even a recent crackdown against such dealers only brought negative publicity for Microsoft - as mentioned in the BusinessWeek article. With Vista's h/w requirements much more expensive (twice the h/w price for Win 2K) and num
  • Well yea, but they are counting the windows ce (or embedded or whatever they call it this week) devices too. Probably counting the probability of some old windows 95/98/me/NT/XP, etc. Marketing at it best, a billion users can't be wrong must be going through all the companies officers heads right now. Thing is many of those machines may have never ran windows at all, once they left the store they got new life as linux/bsd boxes and the like.
  • Population about 6-7 Billion now. So lets figure that only one in 6 is gullible enough to buy Windows.

    To do first line Tech Support they will need at least 250 Million people to answer phones with 'Is the powercord plugged in?" and "Hit Ctrl-alt-delete several times till it reboots" These are the lucky ones they will have jobs for life! [till somebody builds a Linux-based AI to use an Eliza strategy [] to answer calls]

    We will also need a crack team of at least 50 Million Linux/Mac Users to mock Window Users fu
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by arth1 ( 260657 )

      To do first line Tech Support they will need at least 250 Million people to answer phones with 'Is the powercord plugged in?" and "Hit Ctrl-alt-delete several times till it reboots" These are the lucky ones they will have jobs for life!

      You've obviously never worked in tech support, or you'd know that You Must Never Say "hit".

      "Press control, which is usually at the bottom left of the keyboard, yes that would be left for you, not me, and keep on holding the control key down while you with the same hand press

      • [Roy receiving a tech support call, answers after 15 rings with a sigh]
        Roy: Hello, IT. Have you tried turning it off and on again?
        Roy: Well, the button on the side, is it glowing?
        Roy: Yeah, you need to turn it on.
        Roy: The button turns it on.
        Roy: You DO know how a button works, don't you?
        Roy: No, not on clothes.
  • One can foul one billion persons one time... and apparently one billion persons 5 or 6 times when you are called Microsoft.
    • One can foul one billion persons one time... and apparently one billion persons 5 or 6 times when you are called Microsoft.
      You mean "fool".
  • Dr. Evil? (Score:2, Funny)

    by d3ac0n ( 715594 )
    I'm sorry, but a quote like that just makes me think of Dr. Evil from the Austin Powers movies.

    Bill Gates: *with pinky curved up to lip* Gentlemen, we will have Windows Vista installed on ONE BEEELLIIION computers by the end of the year!

    Steve Ballmer: *wearing an eyepatch due to a ricocheting chair leg accident* But Sir, that's.. that's just...

    Bill Gates: Eeevil? *camera zooms in while dramatic music plays*
  • I used to have to reinstall Windows every three months. Those were the days.
  • by objekt ( 232270 ) on Friday July 27, 2007 @09:48AM (#20009823) Homepage
    From TFA

    "The software giant announced it sold 60 million copies of Windows Vista this year, more than the entire installed base of Apple,"

    From 0206 []

    "According to Net Applications, in June Windows Vista accounted for 4.52% of all systems that browsed the Web, up from January's 0.18%. Vista has grown its usage share each month since its release to consumers Jan. 30, hitting 0.93% in February, 2.04% in March, 3.02% in April and 3.74% in May. Apple Inc.'s Mac OS X, meanwhile, accounted for 6.22% in January and hit its high point of 6.46% in May, but it slipped back to 6% in June. If Vista's uptake trend continues, it should pass Mac OS X in Web usage share by the end of August."

    Are we to believe all these Vista installs are simply not browsing the web?

  • "more PCs running Windows in the world than there are automobiles"

    Why is this supposed to be surprising? A lot of people don't have cars.

    There are peoples in cities, who have taxis, buses, subways, trains, carpooling, bikes, legs, etc.

    There are people in the countryside, farms etc, who may not have need of a car because they walk or use animals on their land.

    There are teens and college students everywhere who are likely to have a computer and not yet have a vehicle.

    If anything, that car analogy makes the nu
  • by flyingfsck ( 986395 ) on Friday July 27, 2007 @09:51AM (#20009867)
    A few years ago, I saw an IBM analysis that estimated more than 1 billion device are running Linux (mostly cell phones and routers).
  • ...and all of them running in a virtual machine on Linux, safely cut off from the rest of the Universe. Three chairs ... I mean cheers ... for Balmer
  • Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer reported today that Microsoft has just sold their 300,000th Windows license!
  • .... doesn't this just scream for the line:

    "And one botnet to rule them all!" ok.. sorry .. couldn't help myself.
  • which is at least to me kind of a mind-numbing concept.

    A billion computers running Windows. That's beyond kind of mind-numbing. That's extremely mind-numbing.

  • Installs or running? A lot of folks are debating what counts as an install. "Running" is a bit suspect as well.

    Ultimately it's like trying to whip up excitement about 1 billion infections of herpes. Or do they mean active blisters? Either way, it's still herpes.
  • ...who admits that his mind is numb?
  • by HangingChad ( 677530 ) on Friday July 27, 2007 @12:22PM (#20012263) Homepage

    It's as if a billion computers all cried out at once in terror and said, "It appears you are being suddenly silenced. Cancel or allow?"

  • by Analogy Man ( 601298 ) on Friday July 27, 2007 @12:26PM (#20012323)
    1,000,000,000,000,000 reboots! Is it a zillion after trillions?

Did you hear that two rabbits escaped from the zoo and so far they have only recaptured 116 of them?