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According to Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, Windows 8 represents a "rebirth" of Windows and it's the "deepest, broadest and most impactful" version of the operating system his company has yet created.
Those are strong words from a man whose legacy may hinge upon Windows 8's success. But Ballmer apparently isn't afraid to use them, or to offer up bold predictions about how fast Windows 8 will find its way onto consumer devices.
Earlier this week, Apple made an announcement that produced many headlines: in the 80 days following the debut of the iPad, the company has sold 3m tablets. For those of us who wondered if the iPad would sell, the answer is clearly a resounding "Yes!"
Not surprisingly, Apple's early success with the iPad has given a new form of ammunition to those who believe that the PC's best days are behind it. Even Steve Jobs stated earlier this month, "PCs are going to be like trucks. They’re still going to be around, they’re still going to have a lot of value, but they’re going to be used by one out of X people."
The idea that consumers would be excited about — let alone throw a party for — the launch of a new Microsoft operating system may be laughable to some (Engadget, Gizmodo, CNBC, AllThingsD, etc), but a day after Windows 7 launched, it looks like the campaign beat Microsoft's expectations.
Microsoft says that double the number of sponsored parties they expected were thrown. The question remains: Was the party idea and video embarrassing or genius?
To appease the European Commission in its pending antitrust case over the tying of Internet Explorer and Windows, Microsoft initially planned to release a version of Windows 7 in Europe that would be browser-free. That would ensure that consumers had the ability to choose a browser freely.
But a couple of weeks ago, Microsoft reversed course and proposed an alternative solution: a "ballot screen" that would enable consumers in the EU to select their browser of choice.
Yesterday's announcement of that Google was getting into the OS game (sort of) was not surprisingly the meme du jour. This is a move that many had expected for some time and gave bloggers and techies plenty of conversation fodder.
The most interesting thing about the buzz: the polar extremes in opinion. Some people think that Google Chrome OS is a serious threat to Microsoft while others dismissed outright Google's announcement.
It's hard to argue that Windows Vista hasn't been a disappointment for Microsoft. And it hopes the next version, Windows 7, will reverse its fortunes.
Despite the fact that early reviews of Windows 7 provide reasons for hope, the success of it is far from certain. One of the biggest unknowns: whether or not Microsoft's new Windows Anytime Upgrade will sink or swim.
As Microsoft pushes forward on the path towards Windows 7, the successor OS to a very disappointing Windows Vista, the Redmond-based software company has made an Internet Explorer 8 release candidate available for download.
IE8 will come bundled with Windows 7 and represents Microsoft's effort to maintain IE's always-vulnerable but still-dominant hold on the browser market.