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Microsoft Number Crunching: 1 Billion Computers With Windows

     
4:21 pm on Jul 30, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Steve Ballmer's Financial Analyst meeting July 26, 2007 was interesting, not least for this fact.

...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.

1 Billion Computers With Windows [microsoft.com]

That really is a big number and i'm impressed.

4:28 pm on July 30, 2007 (gmt 0)

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This statistic makes me pity mankind.
4:52 pm on July 30, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I guess that means that at any given moment, ten million or so PCs are being rebooted... ;)

Seriously, though, that's an amazing accomplishment.

5:05 pm on July 30, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Of the 1 billion, I wonder how many are pirated copies that Microsoft will never see a dime for?
5:08 pm on July 30, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Thanks Bill Gates. The man that empowered the planet with digital computing access to the mass ,the only man of our time worth being mentioned in a History book.
5:26 pm on July 30, 2007 (gmt 0)

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It does not matter if you are a supporter of Microsoft or like many believe they create buggy S/W that crashes PC's or not.

It is worth remembering that pre Microsoft A PC may well have just become an intelligent terminal for the IBM's of the world at that time who charged a massive amount for a Word processor that needed a mainframe behind it to work

Microsoft broke a monopoly in computing that existed then the same way as Google or Apple or another may well break the near monopoly that Microsoft currently has today. And we should give Bill Gates and Microsoft the credit it deserves for what they achieved .

steve

5:38 pm on July 30, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I miss Windows 3.1.
6:26 pm on July 30, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I wonder if the rate of growth of Cell Phone OSes are on a similar path? Are they on a path to exceed windows?
7:42 pm on July 30, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Agrees with brakkar. For all the flak Mr Gates gets, this is a phenomenal achievement.
8:42 pm on July 30, 2007 (gmt 0)

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All profound accolades aside, I accomplish times x since Windows. MS has completely changed my life and many of my associates.
10:15 pm on July 30, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I miss Windows 3.1

I miss 3.11 for workgroups with the file system tweaks enabled :-)

Regarding Mr. Gates... Yay, cheers, heck of an accomplishment and all that but lets be accurate... He did a really good job of marketing someone else's user interface idea (Apple) on top of a disk operating system he bought from someone else.

12:30 am on July 31, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Here's something that might be interesting: there are now over 1 billion (and rising) cellphones sold every year. It's by far the most popular form of computing device, in fact it's by far the most popular electronic device of any kind.

If smartphones (phones with multitasking operating systems that can run third party software) gradually dominate phone sales, they will very soon catch up with and overtake PCs as the world's biggest hardware platform.

Microsoft's worldwide market share in smartphones is pretty low, about 15% or so, with the majority of the market belonging to Symbian (which is jointly owned by Nokia, Sony Ericsson, Motorola and others). But in the developing world, Linux dominates smartphones, and as most future growth will come from India and China, Linux might well end up becoming the world's standard operating system by the mobile back door.

Some of the latest smartphones can be plugged into a television and keyboard, making a cheap, easy and instant PC with its own wireless internet connection. That kind of approach could be ideal for grabbing market share in emerging markets. Many fast-growing developing countries have leapfrogged landlines in favour of wireless cell networks, perhaps they will leapfrog desktop computing in favour of mobile computing.

1:53 am on July 31, 2007 (gmt 0)

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It is worth remembering that pre Microsoft A PC may well have just become an intelligent terminal for the IBM's of the world at that time who charged a massive amount for a Word processor that needed a mainframe behind it to work

Oh please ...

I've been in micro-computing since the late 70's and there were lots of options that didn't involve Microsoft, IBM or any of the other monopolies.

The real kudos need to go to Gary Kildall of Digital Research that created CP/M which was the basis of MS-DOS as Bill Gates purchased a 16-bit clone of CP/M to resell to IBM. If it wasn't for CP/M there wouldn't have been anything to clone and MS wouldn't have had anything to resell to IBM and history would be very different.

For those what wish to dispute this point, go look in your PSP, the PSP is the program segment prefix that prefixes the code segment of every windows app and the bytes at 0005 redirect to INT 21.

Why is this important?

Because the call to the CP/M operating system and later MS-DOS was CALL 0005 with all the parameters to the OS and it was still a part of Windows as late as Windows 98 last time I checked. MS-DOS changed that call to INT 21 but maintained the vector at 0005 for backwards compatibility with CP/M software ported to early versions of MS-DOS.

I haven't looked lately, but Vista is probably still CP/M compatible :)

2:03 am on July 31, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Bill I know your right about the CP/M thing but companies become successful because of a number of factors and Gates got the mix right

Product ( bought or repackaged )
Aggressive Marketing
Luck Being in the right place at the right time
A Vision
Good Business Skills
Bloody hard work

I can remember a number of very clever guys in or close to the market that never had the impact Microsoft had and many I suspect were better engineers but it comes down to having all of the above and Gates had them all and changed the way we work, communicate and play

steve

2:43 am on July 31, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Do you want to know how Microsoft reached this outstanding achievement?

Watch Triumph of the Nerds [pbs.org...] .

This historical recollection of facts features lots of interviews with key players in the industry.

A few Microsoft haters might even change their narrow views after watching this outstanding program.

11:02 am on July 31, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Then there is the other side of this - essential reading for all die-hard Gates fans wearing rose-tinted glasses:

What's So Bad About Microsoft? [sillydog.org]

3:04 pm on July 31, 2007 (gmt 0)

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[sillydog.org...] and similar publications always use narrow views and lack of credible sources.

Have you seen "Pirates of Silicon Valley"? Same tactics...

So, buy some popcorn and sodas and enjoy "Triumph of the Nerds".

Learn how Digital Research sent IBM back to Microsoft and consequently lost the deal of the century. Learn about how XEROX gave away the graphical user interface. Learn about facts!

7:43 pm on July 31, 2007 (gmt 0)

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>>The real kudos need to go to Gary Kildall of Digital Research that created CP/M which was the basis of MS-DOS as Bill Gates purchased a 16-bit clone of CP/M to resell to IBM.

Actually, Kildall messed up big time. He had both IBM and Gates at his door, but wouldnít sign a non-disclosure agreement. And although itís true that Gates bought DOS Ö it was Gates that wrote MSDOS BASIC, and the importance of BASIC was everything. Because at that time, you didnít buy software, you had to roll your own.

8:46 pm on July 31, 2007 (gmt 0)

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>>The real kudos need to go to Gary Kildall of Digital Research that created CP/M which was the basis of MS-DOS

Thanks or reminding us of that Bill.

5:16 pm on Aug 8, 2007 (gmt 0)

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The real kudos need to go to Gary Kildall of Digital Research that created CP/M which was the basis of MS-DOS as Bill Gates purchased a 16-bit clone of CP/M to resell to IBM.

True for DOS style OSes, but there were lots of other ingredients in the PC mix. A few more who deserve credit:

1) Visicalc for giving businesses a compelling reason to buy PCs (or micro-computers as they were called then).
2) Apple and other early manufacturers. Many are forgotten names (MITS Altair, Sinclair, Commodore ....).
3) Intel and other microprocessor manufacturers.

Incidentally, the first few versions of Windows were really bad. I remember using Windows 2 in my first paid work (a holiday job). It was far less usable, on much more expensive hardware, than the Atari ST I had at home. The best thing to do with Windows 2 was ignore it and use DOS.

 

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