Kicking off Microsoft's annual Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC), a four-day event that celebrates the accomplishments of the company's 640,000 global partners, CEO Steve Ballmer thanked partners for helping make Windows 7 the fastest-selling operating system in history and indicated that with future versions in development, partners can be confident in their bets on Windows for phones, PCs, servers and the cloud.
Ballmer revealed that Windows 7 has officially "sold 400 million licenses to-date" in less than two years, and that the best way to prepare customers and prospects for the future is to move all customers to Windows 7.
Echoing that point, Tami Reller, cvp and cfo of Windows and Windows Live, emphasized that Windows 7 is the path to Windows 8. Noting that there're still "more than 200 million PCs running Windows XP," which was launched in 2001, Reller told partners they've a real opportunity to deliver more value to customers in the short term and "set them up for the future."
In an overview of the road ahead with Windows, Reller told partners that despite the record growth and success of Windows 7, there's tremendous Windows 7 deployment opportunity now and well into the future. "We see a future with a heterogeneous enterprise environment of Windows 8 devices and apps alongside Windows 7 PCs and apps," she said.
"At the heart of our ability to deliver Windows 8 is the flexibility Windows has consistently shown; its ability to adapt over time is what ensures Windows will continue to be highly relevant in the future," Reller added.