Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) is set to launch Windows 8, the next version of Windows, in 2012. It already launched a developer preview of Windows 8 a couple of months ago, and it has received mostly positive feedback. A lot of major computer, notebook and tablet manufacturers have already announced plans to launch Windows 8 devices following the launch. Samsung announced that it will start selling touch screen computers running Windows 8, while HP (NYSE:HPQ) has revealed plans to launch Windows 8 tablets and Ultrabooks.   Windows 8 will compete primarily with Apple‘s (NASDAQ:AAPL) Mac OS X, iOS, and Google‘s (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android in the computer and tablet operating system markets.
Windows accounts for around 25% of Microsoft’s $32 Trefis price estimate, which stands nearly 20% above Microsoft’s current stock price.
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Windows 8 to Drive Microsoft’s Revenues in 2012
With Dell, HP, and now Samsung backing Windows 8 on multiple devices, we expect Windows 8 to be the biggest release in Microsoft’s history. Windows 8 will be targeted at PCs and notebooks as well as tablets. While Microsoft has a dominant position in the computer market, it hasn’t actually entered the tablet space, which is currently dominated by Apple.
Windows 7 has sold close to 500 million copies to date, by our estimate. Windows sales have been slowing down in the last couple of years, as Windows 7 was launched almost 3 years ago. Though growth in the desktop and notebook market has slowed down, we expect Windows 8 to sell many more copies than Windows 7, as it also targets the potentially huge tablet market which is growing rapidly.Notes: