The success of Windows 7 also helped the software giant to record profits despite a recent dip in computer sales growth.
Although Apple Inc’s OS X and Linux-based operating systems have won some market share in the past few years, Microsoft still controls 90 per cent of the world’s 1.4 billion or so personal computers, and is expecting more customers to upgrade or switch to Windows 7.
About 89 per cent of companies — Microsoft’s most lucrative customers — are planning to use Windows 7, said Tami Reller, chief financial officer of Microsoft’s Windows unit.
Companies tend to lag behind consumers in adopting new operating systems as they have to go through more testing to make sure they mesh with existing software. Microsoft reported record sales of $62.5 billion last fiscal year, up 7 per cent from the year before, largely powered by Windows.
The Windows unit is still Microsoft’s core, providing more than one-fourth of overall sales and just over half of its profit. Microsoft is expected to report higher fiscal first-quarter earnings next week, but Windows sales — which closely track PC sales — may disappoint investors slightly.
It is worthwhile to note here that Windows 7 was launched a year ago to supersede the unpopular Microsoft Vista.