Microsoft is aiming to slim down Windows 8 so it fits on smaller devices, the company's top marketing executive says.
"A high priority of our Windows development effort is to make sure Windows is, let me describe it as right-sized for those devices," says Tami Reller, executive vice president of marketing, at the Goldman Sachs Technology Internet Conference, according to an article on citeworld.com.
The company already has an operating system for ARM devices (Windows RT), phones (Windows Phone) and laptops including its own Surface PRO (Windows 8.1) – which just about nails all the current form factors. Phablets – between phones and tablets – and watches are other possibilities.
The company has said it wants to tweak its current operating systems so developers can write to one mobile platform and reuse most of the code writing for others, and that may be what Reller was addressing.
"We will make a material movement forward on the footprint of the OS and what that can mean for how we run on smaller devices," she says. “Where there are interesting device categories, we want to play.” She says the goal is to make sure Windows is “right-sized” for smaller devices.
200 million and counting
Microsoft has sold 200 million copies of Windows 8 since it went on sale 15 months ago, but the company won’t detail exactly what that means.
The number doesn’t include volume licenses sold to businesses and may or may not include licenses sold to OEM PC makers. It doesn’t say whether Windows RT sales are included.
“This number includes Windows licenses that ship on a new tablet or PC, as well as upgrades to Windows 8,” Microsoft says in a statement to Mary Jo Foley’s All About Microsoft blog. She got the 200 million figure from the same Goldman Sachs conference.
By way of comparison, Microsoft said it sold more than 240 million Windows 7 licenses in the first year it was available, and 350 million after 18 months.
Firefox embraces touch for Windows 8
Mozilla has released to developers a Firefox browser for Windows 8 Touch. The beta issue of the browser is tile-based, which gives it a user interface similar to that of Windows 8.
“Firefox for Windows 8 Touch Beta has a new tile-based Firefox start screen with one-tap access to Top Sites, Bookmarks and History,” according to the Mozilla blog about the beta.
Windows 8 makes gains, but so does XP
Even as Windows XP faces end of life in April, its marketshare has increased slightly, according to one measure, even as the combined share for Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 dipped ever-so slightly.
From December to January the combined Windows 8/8.1 share went from 10.49% to 10.58%. In the same time period Windows XP share rose from 28.98% to 29.23%, maintaining its place as the second most popular PC operating system behind Windows 7.
Here is Netmarketshare’s methodology: “We collect data from the browsers of site visitors to our exclusive on-demand network of HitsLink Analytics and SharePost clients. The network includes over 40,000 websites, and spans the globe. We ‘count’ unique visitors to our network sites, and only count one unique visit to each network site per day. This is part of our quality control process to prevent fraud, and ensure the most accurate portrayal of Internet usage market share. The data is compiled from approximately 160 million unique visits per month. The information is an aggregation of the data from this network of hosted website traffic statistics. In addition, we classify 430+ referral sources identified as search engines.”
Tim Greene covers Microsoft and unified communications for Network World and writes the Mostly Microsoft blog. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @Tim_Greene.