Microsoft boasts favorable Windows numbers at Computex

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REUTERS/Pichi Chuang

Computex is a hardware show, but Microsoft was there to promote Windows as a platform, including recent developments like Windows with Bing, Windows 8.1 Update, Windows Phone 8.1 and Windows universal apps.

The keynote was presented by Nick Parker, Microsoft corporate vice president responsible for device partnerships, and Tony Prophet, corporate vice president of Windows Marketing. The numbers they listed were impressive.

  • 2 billion Skype minutes per day
  • 4.4 million Office 365 Home subscribers
  • 400 million active users
  • 250 million OneDrive users
  • 48 million Xbox Live members
  • 18% share of U.S. search market for Bing

OK, so he glossed over a few problems. Windows Phone remains stalled at 4% market share, Windows 8.1 numbers were nowhere to be found, and he didn't get into Xbox One, which is currently lagging behind the PlayStation 4.

What these figures have in common is online/cloud. The OneDrive numbers are not a good measure because a) not every Windows 8 user is using it and b) other platforms like Windows 7 will account for some users. The Bing numbers are not too surprising; Microsoft is focused only on the U.S. for now. If the number was worldwide, that would be far more impressive.

Parker showed off more than 40 new Windows devices on stage, including all-in-ones, laptops, 2-in-1s, tablets, and smartphones, including new devices exclusively for the Chinese market. His talk focused on how Microsoft and its partners can build the next 1 billion devices together. This includes steps like no charge for Windows for devices smaller than 9 inches, relaxed certification requirements, the release of Windows 8.1 Update, Windows Phone 8.1, and Windows universal apps.

Dr. Hsiao-Wuen Hon, managing director of Microsoft Research Asia and distinguished scientist at Microsoft, joined the two on stage to discuss future computing and key areas of investment for Microsoft Research. They include Big Data, machine learning, datacenter, sensors, computer vision and natural user interface.

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