Microsoft’s chief operating officer, Kevin Turner, claimed yesterday that the software vendor would sell
300 million 270 million copies of Windows 7 this year, even though he expects businesses to keep their budgets tight.
Earlier this week the company said it had already flogged 90 million copies of its latest operating system, since July 2009.
"We have a lot of interest in the Windows 7 refresh," Turner told an audience at the London School of Economics yesterday, according to a Reuters report. "There's lots of momentum around that."
He said that Microsoft expected to see a recovery of sorts among businesses willing to spend money. However, he added that the worldwide outlook on a return to a more robust economy was at best a mixed one.
"One absolute I can tell you is that at least in 2010 most people are on new budget cycles, which is helpful, but ... they're still being conservative," he said. "I think it's going to be more a gradual thing."
His comments reflect recent analysis from Gartner that said the Windows 7 launch hadn't created any additional PC demand yet among businesses.
Turner added that Redmond’s spending habits would also be modest after it cut costs and trimmed staff this time last year, when the firm reported a nasty 11 per cent profit drop in its second quarter results last year.
However, the software giant plans to throw $9.5bn on its R&D pile this year, said Turner, with Microsoft concentrating its efforts in emerging economies. But it will keep China at arm’s length.
"Until we can work with China to respect intellectual property - I think the last numbers I got were about 98 per cent usage share and about 10 per cent paid share - I think it's a real barrier from a software standpoint," he said.
"Clearly, there's work to be done by the Chinese government to improve IPR (intellectual property rights), or else that nation won't achieve its potential, in our view."
Reuters has now changed its story - Microsoft expects 300m PCs to be sold, and 90 per cent of these will have Microsoft software inside.®