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Microsoft looks to go head to head with Apple: Windows 8 Consumer Preview Released

Windows 8 Consumer Preview Running On Huge Screen_thumb.jpg 1Tampa Bay Online reports that Microsoft sees the future of the company in Windows 8

Windows 8 will take another step towards release when the Consumer Preview is released later today, but can the new operating system be competitive?

Tampa Bay Online (TBO) reports that now, after numerous versions of Windows, Microsoft are beginning to feel the heat from rivals. So, will their soon-to-be-released Consumer Preview be the start of a revival for the Windows platform as PC sales are stalling?

Windows 8, according to TBO, is “the important piece of software” for the company. The Consumer Preview presentation is important for Microsoft because the wider public will be able to see how the OS has progressed in development since an early version of Windows 7 was released five months ago.

According to TBO, Microsoft sees Windows 8 as providing the best of both worlds: the company wants to continue to draw revenue from the PC market – that is “past its prime” – while trying to gain “a strong foothold in the more fertile field of mobile devices.”

According to Gartner Inc analyst David Ceary, “Microsoft’s future path is riding on Windows 8 and its success” and there “is a chance for Microsoft to re-establish itself.”

TBO also reports that Windows 8’s unique, two-sided OS (with the Metro UI on one side, and the full desktop on the other) could create a whole new type of device.

Though what if Windows 8 fails? “[I]t will increase the pressure on Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer.” During his 12 years as CEO of the company, rivals such as Apple and Google have tackled emerging markets with high-quality products that have secured market share and sales. Ballmer has called Windows 8 the “catalyst” for an exciting new era for the company.

However, despite Ballmer’s rocky reign at times, stock prices are favourable. On Tuesday Microsoft’s stock gained 52 cents to close at $31.87, and shares have climbed by over 20 per cent this year. Still, to show how Microsoft remains behind their competitors, Apple shares have risen by 32 per cent.

Regardless, Windows 8 will sell. According to TBO, “the company has sold more than 525 million copies of Windows 7 since then[retail].”

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Published: Thursday, March 1st, 2012 Last Modified: March 1, 2012

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