Tami Reller dishes out the news on Windows Blue

As Microsoft readies the big Blue update for fall 2013, Windows 8 passes 100 million licenses, 700 million Windows accounts and 250 million SkyDrive accounts

Tami Reller dishes out the news on Windows Blue photo

People are expecting big changes with the next version of Windows 8 but the revolutionary changes are already in place and they work beautifully.

The news of Microsoft’s death from Windows 8 is greatly exaggerated.

Windows 8, the first major change in the world’s most popular operating system in a decade, is on track for success.

In a Q&A with Windows blogger Brandon LeBlanc, Tami Reller Microsoft’s Chief Marketing Officer and Chief Financial Officer dishes out the facts.

From a user point of view, I’ve been using Windows 8 for more than a year and despite the things that need improvement, I would not go back to Windows 7. 

The best feature of Windows 8, for me, was getting a Windows Phone 8 Nokia Lumia 920. Now, no matter where I go, I’m connected to my Outlook account.

For people who depend on Outlook for email, contacts, tasks and calendar, this Office 365-anywhere vision delivers. The Lumia’s almost 5&Prime screen means I don’t need my computer most of the time and see little use in a tablet.

Windows Blue Build 9369 – finally a clock

In a nod from arch-rival Apple, we learned last week that the next Apple operating system will drop the faux-raised panel look and adopt a Windows 8 like flat appearance.

More details about Windows 8 Blue, coming this fall, will be announced at the //Build/ developer conference in June.

Fast facts on Windows 8 at mid-year

  • 100 million licenses sold
  • 700 million active Microsoft accounts
  • 2400 Windows 8 and RT certified devices
  • Windows 8 makes it mobile across multiple device forms
  • Windows Blue on schedule for 2013 release
  • 250 million apps downloaded from Windows Store
  • 250 million SkyDrive (synchronized cloud storage) users
  • Skype integration with Outlook
  • Outlook has 400 million accounts

Windows 8 at 6 months: Q&A with Tami Reller

Brandon LeBlanc: It’s been several months since we announced that 60 million licenses of Windows 8 had been sold since general availability. Where are we now?

Tami Reller: We recently surpassed the 100 million licenses sold mark for Windows 8. This number includes Windows licenses that ship on a new tablet or PC, as well as upgrades to Windows 8. This is up from the 60 million license number we provided in January.

We’ve also seen the number of certified devices for Windows 8 and Window RT grow to 2,400 devices, and we’re seeing more and more touch devices in the mix.

As we talked about in our last Q&A, Windows 8 is a big, ambitious change. While we realize that change takes time, we feel good about the progress since launch, including what we’ve been able to accomplish with the ecosystem and customer reaction to the new PCs and tablets that are available now or will soon come to market.

Brandon LeBlanc: There’s been a recurring theme talking about the PC’s demise. What’s your take on that?

Tami Reller: The PC is very much alive and increasingly mobile. The PC is also part of a much broader device market of tablets and PCs. Windows 8 was built to fully participate in this broader and increasingly mobile device market.

The PC part of the market is rapidly evolving to include new convertible devices and amazing new touch laptops, and all-in-ones. These new PCs are hitting the market now and into the Back-to-School season, and they are more affordable than ever.

Brandon LeBlanc: There’s been a lot of speculation about Windows Blue. What can you tell me about it?

Tami Reller: Windows Blue is a codename for an update that will be available later this year, building on the bold vision set forward with Windows 8 to deliver the next generation of tablets and PCs.

It will deliver the latest new innovations across an increasingly broad array of form factors of all sizes, display, battery life and performance, while creating new opportunities for our ecosystem.

It will provide more options for businesses, and give consumers more options for work and play.

The Windows Blue update is also an opportunity for us to respond to the customer feedback that we’ve been closely listening to since the launch of Windows 8 and Windows RT. From a company-wide perspective, Windows Blue is part of a broader effort to advance our devices and services for Microsoft.


Windows Blue Build 9369 leak

Brandon LeBlanc: Last time we talked about the Windows Store and momentum you were seeing there. Will you update our readers on progress?

Tami Reller: Apps momentum has been steady as the number of apps in the Windows Store has increased 6x since launch. Comparatively, that’s already passed what iOS had in store, in its first year of app development.

We’ve also surpassed 250 million Store apps downloaded in the first six months, and almost 90% of our app catalog has been downloaded every month.

Additionally, we’ve delivered hundreds of updates to first party apps (apps from Microsoft), including a major update for Mail, People and Calendar.

We also updated IE10 so that Flash works by default, which makes it easier for people to enjoy all of the rich content on the sites they love. And the Bing Team updated their apps as well.

This, combined with the touch capabilities of Internet Explorer 10, delivers a much more immersive web experience than what’s possible on other devices.

Brandon LeBlanc: And we’re also seeing good momentum with our services like SkyDrive and Outlook.com, right?

Tami Reller: That’s right. Earlier today, we announced that we now have more than 250 million people using SkyDrive.

We also continue to add exciting features to our new personal email service, Outlook.com, including the recent announcement about integration with Skype – starting in the UK immediately, in the U.S. and Germany in the coming weeks, and worldwide availability in the coming months.

It’s also worth noting that we have already completed the update to Outlook.com for all of our Hotmail customers, much earlier than our original estimate of later this summer. We already have 400 million active Outlook.com accounts.

And key to the experience behind all of these great services and apps is having a Microsoft account, of which we now have over 700 million active accounts.

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