Microsoft announced Monday that it has now sold 400 million Windows 7 licenses and encouraged users to start ditching Windows XP in favor of its more advanced operating system.
Microsoft also touched briefly on Windows 8 at its annual Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference, but more details are expected at September's BUILD conference.
Since its October 2009 release, Microsoft has sold 400 million licenses for Windows 7, CEO Steve Ballmer said during a keynote at today's event. On the one-year anniversary of Windows 7 last year, the company said it had sold 240 million licenses.
If Microsoft has anything to say about it, that number will continue to grow in the coming years. In a post on its business blog, Microsoft announced that customers now have 1,000 days until the company stops supporting Windows XP. Like its push to eliminate Internet Explorer 6 usage, Microsoft is also pushing for the demise of XP.
"Windows XP served us well, but in the ten years since it launched, the world has changed," wrote Erwin Visser, senior director for the Windows Commercial Product Marketing team. "It's time to retire Windows XP and move to Windows 7 to take advantage of the last decade of innovation in areas such as security, performance and more natural, intuitive interface."
To help move that along, Microsoft talked up Windows Intune, a cloud-based service lets users manage and secure their PCs from any location. A final version of the product was released in March, but Tami Reller, Windows marketing head, said today that the beta for the next release of Intune is now available. New features include: software distribution, which lets admins deploy software to PCs remotely; remote tasks, which lets IT officials run scans, restart, and update malware definitions on other systems from their own PCs; and read-only access. A final release is expected later this year.
"Windows Intune has proven to be the comprehensive solution [partners and customers] need, giving them cloud services for PC management and security and upgrade rights to Windows 7 Enterprise (and future versions of Windows) from a single, simple subscription," Visser wrote.
Why the push for Windows 7 when Windows 8 could be right around the corner? According to Reller, "Windows 7 is the path to Windows 8." In the future, businesses will be running a combination of Windows 8 devices and apps alongside Windows 7 PCs and apps.
Ballmer agreed, saying the Windows 8 is a "true re-imagining" of Windows PCs that will pave the way for the next generation of Windows-based tablets.
Ballmer and Reller did not provide too many details about Windows 8 that were not discussed earlier this summer at D9, but expect more on the next-gen OS at BUILD, which will take place from September 13-16 in Anaheim, California.
Monday's keynote didn't focus too much on Windows Phone 7, except for Ballmer talking up the year's accomplishments (Nokia deal, Mango, etc) and promising "a lot of progress" in the coming year. Andy Lees, president of Microsoft's mobile communications business, is scheduled to give a keynote tomorrow afternoon, so expect more then..