Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said during a speech at the Seoul Digital Forum in South Korea that 500 million PCs could be upgraded to the not-yet-released Windows 8 software in the near future.

This refers to the amount of Windows 7 licenses already sold that could be upgraded to Microsoft’s latest software. It’s the same stat that the company cited several months ago at the Windows Store event for developers in San Francisco.

In December, Microsoft’s Partner Program Manager for the Store, Ted Dworkin, discussed in a blog post written during the Windows Store event about how many licenses were sold so far and what that could mean for Windows 8.

“We’ve just passed the 500 million licenses sold mark for Windows 7, which represents half a billion PCs that could be upgraded to Windows 8 on the day it ships. That represents the single biggest platform opportunity available to developers,” Dworkin wrote.

Microsoft and its Windows 8 software aim to be one of the big players in the mobile software space, which is now primarily dominated by Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android software.

According to an Agence France-Presse report, Ballmer also noted during the speech that its highly-anticipated Windows 8 series will usher in the “rebirth” of Microsoft’s operating systems. He dubbed the upcoming Windows 8 product as the company’s “deepest, broadest and most impactful” software the company has ever created, the report said.

Windows 8, which will be released in preview next month, will come with powerful cloud capabilities with access available to various devices, from smartphones and tablets to laptops.

Ballmer also noted that the Microsoft is gearing up to introduce a new version of Skype powered by Windows 8. Microsoft bought Skype for a reported $8.5 billion last year.