Thursday, March 28, 2013

Microsoft Plans to Release Windows on an Annual Basis

A new report on Bloomberg, citing sources familiar with the matter, claims that Microsoft is planning on increasing the frequency of its upgrade cycle for Windows by updating the software about once per year. In the past, Microsoft has updated its Windows platform on a more spread out two or three year basis. For instance, Windows Vista was released in January 2007, Windows 7 followed in June 2009 and Windows 8 mos recently launched in late October.
Microsoft is hoping that by updating its Windows software more frequently, it will be able to better compete with Apple and Google in the ultra-competitive consumer electronics industry. Apple and Google have been largely at hand for a decline in notebook sales over the past few years, as smartphones and tablets like the iPhone, iPad and those running Android have eaten away at traditional PC market share.
“U.S. retail sales of PCs running Windows have declined 21 percent since the company released the latest version of the operating system, Windows 8, according to a report by NPD Group Inc… The report compared sales from Oct. 21 to Nov. 17 of this year to the same period of 2011. It was based on a sampling of retailers and excluded Microsoft’s own stores, where the company’s Surface tablet is sold.”
By releasing a new Windows version each year, Microsoft will be following a similar release pattern as OS X for Mac. Apple too appears to have switched to an annual upgrade cycle, having introduced OS X Lion in 2011 and OS X Mountain Lion just a year later; moreover, another new OS X version is expected to drop in 2013. Hopefully we’ll see some strong improvements to Windows 8 next year, which hasn’t exactly garnered the greatest consumer response.


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