Terming the launch of the much- awaited Windows 10 as "seminal", Microsoft COO Kevin Turner has said the company expects to have a billion devices based on the latest version of the Operating System by 2018.
Turner, in his keynote address to over 14,000 Microsoft partners, vendors and resellers here yesterday, said Windows 10 was the greatest operating system the company had released. "It's the greatest release of Windows we've ever done," Turner said.
"This (Windows 10) will be the last monolithic release that we have that was built around the three year upgrade cycle. It is going to be about Windows as a Service," he said at the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference.
"The ability to keep a customer current with the latest technology has always been our Achilles' (heel) with Windows," Turner said. "We're fixing that with Windows 10," the company's Chief Operating Officer said.
Turner said the company is expecting to have one billion devices based on Windows 10 by 2018 and that would "open up a ton of opportunity and a ton of doors for us." He said just as Windows 95 was a seminal moment for Microsoft 20 years ago, Windows 10 is a "seminal moment for us, too" as partners need to seize the opportunity to upgrade 1.5 billion Windows devices with the new Operating System.
India, a critical market for Microsoft, will be among the 13 countries where the technology giant will host mega events to launch Windows 10 on July 29, with the company's India-born CEO Satya Nadella saying the new version of its operating system is "going to transform how we use devices".
The latest version of the operating system will be available for the first time as a free upgrade and features new innovations like Microsoft's digital personal assistant Cortana and Xbox integration.
The limited-time free upgrade offer is for Windows 7 and 8/8.1 devices. He also said that one bright spot in the mobile space for Microsoft is the company's "Enterprise Mobility Suite (EMS)" set of cloud services. EMS is "the single hottest product in the history of Microsoft," Turner added.
EMS provides security and support services for iOS, Android and Microsoft devices, with the aim of reducing the complexity in supporting multiple platforms. Turner said the Enterprise Mobility Suite will be a billion-dollar product in the future and partners should be selling it, deploying it and wrapping IP around it, since the "market is being made now".
Microsoft is also focusing on a stronger commitment to cloud, which is one of the four key components to Microsoft's strategic plan for its 2016 fiscal year. "We need to own the cloud," Turner emphasised.
"The cloud market is being made right now. I promise you, if we don't own it with the customer, somebody else is going to own it," Turner said.