So much for not keeping pace, huh? We heard back in June of last year that Microsoft had blown through 150 million Windows 7 licenses, and just a few months later, it had surpassed 240 million. At this year's Worldwide Partner Conference, head honcho Steve Ballmer took great pleasure in announcing that said figure has now swollen to beyond 400 million in under two years. Not surprisingly, that makes Win7 the fastest-selling operating system in history, and Tami Reller -- corporate vice president and chief financial officer of Windows and Windows Live -- made clear that it's "the path to Windows 8." The outfit also announced that 100 million copies of Office 2010 have flown off the shelves since launch, and while no one really came out and said it, we're counting on seeing a Windows 8 build at the BUILD event this fall. Head on past the break for a whole heaping of (deserved) self-congratulations.
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Steve Ballmer Thanks Partners for Betting on Microsoft

Microsoft's CEO credits partners for making Windows 7 the fastest-selling operating system in history, outlines progress across the business.


Los Angeles - July 11, 2011 - Kicking off Microsoft Corp.'s annual Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC), a four-day event that celebrates the accomplishments of the company's 640,000 global partners, CEO Steve Ballmer today thanked partners for helping make Windows 7 the fastest-selling operating system in history and indicated that with future versions in development, partners can be confident in their bets on Windows for phones, PCs, servers and the cloud.

Speaking before nearly 15,000 partners from around the globe, Ballmer said more than 400 million Windows 7 licenses have been sold in less than two years, and that the best way to prepare customers and prospects for the future is to move all customers to Windows 7.

Echoing that point, Tami Reller, corporate vice president and chief financial officer of Windows and Windows Live, emphasized that Windows 7 is the path to Windows 8. Noting that there are still more than 200 million PCs running Windows XP, which was launched in 2001, Reller told partners they have a real opportunity to deliver more value to customers in the short term and "set them up for the future."

In providing an overview of the road ahead with Windows, Reller told partners that despite the record growth and success of Windows 7, there is tremendous Windows 7 deployment opportunity now and well into the future. "We see a future with a heterogeneous enterprise environment of Windows 8 devices and apps alongside Windows 7 PCs and apps," she said.

"At the heart of our ability to deliver Windows 8 is the flexibility Windows has consistently shown; its ability to adapt over time is what ensures Windows will continue to be highly relevant in the future," Reller added.

Other news from Ballmer's and Reller's presentations included the following:

· In a wide-ranging keynote speech that highlighted major moments from the past year and looked ahead at what's next, Ballmer also focused on key accomplishments for Windows Phone, including the company's partnership with Nokia; Xbox, including Kinect and the company's strategy to bring controller-free games and entertainment to the living room and live TV to Xbox this fall; progress with Bing, including a demo of Bing on Xbox ("You say it, Xbox finds it") and social features in Bing resulting from Microsoft's partnership with Facebook; an update on the company's impending acquisition of Skype; and cloud services momentum.

· Reller announced the beta of the next release of Windows Intune for cloud-based PC management and security. Windows Intune provides the best Windows experience for customers by giving them access to the latest, premium version of Windows plus PC management and security in the cloud. The new Windows Intune features, including software distribution and remote tasks, strengthen the opportunity for partners. The limited, public beta is available at http://technet.microsoft.com/windows/intune.

· American Airlines will soon update its application for Windows Phone, which will provide "the fastest delivery of flight information data on the planet," according to an American Airlines spokesperson. The update will allow real-time flight status information, including gate changes and baggage claim areas, from American's reservation system to be pushed to a cloud-based Windows Azure system, which can then push the flight status notifications directly to the application's Windows Phone Live Tiles. American Airlines customers who download the application and pin it to Start will have instant access to their most current travel information on the top-level user interface of their phone, eliminating the need for text message, email or phone-call updates. The application was developed in conjunction with Microsoft partner migration mobi of Austin, Texas.

· Boeing is using compelling ways to market its best-selling 737 with Windows Azure, the Windows operating system, and Windows Touch. The "Boeing 737 Explained" tool, developed by Boeing and Wire Stone LLC, a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner, is hosted on the Windows Azure platform.

· The Los Angeles Unified School District, the second largest in the United States, will use Microsoft Dynamics CRM for its 70,000 employees, and SpaceX, a private-industry successor to the U.S. Space Shuttle program, will use Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 for its financial and project accounting.

· Less than two weeks after the official launch of Office 365, more than 50,000 organizations are trialing the service - a rate of one company every 25 seconds. Ballmer said that more than one in five of the Fortune 500 uses Microsoft Online Services and large organizations worldwide are moving to the cloud-based service, including the American Red Cross, which will move 66,000 people to Office 365 by the end of this year, and Softbank Technology Corp. in Japan, which moved to Office 365 to help reduce its overall technology maintenance costs while driving increased productivity across its 19 subsidiary companies.

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Microsoft's Steve Ballmer says '400 million Windows 7 licenses sold'