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Microsoft Claims a Billion Windows Installs by End of 2008

Zonk posted more than 6 years ago | from the one-beeellion dept.

Windows 365

eldavojohn writes "Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer claimed yesterday that there will be a billion machines running Windows within a year. 'The install base of Windows computers this coming 12 months will reach 1 billion. If you stop and just think about that, parse that for a second, by the end of our fiscal year '08, there will be more PCs running Windows in the world than there are automobiles, which is at least to me kind of a mind-numbing concept.'"

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365 comments

Damn... (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20009197)

The world will then have 1 billion unhappy computer users.

Re:Damn... (0, Troll)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 6 years ago | (#20009473)

Worse than that. Cince windows Installs are the only place where zombie machines are infected so that the spam and ddos attacks and other net problems come from, that simply means that the net will become more and more useless.

Poor, poor FOSSies (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20009583)

And that, dear FOSSies, is the definitive proof that Lunix is dead.

Nobody wants Lunix for free, nobody wants Lunix if the alternative is paying for (or even stealing!!) Windows... so MS is clearly giving the people what they want.

If teh Lunix had a market share which was over the statistical margin of error, perhaps more than double digits, then perhaps it would look competitive. But... such is not the case.

Game Over.

Re:Damn stumbling Linux (1)

noshellswill (598066) | more than 6 years ago | (#20009751)

So true, a desktop calamity. And that M$-one-billion also measures Linux failure to exhibit frisky, adaptive and "enterprising" behavior.

Quality vs Quantity (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20009199)

They are the McDonald's of software

Ah, don't underestimate MS (1, Insightful)

tjstork (137384) | more than 6 years ago | (#20009653)

There's a lot of good stuff in Windows, so I wouldn't be so quick to dismiss it. Sure, we know that Linux has a better networking stack now, but, there have been things that Windows does better than Linux and will be so in the future.

a) Windows XP remote desktop is easier to deal with than X remoting.
b) Both KDE and Gnome borrow u/i design heavily from the Windows 95 Start Bar. The concept of COM based shell extensions was looted by KParts.
c) Cairo is essentially a GDI+ me too.
d) There's still nothing in Unix that has the same handy role as a Graphics Device Context.
e) Although I prefer OpenGL for its ease of entry, a lot of big gaming houses seem to prefer DirectX.
f) For a long time, Windows lead in hardware discovery. Linux has closed that gap, I think, but in 1995, I was editing config files to get my X to work with my monitor, and Windows would discover both for me automatically.
g) It's -STILL- easier to install a new piece of software on Windows. Too easy, the security people will refrain... :-)

And, in the applications department, there's really no open source offering that comes remotely close to Visual Studio 2005 and C#, SQL Server 2005, and certainly not even Office 2000, let alone newer versions of Office. Sure, OpenOffice word processing is ok, but the spreadsheet is crap, and the "Access" clone is terrible. On the other hand, C++ for Linux has I think pulled ahead of what MS offers, but only really because MS is standing still in C++. If they got pissed off enough, they'd throw a billion dollars into the language and crush us.

The bottom line is, while you and I and many other people like Linux better than Windows, Windows IS a good product, and pretending that its not won't change it. What will change it,is more software for Linux.

Get typing.

Re:Ah, don't underestimate MS (2, Informative)

siride (974284) | more than 6 years ago | (#20009727)

I guess I can agree with most of what you say, but I am puzzled by this statement:

d) There's still nothing in Unix that has the same handy role as a Graphics Device Context.

X does have Graphics Contexts and toolkits obviously build upon those as they see fit. It's a pretty standard part of a GUI these days, anyways. Perhaps you are annoyed that in X, the graphics context does exactly what it's supposed to...store graphics contextual information, rather than be a catch-all way to do graphics operations. Of course, then again, you can use the same graphics context with multiple drawables (windows, pixmaps) rather than having the GC be tied to one and only one drawable. I personally find the X system far more flexible than the Windows system, and not particularly more difficult to use or understand.

Re:Ah, don't underestimate MS (3, Insightful)

tjstork (137384) | more than 6 years ago | (#20009789)

What I was talking about though, was that a DC in Windows is device independent. So, in Windows you can have the same set of code for printing as you do for display rendering. I think that's pretty nifty. And, Windows Metafiles too, were interesting. Had Microsoft been smart, they could have built a browser around a WMF hacked up to have hyperlinks. They had all the pieces in place as early as 1992, but, they just didn't see the application.

Re:Ah, don't underestimate MS (1)

GiMP (10923) | more than 6 years ago | (#20009899)

So, in Windows you can have the same set of code for printing as you do for display rendering. I think that's pretty nifty.


Isn't that what Xprint [mozdev.org] is for?

Moderators! (0, Flamebait)

ArsenneLupin (766289) | more than 6 years ago | (#20009863)

Why is this drivel moderated as informative? Solely because it's nicely written, has no grammar mistakes, and sounds good?

a) Windows XP remote desktop is easier to deal with than X remoting.
Huh? What have you been smoking? May I have some of it? Next, you'll be saying that it's easier to transmit motion pictures using an etch-a-sketch than using a camera.

Re:Ah, don't underestimate MS (2, Interesting)

j00r0m4nc3r (959816) | more than 6 years ago | (#20009921)

To me, none of those things are the hallmark of a good operating system. MS has coded some nice things into their OS on a higher level, but the underlying OS itself is terrible. OpenGL doesn't make an OS. Remote desktop doesn't make an OS. Good APIs, good scheduling, good timesharing, good fault tolerance, good response, good hardware support (ok, Windows has this at least), good networking, good filesystem, good caching strategy, etc... THOSE are the things that make an OS good. Windows might be a good windowing system, but IMO it's a terrible OS because it fails to provide the basics at a really good quality level, with really good performance.

Re:Quality vs Quantity (2, Informative)

Onos (1103517) | more than 6 years ago | (#20009831)

And, in the applications department, there's really no open source offering that comes remotely close to Visual Studio 2005 and C#, SQL Server 2005, and certainly not even Office 2000, let alone newer versions of Office. Sure, OpenOffice word processing is ok, but the spreadsheet is crap, and the "Access" clone is terrible.
Um Visual Studio 2005 is not a good application. Go take a look at any of the Java based open source IDEs - eclipse/netbeans. VS2005 is missing key features like on the fly compiling. (I had to install a paid plug-in to get that in VS). As for C# I believe you can find Java which is now open source, which works on ANY platform (well almost). C# generally beats Java in local apps while Java beats the crap out of c# server side. SQL Server 2005? Derby and MySQL come to mind as open source. Office is true, the Visio equivalent in OO gave me headaches, but the math part of the word processor is much better then Office. As for access never have used it and never will, as I do not find it to be really a good solution for anything.

Mind-numbing (2, Insightful)

Slider451 (514881) | more than 6 years ago | (#20009201)

Indeed.

Re:Mind-numbing (1)

TheMeuge (645043) | more than 6 years ago | (#20009299)

Billion?

I match your billion, and raise you one gazillion bagillion... and one old laptop running Ubuntu... abandoned where it lay... alongside a keg of beer and a stash of afghan gold.

Something fishy? (4, Insightful)

kraemate (1065878) | more than 6 years ago | (#20009205)

How is this possible? Do that many people even have access to a computer?

Re:Something fishy? (4, Insightful)

aleph taw (1113487) | more than 6 years ago | (#20009251)

some people have more than 1 computer

Re:Something fishy? (2, Informative)

arth1 (260657) | more than 6 years ago | (#20009571)

True, some people have more than one PC. But some people also run other operating systems than Windows, even if the PC came with Windows. And quite a few people have Windows licenses for machines that no longer work, no longer are used, or which have been thrown away.

Does Ballmer count licenses to get a high number, or conduct polls to get a true number?
What do you think? :-)

Re:Something fishy? (3, Funny)

Yetihehe (971185) | more than 6 years ago | (#20009735)

Does Ballmer count licenses to get a high number, or conduct polls to get a true number?
What do you think? :-)
I think Ballmer counts licenses to get high.

Re:Something fishy? (1)

megamerican (1073936) | more than 6 years ago | (#20009357)

1 billion computers running Windows does NOT mean 1 billion people using Windows. I personally use 3 Windows computers on an almost daily basis (work, laptop, desktop). Think of how many computer labs there are just in the United States. There has to be a few 100 million people with access to multiple computers each day. Not to mention the many initiatives to give underprivelaged people around the world cheap laptops.

Re:Something fishy? (1)

aadvancedGIR (959466) | more than 6 years ago | (#20009387)

1- In developping countries, many people don't own a car either.

2- In large non-US towns, many people who could afford a car prefer not to.

3- There are also work machines (personnaly, I own 2 PC (one for gaming, the other (older) one for multimedia) and work with 3 (my dev PC, a test system and the reference generation system)).

Re:Something fishy? (4, Funny)

arth1 (260657) | more than 6 years ago | (#20009423)

Also note that he said "running". I highly doubt that claim. :-)

Of course, he could have meant "running" as in "with scissors".

How many zeroes is that? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20009209)

American billion or rest-of-the-world billion?

rest-of-the-world (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20009315)

It's 1,000,000,000,000! (We'll need all those computers to consume some of that new-dangled IPv6 address space...)

Re:How many zeroes is that? (2, Informative)

F-3582 (996772) | more than 6 years ago | (#20009317)

American billion, I suppose == Rest-of-the-world-milliard. Anything else would REALLY be mind-numbing. Imagine two hundred Windows installs per earth inhabitant...

Re:How many zeroes is that? (1)

vigmeister (1112659) | more than 6 years ago | (#20009427)

Shhh! Slashdot is unaware of the long system :)

In all honesty, although milliards make more sense to me that the short system, you need to switch over since most of the world is...

Cheers!

Re:How many zeroes is that? (1)

mdwh2 (535323) | more than 6 years ago | (#20009461)

Although the people who still think that we're using the old meaning of "billion" would also think the world's population is over six million million ;)

(I'm in the UK, and even though the media has long switched over to the US definition, it amazes me how many people still seem to think that a billion in the UK is "one million million" - given how often a "billion" is mentioned in various news items, it must distort their world view somewhat...)

Re:How many zeroes is that? (5, Funny)

Luke Dawson (956412) | more than 6 years ago | (#20009319)

A Microsoft billion. They use a similar system to calculate the amount of time remaining when installing a .msi.

Re:How many zeroes is that? (1)

fbjon (692006) | more than 6 years ago | (#20009421)

And probably similar to the Internet seconds in the good old Netscape, longest seconds I ever saw.

Re:How many zeroes is that? (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20009449)

Give it up. When I was at primary school in England in the mid-70's, the definition of a billion as 10^12 was already obsolete.

When the British government announces that they've spend a billion on this or squandered a billion on that, everybody knows they mean 10^9. It doesn't occur to anybody younger than eighty that they might mean 10^12.

You might have had a point in 1940. Now you're just being an arse. Hang on, is that you dad?

Re:How many zeroes is that? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20009459)

Must be the rest of the non-english-speaking world.

All the Brits I've asked say a Billion is 1,000,000,000.

But then the last Limey I quizzed couldn't tell me the correct color of Dennis the Menace's hair in old Blighty, so clearly he was an imposter.

I suspect the figures (4, Funny)

jollyreaper (513215) | more than 6 years ago | (#20009221)

Does that include reinstalls?

Re:I suspect the figures (1)

aadvancedGIR (959466) | more than 6 years ago | (#20009429)

And the PC sold with XP but running with a Linux or BSD?

Re:I suspect the figures (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20009795)

That's got to be far less than a single percent of computers sold.

Hookin' a brufa up! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20009241)

Get her to add you as a friend.....you get to see milfy bewbs!!!!

http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=us er.viewprofile&friendID=108370887 [myspace.com]

It worked for me, Donny Most!@!!!~`~!

Re:Hookin' a brufa up! (1)

jollyreaper (513215) | more than 6 years ago | (#20009837)

Get her to add you as a friend.....you get to see milfy bewbs!!!!
Anyone else think that would make a great Star Wars name? "Hi, I'm the suave smuggler gent Pan-ache and this is my partner, Milfy Bewbs. Are we fast? We made the twelve mile beer run in less than ten."

WarezOv Industries Announces Shared Hosting Initia (5, Funny)

Saint Aardvark (159009) | more than 6 years ago | (#20009263)

ST. PETERSBURG - WarezOv Industries announced today a new initiative in partnership with Microsoft that promises to put shared web hosting on every desktop.

"With Microsoft's help, we have brought web hosting services to nearly one billion PCS across the Internet," announced WarezOv CEO dRO0m@t. "Windows allows us the opportunity to bring value-add to the customer."

WarezOv's suite of administration tools allows easy management of all aspects of web hosting, including DNS, mail services and -- most important -- failover. "By tapping into Window's remote API calls, WarezOv's tools can scale web hosting to nearly any degree, and make it easy for the hoster as well," said Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer. "This -- and their tool's ease of install -- is what Windows is all about."

Free Software Foundation president and founder Richard M. Stallman was unavailable for comment. "He's talking to Google about building something similar for GNU/Linux," said a source close to Stallman.

Don't forget the Raw computing power (1)

infonography (566403) | more than 6 years ago | (#20009857)

In a revolutionary step the WarezOv will also use the spare cycles of users desktops and advanced botfarming technologies to bring you Live Streaming broadbrain [yzzerdd.com] and new ways of using connected computing for Pornography and online gaming at hundreds of times the speed of your normal advertising service provider! It's so easy to use, and the surgery to implant it in the base of your skull is so painless.

Ob (3, Funny)

edittard (805475) | more than 6 years ago | (#20009289)

there will be more PCs running Windows in the world than there are automobiles
To do: Insert joke about crashes.

All at one time? (1)

slashname3 (739398) | more than 6 years ago | (#20009293)

A billion computers running Windows at one time? How many are in the process of rebooting at any one time?

Does that count as running? :)

Or are they counting the number of copies of Windows they have sold? In that case the actual number of systems running windows today is going to be much less.

Someone needs show their work on these numbers...

Never subtract! Never Surrender! (2, Insightful)

conspirator57 (1123519) | more than 6 years ago | (#20009547)

Add number of instance licenses sold
to maximum population estimates of site license holders
to the highest out-of-thin-air web or internally reported estimate of unlicensed instances
add the results of rolling some chicken bones

Repeat until your number sounds psychologically significant.

But all that's ok. McDonalds still has them beat in the meaningless BS accounting department. They gave up at "Billions and Billions Served" though you can occasionally find one with a number in front of the billions. All things considered, i'd rather have the big mac than windows.

How do they count that? (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 6 years ago | (#20009301)

Do they just assume that every computer that's sold in one piece will have some form of Windows installed, legal or warezed?

Fuzzy Math? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20009323)

How many of those installs are _really_ running?

Yeah, I know TFA says _running_, but I've personally over-written dozens of Windows installs with stuff like FreeBSD.

How many of those installs are due to the Third R of Windows. I've had to do a few of those too.

But is Windows is in top 3 OSs even? (5, Interesting)

ceeam (39911) | more than 6 years ago | (#20009333)

I think that the average household has more Unix systems running for them than Windows. For example - I know for sure that my DVD player and my ADSL modem have Linux running in them. My TV, phones, etc - frankly no idea. Maybe some Unix too, maybe something else. But I heard that this thing runs them most: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TRON_Project [wikipedia.org]

Yeah, desktop is still important but with things like these: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ASUS_Eee_PC [wikipedia.org] gaining momentum I hope Windows will be further sliding into irrelevancy.

Re:But is Windows is in top 3 OSs even? (2)

aadvancedGIR (959466) | more than 6 years ago | (#20009489)

That's why I work in embedded real time/driver development: I had not a single day of unemployment in 8 years and worked for a large variety of manufacturers, plus, the job is usualy rather easy once you made the initial effort of knowing your system.

Re:But is Windows is in top 3 OSs even? (1)

ceeam (39911) | more than 6 years ago | (#20009761)

Wise you are. I wish I could too. Unfortunately it's a bit tricky freelancing on that market and available employment is somewhat crappy around here.

Re:But is Windows is in top 3 OSs even? (1)

laffer1 (701823) | more than 6 years ago | (#20009635)

Yes, if we widen what we count as a device, I bet Windows is irrelevant. I only wish we could train users to realize this.

Microsoft can count Windows installs on desktops, virtual machines, PDAs, xbox (and 360) consoles, Sega Dreamcast, smart phones, cash registers and ATM machines, and coffee tables. I'm sure I'm forgetting something.

Linux is used on countless embedded devices, PS3 systems, desktops and servers.

They you get into BSD, Solaris and Mac OS X systems, iPhones, Apple TVs, iPods, palm and other PDAs not running Windows.

Certainly if you counted everything versus Windows it would lose. I wish we had real numbers on this. It would be interesting to see how many active windows devices there are versus linux or OS X. We need something like bsdstats.org that lets all non windows systems phone home and get counted (optionally). For instance, I run a BSD project and have absolutely no idea how many users I really have.

Re:But is Windows is in top 3 OSs even? (1)

Schnapple (262314) | more than 6 years ago | (#20009869)

Yes, if we widen what we count as a device, I bet Windows is irrelevant.
If you widen the definition enough then Windows, Linux, MacOS and every flavor of UNIX combined have nothing on ITRON [linuxinsider.com] at over 3 billion units.

Re:But is Windows is in top 3 OSs even? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20009707)

Some TVs do run linux. Pioneers plasmas do for example. And before you ask, yes you can download linux from them and the manual contains the GPL license.

more mind-numbing... (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 6 years ago | (#20009335)

"more PCs running Windows in the world than there are automobiles"

soon to be

"more automobiles running Windows in the world, not just PCs" [com.com]

and don't forget boats for that matter: Windows for Warships [theregister.co.uk] (not a joke)

luckily, even though one of microsoft's original software hits in the early 1980s was a flight simulator, this is still a joke [anvari.org]... for now

someone else can find the reality/ joke based depiction of windows running submarines, or spacecraft... or donkey mule carts... (mind numbing complete)

Re:more mind-numbing... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20009775)

The MS flight sim line stared with SubLogic. 1 and 2, bunch of scenery disks. They also made a simulator called JET, where you could fly a f16 or f18.

How many PCs have 2 Windows licenses? (4, Informative)

denis-The-menace (471988) | more than 6 years ago | (#20009337)

I'm not talking XP and Vista either.

I'm talking when a company buy a PC and has a corporate version of Windows XP (no activation req'd)
That means MS gets:
-one license for the PC leaving the store/reseller
  and
-one when the company buys a corporate license for that PC.

Therefore MS get a 2-for-1 deal, everytime!

I know I can count for at least 50... (3, Insightful)

rongage (237813) | more than 6 years ago | (#20009373)

Let me see... I had to reinstall Windows 12 times on my son's computer, 8 times on my Wife's computer, 5 times on my computer at work, 15 times on my dad's computer, and so on....

Yeah, I can see how Microsoft can claim 1 billion installs - let's see them filter it out to "unique computers" and see where that number goes.

Re:I know I can count for at least 50... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20009959)

Quite frankly, if you have to install Windows that many times, you're doing something seriously wrong. I've only ever had to install twice on my current computer -- the second time was after a motherboard/hard drive controller swap. My mother and sister both have computers that are a few years old that they've never reinstalled on, and they're still doing just fine.

Does that include reinstalls? (0, Redundant)

Linker3000 (626634) | more than 6 years ago | (#20009401)

Is that unique, single installs or does the figure include poor little Timmy who has had to reinstall Vista 7 times just to get the damn video drivers to work? /DRTFA //But then that's not the done thing is it!?

Why surprised? (4, Insightful)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 6 years ago | (#20009405)

If you stop and just think about that, parse that for a second, by the end of our fiscal year '08, there will be more PCs running Windows in the world than there are automobiles, which is at least to me kind of a mind-numbing concept

Not sure why that's so mind-numbing. I personally own more computers than I do cars, and I have my laptop from work. Two out of my three machines are Windows.

I'm sure most of us work in environments where computers outnumber people. And, I'm sure the back-room infrastructure of most IT departments consists of a fair number of machines doing various things. (And, any sufficiently large organization is gonna have at least one IT department/location.) Hell, I bet Microsoft and Google combined have several hundred thousand machines if not more.

Now, I have no idea of how they estimated this 1 billion machines, but I don't find it a surprising number at all -- I bet my office of 50 people has well over 100 computers running Windows, and we're one office in a multi-national corporation.

Cheers

They're just counting the WGA nags (3, Funny)

Vicegrip (82853) | more than 6 years ago | (#20009431)

What they're counting is the number of times WGA pops up to confirm that your copy of Windows is valid.

It's just retarded how many times that fucking thing pops up.... Microsoft wants to double quadruple check or something....

User: "but you already checked!!!" ....

MS: "yes and we're going to check again, bend over please .... you like using the computer you paid for right? We'll fix you good if you don't comply."

Including 10 million Bots and virtual Instances... (1)

IceRa (844639) | more than 6 years ago | (#20009435)

... 1 Billion will probably reached early Q3/2008
*scnr*
For once, Microsoft is ahead of its road map!

Greetz, Ice

I need a countdown... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20009463)

I need a website with a ticking countdown to the exact moment when they supposedly hit 1 billion. I will choose that moment to hit the 'install' button on my Ubuntu live CD and kiss^H^Hck goodbye to Windows forever, so that at that moment there will in fact be only 1 billion-1 Windows machines in the world.

Maybe we should organise a giant, worldwide "install Linux" event, scheduled for that exact moment=-)

but, but... the housing market is down (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20009469)

And where exactly are they installing this billion windows, when know very well that the housing market down?

In other news... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20009517)

it was announced that a billion people bought a copy of windows reformatted the disk and installed Linux.

Get a clue Balmer. All because the copy was sold it doesn't mean the computer is running it.

I wonder if the billion includes pirated versions?

How many will be pirated? (1)

jkrise (535370) | more than 6 years ago | (#20009549)

I cannot imagine a billion Vista installations within a year.... Even on new PCs in India, the local hardware shop only offers PCs with 256MB RAM, 15" CRT monitor, DVD drives and pirated Windows 2000 - the software is installed gratis, there's no profits for the h/w dealer or Microsoft.

Even a recent crackdown against such dealers only brought negative publicity for Microsoft - as mentioned in the BusinessWeek article. With Vista's h/w requirements much more expensive (twice the h/w price for Win 2K) and numerous problems for home users with XP - (AutoUpdate, IE7 etc.); Win2K is the preferred OS for all concerned; and that is available only in pirated form.

Branded PC vendors used to make their hardware in such a way older Windows versions will not install - and they are shunned because of this practice. And so, while there may be a billion Windows PCs in a year from now, my guess is that atleast 75% of it will be pirated editions. Students buying laptops and home PCs form the single biggest chunk - and they seem to prefer the Eclipse IDE and XAMPP on Linux boxes for this. Even on Windows, these 2 are the most frequently used apps, besides the Firefox / Opera browser.

Since it is students who will drive future installation patterns, I guess the OS will lose relevance and fade away - while the browser (Firefox), IDE (Eclipse) and Programming setup (XAMPP) wars have already been fought and won by the Open Source folks. Only Firefox behaves a bit different on Windows and Linux - for the rest, students care very little what OS powers their PC. Linux wins because it needs lesser hardware, has more drivers, and is easy to install, backup and recover - allowing students to focus on their learning.

By 2008, I think hardly anyone will care what OS powers their PC.

1/6th the population? (1)

this213 (921495) | more than 6 years ago | (#20009587)

Seriously, they must be counting everything from Win 3.x that wasn't bought as an "upgrade". They're at the very least counting every new Dell that gets bought and promptly reformatted for Linux (or BSD even).

The world only has 6.6 billion people (google for "world population"). Once you figure some people are too young to even know what a computer is, some are physically disabled to the point of not being able to use a computer, many elderly couldn't care less about a computer and then the billions who can't afford one; Something like this would have to mean that every single person who has a computer runs Windows on something like a hundred systems or so.

Yeah right. You can't even get me to install it on one system.

Windows (1)

PalmKiller (174161) | more than 6 years ago | (#20009607)

Well yea, but they are counting the windows ce (or embedded or whatever they call it this week) devices too. Probably counting the probability of some old windows 95/98/me/NT/XP, etc. Marketing at it best, a billion users can't be wrong must be going through all the companies officers heads right now. Thing is many of those machines may have never ran windows at all, once they left the store they got new life as linux/bsd boxes and the like.

Re:Windows (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20009873)

Thing is many of those machines may have never ran windows at all, once they left the store they got new life as linux/bsd boxes and the like.

yeah, millions of users are just installing linux right over their new boxen without ever letting windows boot once.

the truth is that just as much as you guys like to claim this kind of thing there are probably just as many, if not more, people running linux as a virtual machine than there are people buying a windows machine and putting linux on it.

i doubt that the term "many" applies here.

Guess PT Barnum was wrong... (1)

xednieht (1117791) | more than 6 years ago | (#20009623)

He said "there's a sucker born every minute..." Based on Ballmer's claim and their 30 year history it's more like every second.

Some Details (1, Funny)

infonography (566403) | more than 6 years ago | (#20009629)

Population about 6-7 Billion now. So lets figure that only one in 6 is gullible enough to buy Windows.

To do first line Tech Support they will need at least 250 Million people to answer phones with 'Is the powercord plugged in?" and "Hit Ctrl-alt-delete several times till it reboots" These are the lucky ones they will have jobs for life! [till somebody builds a Linux-based AI to use an Eliza strategy [alicebot.org] to answer calls]

We will also need a crack team of at least 50 Million Linux/Mac Users to mock Window Users full time. Honestly I think it pretty much have of the user base that engages in this. But these people will be trained professionals dammit! {I should start a magazine devoted to Pr0n and Windows Mockery, it will be bigger then Playboy, Penthouse and Southern Baptist Monthly. Talk about a wankfest)

Coders, well need lots of them. Coders can work for anybody C++ is universal as is Java. C# and .Net programmers will be useful we just need a lot of those little yellow school buses.

And Garbage Haulers, We're gonna need them badly!

Finally we'll need Al Gore. (Thats an obvious one)

Re:Some Details (2, Funny)

arth1 (260657) | more than 6 years ago | (#20009813)

To do first line Tech Support they will need at least 250 Million people to answer phones with 'Is the powercord plugged in?" and "Hit Ctrl-alt-delete several times till it reboots" These are the lucky ones they will have jobs for life!

You've obviously never worked in tech support, or you'd know that You Must Never Say "hit".

"Press control, which is usually at the bottom left of the keyboard, yes that would be left for you, not me, and keep on holding the control key down while you with the same hand press down the key marked "ALT", which is usually two steps over to the right, and keep on holding down that too, and no, you should not have left go of the control key when pressing the alt key, yes you really need to press both at the same time, no, and holding them down, because now you need to hit Delete, which is in the general top right area of the keyboard... Hello? Hello? You hit it? Erm, how hard? Yes, I know I said you should hit it, and I am very sorry. We will come out to you with a new keyboard, and again, we are very sorry for causing this problem for you, Sir. ..."

One billion (1)

Yvanhoe (564877) | more than 6 years ago | (#20009643)

One can foul one billion persons one time... and apparently one billion persons 5 or 6 times when you are called Microsoft.

Dr. Evil? (1, Funny)

d3ac0n (715594) | more than 6 years ago | (#20009645)

I'm sorry, but a quote like that just makes me think of Dr. Evil from the Austin Powers movies.

Bill Gates: *with pinky curved up to lip* Gentlemen, we will have Windows Vista installed on ONE BEEELLIIION computers by the end of the year!

Steve Ballmer: *wearing an eyepatch due to a ricocheting chair leg accident* But Sir, that's.. that's just...

Bill Gates: Eeevil? *camera zooms in while dramatic music plays*

Re:Dr. Evil? (1)

coren2000 (788204) | more than 6 years ago | (#20009917)

Bill Gates: Mwahahahahahahahaha
Steve Ballmer: *Sees his number one begin another evil cackling session* Mwahahaha
Martha Stewart: *Enters and joins in the cackling with a strange eastern European accent* Mwahahahahaha
Entire City of Redmond: Mwahahahahahahahahahaha

All laughter stops. Close up of Gates with pinky curved up to lip

TFA Starts out saying a billion installs.. (1)

i8myh8 (859764) | more than 6 years ago | (#20009657)

..then at the end claims a billion computers running Windows.

So what I want to know, is it a billion computers running Windows simultaneously, a billion INSTALLS (as in I have to wipe and resetup mine every 6 months so my computers performance can be restored) or is it counting all forms of Windows, like Windows Mobile, Windows CD, etc. Yes, I know they're Windows, but they're not PC's.

BSOD! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20009725)

Thats over 52 Billion BSOD's a year!

Is it counting reinstalls? (1)

jocknerd (29758) | more than 6 years ago | (#20009729)

I used to have to reinstall Windows every three months. Those were the days.

Mind-numbing? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20009739)

When you take in the fact that PCs are both smaller and significantly less expensive than cars, its not mind numbing at all.

Ever Installed or still running? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20009753)

Does this 1bn relate to mahines of whatever vintage actively running Windows or copies ever sold?
What about people who bought Windows then went over to Linux?
Perhaps MS think you cannot leave the family of Windows and not die? Sort of an Islamic OS?

More than Apple? Slashdot article says not yet (3, Interesting)

objekt (232270) | more than 6 years ago | (#20009823)

From TFA

"The software giant announced it sold 60 million copies of Windows Vista this year, more than the entire installed base of Apple,"

From http://it.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=07/07/23/184 0206 [slashdot.org]

"According to Net Applications, in June Windows Vista accounted for 4.52% of all systems that browsed the Web, up from January's 0.18%. Vista has grown its usage share each month since its release to consumers Jan. 30, hitting 0.93% in February, 2.04% in March, 3.02% in April and 3.74% in May. Apple Inc.'s Mac OS X, meanwhile, accounted for 6.22% in January and hit its high point of 6.46% in May, but it slipped back to 6% in June. If Vista's uptake trend continues, it should pass Mac OS X in Web usage share by the end of August."

Are we to believe all these Vista installs are simply not browsing the web?

more PCs than automobiles (2, Insightful)

stormi (837687) | more than 6 years ago | (#20009847)

"more PCs running Windows in the world than there are automobiles"

Why is this supposed to be surprising? A lot of people don't have cars.

There are peoples in cities, who have taxis, buses, subways, trains, carpooling, bikes, legs, etc.

There are people in the countryside, farms etc, who may not have need of a car because they walk or use animals on their land.

There are teens and college students everywhere who are likely to have a computer and not yet have a vehicle.

If anything, that car analogy makes the numbers seem a lot less staggering.

Lots more running Linux (4, Informative)

flyingfsck (986395) | more than 6 years ago | (#20009867)

A few years ago, I saw an IBM analysis that estimated more than 1 billion device are running Linux (mostly cell phones and routers).

I'm not convinced. (1)

lupine_stalker (1000459) | more than 6 years ago | (#20009885)

I'm assuming that the 'one billion' figure includes every computer that ever ran Windows (including reinstalls), rather than currently active PC's. This makes the 'zomg, number of Windows > number of Cars' slightly clearer.
No cars that I'm aware of have a life cycle of (approximately) 3 years. Many computers that I see do.
Of course, not many cars have a relatively easy reboot that you can in the space of a few hours to make it essentially new again.

Could be a billion... (1)

Ringthane (415537) | more than 6 years ago | (#20009923)

I sure feel like I've done a billion Windows installs (and re-installs... and re-re-installs) building and maintaining homebrew PCs for the past 17 years...
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