Love 'em or hate 'em (or anything in between), much of the tech world revolves around Microsoft. Microsoft has dominant stakes--some bordering on virtual monopolies--in a variety of arenas including the PC operating system, office productivity software, and Web browsers. While far, far from being a comprehensive chronology, let's take a look back at Microsoft's 2010 through quotes from Microsoft executives and industry analysts.
The Windows 7 operating system was actually introduced in late 2010, but as 2010 began it was still the new kid on the block and many were still waiting for the dust to settle on the initial launch to figure out whether Windows 7 was worth upgrading to, or if it was a debacle like its predecessor, Windows Vista.
At an IDC Conference in Brazil last April, Microsoft's illustrious leader, CEO Steve Ballmer, weighed in with the following wisdom. "The most important product our company has launched in the last year, no doubt, was Windows 7. Windows is a very important piece of infrastructure on literally over 1 billion PCs around the planet, and then the server version of Windows is also very important, running on over 7 million servers around the world."
Windows 7 quickly overcame the specter of Windows Vista--gaining media and analyst acclaim, consumer acceptance, and--perhaps most critical to its long-term success--the blessing of IT admins around the globe.
A recent article in Redmond Channel Partner magazine said, "In an interview, IDC analyst Al Gillen says many enterprises have already begun Windows 7 migrations--and those that haven't, will. 'Ninety percent of customers have plans in some way, shape or form to be moving toward Windows 7,' Gillen says."
A CIO.com article in February quoted Benjamin Gray, an analyst with Forrester Research. "Through our customer interviews," writes Gray, "we've consistently heard about faster startup and shutdown times, the more reliable sleep mode and overall stability of the OS, faster access to data and applications through improved search, and a superior mobile and branch office connectivity experience."
In March, InformationWeek printed the following tidbit from Microsoft CFO Peter Klein. "Heading into 2010 and 2011, we're starting to see incredible interest from our enterprise customers to start deployments of Windows 7. The interest has been very high, and we're now having conversations with the majority of our enterprise customers who are making plans to deploy Windows 7," said Klein.
Internet Explorer 9
On the Web browser front, Internet Explorer 8 has been doing quite well, and continues to lead all Web browsers and drive Internet Explorer 6 to a long-overdue extinction. But, Microsoft is also hard at work on the next generation Web browser, and Internet Explorer 9 seems to be more than a simple cosmetic or incremental update to its predecessor.
Here is an excerpt from a BBC article quoting a Microsoft executive on IE9. "The web browsers of the day weren't taking advantage of the power of the hardware, really only about 10 percent, skimming the surface of the power of a PC," Tami Reller, corporate vice president of Windows, told BBC News. "We wanted to make sure we're using 100 percent of the PC to bring the best experience possible."