Why Microsoft can't afford Windows 7 to fail
On Thursday, Microsoft launches Windows 7, the latest version of its operating system. Its success or failure will determine the future of the world's biggest software company.
When talking about Microsoft, it is useful to remind yourself of the sheer scale of its reach. Windows powers about 90% of the world's computers; by the company's own reckoning more than one billion people use it.
Windows also powers Microsoft. During its last financial year, a $58.4bn (£35.7bn) turnover generated an operating profit of $20.3bn (net profit: $14.6bn). Windows accounted for well over half of that.
For years, critics have claimed that Microsoft's virtual monopoly is about to end.
They say it will be brought down by a resurgent Apple, insurgent open-source rival Linux or a revolution in how we use computers, when the actual computing moves from desktop machines to the "cloud" where software runs on remote servers.
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Thanks to GiddyG for spotting this one !