Microsoft to unveil four OSs

Microsoft Corp is showcasing four new operating systems (OS) at Computex in Taipei tomorrow that it says will cater to all facets of an end-user’s computing life.
The Redmond, Washington-based company has been working on the four operating systems — Windows 7, Windows Embedded, Windows Mobile and Windows Server — to regain consumer and corporate confidence following its unsuccessful launch of Vista OS in 2005.

Windows 7 RC (the trial version currently available called release candidate) has won wide acclaim. The software giant’s introduction of Touch Pack for Windows 7, a set of games and applications optimized for multi-touch computing, has generated interest from the touch-screen liquid-crystal-display (LCD) panel makers and LCD component suppliers.

At this year’s Computex, Microsoft will collaborate with 16 personal computer manufacturers on more than 30 products running on the new operating system, the Taipei Times’ sister newspaper, the Liberty Times, reported yesterday.

The report said the Windows 7 products on display would include notebooks, tablet PCs, all-in-one PCs and netbooks.

PC makers in collaboration with Microsoft include Acer Inc (宏碁), Asustek Computer Inc (華碩), Gigabyte Technology Corp (技嘉), BenQ Corp (明基), Dell Inc, Hewlett-Packard Co, Lenovo Group Ltd (聯想), MiTAC International Corp (神達), Micro-Star International Co (微星), Sharp Corp and Toshiba Corp, the paper said.

Global PC shipments are likely to surpass 322 million units by 2011 from 282 million units this year, the International Data Corp (IDC) forecast early last month, with shipments of notebooks increasing from this year’s 54 percent of the total PC market to 61 percent by 2011.

Microsoft and global PC makers hope the Windows 7 release will spur a wave of hardware upgrades, creating business opportunities for all parties involved.

However, Gartner Inc predicts a complete phase out of corporate XP by the end of 2012 at the latest, as various information technology companies are contemplating technology migration during the economic downturn. They will be forced to do so when their XP versions no longer receive XP upgrades or customer support.

To rally consumer support for its new operating system, Steven Guggenheimer, a Microsoft vice president in charge of the global original equipment manufacturing (OEM) division, and Eddie Wu (吳勝雄), general manager for Microsoft’s OEM division in Asia, will jointly deliver keynote speeches at the Nangang Exhibition Hall tomorrow.

Kevin Dallas, general manager of Microsoft Windows embedded business, will address the company’s four operating systems on Wednesday at the Taipei International Conference Center.

BY Elizabeth Tchii - STAFF REPORTER

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