In a speech yesterday at the London School of Economics, Microsoft COO Kevin Turner says he sees a gradual recovery in business spending this year. But that won't dampen the prospects for the company's blockbuster new OS. According to Turner, Microsoft expects to sell over 300 million copies of Windows 7 this year alone.
"We have a lot of interest in Windows 7," Turner said. "There's lots of momentum around that."
That's for sure: Microsoft sold over 60 million copies in less than a quarter and then announced that it sold an additional 30 million copies in the first two months of 2010, a time period that is traditionally slow for PC and software sales. To date, the company has sold over 90 million copies of the OS.
As far as businesses are concerned, the economic recession has hit hard, and businesses are typically slow to upgrade to new Windows versions anyway. But with most businesses still standardized on the almost decade-old Windows XP, many are finally ready to move on. "One absolute I can tell you is that at least in 2010 most \\[companies\\] are on new budget cycles, which is helpful, but they're still being conservative," he added. "I think it's going to be more a gradual thing."
Turner also noted that Microsoft would increase its R&D spending this year to a record $9.5 billion, more than any other tech company. He said that the current economic conditions required Microsoft to "double down" on innovation.