Microsoft Corp will boast on Thursday the primary major revamp of its Windows OS since 2015.
The software that turned Microsoft into a household name and dominated personal computers for years has been overtaken in popularity by devices using Apple and Google software, but it’s still cored to Microsoft’s strength within the corporate market.
And the upgraded OS can also appeal to individuals, who have helped drive sales of PCs sharply higher over the past year thanks to work-from-home practices adopted during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Analysts expect the successor to Windows 10 to be called Windows 11 and to contain updates for business users that would make it easier to use with dual-monitor setups. it’s going to also hold updates for PC gamers, another important customer base for Microsoft, including an Xbox app.
Microsoft can also give more details at Thursday’s online launch event on its plans for a revamped Windows Store.
The company recently cut commissions on games sold through the shop to 12 percent, less than the 15pc it takes on regular apps and has been a vocal critic of Apple Inc’s App Store, which charges 30pc commissions and requires developers to use Apple’s in-app payments systems.
Windows-powered Microsoft’s rise within the 1990s as PCs became a fixture among businesses and consumers. But the OS took a back seat to Apple’s iOS and Alphabet Inc’s Google as mobile phones displaced PCs because of the primary computer for billions of users.
Windows remains one of the most important platforms within the technology world, with Microsoft’s personal computing segment, which incorporates Windows revenue from businesses and consumers, accounting for $48.2 billion of its $143 billion in revenue in its most up-to-date financial year.
Windows 10, the foremost recent version, has 1.3 billion users, nearly as many as Apple’s total installed device base of 1.65 billion users but half Alphabet’s 3 billion Android users.
Among PCs and laptops, Windows lost some market share in 2020 to Google’s Chromebooks as schools opted for cheaper devices for online learning but still retained greater than 80pc market share, consistent with data firm IDC.