Pier 57 in New York City was completely buzzing as the stage was set for Microsoft's launch of Windows 8. Max Long, President of Microsoft Canada Co., acknowledged that this is a new era for Microsoft, and is by far the largest and most significant launch in Window's history. You'll find a video with Max Long at the end of this story.
Yes, even more significant than Windows 95, whose launch used a Rolling Stones tune ("Start Me Up") as its theme song?That was indeed a major launch. But back then, an OS didn't need to concern itself with the Internet, cameras, media, e-mail, texting or even phones.
Since its launch three years ago, Windows 7 has sold over 670 million licenses making it the most quickly adopted OS ever.
And today we have Windows 8. To say that it's is a big deal for Microsoft is an enormous understatement. Heavy hitters from Microsoft's executive team took stage to show the capabilities of the new OS.
More than any other launch in the history of Microsoft, there has been huge emphasis on hardware, emphasizing not only design, but variety. Whether you want touch, scroll, stylus, keys, Windows 8 has an answer. Also taking a significant amount of stage time was the introduction to the Windows 8 App store.
How will it fare in the market? Have people decided that we live in an Apple world? Do they believe in Microsoft's ability to compete with Apple and Google? It was telling how many Twitter postings reflected an "I'm-not-yet-convinced" mentality.
But I'm convinced. When I see how Microsoft has aligned its partners and developers, its store, its legacy software like Internet Explorer, how it is using its new acquisitions like Skype to its fullest, I can't see Windows 8 being anything but an enormous hit. So far they have done everything right. Maybe this will be the start of a stock price that finally reflects the profitability and potential of Tech's original heavyweight. Ballmer predicts 400 million PCs sold annually with the majority of them running Windows 8. Ladies and gentlemen, Microsoft is back.
Stay tuned for more coverage of the launch event and the new OS throughout the day. And check out the video with Microsoft Canada President Max Long below.