Microsoft is predicting big things for Windows 7 even though rumors are pointing to Windows 8 launching this year. Windows 8 is expected around October, but as history tells us with operating systems, predicted launch dates can change. Despite the new operating system on the horizon, Microsoft is predicting 350 million Windows 7 devices will ship by the end of 2012.
The 350 million devices number comes from Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer and was mentioned at a forum in Seoul, Korea this week. Ballmer said the number "makes Windows the most popular single system." Windows has been the most popular operating system for many, many years now. It has now been about 18 months since Windows 7 launched.
350 million licenses sold is a big number, but doesn't necessarily indicate firm number of devices since some licenses could've been upgrade software for existing machines. Microsoft is still seeing strong Windows 7 adoption, with the adoption rate for the operating system up 40% globally. Windows 8 will see Microsoft move strongly into the tablet market since the operating system will support tablets and more.