WindowsvistachineseMicrosoft has lofty plans over the next eight years.  By 2015, they have a goal of increasing their users to two billion people.  Is it doable? Especially when they already command 90 percent of the market with one billion users?

Here’s how they intend to do this:

  • Offer developing countries $3 software packages with Windows XP and Office included.
  • Increase the number of paid copies of Vista in developing countries.

$3.00 Software:

The $3.00 software package is called Microsoft Student Innovation Suite, and it will include Windows XP Starter Edition, Office 2007 Home and Student, and other educational type programs.  The software packages will be offered to governments who purchase Windows-based computers for the students.

It’s their way of getting new users hooked on Vista before they have access to anything else.  Generally speaking, developing countries are untapped, and Microsoft is thinking that they could do well there. It also sounds like Microsoft’s plan to compete with the One Laptop Per Child program(Linux) in developing countries, which has gotten plenty of support and publicity.


Then there’s China they have to work with. In the two weeks right after the release of Vista, only 244 copies of Windows were sold in China.  One of the biggest, if not the biggest reason is piracy.

Pirated copies of Windows Vista are selling for just $1 all over the streets of China, and because of that, there’s no reason for people to purchase it for full price.  Microsoft had hoped that they had dealt with this issue before the launch of Vista by spending millions of dollars advertising about piracy, and the new operating system.Part of their advertising campaign was to place the largest Vista ad ever on the Jim Mao Tower, which reaches 421 meters tall in Shanghai. Clearly it didn’t work.

So, is it possible for Microsoft to increase their users by one billion in just eight years?

Source: Information Week