Microsoft’s Windows operating system is now the most valuable software franchise in the world.
Windows, now valued at $110 billion, has surpassed IBM’s Middleware ($107 billion). The figures come courtesy of Trefis, a financial analysis firm who track the most popular stocks in the US. Trefis has been tracking Microsoft’s Windows sales over the past year and has published its results for all to see. “While most of the businesses continued to retain their position, Microsoft’s Windows Operating System emerged as the single most valuable software business segment in 2010. Microsoft Windows Operating System (at $110 billion) surpassed IBM’s Middleware, which at $107 billion now stands at a comfortable second,” states Trefis.
Windows isn’t the only software that’s doing well at Microsoft. The software giant’s other cash cow, Microsoft Office, now dominates the third position of most valuable software worldwide. Microsoft Office accounts for $86 billion compared to fourth place Oracle database software at $69 billion. Microsoft’s Windows operating system makes up about 41% of the company’s stock value. Microsoft Office contributes 32% to the company value.
Trefis attributes the dominance of Windows to an increase in PC shipments in 2010 and the phenomenal success of Windows 7. Worldwide PC shipments will reach 352.4 million units in 2010, a 14% increase from 2009, according to Gartner research. Windows sales have improved over the past year as a result of the increased PC shipments. Windows has also dominated the netbook market with 68% now running Windows.
It has been an incredibly successful year for Windows 7. Microsoft has confirmed that it has now sold over 240 million licenses of Windows 7 and that figure is expected to hit 300 million before the end of the year. Windows 7 now accounts for 25% of operating system market share. Microsoft’s success with Windows 7 began before the product was even widely available. Released in October 2009, the operating system has received praise from consumers, businesses and the media. In November 2009, Windows 7 managed to surpass Apple’s Snow Leopard market share in just two weeks. In early February it was revealed that Windows 7 had reached 10% market share in just three months.
Microsoft is currently in the planning and preparation stage for Windows 8. The software giant is expected to share more information and beta bits next year. Steve Ballmer has described the next release of Windows as the company’s “riskiest product bet”. Company officials are keeping any Windows 8 plans close to their chest. According to company insiders that have spoken to WinRumors, Microsoft is currently readying Windows 8 and is betting big on cloud computing. Microsoft is expected to build a ‘Windows Store‘ app store into Windows 8 and Kinect-like functionality. The software maker will also integrate social networking and cloud features into the heart of Windows to finally realize its vision of software+services. A number of cloud related Windows adverts will air over the next year to seek consumer awareness on the cloud.