Microsoft Corporation(NASDAQ:MSFT) kicked off a campaign for the US release of its latest operating system, Windows 8, scheduled to be out on Thursday. The upcoming version of the most dominant operating software in the world attempts to bridge the gap between the fast-growing tablets with touch-based interface and computers.
The event at Pier 57 in New York also epitomizes the launch of the software company’s Surface tablet. The device goes on sale on Friday.
The five-hour launch event comes among a host of other tablet offerings before the start of the holiday season.
Apple took the curtains off of its iPad mini with a 7.9-inch screen priced at $329 on Tuesday. In June, Google declared its $199 7-inch Nexus 7, while Amazon refreshed its Kindle Fire lineup with a 7-inch Nexus 7, while Amazon revamped its Kindle Fire tablet lineup with a 7-inch HD model for $199 the previous month.
Kirk Adams, an analyst at Wedge Partners, expects Microsoft to trail its competitors in fourth quarter tablet sales.
In a research note that was issued last week, before the rumored iPad mini was priced, Adams expected Microsoft to sell 1.75 million Surface units by the end of 2012. That compares to 23 million for Apple, 5 million for Amazon, 4 million for Samsung and 4 million for Google.
A factor that is likely to dampen enthusiasm for the Surface for its price and its availability for purchase only from Microsoft stores and online, as told by Adam. He said customers may not be willing to buy the device unless they can try it in person.
On the other hand, most analysts are of the opinion that governments and companies will hold off an updating to Windows 8 for minimum another year. Nearly half of enterprise users still have not updated to Windows 7 from Windows XP that came out in the year 2001.