New York: Microsoft will ship Windows 8 for desktop computers and tablets next year and the updated Windows Phone 7 will have 500 new features.Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said Monday: "As we progress through the year, you ought to expect to hear a lot about Windows 8. Windows 8 slates, tablets, PCs, a variety of different form factors."
The Microsoft chief, who was addressing a developers` meet in Tokyo, also said that the upgraded Windows Phone 7 - to be announced Tuesday - will also have 500 new features.
Announcing that the company has sold over 350 million Windows 7 PCs this year, he said: "We have done a lot in Windows 7 to improve customer satisfaction. We have a brand-new user interface. We have added touch and ink and speech. And yet, as we look forward to the next generation of Windows systems, which will come out next year, there is a whole lot more coming."
Calling the release of Windows Phone 7 in November "about a year later than I wish we had", the Microsoft chief said: "But we are moving forward very actively. We launched Windows Phones last November. We have done a set of upgrades. We have a release that will come to market later this year in Japan. Not only is it a new release that is now much more global, but we have added over 500 new features to Windows Phone."
Interestingly, Microsoft had played up Windows Phone 7 at the November launch by dubbing iPhone and Google Android devices as `faulty` in design.
"It (Window Phone 7) really speaks to our commitment to understanding what consumers want, and our resurrection in the mobile category," Todd Peters, corporate vice president of the Mobile Communications Marketing Group, had said.
He had described Windows Phone 7 as Microsoft`s answer to "poor smartphone design that keeps people fumbling with their phones as they walk down the block or sit down to dinner with family".
But this strategy didn`t pay off.
The software giant has now entered into a strategic tie-up with global handset market leader Nokia, which will adopt the Windows 7 Phone as its main smart phone strategy.