Ina Fried

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Top Exec Says Windows 8 Off to “Solid Start” Despite Challenges

While some people have been quick to write off Windows 8, the head of the Windows business insists that the three-month-old operating system is off to a solid start.

Tami Reller Windows 8

“We are really only just getting started,” said Tami Reller, who now runs the business side of Windows, following the departure last year of Windows division President Steven Sinofsky. “It’s a solid start.”

Microsoft has said it sold 60 million licenses as of last month, and Reller notes that many of the most anticipated tablet and convertible models are only now coming to market. In particular, Reller says that there were fewer touchscreen models than the company had hoped to see at launch.

“It’s built for a generation of new devices,” Reller said in an interview. “They didn’t all come for holiday.”

Several of Microsoft’s PC-making partners have said that Windows 8 got a slower-than-hoped-for start, despite Microsoft’s huge marketing push.

For her part, Reller says Windows 8 was designed to be an operating system that could run on tablets and computers for years to come.

While she declined to forecast whether the overall Windows business would grow this year, Reller said that Windows 8 is designed to allow the company to compete in both tablets and computers, an overall market that is growing, as opposed to just the PC market.

“Clearly, we think that presents opportunities for growth,” Reller said.

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Another gadget you don’t really need. Will not work once you get it home. New model out in 4 weeks. Battery life is too short to be of any use.

— From the fact sheet for a fake product entitled Useless Plasticbox 1.2 (an actual empty plastic box) placed in L.A.-area Best Buy stores by an artist called Plastic Jesus