Microsoft sees 350 million Windows 7 devices this year

By the end of 2012, there might be 350 million devices running Windows 7.

That’s the bullish number the company announced at an event in South Korea. CEO Steve Ballmer said if it happens, it would make Windows “the most popular single system.”

Windows hit the 350 million licenses milestone after Windows 7 had been on the market for 18 months.

But of course, licenses are different than actual devices. So the momentum for Windows 7 is very strong, which means the lead into Windows 8 will be very different than the introduction for Windows 7.

When 7 launched, people were frustrated with Vista, they were skeptical about Microsoft, and they hated the idea of going to a new OS just because the last one didn’t work out very well.

With Windows 8, though, Microsoft has momentum and it has managed to make people excited about the next leap in computer operating systems.

With Windows XP finally being phased out, it could very well be that in the next couple years there is a flood into new PC operating systems the likes of which have never been seen before.

At the same time, of course, there are questions about whether or not the traditional computer market is going to lose its strength. Consumers are buying tablets, which is why Windows 8 is more than just a PC platform.

Nevertheless, Microsoft is doing pretty well in the Windows business right now.