How Will Windows 7 Impact the Global Economy?

Posted by Pamela Passman 
Corporate Vice President

Given the large number of customers Microsoft serves around the world, and the many partners we collaborate with to maximize and deliver the benefits of our software, we have long sought to understand the economic impact of our work and our products.

Such information is especially helpful now, as governments and businesses look for catalysts that can help local and national economies rebound from the difficulties of the past year.

We believe that nothing spurs economic growth and creates jobs like innovations that pave the way for new products and services.  We also know investments that advance information technology can help societies address some of their most pressing problems, from reducing the cost of health care to improving education and protecting the environment.  Microsoft is investing more than $9 billion in research and development this year, building on years of very significant investments in R&D, which will result in significant product launches over the next 12 months.   Most notably, we are preparing to unveil a new version of our popular Windows operating system, Windows 7, this fall.

Fortunately, we are not preparing for Windows 7 alone.   We are partnering with a vast array of hardware manufacturers, software developers, service providers and distribution channels that are getting ready to help businesses and consumers benefit from the advances contained in Windows 7.  

To quantify the likely global economic impact of Windows 7, we asked IDC to forecast the direct and indirect consequences the new operating system will have between its launch in October 2009 and the end of 2010. 

We recently received IDC’s study.  One of the key findings is that the launch of Windows 7 will enable Microsoft’s 700,000 global partners to  contribute significantly to economic recovery in many countries around the globe.  For example,

  • IDC estimates that Windows 7 will generate $320 billion in revenue for Microsoft’s global partnersbetween October 2009 and the end of 2010. 
  • Most of our 700,000 partners are locally-owned, small and medium-sized businesses, which are the backbone of any economy.  Consequently, most of the revenue from Windows 7 will remain in local economies where it will fuel additional innovation, growth and opportunity.
  • More than 7 million people – or 19 percent of the global IT workforce – will be working with Windows 7 by the end of 2010.  
  • The launch of Windows 7 will account for 30 percent of all new global IT jobs created in 2010, or about 300,000 new jobs. 

Introducing a new version of Windows is always an exciting event not only for Microsoft, but also for our many partners and customers around the world.   Given the global economic challenges of the past year, the introduction of Windows 7 comes at an especially important time.

The IDC report reinforces our conviction that major software innovations such as Windows 7 create economic opportunities for many types of IT businesses, in all corners of the world.  The study also demonstrates that investments in R&D and innovation produce jobs in both emerging and developed markets, and outlines the benefits that accrue to local communities from the global trade generated by important new products such as Windows 7. 

I encourage you to dig into the IDC study, and hope you will give us your feedback on this important research.


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