Microsoft is betting big on its upcoming Windows 8 operating system, which looks to bridge the gap between smartphones, tablets and desktop computers. Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer on Tuesday called the operating system a “rebirth” of the Windows brand and described it as the “deepest, broadest and most impactful” Windows software ever created, Agence France-Presse reported. “It’s really, in some senses, a dawning of the rebirth of MS Windows… It’s certainly the most important piece of work we’ve done,” he said at a forum in Seoul, South Korea, adding that an estimated 500 million users will have Windows 8 on next year. The CEO went on to promise the “best economic opportunity” for device makers and app developers who adopt the company’s newest operating system. Microsoft’s Windows 8 is rumored to launch in October, and BGR reviewed Microsoft’s Windows 8 Consumer Preview earlier this year.
UPDATE: A Microsoft spokesperson reached out to BGR and informed us that Ballmer’s comments were based on data that was announced in December regarding the number of Windows 7 devices that could potentially upgrade to Windows 8. The CEO said, “We’ve just passed the 500 million licenses sold mark for Windows 7, which represents half a billion PCs that could be upgraded to Windows 8 on the day it ships. That represents the single biggest platform opportunity available to developers.”