Gates Predicts PCs will be in 60 Percent of U.S. Homes by 2001

San Francisco, June 26, 1998 — At last night’s gala event celebrating the commercial launch of Windows 98, Microsoft Chairman and CEO Bill Gates predicted that 60 percent of all homes in the United States will have personal computers by 2001, and 85 percent of those homes will be connected to the Internet.

In his keynote speech, given to more than 600 Microsoft customers and partners in San Francisco and broadcast live to more than 60,000 celebrants at 45 locations in North America, Gates cited three key factors that will contribute to an explosive increase in the home use of PCs:

  • the availability of low-cost PCs, many selling for less than $1,000;

  • increased bandwidth on public networks; and

  • Windows 98.

“The PC and the Internet will become as fundamental tomorrow as the automobile is today,” Gates said. “The computing experience is steadily improving, thanks to constant industry innovation, declining prices and a more robust infrastructure for connectivity. Windows 98 is a significant step forward in this evolution and will help bring PCs and the Internet to a majority of homes by 2001.”

Windows 98 is the first operating system designed specifically for home users, with improved performance and ease of use, expanded Internet access, and support for a new generation of hardware and entertainment capabilities.

Initial results from advance order programs sponsored by retailers and PC manufacturers show strong customer demand for Windows 98. More than 120,000 customers have taken advantage of early promotions, such as the Windows 98 Coming Soon! program, to prepurchase licenses of Windows 98.

“Based on the number of advance orders, Windows 98 would have been the second best-selling software title and the top selling non-game title last month, had it been available on store shelves,” said Anne Stephens, president, PC Data, a market research firm that tracks PC software and hardware sales.

But the high volume of advance orders for Windows 98 didn’t dampen consumer response to yesterday’s commercial release of Microsoft’s new operating system. Beginning as early as 2 a.m. on Wednesday morning, thousands of customers began lining up outside retail outlets nationwide to be among the first to purchase copies of Windows 98 and to take advantage of special midnight promotions sponsored by retailers.

“Customer demand for Windows 98 has been terrific,” said Jim Halpin, president and CEO of CompUSA, the nation’s largest computer retailer. “In the past eight weeks we exceeded our plan for the Coming Soon! program, and that strong demand continued today, with first-day sales of Windows 98 much higher than we expected.”

Information Sources

Press Releases

Related Posts