After a swelling of consumer confusion and general hatred for Windows 8, the $900 million Surface RT write-off and the forced retirement of CEO Steve Ballmer, Microsoft grew concerned about the underwhelming market demand for the well-reviewed Surface 2 tablet devices launched in November. Several months earlier, Microsoft released an update to Windows 8 that attempted to address many of the complaints consumers expressed about the original version, offering plenty of fixes that were generally well-received. In November, and in an attempt to avoid another write-off like its predecessor, Microsoft decided to under-produce the Surface 2, hoping the appearance of a shortage would help ramp up sales. This strategy appears to have worked, as sales for the tablets increased significantly over the holiday season. Regardless of this success and the unavoidable success of the Windows 8 operating system, Microsoft is already preparing the successor to Windows 8. Code-named “Threshold”, Windows 9 will likely be released in 2015.
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