Windows 8 Could Help Microsoft Ride Mobile Wave

The following commentary comes from an independent investor or market observer as part of TheStreet's guest contributor program, which is separate from the company's news coverage.

NEW YORK ( Trefis) -- Microsoft ( MSFT) recently unveiled the next version of its Windows operating system -- Windows 8. It also launched a developer preview of Windows 8 and will be launching the final version in 2012, which will work on computers as well as tablets. A survey by the Boston Consulting Group reveals that a majority of consumers would prefer to use the Windows OS on their tablets instead of Apple's ( AAPL) iOS or Google's Android, which implies that once released, there could be huge upside for Microsoft in tablets.

Windows is one of Microsoft's most important revenue driver and accounts for more than 25% of the $28 Trefis price estimate for Microsoft, which stands around 5% above the current market price.

Check out our complete analysis for Microsoft.

Apple's iPad currently dominates the tablet market with around 70% market share in the U.S. Android is the only real alternative but the lack of apps and high pricing have prevented Android tablets from capturing any significant market share yet, despite being backed by multiple device manufacturers.

The Amazon ( AMZN) Kindle Fire is gaining traction and may pose a threat to Microsoft's tablet plans, but is just getting off the ground and is targeted toward the low end of the market. Microsoft may be a bit late to the party, but according to some reports, it has a good chance of capturing significant market share in the tablet market with Windows 8 when it finally arrives. Given the results of this survey, users appear to want to have continuity between the desktop PCs and tablets and Windows still rules the roost for PCs.

Windows 8 will be integrated with Windows Phone, and together, they will offer a complete ecosystem just like Apple's Mac OS X and iOS, making it the platform of choice for hardware manufacturers looking for a non-Apple unified solution.

Windows 7 sold nearly 450 million licenses, and with tablet shipments expected to grow to 300 million units by 2015, Windows 8 could be an even greater hit than Windows 7.

Tweak this graph to see how the expansion in the global desktop/tablet market could affect Windows sales, and Microsoft's stock price.

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This commentary comes from an independent investor or market observer as part of TheStreet guest contributor program. The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of TheStreet or its management.

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