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Samsung to Sell Windows 8 Computer From Second Half of Next Year

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Nov. 9 (Bloomberg) -- Samsung Electronics Co. plans to start selling touch-screen computers using the latest Windows operating system in the second half of next year as it seeks to tap demand for portable, yet powerful devices.

The product will probably be a modified version of the Series 7 computer, which has a touch screen and a wireless keyboard, said Uhm Kyu Ho, head of sales and marketing at Samsung’s personal-computer business. It will run Microsoft Corp.’s Windows 8, he said in an interview after a media briefing in Seoul today.

Microsoft on Sept. 13 unveiled the newest version of its Windows operating system with a device made by Samsung. The program, which allows ultra-thin laptops and tablets to turn on instantly and run all day on a single charge, is an attempt to vault Microsoft into a fast-growing market controlled by Apple and Google Inc.’s Android software.

Samsung is targeting business users with the Series 7, Nam Seong Woo, head of the PC business, said at a briefing in Seoul today. It uses Windows 7 and can run applications for personal computers, so is designed to appeal to consumers who need to produce documents and spreadsheets on devices as portable as the iPad or tablets running Android, he said at the briefing.

The maker of the Samsung Galaxy S II will offer an update to Windows 8 for Series 7 owners, Nam said, without saying when. The software lets users display favorite applications, people and information in titles on the main screen.

Laptop Shipments Target

Samsung, which doesn’t include “slate” computers such as the Series 7 in tablet sales, aims to raise laptop computer sales by 80 percent to 18 million units globally this year, Kevin Lee, a vice president at the company’s information-technology solutions business, said in February.

Samsung was the biggest seller of Android tablet devices in the third quarter with about 9 percent of the overall market, Thomas Kang, a Seoul-based research director for Strategy Analytics, said Oct. 21.

Android-powered tablet computers accounted for 27 percent of global sales during the three-month period, jumping from 2.3 percent a year earlier, Strategy Analytics said last month. The iPad’s share fell to 67 percent from 96 percent.

The company took the lead in the smartphone market last quarter, pushing Apple into second place, as its shipments of mobile handsets more than tripled, market research company IDC said earlier this month.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jun Yang in Seoul at jyang180@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Tighe at mtighe4@bloomberg.net

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