In addition, new touchscreen devices built for Windows 8 have been released recently and more are on their way from OEM partners. "Over the last couple of months we have started to see devices that take full advantage of Windows 8 and expect to see more devices across more attractive price points over coming months," he said.
These new devices will include some with new Intel chips that are expected to give them performance boosts and improved battery life, he said. A new line of small, touchscreen Windows devices is on the way, Klein said.
Likewise, the number of applications in the Windows Store has increased six-fold since it launched last October, and the catalogue will continue to grow, he said.
Microsoft also plans to improve the buying experience in retail stores through efforts such as better training and incentives for salespeople, he said.
"Growth in Windows depends on our ability to give customers the exciting hardware they want at the price points they demand and a wide array of apps and services," he said. "We're hard at work with our partners to meet these goals and are confident we're moving in the right direction."
Interviewed before the earnings report, Gartner analyst Michael Silver said that the new OS was rushed out before it and its software and hardware ecosystem were ready.
Feeling it had to ship Windows 8 in time for the holiday season last year, Microsoft released the OS and its Windows RT version for ARM devices, but key PCs and applications weren't available.
"Windows 8 wasn't as finished as it could have been or should have been for Microsoft to ship, but it was either ship what they had or go to the holiday season with just Windows 7," he said. "Microsoft blew it with the Windows 8 launch: With the dearth of applications, with hardware vendors that ran late in terms of getting their good machines out for Windows 8."
In particular, Silver has found the marketing strategy for Windows RT and for the company's Surface tablet "incredibly confusing, assuming they have one." It hasn't been clear that Windows RT in its current form and the first version of the Surface, which ran that OS, were better suited for consumers, and that the Surface Pro, which runs Windows 8 and shipped in February, is a better fit for enterprises.
Regarding Windows RT and the Surface tablet, "Microsoft hasn't articulated anything that makes organizations understand what they should be doing, or make consumers understand this is a device for them," Silver said.
As a result, Silver views Windows 8 and Windows RT as "transitional products" that will get polished in the second half of this year, including with new and better devices to run on.
"A lot of that will be rectified for this holiday season. It won't solve the problems of the PC industry, but the decline in PCs doesn't make Windows irrelevant when the typical organization needs Windows to run 45 percent of their applications," he said.
For now, enterprises are looking at Windows 8 for specific uses, primarily for deployments of tablets to employees, Silver said.
Juan Carlos Perez covers enterprise communication/collaboration suites, operating systems, browsers and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Juan on Twitter at @JuanCPerezIDG.