San Francisco, Nov 28: Within one month of its availability, Microsoft has reportedly sold 40 million licenses for its Windows 8 operating system. This is perhaps good news for Microsoft, but not that great.
"Windows 8 is outpacing Windows 7 in terms of upgrades," the company said in its blog post. "We built Windows 8 to work great on existing Windows 7 PCs. And we also set out to make upgrading from Windows 7 to Windows 8 super easy."
At this rate, Microsoft seems to be selling Windows 8 at the same speed as Windows 7. One can easily remember that Windows 7 sold very well due to substantial pent-up demand as businesses chose to ignore Windows Vista, but on the other hand Windows 8 is a more controversial update being brought to a market that is generally happy with Windows 7 anyway.
With Windows 8 selling 40 million copies in five weeks, it seems to be selling at about the same pace as Windows 7. Considering the different market dynamics—Windows 7 was an iterative release that fulfilled substantial pent-up demand as businesses chose to ignore Windows Vista whereas Windows 8 is a more controversial update being brought to a market that is generally happy with Windows 7 anyway—this is a healthy performance. Windows 7 sold very well and matching it is no mean feat. The apparent failure to surpass Windows 7's launch could explain the mixed reports on early sales. Strong sales can still be disappointing if they were expected to be stronger still.
The latest figures in no way mean that 40 million users have adopted Windows 8. There's a difference between sales to retailers and OEM, and copies sold to users. The former always contribute in a large amount than the latter. It is the sales to the end-users that truly represent the level of interest and acceptance by them, along with the size of the market for Windows 8-specific Windows Store applications.
According to tech research firm StatCounter, about 1 percent of the world's 1.5 billion or so personal computers making a total of around 15 million are actually running Windows 8.
Overall, it appears that Windows 8's launch is far from a failure and that the PC market isn't finished yet.