Windows 8 Sales at Faster Pace than Windows 7

Windows 8 Sales at Faster Pace than Windows 7

Microsoft has sold 40 million Windows 8 licenses since its
October 26 launch, according to Tami Reller, the chief
marketing and financial officer for Windows, speaking at the
Credit Suisse Annual Tech Conference on November 27. That’s
the second Windows 8 number Microsoft has announced, the first
being that it sold four million upgrade licenses to Windows
users during the first three days it was available.

By comparison, Microsoft said it sold 60 million Windows 7
licenses in the two months from its launch at the end of
October 2009 to the end of December 2009. That compares to the
40 million licenses of Windows 8 in one month, which should
put the sales of Windows 8 ahead of Windows 7. Of course,
there’s usually a big burst of sales when most new products
launch, then sales often settle down to a lower but consistent

Microsoft chief Steve Ballmer said a week after the Windows 8
launch that four million upgrade licenses had been sold to
individuals, not counting sales to the corporates, which he
said were “in the tens of millions.”

Reller did not say how many Surface RT tablet and PCs had been
sold. She did reconfirm that the Intel version, called Surface
Pro, is still on schedule for January 2013. She did not say
why the Intel version is so much later than the RT version.

Reller also showed statistics about how purchasers of Windows
8 PCs are positive about the OS.

Anecdotal accounts from various sources paint a less rosy
picture about Windows 8.

Windows 8 off to a Slow Start in Australia
The Sydney Morning Herald reports that Windows 8 sales down
under are below expectations. See:

It said the Australia-based IDC market analyst Amy Cheah has
spoken to local retailers, vendors and channel partners as
part of her work compiling sales numbers. Cheah said Windows 8
take-up was “not as strong as Microsoft would like it to be.
Actual sales don’t match the hype, but the momentum is picking
up in November.” She said Windows 8 was “a steep learning
curve and the initial phase is going to be a bumpy one.”

One Australian retailer said he always expected a slow start
for Windows 8 and some customers were shying away from Windows
8 in favor of Windows 7. He said, “If people were expecting
huge line-ups at stores and a savior of the industry then
they’re going to be disappointed.”

UK Too
A British survey and some Web user data seem to show that
Windows 8 is not having the same success at launch that its
Windows 7 predecessor had.

An online survey of 2,000 British adult Web users (18 and
over) in October by Toluna QuickSurveys found that only 39%
are likely to upgrade to Windows 8, much less than Windows 7
had in its early days. Windows 7 was the favorite of 28% and
only 14% saying their favorite was Windows 8.

However, the proportion of respondents planning to buy a
tablet running Windows 8 is at 13% — about the same as the
iPad (13%) and Android tablets (14%). However, the RT version
of Windows 8 received only 2% of the votes.

It seems a bit early to take any conclusions from the survey
because of the newness of Windows 8 tablets. Besides, many
people have upgraded in the last three years from the near-
disastrous Vista version of Windows and may be reluctant to
risk changing to an as yet unproven OS.

Net Applications, which measures Web browsing, found that
Windows 8 use is at 1% compared to Windows 7, which was at 3%
share at the same point after its launch in 2009. The 1% is
half that for any of the last three versions of Apple’s Mac OS
X and considerably behind Windows 7’s 45.6% and Windows XP’s

Again, it’s a bit early to make concrete conclusions about
Windows 8’s long term success, which is in itself is an
indication that Windows 8 is off to a slow start.

It’ll soon be time for Microsoft to make its quarterly
financial report and we’ll learn more at that time about how
well Windows 8 is doing. Microsoft has a lot riding on Windows
8 because consumers’ move to mobile devices and the current
domination of the iOS and Android will make it much harder
than ever for Microsoft to launch a new OS.

About the Author

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