Microsoft sold 40 million Windows 8 licenses in month: exec
By Bill Rigby
SEATTLE (Reuters) - Microsoft Corp has sold 40 million Windows 8 licenses in the month since the launch, according to one of the new co-heads of the Windows unit, setting a faster pace than Windows 7 three years ago.
The sales number represents a solid but unspectacular start for the touch-friendly operating system designed to combat Apple Inc's and Google Inc's domination of mobile computing, which has shunted aside PCs in favor of iPads and smartphones.
Tami Reller, finance and marketing head of the Windows business, did not give a precise comparison, but sales of 40 million licenses for Windows 8, launched on October 26, appear to be ahead of Windows 7, which sold just over 60 million units in the first 10 weeks on sale at the end of 2009.
Reller did not break down the Windows 8 license sales between relatively cheap upgrades and purchases of new machines running the new software, but suggested much of the growth was coming from upgrades.
"Windows 8 upgrade momentum is outpacing that of Windows 7," said Reller, speaking at an investor conference held by Credit Suisse. Upgrading to Windows 8 costs $40, compared to $70 for the full software package or hundreds of dollars for a new PC.
The latest figure does not mean that 40 million users have adopted Windows 8. Many of the sales are to PC manufacturers, who in turn sell a large number of machines to companies, very few of which are using Windows 8 yet.
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.
Reller did not disclose sales of Microsoft's new Surface tablet, its first-ever own-brand PC, designed to challenge the iPad head on. Continued...