Windows 8 gets more love, but still lags behind Windows 7, Microsoft reveals in a briefing
Microsoft has revealed that sales of Windows 8 have reached 200 million – but that is still a long way behind its predecessor Windows 7.
Tami Reller, Microsoft’s head of marketing, told a Goldman Sachs technology conference on Thursday that sales of the latest version of Windows has topped the 200 million mark since its launch 15 months ago. However, this is nowhere near the success its predecessor, Windows 7 enjoyed, as it sold 240 million units in its first year.
Reller described the sales growth as “pretty stunning,” although she added that Microsoft still has more work to do with the OS.
“Windows 8 has surpassed 200 million licenses sold, and we continue to see momentum,” a Microsoft statement said. “This number includes Windows licenses that ship on a new tablet or PC, as well as upgrades to Windows 8. The figure does not include volume license sales to enterprise. Windows is a central part of life for more than 1.5 billion people around the world, and we are looking forward to the future.”
However Microsoft has been fairly silent about the exact sales figures of Windows 8, sparking rumours that the company isn’t selling the software as quickly as it thought it would.
Following its launch alongside Windows RT in October 2012, Microsoft said Windows 8 had sold more than 40 million copies in its first month, and had shifted 60 million copies by January 2013. Sales hit 100 million by May 2013, apparently on par with the rate Windows 7 saw, but since then the younger version appears to have slightly fallen away.
Yet recent market share data showed that usage of Windows 8 and its recent free update, Windows 8.1, rose recently to record an overall market share of over 10 percent. Windows 8.1 was released as a free update last October, adding a number of improvements to the OS, including an enhanced search function, new multitasking options, and the return of the much-missed start button.
The relatively slow pick-up of Windows 8 and 8.1 may be linked to the worldwide decline in PC sales, which according to recent Gartner research were down ten percent in 2013 compared to last year, with the strong growth of tablet devices leading many PC manufacturers to downgrade PC production and focus on such devices.
HP recently raised eyebrows with the launch of a marketing campaign to boost PC sales in the US which focused on Windows 7 rather than the latest version of the software, featuring the tagline “Windows 7 is back”.
In fact, the campaign was probably designed to encourage businesses to upgrade from Windows XP, as Microsoft is pulling most of its support for the older operating system on 8 April 2014, although it will continue to operate a basic level of cybersecurity support until July 2015. The ongoing popularity of Windows XP, reportedly still running on almost a third of the desktops in the world, may spur Microsoft into a marketing push around the benefits of updating to the most recent version of Windows.
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