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CES 2013: Windows 8 Sells 20 Million Copies Since November

Max 'Beast from the East' Smolaks covers open source, public sector, startups and technology of the future at TechWeekEurope. If you find him looking lost on the streets of London, feed him coffee and sugar.

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Microsoft claims adoption numbers match those of Windows 7

In ten weeks since its launch, Windows 8 has sold 60 million copies, announced Tami Reller, CFO of Microsoft’s Windows division, at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES 2013) in Las Vegas.

It was previously reported that Microsoft managed to sell 40 million copies of its latest operating system by November, meaning it moved further 20 million in the run up to Christmas.

On the right track

Windows 8 was released in the end of October, but failed to excite the customers, who seem to have adapted the “wait and see” approach with the new operating system. It didn’t improve overall PC sales, and the Surface tablet is currently more of a curiosity than a serious threat to the rule of the iPad.

However according to Reller, the sales figures for Windows 8 are similar to those accompanying Windows 7 release three years ago. The previous version of the OS sold an average of 19.4 million copies a month for the first nine months, and went on to become the de-facto standard in personal computing.

According to web analytics firm Net Applications, Windows 7 still maintained a 45 percent market share in December. It was followed by Windows XP, with a 39 percent market share, while Mac OS X only accounted for seven percent of the market.

Google has recently announced that it will not be developing native apps for Windows 8, since it thinks the OS doesn’t have enough users to justify the money and time spent.

Reuters notes that Microsoft did not provide any details on how many copies of Windows 8 were sold in bulk to manufacturers, and the proportion of licenses sold at a discount rate to customers upgrading from Windows 7. The presentation also failed to mention the sales numbers for the Surface tablet, which runs the new OS.

“The 60m includes bulk sales to PC manufacturers, but as Microsoft has not revealed the split, it’s not clear how many of the 60m are sitting in the channel rather than out and live. With PC sales figures expected to show a decline when shipment estimates are released over the next few weeks, the situation remains uncertain,” writes industry analyst Angela Eager from TechMarketView.

In a separate announcement during the Qualcomm keynote, Microsoft’s ever entertaining CEO Steve Ballmer said that a further 10,000 applications were added to the Windows 8 software store over the past month, and that app downloads to date have reached 100 million.

Microsoft shares fell 0.5 percent following the news on Tuesday. Overall, the company has lost six percent in value since the launch of Windows 8.

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