Microsoft has confirmed that it has sold 200 million Windows 8 licenses since its launch on October 26, 2012.
This latest figure was first revealed by Microsoft’s Executive Vice President of Marketing Tami Reller, who was speaking at the Goldman Sachs Technology & Internet Conference. It has since been confirmed by Microsoft in an official statement.
The last time we had an official update on the number of Windows 8 units shifted was May 2013, which has led many to speculate that the controversial operating system’s sales performance has been underwhelming.
Sure enough, while 200 million in 16 months sounds good, it’s not up to the standard of Microsoft’s previous OS. Windows 7 managed to sell 240 million licenses in its first 12 months of availability.
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Back in May 2013, Microsoft claimed that Windows 8’s sales were on par with Windows 7’s, which suggests that its popularity has dropped off after an initial six month flurry of interest.
The term "licenses sold" means that this figure doesn’t just include stand-alone copies of Windows 8. It also includes copies that come packaged with new PCs, laptops, and tablets. It also includes those upgrades from previous Windows versions.
It doesn’t include Windows 8 copies sold at volume to businesses.
There is hope that Windows 8’s fortunes could pick up, with the Windows team set to deliver Windows 8.1 Update 1 in April. This could give the polarising operating system a welcome boost for its final year, before Windows 9’s rumoured April 2015 release.