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Windows 8 reaches 200 million licenses sold

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Microsoft is claiming a rather late victory with Windows 8, with over 200 million licenses sold since the operating system’s release in October 2012. The 200 million licenses include the number of upgrades that Microsoft sold as well as retail sales stocks, OEM sales and system upgrades for consumers who bought Windows 7 machines an qualified for an upgrade copy of Windows 8. While these are some good numbers some 15 months following the original’s release, it’s not as successful as the software giant hoped it would be.

In a much smaller time frame of 12 months, Windows 7 met and exceeded 240 million licenses towards the end of 2010. To date, with the last known tally of 630 million licenses passed on 9 July 2012, estimates for Windows 7’s share in the desktop market could be set at 800 million licenses worldwide. With Windows XP becoming abandonware in April 2014, many companies will be moving to Windows 7 in the coming months, effectively replacing XP as the new de facto standard until extended support ends on 14 January 2020.

Crossing 200 million licenses for Windows 8 isn’t a bad number, though. It’s a bigger success than Vista and, barring the Modern UI switching and a lack of really good Modern UI applications, still has significant changes to the desktop and under the hood that makes it a better overall performer than Windows 7. Windows 8.1 adoption is similarly good, but many more are still on the default Windows 8 install.

As things currently stand, Windows 7 already has an insurmountable lead in the market.¬†Should Windows 7 completely eat up XP’s market share, Microsoft may have an even bigger task on their hands getting rid of what is almost a perfect operating system.

Total market share for operating systems as of February 2014

Total market share for operating systems as of February 2014

What Microsoft needs to do now is focus heavily on the GDR update that will be hitting the Windows Store in March 2014. GDR carries with it a number of changes to how the OS and Modern UI work together, in some ways moving back to the jarring dual-personality it displayed on launch. To make their new userbase work for them, Microsoft now needs to tie in Windows 8.1 and Windows Phone together even further because they have three juggernauts to fight against now – Apple, with iOS and OS X; Google, with Chrome OS and Android and Mozilla, with Firefox OS and possibly a custom Linux OS in the future.

Truth be told, they do have a solid offering and the integration with Skydrive, Office 365, Skpe, Xbox One and Lync makes using devices in the Windows 8 ecosystem a lot more fluid and coherent. But as with a lot of things, Microsoft doesn’t seem to always know when it’s sitting on a gold mine or a hornet’s nest. I hope, for the user’s sake, that the new CEO, Satya Nadella, leads a renewed, energetic push into making the platform more user-friendly and functional and doesn’t give it up easily.

Source: ZDNet

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  • Alex Rowley

    They releasing these OS’s too often in my opinion.

    • BinaryMind

      Agreed. Windows 7 could possible last longer than xp :)

      • Squirly

        Which is what they don’t want. MS wants some of that sweet bi-annual action that Apple has with it’s OS.

        Anyway, claiming victory with 200 million sold when most hardware distributors are almost forced to sell their new machines with the newest Windows pre-installed is still a scummy and disingenuous practice that will never stop.

        • XCal1bur

          Build PC’s from scratch is the way to go. Then you get to choose your own OS ^^

    • Wesley Fick

      I think that their idea with the leap from 8 to 8.1 is a good thing, because it benefits them and developers if everyone is mostly on the same ecosystem. But real progress needs to take place if they’re going to actually attract users to their platform, instead of staying on the older, stable version of the OS.

      Old-school Microsoft operated much too slowly to move with the times and things need to change if they want new products to remain relevant. Technology, especially graphics technology, is on the verge of another leap and things will be really interesting when 2015 rolls around.

      Mind you, I do think that they should fork development of Professional to the same department that handles Server development. Business has different needs to the public and they should be catered for differently.

  • XCal1bur

    Windows 7 was the best format. Nothing about Win 8 screams “Buy me!”


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