Microsoft has shared its latest Windows 8 figures publically for the first time in over six months. Earlier this week Vice President of Marketing, Tami Reller, announced at a Goldman Sachs technology conference that the operating system has surpassed 200 million license sales since its launch 15 months ago in October 2012.
The silence related to Windows 8's sales figures since last May has been taken by many as confirmation that sales of the OS isn’t accelerating as quickly as the firm had hoped or expected. Microsoft previously reported sales of over 40 million copies of Windows 8 in the first month, and updated again in January 2013 with a 60 million sales figure to that date.
On 6th May 2013, six months after launch, Microsoft officials announced that the firm had reached the 100 million milestone in licenses sold. The tech giant is obviously very thrilled; "We've surpassed 200 million licenses now on Windows 8, which is pretty stunning," said Reller at a Goldman Sachs technology conference this week.
However, the figures do show a lag compared to predecessor Windows 7's 240 million first-year sales, reflecting a persistent two-year decline in PC sales due to popularity of smartphones and tablets. Shipments of smartphones and tablets are expected to surpass PC sales globally next year.
Perhaps this is why Microsoft's priority now is to develop more tablet and touch optimised apps and creating a smaller device footprint for Windows, according to Reller. "The number one priority of our developer team is to really get those apps populated. We’ve had some good success, but more to do," confirmed the Microsoft Executive VP.
It is also worth noting that Microsoft's 'licenses sold' numbers are 'sell in' numbers, "Windows 8 has surpassed 200 million licenses sold, and we continue to see momentum. 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," confirmed a Microsoft spokesperson in a statement to ZDnet.
Microsoft is rapidly releasing updates for Windows and we are expecting an interesting but smaller update called Windows 8.1 update 1 to arrive in April.