Microsoft Sells 40 Million Windows 8 Licenses (But to Whom?)
Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) has sold 40 million Windows 8 licenses since launching the touch-centric operating system in October 2012, according to Tami Reller, chief marketing and financial officer for Windows. On the one hand that’s an impressive figure. (Any readers out there ever sell 40 million copies of anything?) But on the other hand Microsoft is not describing who purchased all those licenses. And that begs some key questions.
Among the logical questions the media should be asking:
- How many of those licenses were sold to PC and tablet makers? Of those systems, how many have actually been purchased by businesses and consumers?
- How many of those licenses were upgrades that consumers plan to install on their existing PCs?
- How many of those licenses were sold to channel partners? And of those licenses, how many have channel partners sold to end-customers?
Let’s face it: Few software companies could ever dream of selling 40 million licenses — of anything — in a single month. But the media has to be careful with Microsoft’s claims. Back in March 2007, Microsoft said Windows Vista sold 20 million copies in its first month. At the time, the company predicted Vista would become the fastest-adopted version of Windows ever.
Anybody else remember how that story played out?
Don’t misunderstand The VAR Guy. Our resident blogger thinks Windows 8’s acceptance could place competitive pressure on Apple and Google Android. And competition is good for customers. But until Microsoft provides some more context, it’s difficult to say whether Windows 8 sales are truly off to a fast start.