Microsoft launches Windows 8, Surface: By the numbers

Microsoft launches Windows 8, Surface: By the numbers

Summary: Microsoft today announced Windows 8 and the Surface tablet at an event in New York. The software giant also threw out some interesting, previously unseen numbers and figures. Here's what you need to know.


Microsoft launched its latest operating system Windows 8, and its first tablet endeavor, Surface at an event in New York today. 

Related: ZDNet: Windows 8 | Surface | CNET: Surface | Windows 8 | Microsoft statement | Techmeme

During the event, Microsoft executives and vice-presidents took to the stage to show off the latest statistics and figures for Microsoft, Windows 8, and Surface. Here are the latest numbers you need to know:

  • More than 1 billion Windows PC users around the world. Windows president Steven Sinofsky says the company is "looking forward" to the next billion;

  • 670 million Windows 7 licenses since the operating system went on sale in 2009, the fastest adoption by businesses ever;

  • 11 million photos on SkyDrive, Microsoft's own cloud-based service for documents, photos, and other content;

  • 14 petabytes of SkyDrive data churned up to date, with more than 2 petabytes of data added by users every month;

  • 16 million installs of the pre-release version of Windows 8;

  • 1.24 billion hours of Windows 8 testing by developers and beta testers;

  • 650 pages of blogs on Windows 8, according to Sinofsky;

  • $39.99, the price of a Windows 8 upgrade for consumers;

  • More than 1,000 certified Windows 8 PCs ready to go once the operating system is made available to the general market on Friday;

  • 109 languages will be supported in the new Windows Store;

  • 231 markets in which the Windows Store, the new application store for Windows 8 apps, will be made available to end consumers;

  • 420 million existing devices will support Windows RT, the ARM-based version of Windows 8;

  • 400 million new PCs expected to be sold, according to analysts, most of which will run Windows 8, says Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer;

Other numbers to consider from earlier reports:

  • For Ballmer, it's make or break: although not necessarily for the company itself. Moor Insights & Strategy analyst Patrick Moorhead, concerned about Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer, said: "This is going to be his defining moment," adding: "If Windows 8 is not a success, a lot of people will be looking for Microsoft to make a change at the CEO level." 

  • Triple the shipments: Morgan Stanley analyst Adam Holt expects Microsoft to shift around 3 million Surface devices by the end of the year, while tripling that shipping figure to 9 million in 2013. By comparison, Intel is expecting to ship more than 20 million Windows 8 tablets, excluding ARM-powered Windows RT tablets. Holt said in a research note last week: "Our survey in May 2012 of 7,500 consumers suggested that 25 percent of consumers expect to buy a Windows tablet at any price and 30 percent would buy a Windows tablet at parity with an iPad."

  • The PC knock-on effect: Sterne Agee analyst Shaw Wu observes that HP's slip from the worldwide PC vendor top spot, according to Gartner figures -- though disputed by rival firm IDC, may not be helped by Windows 8. In fact, Wu believes that the latest Microsoft operating system will not be able to save the PC maker. "We have lower confidence in its turnaround strategy," he said in a research note earlier this month.

  • A third of the market? Forrester analyst Frank Gillet said in a recent report that Windows 8 will likely get off to a slow start, while its smartphone counterpart will remain "a distant third." He said Microsoft will see continued growth in both Windows and Windows Phone, but overall its share will remain small, and that despit the touch-hype, the software will fare better on the desktop than on tablets.

  • PC pricing: The pricing is the crucial factor here, particularly for the PC market which continues to see quarter on quarter declines. IDC analyst Bob O'Donnell said the price range for the new hybrid devices is "not pretty." The iPad, as the main rival in the Microsoft tablet perspective, remains a focal point for competitors' pricing, but tablet rivals are not taking heed. "The problem is these things are priced way too high. Look at the history of tablet products priced above the iPad."

Microsoft has seen a relatively flat year. Since the firm's recovery post-recession in 2009 where the software giant rose its shares close to $31 a share, Microsoft has not suffered any major blows to its stock price. That said, it's hardly gone off the charts either. 

Pegging at a healthy $27 a share, Microsoft is faring well. But so far, only hours after the markets opened, little has yet to yield from the company's share price. The firm's market cap currently stands at around $235 billion, but the magic really happens when the markets are about to close.

Interestingly, around 11 a.m. ET when Microsoft's event began, Apple's share began to dip by more than 1 percent. Apple was rising up until that point. Microsoft now rivals Apple in the business and enterprise tablet space.

We'll keep this updated throughout the day. 

Topics: Microsoft, Tablets, Windows

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  • What does this mean?

    "420 million existing hardware devices will support Windows RT, the ARM-based version of Windows 8;"

    This is the first I've ever heard suggested that Windows RT will be available to install on existing ARM devices. Which ARM devices? iPads? Galaxy Tabs? Kindle Fires? How would one go about installing Windows RT on an iPad? I would do that in an instant, it would save my iPad from being blended.

    Or was he talking about the compatibility between Windows RT and Windows 8 where an application written for Windows RT will also work on Windows 8 in order to convince developers to write Windows RT compatible apps? Are there 420 million Windows 8 machines out there? Doubtful.
    • hardware devices

      he was talking about hardware devices like printers, scanners, etc. connected to the WindowsRT tablets
      • Yes, thanks, just read CNet to get the scoop

        Just read that, thanks. That clears it up.
    • Press release fluff numbers

      Sure basic operation for millions of printers, keyboards, mice....etc.

      I doubt that will have anywhere near full operation, say full feature support for a HP MFP. That will have to come from the vendor....porting x86 drivers/software to ARM RT devices.

      As seen in the past XP to Vista/7 most vendors only do this for their very latest products on a x86 to x86 OS update. There will be even less support for devices older than say a year going from x86 to ARM.
    • You heard that here first

      You heard it here first.

      Toddbottom3 is what he calls an iSheep. He's got and iPad.
      Henry 3 Dogg
  • And how many -ve feedback?

    Unlimited and Microsoft wouldn't listen
  • "Pegging at a healthy $27 a share, Microsoft is faring well"

    Clearly you don't hold a long position in MSFT. It's down 20% off it's 52 week high, but more importantly it's been basically flat for a decade.
    • Apple stock has plummetted in the last month

      Let's see if this is in preparation for the earnings call or if the earnings call will make it even worse.
    • And Apple has dropped 100 dollars a share

      from 700 dollars to 600 dollars, even after the release of the iPad Mini.
      a drop of approximately 15% from it's 52 week high.
      John Zern
    • yes like Apple's
      AAPL 09/24/2012 opening - $686.86
      Currently 10/24/2012 - $612.02
      Ram U
  • Microsoft launches Windows 8, Surface: By the numbers

    Very impressive numbers for Microsoft. The potential to get 1 billion PCs running Microsoft Windows 8 on them. An estimated 9 million Microsoft Surface devices. These are all high numbers. Tomorrow is going to be a good day when we can download the upgrade for cheap. Looking forward to it. Glad I'm not the guy that said Surface and Windows 8 were going to flop. He must be kicking himself right now.
    Loverock Davidson-
    • we have one already above in these talk backs

      too bad (s)he caught up in shell and not able to see the beauty of modern interfaces.
      Ram U
    • Not 9 million, 12 million by end of 2013

      3 million this year, 9 million next year. And note, that's "Surface devices", so RT and Pro, presumably.

      One guy's projection, i have no idea how that compares to other projections.
  • My "prediction"

    Microsoft has hit a long ball and Windows 8 / tablets may even be seen as a home run in the near future.

    I'll give Apple their due, they have done a great job in the consumer space but,,, well MS and the enterprize have been bed fellows for decades and that isn't going to go away in the forseeable future and that's where the MS Tablet is going to set records.

    I've had business clients asking me for months when the Windows tablet (Pro) is actually going to be in users hands and if they can pre-order. Seems a LOT of business users like the idea of a tablet but want to be able to run their existing software and for the OS and softwear to fit in their existing ecosystem. Same from the IT guys responsibile for it all.
  • Windows 8 an enormous step back from Windows 7

    I received my new Dell laptop with the Windows 8 operating system standard installed on it.
    What a gigantic step back from Windows 7. It is very mysterious why Microsoft bothered to make such a garbage operating system, the most user-unfriendly one I have ever seen.
    Using my Yahoo e-mail system, it was impossible to get documents attached to e-mails. How is it possible that so many smart people could develop such a poor system, totally unfit for PCs. And how could Dell be so dumb to have this operating system standard installed on its PCs? This has healed me from my preference for Dell laptops, which were fine until Windows 8 appeared.
  • Will No one listen!

    We forget Windows 8 was designed to do all the things Windows 7 does with the added feature of touch, touch, touch. Now if you do not have a touch screen and upgraded or chose Win 8 because of the heavy sales pressure etc. then you will hate it. You lose the entertainment centre but most of all the START Button and ability to search for anything above that START BUTTON. This is causing major navigational problems for people in a hurry! They don't have the time to to re-chart and tiles are useless with no touch screen and so yup are very frustrated! You can get a start button but there are some other issues too that are most aggravating.
    So if it has a touch Screen Windows 8 is probably okay for you but no touch and you have a rudderless boat!
  • Yes, and here's why...

    1. Microsoft is trying to make a "one size fits all" operating system and has been FOREVER and it doesn't work. Imagine being hunched over your tablet with one of those flimsy keyboards (which will probably get lost or broken) or worse yet a touch screen squinting at a screen about the width of a large hand for hours. If that is not enough to make you wake up screaming at night....

    2. Microsoft has been trying for ages (since the old slave/ did I just say that out loud...mmmmm) to beat their users to drive them online version of paying for your time on their products. Remember those bad old days of server outages or slow downs, paying by the minute? Who in their right mind wants to go back to that pay for play framework? Windows 8, more of the same old garbage.

    3. Microsoft is trying to lock down the OS to hardware, golden handcuffs anyone?
    Another Apple me too idea.

    4. Trying to do anything more complex than being a content slave paying for movies and online widgets is practically impossible or made so hard you get cramps trying to make it happen. So we are going to trade in carpel tunnel for shoulder problems as well as other sports injuries as we swipe, poke, wave, jump and sniff our way through this abortion of a graphic user interface.

    Now you have to remember Microsoft is a corporation out for its own ends, they are NOT your friends. Microsoft actually dumped tech support on those poor fools AKA the computer makers. How they did this is beyond me, they must have drugged the makers or threatened them some how. Microsoft is not even point of the arrow in technology, just playing "me too" with Ipads, Iphones, Android etc. So they are all making us pay for their mistakes with this boat anchor of an OS. I wouldn't take a surface tablet if you paid me weekly installments of large sums of cash, the frustration is not worth it.

    I have already started looking at Linux with more than speculation. The Ubuntu people and Gnome people seem to pay attention and thinking about the user feedback. When they came out with that Unity junk, most of the people just moved to Mint Linux to avoid this tablet GUI style so popular with Windows.

    Unfortunately it is getting harder and harder to scrape the new windows GUIs. However, you would think that with the small cottage industry of GUI remake tools the Windows people may get a clue that Metro (Oh! we are not supposed to use that word anymore) sucks. After all they have rooms full of human factors people that they have to pay, so why stop?

    And in parting, I used to be able to go out and buy a copy of the OS, a whole copy for less than an arm and a leg. Not so now, I even called the Evil Empire to get a copy sent to me. Sorry we don't do that anymore, you have to be a builder. A what? A computer builder. So unless the person talking to me was an idiot (a strong possibility) you can't even buy the whole Windows 8 OS in a Box.

    Now let's see; I can get the GUI I want, for free and not have to go through an install that would make most men cry, that is so simple to install and use it is a pleasure. N

    Now why am I using Windows at ALL!