Microsoft: More than 100 million Windows 8 licenses sold

Microsoft: More than 100 million Windows 8 licenses sold

Summary: Microsoft is continuing to sell Windows 8 licenses at roughly the same clip that it sold Windows 7 ones to its OEM partners and others in the channel, company officials say.


Microsoft officials said on May 6 that Microsoft has surpassed the 100 million Windows 8 licenses sold milestone  -- a number on par with the number of Windows 7 licenses the company sold in its first six months on the market.


(Windows 8 and Windows RT went on sale on October 26, 2012. So the exact six-month mark was April 26, which was 10 days ago.)

"If there had been more touch devices in the market, it would have been even more," said Tami Reller, the Chief Financial Officer of Microsoft's Windows client team. That said, "our sell-through has been consistently going up," Reller added.

Reller said to expect the touch hardware situation to start to improve more in July, the kick-off of this year's back-to-school selling season. By holiday season 2013, Microsoft expects there to be a full assortment of screen sizes, form factors and differently priced Windows 8 and Windows RT devices in market, she said.

Microsoft officials said they sold more than 40 million copies of Windows 8 the first month it was commercially available. On January 8, 2013, Microsoft officials said the company had sold 60 million licenses of Windows 8 to date. The bulk of the additional 40 million Windows 8 licenses sold since January have been on new PCs (as opposed to upgrades), given that most of the Windows 8 upgrade deals expired in January, Reller said.

Microsoft's "licenses sold" numbers are "sell in" numbers. That means these figures include sales of licenses to OEMs, as well as Windows 8 upgrades. They don't include copies of Windows 8 sold via volume-licensing agreements. The "licenses sold" numbers may or may not also include Windows RT license numbers. (Microsoft officials won't say.)

The minute that a PC rolls off the manufacturing line with a new version of Windows on it, it is counted as a "license sold," Reller explained.

Microsoft sold more than 100 million licenses of Windows 7 in its first six months, company officials said back in June 2010. At that time, they called Windows 7 "the fastest selling operating system in history."

It's worth repeating that Microsoft's "licenses sold" numbers are totally different from usage share data. Based on usage statistics from various firms, Windows 8 still lags substantially both Windows 7 and Windows XP, in terms of usage at the moment. Microsoft officials declined to provide usage share data for Windows 8.

More Microsoft milestones, commitments

Reller shared some additional Windows 8-related numbers during a meeting I had with her at Microsoft's New York City headquarters on Monday, May 6.

She said the Windows team has delivered 739 updates for Windows 8 and Windows RT in the six-plus months  since those operating systems were made generally available. These updates have included everything from battery-life improvements, to drivers, to security fixes.

There are more than 60,000 Windows Store/Metro Style apps for Windows 8 and Windows RT available now, Reller also said. The Softies believe they will have Windows Store/Metro Style versions of the "majority" of top Android and iPad apps available in the Windows Store by holiday 2013. And there have been more than 500 updates to the first-party (meaning Microsoft-developed) Windows 8 and Windows RT apps in the Store since Windows 8 and Windows RT launched in late October 2012.

Reller reiterated Microsoft's commitment to improving the retail experience for consumers looking to buy new PCs and tablets running Windows 8. She said that even though Microsoft invested more than ever on retail at the end of 2012 -- by both training salespeople about Windows 8 and creating a standardized Windows 8 demo -- all this "still wasn't even close to enough."

"We were smart, but not smart enough" about how users would approach the PC and tablet-buying experience at places like Best Buy, Staples and other retail outfits.

Reller said Microsoft will be doing more with its retail partners, first for the back-to-school buying season, but especially by the holidays. There will be more of a focus on creating specific sales experiences for tablets, touch laptops, convertibles and all-in-ones, she said.

Microsoft also will be changing its incentive programs for retail stores so that salespeople will be compensated for touch, 100 percent, when it comes to consumer sales. Microsoft also will continue to build out more of its own Microsoft brick-and-mortar stores, but will be focusing more on smaller, storefront style spaces, she said.

Topics: Windows 8, Microsoft, Tablets, PCs, Windows, Microsoft Surface


Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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  • Waiting for Linux and Apple spin!

    Spinner up!
    • Still waiting for...

      ...the number of Windows 8 preloads actually sold. I really don't think it's a hard number to get, but MS *really* doesn't want to provide it.

      Regardless, those who want Windows 8 should buy it; those who don't want to buy it shouldn't. How popular it is is really irrelevant to that decision.
      John L. Ries
      • 14% pc sold less than year before...

        ...which means most likely that desktops and portables pre-installed with Windows 8 sold 15-20% less than Windows 7 pre-installed computers year before.

        Gartner estimated only 300 million portables and desktops sale for this year. This mean average 75 million sale per quarter. During the Q1 2013 some 152 million Android smartphones and 27.8 million Android tablets were sold.

        Windows is indeed shrinking and Microsoft can't deny it. This 100 million Windows 8-hype is pure nonsense. Even very questionable Net Application and StatCounter figures are showing the fail of Windows 8.
        • Ya. Sure. Only 3 possabilities. We will see.

          The 14% less computers sold you use is interesting. Microsoft says the same number of Windows 8 licenses have been sold as on par with Windows 7 time period. That means if they are saying 100,000,000 computers, less the number of licences only (no computer hardware) that were sold, means there are already likely multiple millions of unsold computers laying around in unsold stock if the number, and unless the production lines have already stopped, this number would be increasing on a daily basis. Its easily foreseeable that if production carried on as normal, six months from now there could be easily 20 million or more unsold units sitting around in stores if nobody quickly brought that kind of madness to an end; and soon.

          Do you realize that if there were 20,000 stores actively involved in this calculation that would mean on an even spread there would be approximately 1000 units per store sitting on the shelves that would only seem to be increasing daily? 20,000 stores with as many as a thousand units on average sitting unsold on the shelves for each and every one of them? And increasing? Unbelievable disaster.

          Well, I don’t know. I guess we will see about that.

          Either possibility #1-the units sell as per normal. So then you’re wrong.

          Possibility #2, the units dont sell as per normal so a massive sale on Windows 8 PC's takes place and only then do the PC's start to sell, and do sell. So then you’re still wrong. And we all get great deals.

          Possibility #3, the units don’t sell, even at sale prices, the stores fill up to the brim with an ever increasing stock of unsellable Windows 8 PC’s and laptops, it creates a major disaster for firstly the stores, secondly the OEM’s then finally Microsoft who gets the big backlash from it all in the end. Windows 8 goes down in history as the computer OS that didn’t sell and your right.

          Lets sit back and see who wins this one. I really wish there was a place that took bets on this.
    • why?

      these sales are in 90 % due to corruption of govs and Slovakia you are even not able to pay taxes without Windows, see:
      • corruption

        this is the way Microsoft gains 90% of its revenues = corruption
        • Yep didn't take long!

          Thank you! "Takes a bow" 8-)
          • Microsoft gives you the great V-Tech GUi, but LInux has...

            Linux 3.9 brings SSD caching and drivers to support modern PCs
            Improved Linux drivers boost support for Intel, ARM, and AMD hardware.

            by Jon Brodkin - Apr 29 2013, 11:26am EDT

            Linux creator Linus Torvalds last night announced the release of version 3.9 of the kernel. Available for download at, Linux 3.9 brings a long list of improvements to storage, networking, file systems, drivers, virtualization, and power management.

            H-Online editor Thorsten Leemhuis has an excellent rundown of what's new in Linux 3.9. One new feature, listed as "experimental," allows SSDs to act as caches for other storage devices. "This feature is able to speed up data writes, as it allows the faster SSD to first cache data and then, in a quiet moment, transfer it to the slower hard drive," Leemhuis wrote.

            Linux maintainers have also done some driver work that might improve the sometimes questionable support for desktops and laptops. New drivers include support for Intel 802.11ac Wi-Fi components, as well as trackpads used in Samsung's ARM-based Chromebook and the Dell XPS 13 Developer Edition Ultrabook. The Kernel's driver for AMD Radeon graphics chips was updated to support Oland chips in the 8500 and 8600 Series Radeon video cards, in addition to AMD's forthcoming Richland chips. The driver code for HD audio codecs is also now "leaner and more robust."

            "With Intel's new Wi-Fi drivers and the AMD graphics driver improvements, the kernel is now better equipped for tomorrow's PCs and notebooks," Leemhuis wrote.

            Other improvements include experimental support for RAID 5 and 6 in the Btrfs file system; new "lightweight suspend" and "suspend freeze" modes that "cause the kernel to send all hardware components into their deepest sleep state"; and networking features to improve how workloads are spread across processor cores in Web servers and other systems. Virtualization is getting a boost with KVM support for ARM Cortex A15's virtualization features; Xen support for hotplugging processors and memory components; and integration of drivers to improve support for VMware's virtualization software.

            Linux 3.9 comes a little more than two months after Linux 3.8, which has already made its way into Ubuntu and other Linux-based operating systems."


            Yep, Windows 8 is cutting edge technology. Sure.
          • I'm not quite sure what your posting has to do with the article

            But, that SSD caching capability sure sounds a lot like "Ready Boost" - a feature that's been in Windows since Vista. You plug in a compatible memory stick and everything magically gets faster.
          • The point always ignored here is that MS still requires AV to function.

            It's, by far the most important feature and benefit of Linux. But, articles here focus on everything but security, because it is common knowledge that MS can never produce products stong enough to function without it. i.e. their source code is not designed with intrinsic security, basically the only protection they have is a compiled binary file.

            The use of SSD for disc caching (for other hardware devices) is something never been done before, to my knowledge.
          • Linux doesn't

            Desktop, no. So hackers don't waste their time there.

            Servers, yes! So we see the largest most expansive security failures there.

            Anyone who depends on "hope" that their system can't be compromised is an idiot.
          • Re: Anyone who depends on "hope" that their system can't

            Are you seriously claiming all users of Microsoft software are idiots???
          • Ya, this thing has been beat to death. Its rediculous.

            First of all, lets just try some very simple honesty. This isnt 2005. Todays most modest hardware clobbers resource drain from AV. Average users wont even notice speed changes if AV is installed or not. Its one of the biggest who cares issues now that exists in real life.

            Windows uses AV. Who cares. Nobody except people who use Linux. Why do they care? They need something to hang onto as an excuse as to OT use Windows. Viruses really scare Linux users apparently. Using AV really scares Linux users apparently. This...apparently is what forces them into a situation where they feel they have no choice but to use Linux? I dont know. The whole thing sounds crazy to me. Ive used Linux, I thought it was pretty good, I didnt use it forever because in the long run it wasnt for me, but it didnt have a single thing to do with viruses, AV or any such completely irrelevant considerations at all.

            So, this nonsense needs to end. People with a brain thought it ended years ago.
          • So,

            Microsoft is not the only factor here. There's an entire series of protection industries totally dependent on Microsofts' security follies. If Microsoft ever became as secure as Linux, those industries would immediately go out of business. There are no after market security mega-corporations for Linux.

            These AV companies and Geek Squads are an additional force promulgating Microsoft, along with sweetheart deals (like the Dell deal I mentioned in another post), that keep Microsoft breathing. The quality of a Microsoft product has nothing to do with it's ability to survive. American people can be easily manipulated with propaganda, such as is commonly found here in ZDNet. If you don't see the propaganda here, it generally means its successfully working on you.
          • The numbers are from a Microsoft employee.

            Who really knows how much actual cash is from Win8? I've never seen anyone using it.

            "More than 100 million copies of Windows 8 have been sold in its first six months on the market, according to a Q&A with Windows division Chief Marketing Officer and Chief Financial Officer Tami Reller."


            So, how many "secrets" are behind those figures? People are just gullible and Microsoft just laughs at them.
          • Let me put on my tinfoil hat and boot up linux like you joe.

            There is no such thing as a safe computer Joe. Your continual preaching of that is doing more damage than any actual hacker.

            This is the same stupidity that dominated the mindset of Mac users, until Mac computers achieved a big enough market share to attract attention.

            Having no defense isn't a defense Joe. It is called faith.
          • You obviously never used Linux and are just parroting the MS paradigm.

            Try finding AV to protect Linux. The only major player is called CLAM and all it does is protect against Windows viruses and malware that infect only Windows computers. I use it (on Linux) only to clean completely infected Windows hard drives, which is only an exercise in futility.

            Why don't you try Linux Mint Cinnamon 14.1 (32-bit or 64-bit) and try to get yourself infected? Then come back with some real news and post it. That would be impressive. Posting about something you don't know anything about and expecting millions of Linux users who don't use AV to believe you is silly.

            I've used Linux everyday for 12 years without AV and with no issues. Linux users don't need or use AV, only Windows users who, being gullible, suck up every ounce of MS propaganda and re-transmit it without the slightest glimmer of actual proof.
          • Look at the number of attacks on Linux servers

            If you research deeply (CERN and other bodies) you will see that Linux/Unix gets hacked all the time, though it is predominantly in the server arena. When you here those stories of some company getting their website hacked, if you do a scan to see what servers they are running you'll often find it is Linux (or at least their outward looking firewalls are based on linux which doesn't help argue for linux)

            BTW, my least concern with my Windows installations are viruses and while I do have AV software (I use MS free security suite) I've only run into a virus 2-3 times in the last 5 years on our home network (5 PCs - 3 of them operated by my kids). What I am more worried about are browser attacks AND I am not much worried about those either. I just keep 'em patched up the same way I patch linux and all seems to go just fine.
          • Administrators keep network passwords and logins on Windows computers...

            ...That are eventually broken into. Why would someone externally obtaining passwords and login information and accessing servers be considered a problem with the system?

            Consider the Google hack and how it was reported here. Turned out to be 2 Chinese employees storing data on a Windows laptop that was compromised by zero day exploits via an email.

            ZDNet jumped on it as a "Linux" hacking until the truth came out and the story was pulled.
          • I believe what you are referring to is...

            ...just using the memory stick as a "solid state" pagefile. I did that over 10 years ago with Windows 2000 along with increasing registry memory values to increase speed. Using a USB stick for pagefile is always much faster than accessing it on a conventional hard disk.

            However, with today's computers coming with 6 GB of RAM, I don't think it makes such a big difference. Older computers with much less RAM seemed to rely on the pagefile to a greater extent.