Windows 8 is doing well: 40 million copies sold in one month, upgrades are faster than Windows 7

Despite all the Windows 8 hate and doomsday predictions, Windows 8, as it turns out, is doing very well. Tami Reller, Chief Financial Officer and Chief Marketing Office of Microsoft, has revealed Windows 8 has sold 40 million copies since it was released on October 26, 2012. In other words, 40 million Windows 8 copies have been sold in one month.

Tami did not clarify how many of these sales were of Windows RT and how many are of Windows 8/Pro.

Of course simply saying “Windows 8 has sold 40 million copies” means nothing because we have no way of telling if 40 million copies is a good or bad number. So let’s compare Windows 8 sales figures to what Windows 7 sold when it debuted in 2009. After all, Windows 7 was hailed as a success by (almost) every niche and corner of the mainstream tech industry; if Windows 8 can meet or match it, logic tells us Windows 8 isn’t doing too badly.

Official Microsoft figures for Windows 7 say 60 million Windows 7 copies were sold in the first ten weeks. An estimate by the Wall Street Journal put Windows 7 sales in the first month at 40 million. So, essentially, Windows 8 is selling just as well as Windows 7, an operating system most people call a success. In fact, Microsoft says Windows 8 upgrades are faster than Windows 7 updates in 2009.

If you consider how Windows 7 was the recipient of pent-up demand due to the failure of Windows Vista, the fact that Windows 8 is selling similarly well is high praise for Microsoft’s latest baby.

Where are the critics now? BOOM, headshot.

Okay, all sarcasm aside, the sales data for Windows 8 isn’t as rosy as it may seem:

  • First of all, as I just mentioned, people are upgrading to Windows 8 faster than people upgraded to Windows 7 in 2009. Since Windows 8 and Windows 7 are selling at a similar overall pace, the flip side of the people-are-upgrading-to-Windows-8-faster coin is less people are purchasing new Windows 8 machines (tablets and PCs) than the amount of people that purchased new Windows 7 PCs.
  • Secondly, Microsoft has a limited-time promotion running allowing people to upgrade to Windows 8 for $15 if you recently purchased a Windows 7 PC and $39.99 for everyone else. Windows upgrades, including Windows 7, are typically a lot more expensive than that. Combine this with the fact that the promotion is time-limited, then Microsoft may be inducing artificial demand for Windows 8. In fact, it is almost a given that Microsoft is inducing demand for Windows 8. As ArsTechnica points out, many people may simply be purchasing Windows 8 upgrades right now with the plan to use them later, since the upgrades are cheap(er) during this promotion. What we don’t know is how many of these people would still upgrade to Windows 8 if it was available for the normal $99+ upgrade price.

That said, despite the caveats, it is hard to call Windows 8 a “failure” when it is doing similarly well as its “successful” predecessor. Indeed, my friends, Windows 8 is not a failure… at least not yet. The question is: will this continue? Only time will tell.

[via ArsTechnica, Microsoft, image via FunnyShirts]

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12 comments

  1. Andrew

    “Where are the critics now? BOOM, headshot.”

    Windows 7 restored the trust in windows so they assumed that it would be an upgrade and with this trust they bought it for the $50 it cost to upgrade or what ever it is now thinking that it would be cool to try out for only $50.

    How many of that 50 mill still use it? Eh, Bra? eh?

  2. Coyote

    Another facet that hasn’t been brought up. There is inflation to think about. How many new PCs were being sold in 2009 versus 2012? Just because more are being sold doesn’t mean the adoption rate is higher, just that there are more customers. I’m sure if 20% more people are using computers then their sales would increase the same.

    Henry Ford sold only 200 Model-T’s in his first month, I’m making this up of course. But you see my point.

  3. David

    jayesstee
    Excellent idea. I would like to know what the people who are actual using Windows 8 really think about it.
    Pro’s: Very Fast from startup to using.
    Con’s: Need to learn a new OS. { takes about one day & within a week you will be p and running)when you find the Window’s button on the key pad!

    I would really like to give credit to dotTech & all of the Window8 writers who have really help me with their daily Window 8 articles. Thanks Again

  4. jayesstee

    Since the only versions of Win 8 available are the upgrade or OEM ones, could this apparent success be due to the (relatively) low initial price of the upgrade ($25 or $40)? I myself, am considering buying the upgrade with no immediate plans to use it, before the price soars.

    @Ashraf:
    Is it time for one of the famous dotTech surveys?
    For instance:
    Have you purchased Win 8?
    If so, have you installed it?
    If so, are keeping it installed?
    If so, are you pleased with it?

    Just a suggestion.

  5. clockmendergb

    @David:
    I have to agree.
    I have updated two machines for the kids who love it(Bit like Apple the Microsoft publicity machine is in high gear and its pretty slick advertising)

    I will stay with 7 for the moment but would not mind trying a tablet with it on as I believe that is where its future is.

  6. Col. Panek

    Try Mint or Zorin, on DVD or flash drive, just for fun. You just have to get over the idea that “free = worthless”. Also, that getting Windows8 for $40 is a huge bargain, because it’s regularly $200.

  7. David

    Windows 8 is a GREAT OS for the price of peanuts. Why would anyone want to wait to buy it when they can buy it now for $40.00. If you have a question about upgrading why not ask someone who actually has Windows 8 on a PC? I doubt anyone here actually has Windows 8 or they would be praising it.
    If you presently have Windows 7, I would not upgrade, because its essentially the same OS with a start page rather than start bar. However Windows 8 does start faster. So if you have not upgraded since Vista or even further back and wish too now is the time to buy at just $40.00. If you wait you will pay more if you decide to upgrade.

  8. h8r

    Smacks of spin to me. The (justified) h8 for 8 around the net and those sales numbers do not align and something stinks somewhere.

    Remember when M$ launched that campaign for Vista — after Vista was released — by showing folks the operating system and asking them what they thought, without telling them it was Vista? Everyone they showed it to raved about how great it was. The message was that actual users were just haters; never mind the problems that actual users were having.

    It’s like that, now. It COULDN’T be that 8 is just plain idiotic with a mouse, it’s gotta be the haters. If M$ does not fix this in Windows 9, it’ll be so long Windows, hello Mac for me. I’m getting tired of these clowns.

  9. Locutus

    I tried a Windows 8 touchscreen computer the other day… they’re actually really, *really* cool. And having the full desktop available is awesome as well.

    However, on a non-touchscreen device, Windows 8 is really not very nice. Meh.

  10. Dale

    Did Microsoft also include the fact that ALL Windows 7 copies were recalled, and people had to buy Windows 8 in Australia,
    Did it say that all nearly all OEM computers now have Windows 8 on them and that the only other way to get it here is to by an upgrade? (You can’t buy a full copy of 8 here).
    Of course there’s mail order if you’ve got a spare $250AU to get 7 home premium full.
    We can’t even buy a full copy of 8 here – only an upgrade from 7, unless its OEM.
    Take Australia out of the fuzzy numbers would be a start.